Illustration by Jay Wallace
When Pierre Desir was 15 years old and attending Francis Howell Central High School in Missouri, he asked out a cute girl named Morgan. The moment would forever change his life.
Eight years later, the high school sweethearts are still together, with two lovely daughters and baby boy on the way.
*Desir explains to us how to maintain happiness in marriage. *
Kevin Jones: What's the key to having a strong marriage?
Pierre Desir: The key is communication. And you've got to know she's always right. I was told at an early age, a happy wife equals a happy life. I stuck to that and it's been wonderful so far.
KJ: How long have you been married?
PD: We've been married for three and a half years. But we've dated since high school.
KJ: We've written about you having a baby as a 16-year-old in high school. That obviously changed your relationship with Morgan. How so?
PD: It's something that you really can't prepare yourself for. But luckily we had a great support system with my family and her family helping us along the road. They showed us that everything is OK. Having a baby definitely brought us together and made us stronger as a couple. We've been through a lot of things together, but balancing a family made us enjoy each other's company even more.
KJ: Some of us have had serious girlfriends before. What is the difference when you put the ring on? What changes?
PD: For me, I never really saw a change. It's more of a commitment to that one person. Just knowing that it's you and that other person for the rest of your lives – until death do you part. It's really all about commitment. When you're ready, you're ready.
KJ: What about ring shopping? How hard was that?
PD: Oh boy, it was hard. You want to find the right ring. I kind of did it by myself but I asked my mother-in-law for some guidance. It's a big decision. It was a big purchase.
KJ: How did you propose to her?
PD: It was actually after my oldest daughter's birthday party. It was kind of dying down and only close family were still there. I had my wife's cousin bring in some decorated signs that said "Will you marry me?" I dropped on one knee, did the whole nine.
KJ: Have teammates come to you for relationship advice at all?
PD: They have (laughs). Especially when I was in college, because I was married then, too. Guys are always asking me the same question – How did I know she was the one? And I always tell them, when you find the right one, you'll know. You find yourself putting all that you can to make that one person happy. You make sure to always be there for them. Marriage is a beautiful thing. More people should embrace it. It's not a negative thing. It is some work. But you get what you put in. If you put in the effort you'll have a long lasting marriage.
KJ: Is it harder for a football wife? You're in a hotel for training camp for a month, you travel 10 weeks for the season.
PD: It's definitely hard on them during the season. Training camp is the toughest especially for my daughters because they don't really understand that I'm here but I can't stay the night at home. I FaceTime them whenever I get a little break. Sometimes I eat lunch when they eat lunch. It's fun.
KJ: Do you surprise her a lot?
PD: I do surprise her, but honestly she doesn't like surprises a lot. I usually have to tell her a little. For her birthday party when she turned 21, I surprised her with a hotel room at Ameristar Casino in St. Louis. I invited some of her girlfriends. Nothing too big, but it went over really well.
KJ: How do you keep it fresh?
PD: I always try and make her laugh. I always try and find new things to do. Whether it's vacations or a date night. I try and show her that I really still care and make sure that she knows she's my priority. Honestly though, we're both kind of homebodies. So seeing a movie and coming home with no kids and relaxing is our dream date night. For gifts, I always either try and make something small myself, or write down information I slyly gather earlier in the year. I always write everything down.