While it may seem like an odd statement, marriage that will last a lifetime is no longer the norm. That is why Tony and Lauren Dungy’s book Uncommon Marriage, is really a great guide for couples who want to beat the odds.
Researchers have found that 50% of marriages end in divorce. The Dungy’s have been married for 33 years - making their marriage “uncommon.” “We wanted to encourage couples. Reveal to them simple principles that really work in a relationship. One of them of course being having a Christ centered marriage,” said Lauren. “Our story has ups and downs but it goes to prove that you can flourish as long as you are willing to work together,” said Tony.
The Dungy’s have nine children and they want to set a good example for their children to live by. When taking their kids to school or other events, the couple noticed a lot of families were separated - forcing parents to play multiple vital roles within their child’s life. “Marriage is becoming rarer and rarer,” said Tony.
While Tony was coaching, Lauren had to get a game plan on how she would manage raising the family while giving their marriage a 100 percent as well. “I knew that I needed to have direction from God and a plan to have order in my life,” said Lauren. “Good communication with all the kids and understanding their needs was very important. I tried to keep Tony abreast on everything that was going on. When Tony came back in the off-season it was challenging to hand over the ranges.”
Tony knew that mentally Lauren needed a break from the children as well and he tried to remember that when he was home. Each day was a new challenge. Tony said that you have to really make your time useful. You need to have the energy and passion you would normally have if you weren’t juggling various duties. “You give everything you have when you are at work and still need to have that energy when you get home,” said Tony. “Then you still need to find time for each other.”
Despite their busy schedules, Tony and Lauren find time for their marriage. The couple believes that it is imperative that couples invest time together and make memories because there needs to be a strong foundation. “Fortunately we enjoy a lot of simple things. It doesn’t have to be extravagant things can be really whatever you enjoy – walking, bike riding or maybe house hunting,” said Tony.
Good communication is crucial to every relationship. “Communication is important when making big decisions and we’ve gotten better as we’ve got older,” said Tony. “I know that he values my opinions,” said Lauren. For example it was Lauren’s idea for Tony to take the sports broadcaster position with NBC. Lauren didn’t think it was a wise idea for Tony to leave football cold turkey, especially since football was such a huge part of his life. Her ability to communicate about a big career decision was vital and further solidifies the couple’s foundation.
Uncommon Marriage is a testament of love and partnership. If you’re committed to your relationship, you can get through any challenge and create long lasting memories that will last a lifetime.