Couple of forty years have some relationship advice for King's students

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Frank Torino works as the Vice President of Finance at King's, but outside of school he and his wife Diane serve as marriage counselors. Frank and Diane have an unmistakable joy spread across their faces as they interact—but this joy hasn’t come easily. Speaking from their experience, the Torinos counsel couples about how marriage takes continuous effort and God at its center. Frank and Diane met when Diane snuck into the high school dance with a friend. By the time Frank asked Diane to dance, they only could dance for one song and left without learning each other’s name because Diane had to make her curfew. Diane’s friend told her not to go to another dance because she would end up marrying the guy she danced with.

The prophecy was fulfilled; they have been the main focus of each other’s lives since.

They were married when he was 20 and soon after had their two girls. Life during the beginning of their marriage wasn’t easy; the big crises came when their younger daughter became a teenager.

“From the minute she opened her eyes at fourteen to boys, I would say it was about four years of what you could describe as a living hell, calls from the police at 2:00 in the morning saying we’ve found your car abandoned and so on,” Frank said.

The Torinos disagreed about how to handle the situation. Frank wanted to be the peace maker and Diane thought their daughter needed discipline.

In counseling couples, the Torinos have seen marriages fall apart because of parenting pressures. “If we did not have a good church we were going to and faith in Jesus, we could have easily ended up divorced through all of that,” Diane said.

One thing that Frank and Diane have been able to do well is continue to work at their marriage. They have attended marriage conferences.

They’ve also have had various people speak into their marriage: “There’s wisdom in the multitude of counsels,” Frank said. He then spoke of a “very mean” boss he once had. At a conference his company sent him to, a counselor in wisdom told Frank to “take time for your family.”

The joy in the Torino’s relationship is evident: “My father will say, “You and Frank, you’re always so happy, you’re always so joyful,” said Diane who then said the joy comes from God.

After having God at the head of one’s marriage, the Torinos say one of the keys to marriage is  focusing on each other and being sacrificial; “There is no room for selfishness in marriage,” said Diane.

Frank explained how when you really work on your marriage and realize you’re part of something bigger than the immediate scenario “you can put yourself aside, less of me and more of her.”

The other key is communication “We’ve just learned over the last ten years that you have to share gently and lovingly how you feel,” said Diane, even if it’s something as simple as asking them to turn the TV down.

As of last June, Frank and Diane have been married for 40 years. 

CampusCori O'Connor