The love that Derick and Dominique share is nothing new or ordinary. The uniqueness of their relationship stems from their struggles, doubts, and fears. The honesty of their union pulls you in, and whether you know them personally or not, their journey makes you want to support them in more ways than one.
At a birthday party just 9 years ago, this couple had the chance to accept or reject what their futures could be. So, grab your wine and box of tissues as you read through this love story.
Derick met Dominique while he was just a sophomore in high school.
Derick: I knew she was the one by the way I couldn’t resist whatever she wanted. I would stay up all times of night to talk with her, do whatever she asked, and she had the ability to frustrate me like no other woman, (girl) at that time could. I genuinely cared about how she felt and held her opinions in a high regard.
For Dominique, it took a little more pressure to make this diamond.
Dominique: We broke up our senior year in high school, and I journeyed to North Carolina to attend Bennett College. He stayed home in California to attend a school that was a little closer. That is when I realized he was the one. I dated other guys but something never seemed right. I could never completely commit to the guy I was with. Whenever Derick would call or come back around I would drop whatever I was doing or whoever I was with just to be next to him.
Over the past 2 years and 5 months, Derick and Dominique’s marriage has changed from “romantic bliss to a real-working relationship.”
“Romantic bliss means there was no wrong she could do and I wanted to spend every waking moment just laying, looking, and loving her. Now, we are at the point where marriage is a relationship, and it requires two people to be the best individuals they can be and bring it together to continue to support, adore, and encourage one another,” says Derick.
Over time, they both knew that anything worth having has to be tested, and the beauty in that is the passing the test and becoming stronger.
Dominique: Our marriage has definitely become stronger. We’ve had some challenges along the way and some unexpected surprises (Our baby girl), however we have come together and figured things out on our own. I know I can always depend on my husband and that he’s got my back.
Many anticipate the struggles of marriage, but they also patiently wait for the beauty in it. Sometimes the hardest part is getting past the doubts to convince yourself that no matter what, things in this next chapter will be okay.
Derick: I had major doubts before marriage. I was not mentally, or financially ready to be married, but I was certain this woman was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
Dominique: I was apprehensive about getting married young, but never doubted who I was marrying. I was 22 and my spouse was 21. Looking back on it 2 years later, I probably could’ve waited a little longer, but at 22 years old my mindset was WAIT FOR WHAT? LETS GET MARRIED!
Aside from the common struggles, some core resolutions are key for a successful marriage. Among those are communication, recognizing each others strengths and weaknesses, and also knowing how to resolve conflicts.
These factors are often talked about but rarely put into action. No one marriage is perfect, because no two people are perfect, but it takes loving someone in the best way you know how to truly make things work. Derick and Dominique shared with me how they work through some of those complex issues in marriages.
Dominique: One way we communicate is listening. We make a true effort not to talk over each other and intently listen while the other is speaking. We give each other uninterrupted time to say what’s on our minds. I communicate my love and appreciation by cooking his favorite meals. He loves to eat, so whenever I have the opportunity to spoil him with those meals I try to do that. Although, my actions show it, I also think it is important to make sure I verbally tell him I love and appreciate him every day.
Derick: I communicate with my wife through touch, gifts, and casual conversation. I communicate love and appreciation with my tone, and the way I speak with her by not raising my voice, and talking in a humbling manner while taking into consideration only the wants and needs of my wife.
Both Derick and Dominique agree that one of the strongest things in their marriage is the love undying, unmovable love they have for each other. Though conflicts arise, like you will find in any friendship and relationship, they don’t allow that to stop them. Techniques like allowing each other to cool down, taking a few minutes to themselves, then calmly coming back together and listening to each other has managed to help them vet through some issues and never lose the love and respect they have for each other. They have both decided to put God first and together they choose to keep God first.
“We encourage one another in our walks with God, by always insisting on prayer and study to find answers or guidance with decision making. We encourage each other that through faith and worship there is nothing we can’t accomplish within our marriage and as individuals,” says Derick.
Dominique: Marriage is what I expected it to be and more. It’s challenging, easy, sad, happy, crazy, calm, sexy and fun. It is so many things wrapped up in one. My life is an endless sleepover with my best friend; can’t get any better than that.
Derick: Marriage is not what I expected. I expected marriage to simplify things, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t complicate things, but it makes my wife and I more intertwined and dependent on one another. My wife’s problems and struggles become mine and vice versa. Marriage is not only loving my wife, it is knowing how to nurture the love in a way that it can continue to grow and be healthy, and conducive to the overall well-being of my wife.
Through God this couple knows where their strength lies, and through God they will love each other, and grow in ways always knowing to use their marriage as their ministry.