Highlighted topics: Intimate relationships, marriage, navigating healthy relationships
Talk about a power couple; Get ready to meet Curtis and Christina Micklish. My featured pick for this Inspired By post.
I met Christina around 10 years ago. For reasons beyond, many of my unique and close friends are people who I had a very strong inner gut about within minutes of meeting them. I felt this way when I first met Christina. Her genuine spirt, the ease of her energy and her ability to be so kind and open really caught my attention. Rather than doubt and play down this inner guidance that has directed me to so many rich relationships, I now greatly value it’s direction.
I met Curtis years later, and seeing these two people as a couple before my eyes was striking. It’s a gift when I meet a couple who both become my friends. It’s not “my friends husband” or “my friends girlfriend,” it’s simply, my friends. Curtis and Christina are both people who I respect and value on an individual basis for how they show up in this world. I also think that they’re a kick ass couple who are living their life and navigating their relationship true to them. There’s no inside the box for these two.
I based this Inspired By around intimate relationships and immediately thought that Christina and Curtis would have beneficial, helpful and truthful feedback about partnership. I knew that they would both be real, straight up and authentic in their answers, while showing the reality of what long term partnership and marriage has gifted them.
These two have a strong union. These two are people that are blazing their own path as individuals and as a couple. These two people are as geuinie and caring as they come. For that, I’m inspired. Thanks friends.
~ Begin Transcript ~
Q-Hello friends! Can you each tell us a bit about who you are?
I was born and raised in San Diego. I try to get in the water and surf as often as I can. I have a Design Studio and Infill Development Partnership and really enjoy what I get to do for a living. I have a Chug named Chewbacca who is as loyal as they come. Christina and I recently moved to Hillcrest and I think it’s the most friendly and exciting city in San Diego. I enjoy traveling, creating and learning new things.
Originally an Orange County kid who headed south for college to study psychology at SDSU. As a former high school mascot and NFL dancer, I’m always ready for a themed dance party. I have a branding company and act as publisher + editor for the URBANIST. In conversation, I tend to go off on tangents and tell heavily detailed stories with a lot of hand movement. I currently live in an urban tiny tree house with the loves of my life, Curtis + Chewbacca.
Q- Fill us in on how long you’ve been together. How many years dating? How many years married?
13.5 Together | 5 Years Married
Q- Can you give us a little intro about how you guys met and initially connected?
Curtis- I met Christina through a mutual friend. I knew her for a couple years but other relationships and timing delayed us dating. I had just started dating someone and found out that Christina was available so I essentially dropped everything and we instantly hit it off. I had never been with anyone as awesome and beautiful as Christina so that was pretty much it.
Christina- Curtis and I would run into one another often through college. I thought he was sweet, but we were both in committed relationships so we never entertained anything but a casual conversation.
Our friends and family know the story of our first date as the night Curtis showed up in a Canadian tuxedo and poured a beer on my best heels while dancing at a Booty Basement night. The truth is that we actually had a random hangout months before. I had an audition to be a Barker’s Beauty on The Price is Right in Los Angeles. I drove an ‘87 Honda Accord jalopy that was not fit for 5pm LA traffic, so my BF arranged for me to chill at Curtis’ house until traffic died down. Curtis offered to show me Santa Monica to kill time. Drinking tea on the patio at Coffee Bean, we were hit up buy a transient man for a quarter. We handed him loose change and in return he promised us a bright future. He noted that we looked good together, we went together like Sugar + Kool-Aid. He ended up being right, and we have the years to prove it now.
Q- What drew you each to one another at first?
Curtis- At first, I'd have to say her outer beauty. But after our first hang out, her inner beauty was even more striking. The first time we hung out she pulled up in this old busted and rusted Honda. I think the contrast of her beauty and the beater car was striking. She was the real deal.
Christina- The first time I saw him was 2002, with a surfboard in hand getting ready to head to the beach. Um yea, hot then… hot now. Curtis also has this safe energy that kids, puppies and adults all gravitate to. I know it got me too.
Q-How or when did you know that you found something special in one another? Was it quick or did it take time to figure out?
Curtis- Our first hang out was at the Santa Monica Promenade. We were having tea and a guy came up to us and said we go together like Kool Aid and Sugar...I was convinced haha.
Christina- After an odd first date I hesitantly agreed to a second. He arrived at my house to watch the Academy Awards with snacks in hand. So sweet, until he informed me they were leftover cookies from his parent’s neighbor’s memorial service. Curtis also grilled me about my thoughts on politics and religion. Shockingly, I knew he would always be my partner after that night. He was real, interested in my thoughts, and brought me snacks instead of flowers. After 8.5 years of dating, we made our partnership legal.
Q-What are some important ingredients that keep your relationship healthy, positive & flowing?
