A Successful Marriage on “One Accord”
Bravo’s “Thicker Than Water” Stars, Ben & Jewel Tankard are h-connect “Best Friends in Love” couple for the month of February 2014. A successful marriage on “one accord” is a husband and wife who are one in a relationship of trust, moreover understanding. It’s a couple carving out a shared mutual course, purpose, and plan for their lives. The Tankards understand marriage demands a lifetime journey of trusting God by developing a lasting relationship according to his word. Many couples enter marriage with the task of blending two families. In order to effectively blend two families into one the husband and wife must share the same beliefs and parenting values. If you tuned into an episode of Bravo’s hit series “Thicker Than Water” you are keenly aware the Tankards are best friends in love who truly enjoy each other’s company.
In an exclusive interview with h-connect Bravo’s “Thicker Than Water” Stars, Ben and Jewel Tankard, talk’s marriage, blending two families into one, and how important communication is in a marriage.
Author B.L. Brown – Tell h-connect readers a little about Ben & Jewel Tankard. Where are you from? What’s your passion?
Ben - I was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, and I reside in the Nashville, Tennessee area now. My passion is motivating people to win!
Author B.L. Brown - How is your family?
Ben – Everything is awesome and getting better.
Author B.L. Brown - Congratulations on the success of your show, Bravo’s hit series “Thicker Than Water”. It is truly inspirational to see a successful African American family full of love for one another. What impact has the show had on your lives?
Jewel - It has had a positive impact in that we have been able to grow closer together as a family, and we actually confronted things that we would have not normally confronted. It was also good because it helped everyone to see that it’s okay not to be okay and to get over yourself, because there is no perfect person and no perfect family.
Author B.L. Brown – Where did you meet Jewel for the first time? How long did it take you to ask Jewel out after first meeting her?
Ben - I proposed to her the night we met!
Author B.L. Brown – Where did Ben take you on your first date? What is your ideal of a great first date?
Jewel – We went to a really beautiful 5 -star restaurant in Detroit and it was very romantic. Ben was very confident and bold which really blew my mind because he was very clear about what he wanted and where he was going. He was very decisive so early on. My idea of a great first date was surpassed by him- a man that was decisive and clear about where he was going and who he was. I really just wanted to be able to get to know who he was as a man, and he allowed me to do that.
Author B.L. Brown – What was the defining moment in which you realized Jewel was the woman you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?
Ben - God had already showed her to me in my dreams, so when I met her, I told myself “That’s the chick in your dreams, boy”!
Author B.L. Brown- Do you feel being friends with your spouse is an important part of marriage?
Jewel - I think it’s a very huge part of success in your marriage, because you want to be able to share everything with your spouse- not just one or two things. You want to share your entire life, not just certain aspects. In order for a marriage to fully flourish, you need to be like best friends- that’s not an option. You need to be able to communicate on all levels. It’s important to be friends first, and not just move off of physical attraction only.
Author B.L. Brown- Each marriage is different and regardless of how much in love a couple is, ups and downs are a part of marriage. Why do you feel so many marriages end up in divorce court?
Ben – From what I have seen, 75% of the problem is financially incompatibility. The other 25% is communication.
Author B.L. Brown- As a woman it’s easy to lose your identity when you get married. How important is it for women to maintain their identity in a marriage? What are some key factors that have contributed to you maintaining your own identity in your marriage?
Jewel – Great question. I think women need to still do things that they love to do individually. Don’t look for your spouse to be everything in that arena- your spouse can’t be your girlfriend- or he shouldn’t be. Still do things that make you happy outside of him. It gives the woman the advantage by keeping him on his toes because you don’t want to become too predictable or too comfortable. When I say don’t get comfortable, I mean gaining too much weight or not having your own mind. Don’t get comfortable with not being your best self.
Author B.L. Brown-What does open and honest communication in a marriage mean to you?
Ben – “Yes, dear” every 60 seconds. LOL You must strive to listen, rather than strive to be heard.
Author B.L. Brown -How important is respect in a marriage?
Jewel- Very important! To men, it is one of their greatest needs- feeling respected and admired. Women need to feel respected as well for who they are and for what they bring to the table. Most of the time when people cheat it’s because they don’t feel respected or admired in the relationship. It’s important to feel valued in a relationship.
Author B.L. Brown- Ben, you and Jewel truly seem to have a marriage that is on “one accord”. The very strong bond that you two share was repeatedly displayed on Bravos’ Hit Series –“Thicker Than Water”. What are five essential components to a successful marriage?
Ben - I don’t know if I have five, but here are four that are essential:
1) Quick to repent
2) Quick forget
3) Quick to praise
4) Quick to laugh
Author B.L. Brown- How important is it to listen to your spouse and truly hear what they are saying?
Jewel -Extremely important, because most of the time people will share what’s exactly on their heart, but the other concern is that they will not be heard or understood. One of a man’s greatest needs is to be understood, so if you’re listening to what your spouse is saying and what is feeling it can be orgasmic mentally.
Author B.L. Brown -What is the #1 thing you love the most about Jewel?
Ben- I don’t think I could list just one thing, but I love her smile and attitude.
Author B.L. Brown – Jewel you and Ben often have date night. How important is it to keep romance alive in a marriage?
