1) How long have you two been a couple and how did you meet? (say as much as you'd like!)
Shanay – We have been a couple mostly on and a little off for 21 years, since our sophomore year in high school (1998), and married for 11 years, (6/14/08). It was high school orientation and Chris was in a group with some dudes that I knew from my neighborhood. One of them was my middle school boyfriend so I awkwardly said hi to them and walked off not paying Chris any mind. The first day of school rolls around and he and I ran into each other in the hallway, and he asked me, “You go with Tray?” and I said, “No! Not anymore.” He then said, “Good! Because I want you to be my girl. What’s your number? I’ll call you tonight so we can discuss it.” I don’t know what I was thinking but I gave him my number and the rest is history.
Chris – The first time I saw her I was with my brother and his friends at high school orientation where you get your schedule and stuff. Shanay walked up and said hi to some of the guys in the group and when she walked away, I asked who she was. My brother’s friend,Tray said that she was his girl to which I replied, “We’ll see about that,” and I took his girl lol
2) What is your secret to making your marriage work?
Chris – Learning to listen has been the best secret to my marriage lol as men, we get worried that our woman is trying to control us, but I know that my wife only wants the best for me and our family, and I trust her which means if I just listen sometimes things will work out. There are times that she has to listen, too.
Shanay – The secret for me is to learn to not sweat the small stuff. We hardly ever have a fight, because we understand that not every little disagreement needs to put us at odds against one another. Sometimes he gets on my nerves and I know that other times I might get on his. Let the small things go, because they’re never worth it in the long run.
3) What was the biggest misconception you had about marriage? What do you know now?
Shanay – I thought that marriage was just a piece of paper. Chris cared more about getting married than I ever have and that’s probably because my mother has never been married nor have a lot of the women in my family. To me, it was just a piece of paper that wasn’t necessary unless it was something you just wanted. I learned since then marriage is much more than that paper… without that paper we’d still be married because our marriage is trust, love, partnership, friendship, loyalty, it’s so many things wrapped into one that a piece of paper could never define.
Chris – That I wasn’t going to get sex anymore lol everyone made it seem like women stop giving you sex when you get married but that hasn’t been the case for me at all lol
4) How did you both know that the other was "the one"?
Chris- I knew Shanay was the one when I first saw her, but if there was a moment that could pinpoint it, it was when my mother died. It was sophomore year of college, and my mom got really sick and died within six months of a diagnosis of rare cancer. Shanay stepped up for me in ways I couldn’t imagine. I knew right then and there she was going to be my wife; it wasn’t just Shanay either, I knew I wanted to be apart of her family. Her mother, grandmother, aunts and cousins all looked out for me during that time.
Shanay – I think I knew Chris was the one for me when his mother passed away. It was something about the way that he was going through the worst time in his life yet he kept checking on me to make sure I was okay. I thought it was so strange, but he was trying to be strong for me. Yet, he would be vulnerable at the same time. I like to say we fell in love twice… once as kids in high school and again while he was grieving his mother’s death. That’s when our romance grew up into adulthood. He has been there for me tenfold ever since.
5) What is the best advice that you would give to other married couples? To singles hoping to get married?
Shanay – To married couples; never stop dating your spouse! Kids, jobs, hobbies, all can get in the way, but make time to put them first. You’re in it for life!
To singles; be the person you want to marry. If you want someone with a good job, have one. If you want someone with good morals, have good morals. You will attract what you are.
Chris – I would say for married couples learn to fight the problems without fighting each other. It’s easy to attack the other person but the real issue will still be there and now you’re beefing with your best defense. Not smart!
To singles; that single life plays out, fellas. Don’t let the girl of your dreams end up someone else’s reality because you’re afraid to give up your player card. Marriage is way more lit!
Thank you Parker family for sharing your every Black Love with us!