Curtis- One of the most important areas that is always a work in progress is the idea that everybody has their days, their weeks, and even their months that are a bit off. I think being a good partner means helping provide that balance during these times.
Christina- We are fiercely independent humans in a forever developing union. We have moments of flow and moments of battle. Life serves up massive amounts of challenge making it difficult to find a balance between marriage, work, community and self-care. So, we don’t keep secrets, we hold one another accountable, we call one another out when we’re getting complacent, and we challenge independent growth in one another. He needs surf trips with his crew, I need lots of solo adventures with my friends. What binds us together is respect, trust, love, creativity and community.
Q- What hardships have you faced in your partnership that you feel gives a good example of how you both support each other?
Curtis- I've been struggling with an autoimmune disease for the past 10 years. That combined with losing my Dad a couple years ago have been my greatest hardships. For Christina, a couple tough work environments have probably been one of her biggest struggles. All of these conditions have put our relationship at low points and we have had to make the best of it by providing that balance. When one of us was low, the other was usually higher to tip the scales back. I think that counterpoint is truly one of the most valuable pieces of a relationship.
Christina- Being young and broke, health issues, entrepreneurship, shift of careers, house renovations, the loss of Curtis’ father. Through it all, I feel the deepest gratitude for our love when we are deep in the struggle. We’ve learned to give the other person space to feel, heal and rebuild. Mindfulness, travel and communication are our best tools to overcome hardships.
Q- Has there been any challenges within your partnership that you can speak to that may be helpful for others to know? If so, could you speak to what you’ve found helpful to get through those challenges?
Curtis- Hmm, there have been tons of challenges along the way. One of the areas that comes to mind is that everyone values different things, different actions, different favors, etc. Sometimes we expect the other person to view or value something the same way we do, but that has set me up for failure many times. Having that expectation that my partner “should” value that thing or action equally can cause a lot of headache. You have to try and remind yourself that you're not going to always be on the same page about everything and that's ok. It would probably end up being pretty boring if you were haha.
Christina- The common theme for our struggle often stems from the differences in our personalities. From my perspective, he can be strong willed which sometimes pushes me to the ultimate “Latin Heat” level. We are both very aware of our habitual ways, all these years later we still repeat the same patterns. The positive side is that I know my fire drives us to stretch beyond our comfort zones, and his stability grounds us to work through the tough moments. Growth is often revealed after a good rumble.
Q-What do you believe is the most important thing in order to keep a partnership/marriage healthy and on track?
Curtis- I think that a constant high level of stress is one of the most common factors in diverting health and happiness. The expectations that American society places on us to live a particular way, possess certain things and measure our success based on social norms. This creates a lot of stressors. One of my main focuses is to protect what we truly value and what makes us happy as we continue to evolve in our life together. That minimizes stress.
Christina- Trust and respect. Knowing I have a committed partner who continues to show up for me with truth and honesty is the standard I need prioritized in our marriage.
Q-Does your partnership look the way you thought it would? Does your life as a couple look how you expected?
Curtis- I always wanted my partner to be my best friend so from afar I think it’s similar to how I expected it to be. But I expected it to be a lot easier. Life throws a lot of obstacles in your way and there are a lot of ups and downs. Ultimately these can make your bond even stronger, but it takes a lot of work and strong communication.
Christina- Yes and no. My expectations keep evolving. What I am certain of is that we are exactly where we are supposed to be and I’m not sure what tomorrow holds. I get questioned a lot about our life choices as a couple, and it’s hard to not absorb passive social judgment, but it’s all good. Curtis, our Chug Chewbacca and I are having a ton of fun.
Q-Would you have any advice to give your younger self about love, partnership and marriage knowing what you know now?
Curtis- Minimize the stress in your relationship by ensuring that your days have plenty of fun and happiness.
Christina- Keep your mind out of the future. When you’re frustrated, go to yoga. When you’re stuck, travel alone. When you need perspective, confide in loved ones who love your partner too. The only person you can change is you.
Q- What’s your idea of an important quality for a successful marriage?
Curtis- Listening. A lot of times you don't need to say anything. You just need to listen.
Christina- Communication with a heavy emphasis on listening.
Q- How do you manage your own personal goals and dreams with the goals and dreams as you as a couple? Are they one in the same?
Curtis- I think earlier on they were separate and many times conflicted but they slowly merged together over time as they became part of this larger picture to achieve happiness for both of us. To enjoy every day, to be passionate about what we do, to minimize the stressors of each day.
Christina- Curtis has always known what he wants to generally accomplish. I have not, and honestly my inability to define my direction early on put a lot of pressure on our relationship. Curtis sat me down and basically gave me two simple life goals: 1. Go to the gym to support mental health. 2. It is my responsibility to prioritize self-care. With the ability to feel ready I could handle anything life hands me. My goals today flow with the necessity of life, and our dreams as a couple keep materializing because we believe in one another.
~ End Interview ~