Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mr. and Mrs. #4

posted by Michele Olson

Since we’re all about healthy relationships here in our state of Wisconsin, it’s appropriate to talk about a relationship of one of our state’s most beloved sports entities.

I’m talking of course about Mr. and Mrs. #4.

Here’s some thoughts from Deanna on getting to know Brett as she wrote in a recent Guideposts article:

"It seemed like Brett and I had known each other forever, and we almost had. We grew up together in the small Mississippi town of Kiln. We went to the same school through twelfth grade. I remembered his cute blond cowlick and the way he sat in the bleachers in high school with the laces of his high-top sneakers untied. We got to know each other playing two-on-two basketball—I was just as much a jock as he was. One day he called me up and I could hear a lot of voices in the background saying, "Ask her, ask her." Finally he drawled out, "Will you go with me?" We were officially a couple, but most of what we did together was sports. We played catch on our dates and for a present he bought me a glove and a catcher's mitt. When his dad saw Brett firing fastballs at me, he came running out of the house. "Boy," he said, "you can't throw that hard to a girl!" It didn't stop Brett. Or me, for that matter. I loved him, even if he wasn't the most romantic guy. On the way to our senior prom he drove off with his wallet on the top of his car so he couldn't even pay for our dinner. In college he courted me with a plastic red rose—following a spat when I wouldn't speak to him for a month. Then he gave me a second red rose the next date. The third one appeared in his car shortly thereafter. "I guess this is the last one," I said, inspecting it. "Why do you say that?" he asked. "Because the tag on it says three for ninety-nine cents."

As the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Brett’s career has been nothing short of amazing. Something to ponder is whether the fact that Brett is committed to a successful marriage with Deanna has also played a role in his success. If you explore one of thinkmarriage’s Marriage Myth Buster Guides, you’ll see the facts back up that idea. Twenty years of social science research tells us that married people are healthier. While heart disease can shorten a life span by six years, being unmarried chops 10 years off a man’s life!

One day in the not too distant future Brett will retire, but Brett and Deanna’s life together will go on. More of Deanna's thoughts:

" No matter how often we speak to each other during the day, we always say "I love you." We've both become big note writers and card senders, encouraging each other. Just the other day I discovered a letter Brett had hidden in my vanity drawer when he went off to training camp. God has given us strength to do more than we ever thought possible and he's knitted us into the partners he knew we could be. Not long ago we were at Disney World with a group from Breleigh's cheer squad. Suddenly I noticed Brett pulling a pink blossom from a flower bed, giving it to Breleigh. Then he said with a smile in front of the group, "Give this to your mother and tell her how much I love her." I thought of the boy with his three-for-ninety-nine-cents roses, and gave thanks for who we were now. Cancer and the trials we've faced could have driven us apart. By God's grace we were driven toward each other—for support, for strength, for love."

You don’t have to be a record breaking quarterback to have a healthy marriage. Consider taking a class in the near future. If you’re not married, attend a How to Avoid Marrying Jerk(ette) Workshop. (There's one coming up Dec. 8th in Green Bay) If you’re married, check out our calendar at for a class in your area.

I’m right with you if you’re a Packers fan! At this writing they just beat the Carolina Panthers and have an impressive 9-1 record. What’s really important in the big picture though is to be a fan of healthy marriages. It’s great to watch Brett break numerous records, but probably the most important record he and Deanna can strive for is a “till death do us part” healthy marriage.

We wish them all the best.

To read the complete Guideposts article go to and read the 10/1/2007 article.

If you’re a Packers fan or a healthy marriage fan…let us hear from you!

What? You didn't get a thinkmarriage Marriage Myth Buster Guide yet? Just email your name and mailing address, requesting a guide to