Friday Feature Couple ~ Kathy & Paul Cote
Personally, I (Russ West) have had a front row seat watching Kathy & Paul date, get engaged, early marriage, parenting and now becoming empty nesters. Their unwavering commitment and love to each other, their faith, their children, their extended family and their friends has always been such a great example to me and all who know them.
I (Danielle) met Kathy & Paul and could see immediately why Russ was so close with Paul and his family. I’ve watched over the years as this family celebrates life with each other and with extended family. They are gracious, loving and have raised incredible 4 (almost) adult children. I’m proud to call them our dear friends!
Q: How did you meet each other?
A: Paul and I met each other when we were very young. His family moved to Roswell when he was about 11 and he was on my dad’s little league baseball team. We became friends in high school and started dating when I was a sophomore and he was a junior.
Q: How did your husband propose?
A: Paul proposed to me at my apartment in college after my last final of my junior year. He got down on one knee and proposed when I walked in the door from my last final.
Q: How long have you been married?
A: We have been married for 31 years.
Q: What are you both really excited about?
A: I think we are most excited about having more time to spend together as a couple as our kids are almost out of the house. As our children are becoming adults and living lives of their own I think we are both excited about what the future holds for them and seeing the fruits of our labor.
Q: What’s one thing you do for your husband/wife everyday?
A: The one thing I do for Paul every day is manage the household and any needs that may arise with the kids. I also organize buying and prepping of food for our meals. Paul takes care of the household finances.
Q: What are your thoughts about counseling? Do you and your spouse go?
A: I am a big proponent of counseling. I have participated in counseling before but we have not had counseling as a couple. If I felt the need for counseling I would not hesitate to take advantage of it.
Q: What’s one piece of advice you would share with someone before getting married?
A: The biggest piece of advice I can offer to someone considering marriage is that marriage is a journey. It is hard work and requires constant attention. Be kind, understanding, patient, loving and do not criticize. Communicate…always.
Q: Name a couple who inspires you?
A: A couple who inspires me are my in-laws (Paul’s parents.) They have an undying commitment to one another and are great examples for all who know them and have faith. Family and friends are their top priorities.
Q: Are you becoming the husband/wife you hoped you’d be? Why or why not?
A: I am not sure when I got married that I knew what kind of wife I wanted to be. I was quite young and probably naive but I take my commitment very seriously. I think that I am someone my husband feels he can always count on without a doubt. This is what I want from him and so I try to be that for him, as well.
Q: What was the happiest period of your marriage and what are the reasons you think so?
A: In my opinion, the happiest period of my marriage is probably now. It is has been overall happy all along the journey but that doesn’t mean there weren’t sad times. We just weathered those those times together and for that I am grateful. But at this time in our lives, I am looking forward to more time for us to focus on each other, much like we did in the beginning of our journey together.
Q: Can you honestly say, “I love you my husband/wife as is, without requiring anything to change?” Do you ever waver on that?
A: I can honestly say that I love my husband without requiring anything to change. I don’t think you can really change people anyway. I honestly love him just the way that he is. We both understand that nobody is perfect and we have grown through 31 years of marriage to love one another for all our strengths and weaknesses.
Q: How would you describe the word, “love?”
A: Love is an action verb. It means to care and show kindness and compassion for another and put another before yourself. Love means giving.
Q: Would you say that you love each other more now than earlier in our marriage?
A: I would say we love one another more now than when we first got married only because when we first got married I don’t think we had enough life experience to really realize what love would require. We have stood together through some tough times. I think those experiences have taught us to love more deeply and to rely on each other more completely.
Q: Do you see him/her growing more godly as the years go on? How are you measuring that?
A: My husband grows more Godly as the years go on. He is the leader of our family and leads by his faith.
Q: Does it bother you that he’s/she’s growing older? If so, in what ways?
A: It does not bother me that my husband is growing older. I look forward to growing old together. I watch my parents and their situation where my mother is the caregiver. That is sometimes what life has in store for us. That is what I signed up for and I embrace it.
Q: Does your husband/wife sometimes embarrass you? If so, how?
A: My husband does not embarrass me. I don’t think he would ever do anything to embarrass me on purpose. It’s not how we treat each other.
Q: Do you try to fix him/her? How? Does it work?
A: I do not try to fix him. He is the way that he is. If there is something that I would like for him to change that is important enough to me to mention, then I would. Knowing that if we both decided it was important we would compromise and figure out a solution.
Q: Do you think your children and friends see your marriage as beautiful? Why or why not?
A: I think our children see our marriage as beautiful and something to aspire to. I think it influences their decision on who to date and I hope that it helps give them a template to follow to have a successful marriage of their own. I do not know know if our friends find our marriage beautiful but I do not presume to have the perfect marriage. I am only doing the best that I can at being the best wife and mother for our family.
Q: Are you happy with the way you are involved with other believers?
A: One of the best parts of our marriage and family life is how involved we are and always have been with our faith community. We have enjoyed building many friendships and bonds over the years with other like-minded people in our faith community. It has been a great resource in times of triumph and times of need for our children and for us.