I am so excited to have one of my life long friends, Ruthie Ridley, joining me on my blog and answering a few questions regarding her love story with, her now husband, Ben!
A little back story on Ruthie and I..We met when I was 11 and she was 12 at a church camp. I was living in Virginia and she was living in Connecticut. We became pen pals after camp. I would go to Connecticut to see her, and she would come to Virginia. We called each other to tell the exciting news of when we met a guy and would call to share of the heartbreak. Our bond was instant. When we were around 18 Ruthie came to visit me in LA where I was living at the time. I can still remember it like it was yesterday..We sat in my bedroom one evening flipping through bridal magazines and cutting out ideas for our dream weddings. Fast forward a few short years and I was standing by her on her wedding day as she married Ben, and then her by me as I married Seth.
Ruthie told me that one day she would move to California and three years ago her, Ben and their three beautiful children all did! We are no longer pen pals, but now live ten minutes from each other!
One of the reasons I asked Ruthie to join me on my blog isn’t only because we are so close, but because her and Ben are a mixed marriage and have mixed children. There is so much going on in our world right now with the issue of race. I look at Ben and Ruthie and see the demonstration of love, not color.
If you don’t follow Ruthie on IG make sure you go ahead and follow her for fashion tips, and so many adorable pictures of her beautiful kids. Did I mention her kids are beautiful? 😉
Alright well enough about mine and Ruthie’s love story lol, let’s get into her and Ben’s story!
Tell us a little about yourselves: Ben was born in England and I was born in Jamaica! We both love our heritage and love sharing it with the kids. Ben loves to play golf, soccer and softball for fun. Ruthie loves to lead worship, blog about fashion & be with family and friends.
How did you meet?: Ben and I met at church. My brother and Ben used to lift together and hang out quite a bit before we met. Our parents also spent a lot of time together at cook outs and dinners before Ben and I crossed paths!
How long did you date for?: We dated for 6 months 🙂
Who knew first that you were the one?: I did!! Probably before Ben was giving me any attention at all.
Do you have have any suggestions for couples who have chosen to do a shorter engagement?: For couples choosing to do a short engagement, I highly encourage getting into pre-marital counseling with people you trust. We did pre-marital counseling every week for 6 months and then we met with the same couple after marriage as well. Let people challenge you with hard questions, point out your strengths and weaknesses and force you to grow. A third party is ALWAYS so helpful with couples!
What was the greatest challenge you had to overcome being a mixed couple?: Initially it was the acceptance of the idea within our families. A lot was going on at the time we got engaged. His parents were getting separated. A lot of the resistance we felt from different family members could have been derived from their own personal struggles at the time. We were the first mixed raced couple in both of our families. Ben remembers we used to get a lot of looks back in the day. A specific example was one time an older couple at the grocery store looked at us froze and stared and were like “really?” Some of Ben’s friends would tease him by saying “you know she’s black right?” He says It was if we were color blind from the beginning. Color was never an issue for us.
Is there any advice you would give to someone in a mixed relationship?: Be proud!! Expect to get looks, and encounters with ignorant people, but you can use those as opportunities to spread love and education instead of fear. Be yourself. There is nothing abnormal about our situation:).
What has been a key to keeping your marriage strong and thriving?: We like to keep it simple but it’s not always easy! Have fun, make time for each other, know how your partner ticks, always be quick to forgive. As Ben says “Its better to be happy than right.”