Couples share how they keep love alive

Ashley Callan / Castleton Spartan

Faculty members and their significant others share how they've been able
to keep their relationships strong at the "Every Couple has a Story" event.

“He’s honest and upfront; the man’s farting in front of me the moment I met him,’” Jamie Bentley said as the room erupted in laughter.

The comment from Castleton University’s coordinator of Campus Wellness Education was just one of countless hilarious exchanges that came out of the “Every Couple Has a Story” panel on Feb. 10.

This annual event is held in the Alumni Room of the Huden Dining Hall sponsored by Director of the Wellness Center Martha Coulter and Amy Bremel of Campus Life.

“This is our favorite event of the whole year,” Coulter said with a big smile on her face. “So many students say to us ‘I don’t know what a healthy relationship looks like,’ so we decided, well why don’t we actually find some couples who seem really healthy and happy, and students can see how couples meet, how they determine who the person is that’s right for them, how they keep the excitement going, and how they meet challenges,” Coulter said.

That’s when Bremel piped up and added “The panelist are the ones that get the most out of it though.”

When asked how they met, every couple had a unique story to tell.

Brad Hunt, a professor in the Criminal Justice department at Castleton and his wife Ceil president of the Castleton Alumni Association say they met in 1979.

“He was a friend of my roommate” Ceil said.

Only six weeks after meeting, Ceil said she had a breast tumor removed – and Brad took care of her. The tumor was later found to not be cancerous, but Ceil was impressed with how Brad helped her through the ordeal.

“That’s when I knew, you know, that somebody who would come and clean out the wounds and address bandages, I knew he was a great guy then,” she said.

Rich Cowden, director of the Fine Arts Center, and his wife, Jessica, the Soundings director, had a wild story about how they met.

Jessica had watched Rich at a stage performance when she was 13 and fell in love with him as a little girl crush. Years later, the two started spending time together as friends. Jessica and her girlfriend and Rich and his ex-wife would hang out together, and as more years passed they eventually fell in love

“The universe put us together,” Jessica said, to which Rich replied “I lost who I was and she reminded me who I am.”

And on a funnier note, Jessica said before their wedding her mother found a list Jessica made of men she was in love with when she was 13. Rich was number 12 on the list. Rich then raised his hand in victory as the crowd erupted into laughter.

Andy Weinberg, a physical education professor, and his wife, Sloan, a second-grade teacher, were asked to use five words to describe how they met.

“She said ‘let’s make out,’” Andy said. After the laughter quieted down, his wife replied, “I’ll just say co-ed dorm.”

Marissa Francis, a Castleton alum, and her fiancé, Katy Hannah, a recent Castleton graduate, said they met through summer camp as counselors.

“I’m straight. I thought I should not have these feelings, but she was such a kind-hearted person. She is the best person I have ever met in my whole life,” Francis said, choking up, about to shed a tear.

Bentley, the health educator, and her husband Andrew Bentley, a professor at Green Mountain College, met while Jamie was at undergrad college

“He was sort of my supervisor,” she said with an embarrassed voice.

But the whole panel wasn’t just about lovey dovey advice. In fact some was quite the opposite.

“Fighting is an important part of a relationship, but making up is just as important,” Andrew Bentley said, to which Jessica Cowden replied, “you fight as grown-ups and you listen, and the common goal is to make up.”

Members of the audience seemed to love the honesty and the event as a whole.

“Being in college, and having the whole hook-up culture, it’s nice to see people that met in college and stayed together,” student Alaina Heisler said.

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