When Michael Webb decided to marry Athena in 1990, he wanted to break the cycle of divorce in his family by treating Athena with special care. The romantic gestures Michael showed his wife didn't go unnoticed by friends and coworkers. After he was asked repeatedly for tips on romance, Michael turned his romantic touch into a full-blown business five years ago. He now has a newsletter, a website (www.theromantic.com), a syndicated column and a book, The RoMANtic's Guide (Hyperion). The Webbs live in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Our first date: Was dinner and a video at a friend's house. We ditched our friend and went to a local park where we sat on the swings, drank hot chocolate and talked until 3 a.m.
What I like about Michael: He is very genuine and caring and fun to be with. He makes an effort to show how he loves me.
What I like about Athena: She is kind to everyone. And she's a positive person—not a complainer.
What bugs me about Michael: His workload. But he really makes a point not to overdo it.
What bugs me about Athena: She has little concept of time, and I am very punctual.
A romantic night at the Webbs': It could be anything from racing sticks down a creek (loser treats winner to ice cream) to reading poetry together to a picnic on the lawn of the local museum.
Future expensive date plans: We want to try the millionaire date: renting a fancy car and then visiting a snazzy restaurant in a tux and an evening gown.
Future cheap date plans: The quarter date. We'll get $10 worth of quarters, go to an arcade, then to an observation deck with the telescopes. Then we'll go to WalMart where for 25 cents you can buy soda, ride the rides out front or buy a plastic ring from the machines.
The most difficult thing we faced together: My depression a few years ago. Athena didn't try to fix it. Instead, she just loved me. It ended up drawing us closer together.
The biggest surprise in our marriage: Is how fun it really is. You hear all those horror stories about marriage, and you always just hear how marriage takes a lot of work.
We celebrate: Our anniversary every month. Sometimes just with a card. Other times we celebrate with a date or a picnic.
The best marriage advice we received: Was from Michael's mom. She sat him down and said, "Women do not expect their husbands to be Prince Charming. Just tell your wife often that you love her and show her that she is very special to you."
Our marriage motto: We want our marriage to be a good marriage and a fun marriage. And romance is the key to our fun.
by Cindy Crosby
Copyright © 2000 by the author or Christianity Today/Marriage Partnership magazine. Click here for reprint information on Marriage Partnership.