By NJ Clausen
Happy February and Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone! Loving and being loved…what a wonderful gift, affordable, and available to all. Have you ever noticed that some couples really click, forming a unit that you recognize even if you do not personally know them? Let me introduce you to one such couple, Michael and Tiffany Reynolds.
Born on opposite coasts of the United States, Tiffany in California and Mike in Massachusetts, the two met after college while working together in hotel management. Colleagues and friends first, they would go to meetings together and collaborate on different projects together. They would travel together to facilitate weeklong programs in different cities. The relationship took a turn after a couple of years when a ‘goodnight’ at the end of a trip included a hug. As both Tiffany and Michael had been married before, this new developing relationship would include blended families, and the challenges that come with it. Mike believes that forgiveness was the key. Tiffany shared that having boundaries, in addition to mutual respect, was what made it all work.
Married for going on 12 years now, Tiffany shared that one of the key elements to their strong marriage is mutual respect, with the conscious awareness that if your partner is not successful, then you are not successful. They love to be competitive, but they also relish the other’s success, too. Another habit they have formed is never taking things or each other for granted and having frequent check-ins, making sure that each partner is still happy. Asking if there is anything that could make things better and having conversations while being conscientious of the other person’s happiness is another way they keep their relationship strong. Mike agrees that they strive for continuous improvement in all areas of their lives– professionally and personally, in their love life and spiritually. Mike emphasized how important their strong faith life is to them, and how important a strong faith life is to a successful marriage. Although both were baptized in the same faith, they have grown and continue to learn in their journey together.
Another important part of their relationship is the desire to have and create fun! For gifts, they give each other ‘experiences’ to enjoy. When asked what their favorite experience was, they both chose their honeymoon location in Italy. This was the first time either of them had been there, and it was wonderful! Everything was so Old World genuine with history that goes back thousands of years, not hundreds of years. They embraced all aspects of this experience by walking through vineyards, enjoying new cuisine, and visiting the Vatican.
Tiffany lived in Kernersville first, and with their marriage Mike also discovered the small-town charm. They have enjoyed seeing the downtown flourish, as well as exploring the new additions made over the years. Fond memories include bringing the kids to see the fireworks, supporting local restaurants, visiting micro-breweries, and taking in the abundance of nature that is found in Kernersville. They also enjoy cooking together and entertaining friends in their home. One of the first fun memories they created in their home was on the night before they were married. As both often create themed events for work related programs (including ‘Putting on the Ritz’ which involved many belly laughs during planning), coming up with ‘A Night at the Mansion’ bachelor/bachelorette party with a 1950’s flair was a smile-inducing party to remember! Tiffany brought up that as a couple they are unique in that they work together now and have worked together in the past in many different capacities. Although not sure why it works, it does. They feel so very fortunate to have found each other.
When asked what they would like to say to family, friends and neighbors, Mike asked that people always keep an open heart and an open mind. Whether it is meeting people locally or in your work life, there are so many amazing people out there. It takes effort, but it is worth it! Tiffany feels that the people in their community, and especially in their church, really see and recognize the spirit of their relationship, not just the exterior. She thanks those who have welcomed and embraced them. Both encourage people to follow the spirit of their heart, and to put the “we” before the “me.”