Our love story: The Reids

By Lydia Lakwonyero, :: 10-04-2012

So how did you meet?
Kris: I first met Mike when I was in high school. Then, he was in college. I had gone to a college party where he was.

When I looked at him, I thought he was cute and I actually voiced it out: “You are very cute!” He looked back at me, said thanks and walked away. He must have noticed how young I was – eighteen.
Three years later we met again and remembered each other. That year he asked me out and I said no because I was dating at the time. That was in the spring and then I went away for the summer.When I returned, I asked myself: “Who do I want to date this time?” And then I thought of him. But he had transferred to another university because he had changed his major.
We had a mutual friend. So one night when we went out with a group of friends to hear music, we found each other there. That was the first night we talked a lot.
And we decided to spend more time together and that was really the beginning of our friendship and relationship.
Mike: When I first noticed her, and wanted to meet her, I remember, I was at a friend’s wedding. The ceremony was over and people were standing up.
I had come with someone I was not very interested in. I noticed her get up from the pews and I thought to myself, ‘She would be someone I would want to meet.’
And I remembered who she was at that point (the girl from the college party). Then I asked her out and she said no. I felt rejected. Later on we met, struck a friendship and started dating.
We dated for four years and married in August 1993.

What attracted you to each other?
Kris: When I was growing up, my parents said to me that when you are trying to find a husband, the most important things are, their faith, and then ask yourself if this is someone you will still find interesting after 30 years of marriage.
When Mike started talking that night, I just knew he would be that guy. Mike was not the typical US college guy who just wanted to drink beer and watch sports.
This man was smart and interesting. And from the way he intelligently relayed certain topics I could tell he was someone who read a lot.
 We connected around the subject of art and our values on friendship, people. I was instantly attracted to him.
Interestingly, when we had just started hanging out together as friends, I came home to my parents and I said to them:
“I have met the man I am going to marry.” And my mom said, “Are you dating him?” And I said “no.” Then she again asked: “Have you kissed him?” and I said “no.” So she asked: “Then how do you know? You are only eighteen.” I replied: “I just know.” 
Mike: Obviously she is beautiful and that attracted me. The other thing is she was very outgoing and wasn’t afraid to talk to you, that about her, just drew me in.
She was very intelligent and we shared our faith in God. The more I got to know Kris, the more I realised I hadn’t felt about anybody like that. I knew she was the girl I could marry.

What have you come to respect about each other over the years?
Kris: One thing that I have come to appreciate about Mike is that even after knowing each other for so long, I still find him interesting. There are things he shares and I ask myself, ‘How come I didn’t know that?’
He is reflective, always trying to be a better person, father, husband, friend, Christian.
Mike: Married couples get in conflict once in a while: Kris always makes the effort to bring about reconciliation when this happens. She works hard toward the betterment of our marriage. I have seen this happen consistently. And that’s the great thing about her.

A word of   wisdom
Mike and Kris: Any relationship is work and that is why it is called a commitment. It is not always easy and fun. Life tries to kind of pull you apart, especially when you have two different careers, because it is very easy to think, “I’ve got my thing and he’s got his thing.” And then there is this stuff called marriage between the two of you that you have to figure out.
In our culture, individual identity is so valued that the marriage is often lost. Everything is about me, how I feel, and how is he respecting me?
You need to keep together and focus on the same mission. Stay connected. That takes work, energy, sacrifice and time. Like any friendship if you do not maintain your relationship as a couple, you will grow apart.
Maintaining the physical part of the relationship is a vital part of your marriage. You should be physically intimate so as to reap richly from your marriage.
Especially men, remember to be humble. It is not about being the man in a relationship but mutual submission; which requires honouring the other person and putting them ahead of yourself. Do not let your pride come between you, but always say “sorry” when you are in the wrong.
In our culture, there is this idea of self-fulfillment before we unite with someone else.
People criticized us a lot for getting married when we did. They said we were too young and didn’t know ourselves. But we felt that our identity was rooted in God. Needing to find yourself is not always the way to go. The advantage is that we grew up together and so can you.
And then there is this idea of holding yourself until you find the perfect person. No one is perfect, even you. It is about finding somebody who shares the same core values as you and is willing to adapt.
One of the ways I knew he was right for me is because I thought if my parents could pick anyone for me, this is the person they would pick.
Also, don’t always go for the flashy things. As the years go by, beauty and the money will fade; your relationship with God will take you through the hard times.
Marrying a non-Christian is an issue. When push comes to shove and you hit the hard times, you will be leaning on different sources of strength. This already is a level of disconnect. When Christ is the centre of your union, even with your imperfection, he completes the puzzle.
And just because a person tells you they are Christian, do not just assume they are.
Take time to talk about what that faith means to them: Do they just traditionally go to church or do they actually have a personal relationship with Christ? You might even realise they do not share the same values
with you.

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