Mark Graham on Why Mutual Respect Matters in a Marriage

In Chapter 3 of 17 in his 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, digital media executive Mark Graham answers "Why is Mutual Respect Important in a Marriage?"  Graham talks about his pre-marriage or premarital process talking about goals with his fiancee.  The open communication puts a foundation of respect in place before and after the wedding. 

Mark Graham is currently a managing editor at VH1, an MTV Networks company. Previously Graham worked in editing and writing roles at New York Magazine and Gawker Media.  He graduated from the University of Michigan with a B.A. in English. 

Erik Michielsen: Why is mutual respect important in a marriage?

Mark Graham: Particularly before you get to a point where you’re going to get married and decide to commit your life to somebody, you need to make sure that you have a lot of open conversations. Again, like, I think throughout my relationships but particularly with this one and this is why this one was right is that we really worked hard from the very beginning to make sure that we were open and honest with each other about things that we wanted to do with our lives. Goals that we had, places we wanted to live, amount of time that we spend on our work and our careers and how you balance that with time at home, and really getting that information all together early and openly was very, very important to I think building us to a place where we were ready to take that next step and go from a couple who’d been dating for a year and a half and some change to getting engaged and going through the—you know, roughly 9 or 10 months of being engaged and making it all the way through the marriage process. 

So, you know, I think that for us, making sure that we’re always open and honest and forthcoming about what we want to do and where we wanna go, and those are the things that have been really, really important and something that I think that we’ve really learned from each other. And because we’re both—we both work in similar fields, being able to bring out, you know, mutually respecting each other, our boundaries, as well as what we do—professionally, you know, we’re sort of competitors in some way which makes for an interesting relationship, and our house is not a fun place to watch award shows and things like that because we’re always furiously typing, but we both have tons of mutual respect for each other, what we do. 

I think we both really have come to a place where we understand that, respect that in each other and try to help someone out when they’re feeling a little down and be sure to—you know, be really reassuring, and also, you know, celebrating successes I think is an important part, and the respect that we have for each other when we both do something well, whether that’s at home or in our professional lives, making sure that we really celebrate those things together and really work as a team, that’s been super important for us.