Starting married life in an approximately 100 square foot “studio” apartment wouldn’t be considered ideal by most. For Elizabeth and Justin, they found that being together after several years of long-distance love made up for the lack of space. They speak humorously about their first year of marriage living arrangements in this video.
This living arrangement also forced them to address conflict and communicate effectively (as they put it, “There was nowhere to go so we had to fix it!”). Recognizing the individual differences as well as family norms both had internalized was important in helping them establish how they would address conflict and communicate in their family.
Both met while students at James Madison University. They had established a strong friendship before both realized there was “something more” between them. They credit this friendship as essential to their ability to maintain a long distance relationship for two years (the first year was a cross country long distance relationship!). This foundation allowed them to successfully navigate significant geographical separation.
Elizabeth and Justin encourage couples to seek help from others to keep your relationship strong. Both credit the premarital counseling they received from their faith community as further bolstering their foundation and also equipping them with tools to address the challenges marriage and life present. They have relied upon principles and techniques learned in their counseling as well as the amazing examples set by many of their friends and family members to strengthen their love and commitment.
Elizabeth and Justin’s mutual respect, love and admiration for each other is easily seen by any who are around them. We wish them all the best as their love story continues to unfold.
To read the previous stories in the 2014 Hot Healthy Love Series, click below:
Paul and Onca