Teamwork On and Off the Dance Floor

  For couples, February is known as a month full of chocolates, cupid and Valentines. However, Wesley Homes Des Moines residents Jim and Barb Desinger know that it goes deeper than that. Jim and Barb say that what really ensures the longevity of a marriage is the willingness to forgive each other and that the vows they took were promises that need to be kept. Jim and Barb should know; they have been married for 62 years. The Desinger’s also agree that raising children improved the couple’s relationship. Barb said, “We worked great as a team.” Jim added that at 5:00 p.m. Barb was off-the-clock; it was his turn. Jim would read to their six children, help them with homework and just be there when the kids needed their dad. "Couples must have a sense of humor to help get through the tough times and enjoy the good times", said Jim. Jim and Barb’s story began in Hillsboro, OR, on a double date, but they did not start out together. When the guys picked up Barb, she discovered her date was the other guy. Barb said, “I noticed Jim first.” The foursome headed to a local bar with a dance floor. As Jim recalls, “My date danced like I was pushing a piece of wood around.” Barb’s date wasn’t asking her to dance, so Jim asked Barb. From that point, Jim and Barb danced all night. Both of them agree the double date was not really their first date. Their first official date happened on July 4, 1950. Jim remembered, “I thought about Barb all day.” The couple went to a spectacular fireworks show and a dance. “After that date, I saw Barb every night until I was drafted on January 19, 1951,” said Jim. His commander was nice enough to permit leave for the wedding in October 1951. As their marriage blossomed, so did their appreciation of each other and marriage. Along the way, Jim and Barb participated in marriage encounters to strengthen the bonds in their marriage and to refresh the relationship. Over the years through their church, Jim and Barb led engagement encounter groups to guide participants in the expectations, responsibilities and benefits of marriage. A benefit of leading encounter groups is that the interaction with the group participants has strengthened the Desingers’ relationship as well. The Desinger’s moved to Wesley Homes Des Moines a little over six months ago, so they still feel like newbies. With plenty of activities to choose from, they are looking forward to what lies ahead.

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