Jewel -It is extremely important because with the responsibility of parenting, managing a household, managing family, your personal development, and making sure your children are developing personally…you could get so caught up in those things, you neglect that time. You must make sure you don’t lose balance, and continue to cultivate the best in each other. Date night is a way to remind each other of why you fell in love with them in the first place. You should also take that time to celebrate how you have grown individually and as a couple.
Author B.L. Brown- What are six ways to keep sparks alive in a marriage?
Ben – Money-humor-money-romance-money LOL.
Author B.L. Brown- When you and Ben got married, you had the task of blending two families into one. How hard is it to blend two families into one?
Jewel - It was definitely a challenge because you have different backgrounds, upbringings, parenting styles, different expectations, different roles and responsibilities, and the perception of those roles and responsibilities. For example, you may have a parent that feels they must do everything for a child and then you have a child who wants to be independent and it can be frustrating. It can also be the opposite. In order for it to work, both parents must be on the same page with regards to parenting, which is where the Word of God comes in, because we don’t need to have the family look like what we think, but like what the Word of God says. Understand that that is a process and that everyone is at a different level of maturity emotionally, developmentally, and financially. A lot of family meetings and communication are necessary.
Author B.L. Brown – How important is it for couples who have parted ways to develop a co-parent systematic process in benefit of the child/children?
Ben- Paramount! The children are part of two humans. So to disrespect the other parent is to insult the child because they are part of that other parent.
Author B.L. Brown- What advice can you give to women who are enduring difficult circumstances within their marriage such as, cheating, disrespect and endless lies?
Jewel – Every situation is different, so it’s not a cookie-cutter formula. I’ve seen people overcome adultery and lie and go on to have great marriages with that one particular spouse. A relationship with God is going to be key and some form of Christian counseling would be ideal for accountability and to work on things. The real question is whether the person is remorseful, or do they have a repentant heart where their actions are concerned? Are they willing to take responsibility and change their actions? If their heart is not towards repentance and wanting to change, they could have a real problem, and you may want to consider stronger actions. The most important thing is that they have some form of accountability – because you definitely don’t want that behavior to continue. I will say this: if they are being beat, they need to go. Violence can lead to death. But always seek counseling and accountability.
Author B.L. Brown -There are so many children that “long” for a relationship with their fathers. What advice can you give to men and young men who aren’t playing an active role in the life of the child/children?
Ben- Get moving! Don’t wait until the perfect time to reach out to your kids. Do what you can immediately.
Author B.L. Brown- Has there been any substantial event that has changed your marriage? If so, what was the event? How did it affect your marriage?
Jewel - Consistently being around Godly couples that love each other and have grown together has had the biggest impact on our lives. Keeping those relationships has had a great impact on how we think about life, and think about marriage as a whole.
Author B.L. Brown-What is the biggest misconception about you (Ben)?
Ben – That I am only a musician or pastor. People don’t know that I am a businessman, pilot, motivational speaker for NBA, suit designer, author, and record company owner.
Author B.L. Brown-What is the biggest misconception about you (Jewel)?
Jewel – One misconception is that I’m controlling. While there is some truth to that, let me explain further. I’m very passionate and very vocal about people being their best. I also love confrontation, in that I like to bring all parties to the table when there is a potential issue because I believe we grow through communicating with each other. Though we don’t need to major on people’s opinions about us, it can be very helpful. One thing that I learned is that you cannot push people the same. Can I get an amen?
Author B.L. Brown -Will there be a season #2 of Bravo’s hit series Thicker Than Water? If so, what can viewers look forward to?
Ben – I can’t be a spoiler, but I can say “y’all ain’t seen nothing yet”!
Author B.L. Brown – Is there anything else you’d like to share? (about yourself, company, products, services, up and comings business ventures, etc.).
Jewel – Yes, I have an upcoming radio show, called “Where is my Money”, and I am positioning myself to be like a black Suze Orman, where finances are concerned, for African-Americans, in particular, although I will most definitely speak with any audience, my Millionairess Book Club will begin in March and run for 6 months for $250 and is available via webinar or live class. You will learn about managing and growing your personal business, how to budget, and getting your money matters in order, getting out of debt and staying out of debt, and preparing for your future/retirement. I will also be part of Butterfly Confessions in Scottsdale, Arizona, the weekend of Mother’s Day, and I’ll be doing women’s conferences in Sacramento and Bahamas. Lastly, my financial services business is booming and expanding. I specialize in Life Savings Accounts and Annuities which are vehicles geared to help you get in a financially sound position for retirement. I am open for booking for financial events, speaking engagements, etc, as well as financial consultations. You can submit requests at www.jeweltankard.org.
Season #1 of the hit series “Thicker Than Water” premiered on November 10, 2013 with 1.56 million viewers and season-high ratings with 2.3 million totals. Stay tuned for season #2 as the Tankards family takes us on an even bigger journey of the American dream, family trials, love and success.
In the meanwhile, for more information on Ben & Jewel Tankard please visit www.bentankard.org & www.jeweltankard.org. Drop by the Tankards social media sites follower & like Twitter-Ben @BenTankard, Jewel @Jeweltankard, Facebook -https://www.facebook.com/jewel.tankard, and be sure to check out Jewel Tankards upcoming radio show, called “Where is my Money”.