Interview with Doug and Jackie Christie
authors of No Ordinary Love
Infinite Love Publishing (2007)
Reviewed by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson for Reader Views (05/07)
Today, Tyler R. Tichelaar is honored to interview Doug Christie, NBA basketball player, and his wife, Jackie Christie, a fashion designer. Jackie and Doug are here to discuss “No Ordinary Love”, their new book about their marriage and how it remains strong despite controversy.
Tyler: Thank you, Doug and Christie, for joining me today. To begin, would you tell me why you decided to go public and write this book about your marriage?
Doug: We have wanted to write this book for a very long time every since we were married the first year and we realized how in pro sports mainly basketball that being in a committed marriage is frowned upon and if you respect your vows and uphold the sacraments of your marriage and bond you can be ridiculed and teased. Well, we decided that we would share our story the true story and all that comes with it someday and we would try to do everything we could together as man and wife to try to change the perception of it’s not cool to be married and be an NBA player!
Tyler: Why do you think the sports media has criticized your marriage when it is so strong and when other sports stars have been known to have dysfunctional relationships?
Doug: We believe it stems from the fact that in pro sports the male athlete is looked upon as a jock, and with that mentality the sports media doesn’t really like that even though that is the persona of most of the players, a man is still as cool, even if he loves his wife and stands by his family, and we think because we were not willing to bend or to go with the flow so to speak then they decided to taunt and make things up about us to demean the fact we are married, we love and respect each other and our family, and that nothing is going to change that. And in fact a lot of the teammates began asking for advice and none of them every criticized us or bad-mouthed us in any way.
Tyler: That’s wonderful, that you’ve been able to have such an affect on other people. Have you noticed any change or improvement in the media’s treatment of you, especially now that you’ve published “No Ordinary Love”?
Jackie: Oh yes absolutely. As the mainstream media has always been very fair to us, they have been even more so now, and the sports media has become very fair now too. They have started saying things like: you guys share something special! Also they are treating us much better in interviews as well. They even told us on several occasions that we are doing it right!
Tyler: What has been the most difficult part of being married?
Doug: Really having to wait a whole year to marry each other again! We renew our wedding vows every year.
And the constant criticism of the sports media when it affects our children and hurts Jackie’s feelings, then that makes it hard not to be married to each other just to deal with all of that stuff.
Tyler: Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently in terms of your careers or your marriage?
Jackie: Yes, we would have spoken out a little more and been more aggressive to try to change the misconception of how we live our lives, and we would have maybe took a few of the really mean spirited reporters to task by having a public debate on the fact that with marriage at an all time high in this country, they should really try to find the reason and not try to make us out to be bad because we are upholding true family values and our marriage vows to each other.
Tyler: Obviously, the pressure from the media has destroyed many famous people’s lives. Do you feel the media has threatened your marriage or made it stronger?
Jackie: Great question Tyler, and no we feel they have tried really hard to destroy us, but it only in fact made us that much stronger. We are two people that truly love each other and our bond is very strong. We are soul mates, and we do not allow for any outside forces to interfere with what we have built together.
Tyler: Today there are so many broken homes and an absence of strong role models? You mention in your book that you both came from single-parent homes. How did that experience affect your marriage?
Doug: It definitely made us both understand what we don’t want, and it helped us to accept this is not a perfect world and if we just do what we are supposed to do, and that means treat each other right and our family as well as others, we will live a fulfilled life so where some people can lack certain family bonds or ties with both parents, we found the love within our marriage and we have become that much stronger.
Tyler: What do you feel gave you the strength to make your marriage endure so many years despite the obstacles you faced?
Jackie: We call it infinite love! A term we have written in matching tattoos on our wrists. We have had them for 5 years now and it means that we give each other the strength to go on and our children and family believe in us and their love strengthens us. We knew that one day we would share this love with the world in our book, and we can only pray that every person on earth finds it and shares it with their soul mate no matter who they are, and always, we give thanks to God! for our faith is strong and unwavering. When you are up against the world the way we sometimes are with our marriage being so publicly discussed, and when ridicule and hurtful things are said about your choice to do the right thing, then you must find inside the resolve to turn the other cheek. You must lean on each other and stay true for it too will soon pass!
Tyler: Doug, what advice would you give to young men today who are entering into marriage?
Doug: We would tell them to make sure it is what they want and if they are sure then to uphold the vows you make to your wife. Make her your queen and give her the security she needs and in saying that, that means to be loving faithful and kind to her at all times and this goes both ways. She needs to give you the same. We would also say be willing to commit to the marriage like nothing you ever have and don’t even have divorce as an option. This is a union of soul mates and a man and his wife. There is nothing better in this world than to be married for 11 years and counting, and inside you know that you have never once compromised your values, morals, or vows in any way and to know that your mate can say the same it is truly special, and in these times it’s even more important. We would like to add we never have danced to the beat of anyone else’s drum but our own and in saying this we mean ignore any of the nay sayers and uphold your vows!
Tyler: Jackie, what advice would you give to women preparing to be married?
Jackie: The advice I would give is to be steadfast in your commitment. Put your family first. It is the foundation. Respect your husband, and respect yourself at all times and take care of your family! Do not compromise your values for nothing or no one. I would tell them to always always communicate. It is the glue to your relationship, and never go to bed angry at your mate!
Tyler: Thank you, Doug and Jackie, for being here today. I hope the day comes when we hear you are celebrating your golden wedding anniversary. Would you tell our readers where they can find out more information about “No Ordinary Love” and where to purchase your book?
Doug: Thank you so very much, Tyler. We really enjoyed this interview with you. They can find our book at: http://www.infinitelovepublishing.com