This month we are lucky to have Candace Cameron Bure as our very own Celeb Marriage Mentor. We got to chat a little with her to find out just how she has managed to stay in the Hollywood life yet maintain not just her faith, but her marriage to retired hockey player, Val Bure, for 16 years.
Most of you know Candace Cameron Bure as the beloved DJ Tanner on Full House, but these days, she has a “full house” of her own. (She’s gotta just LOVE those kinds of lines! Ha!) As an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author, international speaker, mother of three and wife for 16 years, we thought she was the perfect Celeb Marriage Mentor to go to for some sound advice on how to make a marriage last.
SheKnows: Hey Candace! No pressure, but you’re our very own Marriage Mentor this month on SheKnows… so it’s time to dig down and find all the wisdom and advice you can muster up for us. First off, for those who are still dating and wondering, “Is he the one?” can you tell us how you and Val met, and how you knew he was the one?
Bure: Val and I were introduced by Dave Coulier (Full House) at a charity hockey game. Val watched Full House to learn English after coming from Moscow, Russia just three years before we met. We exchanged phone numbers that night and Val called me the next morning to invite me to lunch. Gotta love a guy with ambition! At 18 years old and not having dated much, I wasn’t looking for “the one.” After our initial date, we had a courtship over the phone for four months before I ever saw him again, but on that faithful second date in Fredericton, New Brunswick, my heart was all in.
Val and I shared many of the same values, but the thing that connected this L.A. girl with that Russian boy was our work ethic. We’d both been working since we were 5 years old — I was acting and he was playing hockey. I hadn’t known another guy that age who was motivated, driven, mature and seasoned in adult life as a young child and teenager. And other than the fact that he was super-hot, it was his maturity and confidence that won my heart.
SheKnows: How long did you date before you got married, and how long have you been married now?
Bure: Phone courtship only for four months — which I highly recommend… it allows you to get to know each other’s heart and mind without allowing hormones, lust and sex to get in the way of good judgment! Then we dated long distance for six months before getting engaged. Fast, I know! My poor parents were even more surprised! Our engagement was for one year before tying the knot. We are celebrating 16 years of marriage on June 22.
SheKnows: What do you believe is the secret to a healthy marriage?
Bure: The bible. I couldn’t have made it this far without my faith in Jesus Christ and the blueprint the bible gives us for marriage. Marriage is difficult. It’s always evolving and changing as we grow as people, have children and circumstances change. I’d probably have waved the white flag a few times by now if it weren’t for the strong convictions both my husband and I have to live our lives for the Lord. I’m thankful for all the growth experiences life’s challenges have given me, no matter how bleak they seem at times. Life is like a roller coaster. There will always be ups and downs. You just gotta hang on for the ride… cause it’s worth it!
SheKnows: Where do you get most of your marriage advice? Model examples from family, books or just figure it out as you go? And if it’s books, pass along those titles lady!
Bure: I’m so grateful to say that I have incredible role models when it comes to marriage. My parents have been married over 40 years, and both my grandparents between 55-65 years! I read a lot of books on marriage — the bible, The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace, Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl and one of my favorites, Love and Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. You MUST prepare and work at marriage because the initial tingly, butterfly feelings only last as long as things are good. When the going gets rough, you need to know how to react ahead of time!
SheKnows: What do you find to be the biggest struggle in your relationship?
Bure: Family dynamics. As our children are getting older (13, 12 and 10 years old), the rules are changing and relationships are developing. Val and I are seeing more and more differences in how we handle each situation which often causes tension between us. So, every few weeks, we sit down and talk it through. The most important thing is for both of us to be open and honest and make an effort to apply what each of us needs from one another. We both must be aware of our attitudes and our words towards each other. And even when things aren’t perfect, it’s important to keep the intimacy going. Somehow… it softens us 😉
SheKnows: Speaking of being intimate, does being intimate with other men on screen affect your marriage at home? How do you guys work through this?
Bure: It certainly can! I’ve never considered doing a sex scene nor is it an option just on personal conviction. But, that simple kiss at the end of a movie when the guy and girl finally profess their love for one another… YES! I love watching those moments! My husband… not so much — which is why he doesn’t. What husband wants to watch his wife flirt and kiss another guy? We’ve had many conversations about it and ended up here: He knows I love acting and if there’s a romantic element in the script, he’s given me his blessing (that may be a strong word LOL– er… permission?) to do it. But, with that said… he’s not going to watch it. And I completely understand and am OK with that.
SheKnows: What’s surprised you most about being married or marriage?
Bure: That life no longer revolved around ME! I know, it sounds funny or even simple — but it’s the truth. I didn’t realize that I would need to love what my husband loves and take an interest in his interests and vice versa. That I would have to compromise, be a giver even when it wasn’t deserved and not win every argument. I didn’t know how much grace I would have to extend and even more, would need extended to me.
SheKnows: And if you could only give three tips on being and staying married (say you’re talking to your kids), what would they be?
- Read the bible!
- Put your spouse’s needs before your own.
- Wives — respect your husband. Husbands — love your wife.