Couple Q&A

Get each couple's perspective on the first year of marriage.

on Jun 24, 2013

What advice would you give to a Newlywed couple after your experiences during your first year of marriage? What lessons have you learned?

TINA: Don’t act anything like me, and you will be just dandy! I will say, there were a lot of things that Tarz and I could have improved upon, but the one thing we had down was verbalization at ALL times! (And I’m not just talking about the fact that I tend to run my loud-ass mouth 24/7.) I feel like if you can’t throw all of your ego out the window and let down your guard 100% with just this one person, then why get married? I am always able to express to Tarz my every thought -- including when I’m feeling the slightest bit hurt, jealous, or insecure. Talking about these feelings right away ensures that we never ever harbor any bitterness or fight about trivial things. So I guess the old cliché about the key to a good marriage being “open and honest communication at all times” wins! (Now, if only there was a cliché about clubbing your workaholic hubby over the head and dragging him out on a date against his will…)

TARZ: My advice actually precedes your first year of marriage -- and that’s to marry your best friend. Of anything and everything that Tina and I have in our relationship, it all begins with a rock solid foundation of friendship. We love hanging out with each other and we talk about pretty much everything. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t other types of relationships that work, but I think we work so well because of the friendship. I’ve learned that there’s no such thing as a perfect first year of marriage. There’s just a first year.

How did it feel to hear that you were pregnant after all your trials and tribulations? How has your life changed with having a baby?

TARZ: I’m typically very cautious with any sort of news like this, and so I sort of reserved the elation until I felt like we were past the initial stages of being pregnant when most miscarriages happen (that superstitious 3 month window). I didn’t really harbor any doubts that we’d eventually be able to get pregnant -- but we want a lot of kids, and the older you get (well, I get older, Tina is in some perpetual state of youth), the tougher it gets medically speaking.

With the little guy, I don’t actually feel like life has changed so much, to be honest. We already had two stuffed-animal pigs (that you never saw on the show, but that we carry everywhere and have little voices for), our two babies Loki and Xena, and Tina’s Dad. So it’s like we already had 5 kids. Seriously though, the only big thing that’s changed is our schedule, and we’re possibly getting a little less sleep. We’ve always been very busy with work and travel and our three-ring circus life, and he just adds to it. Conversely, I don’t have to have him or a pump attached to my boob 10 times a day, so it’s probably unfair to say it’s hasn’t really changed!

TINA: Finding out I was pregnant was AMAAAAZING! For about two seconds. Then I thought about the two miscarriages that I had been through (magically mushing 365 days into 8, 1-hour episodes meant that viewers obviously missed some “wonderful” Newlywed events), and my hopes were instantaneously crushed. Thank god I have Mr. Positivity as my life partner, who kept reassuring me that “third time’s a charm.”

Our son (whoa, that still sounds SO weird) just came home from the NICU a few days ago (since he was born a bit early), so I’m still just beginning to build this magical bond with him. In general, I actually enjoy racing against the clock and having high-energy, crazy-rushed days, so I’m loving it for now!  Your time does become limited though. I think workaholic Tarz was preparing me for the baby for the last year by never taking me out so now I don’t have to miss going out! Pumping and breast-feeding becomes a significant part of your life, although I’ve learned to pump “on the go”!  (Although, I do often wonder if a cop’s going to pull me over and fine me for milking myself. I know “texting and driving” is illegal, but how about “pumping and driving”?)

How are things with Tina’s father and your relationship?

TARZ: I’d say things have gone from a day to day figuring things out to more like a week to week or month to month. It was a very surreal year in many ways, including figuring out the relationship with Tina’s dad, and although it hasn’t been easy on any of us, there are moments where all the planets align and we all get along. I, for one, am trying to have more of those moments and less of the other ridiculous moments, but I don’t know the answer of how to make that happen. I think it’s just more time and more rolling with the punches. And maybe more clichés!

TINA: I think this question is for Tarz, but that never shut me up before! Let’s just say dad is “as looney as ever.”  Here’s just one example: We took over my mom’s house from him after she passed, because he could not bear to live there. He recently wanted it back and of course we agreed (so now Tarz and I are basically “homeless in Cali”). Then, the other day, we rolled up to the house to grab some of our stuff, and there’s a “for sale” sign on it! Just ask him what the deal is you say? Well, we would, but he’s off in Russia right now. Or Germany? Or England? I don’t know. He still doesn’t tell us anything. (He’s always doing something adventurous in the hopes that it will make all the pain go away.) So, that’s just ONE example of what’s going down. If we had a few more pages on this blog, I would keep going…the one positive thing is that he is very much attached and actually very overprotective of our kid. (Although, I think that’s because the baby has mom’s genes and is a piece of her. So that’s pretty unhealthy as well…) Sigh...a work in progress for sure!