We partnered with Coyote Creek Steakhouse & Saloon this Valentine’s Day season to share some wonderful stories of love. We sat down and talked with couples at several different stages of marriage, including lovebirds with over 60 years of wedded bliss.
We encourage you to share your love story or a photo of your Valentine on our Facebook page and tag it with #ShareTheLove.
Rob and Kristi live in Rock Springs and completed 20 years of marriage last December! Rob grew up in Murray, Utah and went to high school in Gillette, Wyoming. Kristi grew up in Ashton, Idaho on a potato farm.
They sat down with me to share a little about their love.
How did you meet?
Rob: We met in Las Vegas, Kristi was a showgirl and I was blackjack dealer (chuckling). That is the untrue romanticized version. It sounds more interesting than she was teaching high school and I was working construction in Las Vegas.
Kristi: I was teaching high school as my first job out of college. We were both attending the same church. We met at a church activity. Our first date was frozen yogurt. We made a friendly wager where the loser had to get the winner frozen yogurt. Rob won but he still paid for my frozen yogurt.
When did you know he/she was the one?
Rob: I was living with my cousin at the time. Right after I first met Kristi, I went home and told him I’d met a girl I was really interested in. After our second date, which ended up being a three day trip to Phoenix to see her parents because they would be leaving on an LDS mission for a time, I knew I was in love. We’d known each other about a month.
Kristi: He would ask me out and I would tell him he should ask out other people. Then we would go out again and have a lot of fun. Then I would get home and think what am I doing. He is younger than me and he hasn’t graduated from college. A couple of months into it I realized I really loved how I felt when I was around him. But, I don’t think up until the day we got married that I felt like he was the one.
I doubted myself the whole time. Wondering if it was right. I may have overanalyzed it (laughing). My mind kept giving me reasons why it wasn’t right but my heart kept telling me it was right. I went with my heart and married him.
What is something you really appreciate about your spouse?
Rob: Kristi better go first, I have to think (laughing). I’m joking. I appreciate her willingness to tolerate me. I can have an over exaggerating side to me at times. She brings me back down to earth and lets me know that’s not how it is. I appreciate how good of a mother she is to our children. When they were little kids, she read to them all of the time, among other things.
Kristi: I appreciate how kind Rob is to me. I know I am his first priority. For a time, I taught early morning seminary classes. We lived in an apartment and didn’t have a garage. I am not a morning person. In the winter, Rob woke up and scraped off my car windows every morning. The little acts of service he has done throughout our entire marriage let me know he loves me.
What have you done to keep your love strong over the years?
Rob: Talking was the foundation of our relationship. We would go on dates and just talk. Dinner and talk. Hot tubbing and talk. We still talk a lot. Sometimes, I worry we are going to run out of things to talk about but we always find something else to talk about.
Maintaining a strong relationship is all about spending time together.
Kristi: We talk about everything. We still go on dates. We try to go on a date once a week. We also have the occasional weekend getaway where someone we know watches our kids.
What advice do you have for new couples?
Kristi: You have to talk to each other. Don’t be afraid to express your needs. Saying what you need makes you feel vulnerable. Rob and I have had several conversations where we have said just tell me what you need because I can’t read your mind. Work to fulfill your spouse’s needs.
Do the love languages test. If Rob brought me home flowers or gifts it doesn’t make me feel as much like he loves me as when he does acts of service for me. Those means more to me. Learn what makes the other person feel loved and do those things.
Rob: I also agree you need to have an open channel of communication. I would also say you need to recognize your spouse is not perfect and be forgiving. Accept them for who they are and forgive them and expect you will be forgiven for your mistakes. Sometimes, things are said or done that might hurt your spouse. But, if you have open communication and can talk about it and work through it, your relationship will come out stronger.
A message from Ray Marini, Head Chef & GM at Coyote Creek:
We invite you to join us at Coyote Creek Steakhouse & Saloon this Valentine’s Day.
We will have a special menu that evening featuring entrees hand-selected by our head Chef. A touch of elegance mixed with the Wild West – only in Wyoming.