Names: Grant and Tanya Floris
Married since: 05 March 2005
Pet names: None
Kids: 2 (14yr old girl and 4yr old boy)
Scripture foundation: Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12
How did you meet?
We attended the same high school. He was a year ahead of me.
Was it love at first sight?
Tanya: Yes (puppy love haha)
Grant: For some reason I always knew she was going to be the one.
What attracted you to each other?
Tanya: He was the shy and quiet guy always well dressed. I was intrigued by him.
Grant: Her personality and kind heart.
Why did you get married?
Tanya: I use to declare it to the universe before we started dating and always told my friends that one day I am going to marry Grant Floris and have his kids. Lol! I was just waiting for him to be ready. Haha.
Grant: For love, to signify a lifelong commitment and to provide security for children.
How did he propose?
Tanya: We were at my home and I was busy in my room. Next thing I saw he came into my room and went down on one knee holding a small black box in his hands. Gave me a long romantic speech before proposing. I was completely surprised. I don’t think I heard anything he said, and I just responded with yes. Lol!
How has marriage changed you?
We have become much more stable people. Our priorities have changed dramatically. We have grown to think and work together as a team, being forever mindful of each other’s feelings.
What has marriage taught you?
Tanya: That you cannot always have everything your way and at times it’s good to compromise. To share and share everything!
Grant: To value your partner and to enjoy the little things in life.
What do you love most about being married?
Tanya: Having a best friend for life. Knowing that whatever you do or situation you find yourself in, there is always someone who has your back.
Grant: The communication and romance.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your marriage and how did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge we faced was when we relocated from Cape Town to Pretoria about 10 years ago. We thought we came to PTA for greener pastures, better jobs, opportunities etc. I got a promotion and Grant resigned his job in CPT to follow me. Things turned bad and within a few months I unexpectedly lost my job. We found ourselves both unemployed with no income in an unfamiliar city where we knew no-one.
We overcame that through prayer. We held onto each other and kept our focus on God. We decided to not involve anyone or listen to anyone but only God. The days when I didn’t feel like facing another day, Grant took my hands and prayed for me and on the days when he felt hopeless and defeated, I took his hands and prayed for him. And yes, God remained faithful. Everything we lost, was restored. We became stronger in our faith and learned to trust God no matter what the circumstances may look like.
What do you mostly fight about?
We don’t fight with each other. We have a very open relationship where we are comfortable to say exactly how we feel. We also understand each other so well that we know when to give each other space.
What irritates you about each other?
Tanya: Grant is the biggest baby when he is sick with the flu. He will walk around with toilet paper hanging from his nose just because he has a runny nose. I feel like everything will be over dramatic, the coughing, the sneezing, even having a headache will look like he’s dying. Lol!
He is also a person who cannot function where there is disorder. Everything must be neatly packed or filed away in its place. I usually irritate him when I just ignore things laying around and refuse to file statements. I prefer to just chuck it in the bin instead.
How do you keep love alive?
We communicate a lot. When we are not together we will call each other and talk for hours on the phone, and we try and spend as much time together as we possibly can.
What do you do for fun together?
We both still love dancing So if we are not outdoors, travelling and having fun with the kids, we will be at home having a braai, with some music and we will dance.
What do you think marriage is?
Marriage is a vocation ordained by God. Not everyone is called to married life. It is a holy companionship between a man and a woman that symbolizes God’s love here on earth.
What makes marriage work?
Faith, prayer and Love. Good communication, listening, patience and understanding, respect and trust for one another.
What make it fail?
High expectations and demands, lack of acceptance and patience, unwillingness to adjust. Jealousy and competition in the marriage. Disrespect and undermining one another.
What do you think is the reason for people to not believe in the institution of marriage?
The fear of divorce, infidelity. Lack of understanding of what marriage really is.
Do you think pre-marital counselling is important, why?
Yes, it prepares you emotionally. Also, gives you an opportunity to learn from someone who has the experience.
Why do you think there is such a high rate of divorce?
People get married for the wrong reasons.
What measures can be taken to break the high rate of divorce?
Get back to the basics. Evaluate yourself and pray to God to send the right partner. Also, we need to start doing marriage again the “old school way” …the way our grandparents and great grandparents did it. They had all the patience in the world. When something was broken, they would find a way to fix it and make it work. They never gave up on it or went out looking to replace it.
What do you think are the roles of husbands and wives in marriage?
To support one another in everything and help each other to become the best person that they can be.
What do you think is the significance of lobola?
Would you advice people to do prenup, in community of property or out of community of property and why?
We are not against getting married out of community of property. Every couple has their own relationship dynamics. It is thus an important issue to discuss during marriage counselling.
What advice do you have for people intending to get married?
Marriage can be an exciting adventure if you allow yourself to see each day anew. Remember, we become one as a couple, but we are not similar people. Don’t try to change your partner. Your partner will make mistakes, forgive them as Christ would forgive you and move on. When your partner falls or fails, be the first one to support them and lift them up or cheer them on. You will at times come under spiritual attack, protect each other by always praying for one another. Lastly, laugh together, embrace the challenges and always look for the lessons…