A first date made such an impression on Jessica and John Lehman that they ended up getting married.

By RIMSIE MCCONIGA
rmcconiga@leavenworthtimes.com

A first date made such an impression on Jessica and John Lehman that they ended up getting married.
Jessica and John were married Feb. 16, 2018.  They have been together since January, 2016.
When John took Jessica to a Thai restaurant on their first date, he told her that was normally where he took a girl for a third date, but that she was special enough to be taken there for the first date.
Their courtship included spending lots of time with Jessica’s three children from her first marriage. John introduced his homemade pizza and dough-spinning skills to the kids’ delight. And to Jessica’s surprise, he let her drive his car, which she says was a huge deal since he had never let anyone drive his car without him being in the car also.

Jessica also fondly remembers their first Valentine’s Day together when they saw the movie “Deadpool” and spent a long weekend together.
Her fondest memory of their time together has been at their wedding, standing in front of John and saying her vows and hearing the judge pronounce them man and wife.  “I loved being his girlfriend, but I love being his wife more,” says Jessica. “I wouldn't change anything about our wedding.  We were married at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. My parents were the witnesses and my kids gave me away.”
The couple didn’t want a big wedding since the wedding was just a formality for them.  “In our hearts we were already committed for life but wanted to make it ‘official,’ says Jessica.  “We decided we had other things we'd rather spend our money on than a wedding, such as a honeymoon (we want to take a cross-country train trip) and buy a house.

Jessica’s advice for couples who are planning a wedding is simple. “Remember, it’s your day, that doesn’t mean just the bride’s day, it’s the groom’s day too, and he gets a say.
You don't have to please your parents or your future in-laws or anyone else with the type of wedding you have.  If you want to have a costume party because it makes you happy or a theme wedding because you both love comic books, then go for it.  As long as you are creating memories for your life, then who cares what other people think.”

The journey for Jessica and John has not been all rosy. The family has gone through medical issues that put such strain on the couple they broke up for a few months and John moved out. But they quickly resolved their problems and are back to enjoying their lives together.
The couple believes that communication is the key to tough and challenging patches in a marriage.
“If you don't talk to each other than nothing gets resolved,” says Jessica.  “And you definitely don't want to hold everything in and let it fester.  Sometimes you will need to pick your battles.  Is it worth arguing and picking at the little things?  Sometimes you have to learn to let things go, be the bigger person and apologize first. 

Also know when to recognize if a problem is too big to work out on your own and know that it's OK to ask for outside help, such as from a counselor. 
And if you find yourself arguing about something stupid, take your clothes off (provided you're at home) — it's hard to stay mad when your naked (best advice I got from sister).
As far as tips for a happy marriage, Jessica suggests reading the book "The 5 Love Languages” to learn each other’s ‘language.’ “Physical intimacy is not always sex,” says Jessica. “Holding hands, running fingers through each other’s hair, snuggling on the couch all help to keep you close and connected.  Don't assume things.  Talk to each other.  Don't go to bed angry.  Don't leave the house when you're angry (but leave the room if you need to).  Think before you speak and don't be spiteful.  Don't carry a grudge.  That thing you argued about six months ago is no longer relevant and you don't need to bring it up in future arguments.  Take time for each other.  Take other people's advice on your relationship with a grain of salt, especially if you didn't seek it out. 
Be each other's best friend.  It's important to have shared interests and equally important to have your own individual interests.” 
As of now, the couple doesn’t have plans on how they will spend their first anniversary, but they are hoping to have a train trip planned by then. More than likely, they will head back to their favorite Thai restaurant where their first-date sparks began.