On today's episode, Melissa, an Executive Life Coach who helps successful and motivated LGBTQ+ individuals to take their life and career to the next level through the use of goal setting and therapeutic techniques, shares her side of her love story with husband, Joshua. Their love story is about creating a nontraditional relationship that speaks to who they both are as individuals and as partners. You'll also hear about how they overcame family tensions to build a happy life together.
You can connect with Melissa and follow more of her story on her website at https://www.melissadasilva.com/. She is also the author of "The Profitable Practice." Melissa is the creator and host of the successful LGBTQ+ podcast Pride Connections and Chit Chat with a Therapist. Check out her podcast at https://chitchatwithatherapist.com/.
The story was curated by Ekanem.
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Welcome to the Jews Love Podcast, a show that chronicles the extraordinary love of ordinary people. Our hope is that the show will inspire us all to hashtag choose love.
Today you'll meet Melissa de Silva. She tells how she and her husband, Joshua, created a nontraditional relationship that works for them and how they overcame family tensions to build a happy life together. Listen till the end and send us your feet back and thoughts that chews left podcast at gmail dot com.
My name is Melissa to Silva, and my partner is Joshua DeSilva. Ah, where from Rhode Island, and we met in Johnston, Rhode Island. I had just gotten my bachelor's degree in social work, and he had just returned from being deployed in Qatar because he was in the Air Force at the time, So he had just come back When I met him. I went to college with his sister, were in the same social work program, and I went to her apartment to meet her for something she didn't mean to introduce for, like, romantic reasons. He just happened to be at the apartment, too, and we started connecting on my space back in the day, and then once his sister found out that we were talking to each other, she disagreed with it completely and still is a bit salty about it today. I think 13 years later, and honestly, I think she may have had a crush on me that might be a why she was so against us dating.
Tell me what it was like to hang out that first day.
I was just kind of hanging out with her in her room, and Josh was making scrambled egg, and I was impressed that he knew how to cook. Obviously, I'm not a big cook, because scribble, it's is not that hard. I guess so. He just kind of looked at me and I looked at him. We didn't really talk much. I thought he was super Q and funny, too. And I still think the same thing. And the other thing was that he had a girlfriend at the time.
How did your first state happen? Who asked you out?
Well, it wasn't really a first date. I knew that his sister was going to be working the overnight shift, and I asked if I could stay at her house because I was having to go somewhere the next morning. But I secretly knew that he was coming home from work and it would just be he and I. And that was like the first night we got to cuddle and kiss
well, so that was very calculated plan on your part. Was he showing any signs that he would have liked that to happen and he was
interested in me. I could tell he was kind of in a chair, too, because he had just turned 21. He had lost a lot of wheat, too. So he was still trying to figure out who he waas and kind of doing the party and thing, too. But I just kind of pursued him from there.
So I guess you would say that you were the leader in the relationship.
Well, I always joke with him that I figured if I just in the environment long enough, he would finally want to be with me. It was a lot of calculated time spent together when his sister wouldn't know that I'd be around or he would kind of sneak off to come to my house, which was like 45 minutes away. There was a lot of sneaking around. I felt a lot more guilty about it than him. Yeah, I would say I pursued him and he would like me one day that like me the other day. Eventually, he realized I was the best one.
So how long would you say that?
I would say, June 2006 the first men and I would say, probably accept Kember October of the same year. So it took a while. Does
that mean he asked you to be his girlfriend?
Well, the thing was that I was all done like he kept on playing the I like to be with you, but I'm not gonna call you and I want to be out with my friends, but I really like you. But when I finally was like, that's it, I'm just gonna move on. And he didn't know it at the time. So I was coming home from school and he told me to meet him at a big ferns, which is kind of like a step down from IHOP, and he told me to meet him there, and it was probably like eight o'clock at night when I think about it. I think of it as being brown. This the vision of brown like the brown tables, brown carpet, maybe our INGE booths. And the smell always reminds me off dirty bar floors for some reason. Like I worked at a bar one time and I just feel like this. What? We smelt like that, please. It was just not very crowded because it was later at night. Um, and it's a place where you can get breakfast all day long, but it was a good landmark to meet somebody. Yeah, it was kind of empty, just us. At least that's what I remember. I ordered my chicken buffalo fingers because that's what I love to eat. At the time, he was wearing his jeans and his T shirt and, um, his baseball cap, and he brought me a dozen roses and he sat down in the booth and he was just like, Hey, I'm sorry. I really like you. And, you know, I just want you to, you know, just be with me, and you know what? I want to be with you, and I'm not worried about my sister just up there together with him and his flowers and me being like, OK, we can do that. So it was there that we just started being exclusive. It was like he still had to go through his immature time before he could settle down and later in our relationship, he ended up getting deployed again. I believe it was probably 2008. Actually, that was difficult because of six months deployment, but it really brought us closer together, I think, and it brought me closer to his mom because his mom's disabled and I helped take care of her why he was away. And so we got to grow a good relationship. She currently lives with us in our in law apartment. But I would say the biggest crisis came when we had just moved in together in an apartment and it had been about six months and I came home and I was tired of him not having any future plan. He was in the military reserves, but he never really finished college. He had no future ideas about what he wanted to Dio and I came home and said, You know, I'm not happy this needs to change or I'm leaving and he was quiet for about two days. He sat with his mom, And then one day when I came home, he was like, All right, I got a plan. I'm gonna go to school, I'm gonna go New England Tech, and I'm gonna do a V of tech stuff. And he did.
While So it sounds like whenever you gave an ultimatum, he always seemed to sort of respond to that.
Yes. And to this day, it's still that way. I always say that he is the rock that keeps my balloon grounded.
How did you guys then get engaged?
Well, I had always thought that we would use speed like partners. We both came from families that were divorced, and we I felt like I was too afraid to be in a marriage and risk having to go through divorce. But after seven years of dating each other, he felt like he wanted to propose to me. He and his mom got the ring together, and he had planned this whole weekend out where we were going to go to New York City and he had a hotel and he was going to propose to me at this restaurant like thick steak house, and he and Reservation and Hurricane Irene came and they canceled everything like everything was being blooded. And I didn't understand why he was getting so upset over this because he's not one to get really upset about much. And he was just going on and on about it, and I was just like, It's fine, We'll just go another time And then, like the next weekend, he was like, Oh, let's go to a theme park because at that time used to go with Ian Parks together, and I think he wanted to propose to me there. But he chickened out. And then after the theme park, he was like all the the Red Sox, the plane, Let's go to the Red Sox. So I think he was gonna propose there, and he chickened out again. When we were in the subway waiting for the subway to co. He holds something out of his wallet, which I thought was gonna be a joint because I thought he was gonna smoke marijuana in the subway. But I ended up being an engagement ring, and hugely, I wasn't meant to ask you all day. But would you marry me and I was like, Wow, yeah, yeah, So it was definitely our type of proposal. We don't usually do things in the traditional way. When we got married, we didn't invite every anybody went to the Bahamas and did a wedding by ourselves. We don't plan on having Children. We believe that it's an agreement between the two of us. They doesn't need to be anybody else involved because we're the most important part of that marriage. And it was this the two of us and our priest and I think a bus boy was our witness.
What would you advise? People who are trying to find their life meet?
I think that one of the most important thing is listening to each other. Um, not the talking heart, really just listening and understanding what each other saying, even if it's not with words. And I've learned that that a lot of times when he's up, that is through violence, which was something that would bother me. But I've learned that that's his way of communicating. And I think the other thing that's really gotten us through marriage so far has been being able to laugh at each other. pretty much every day. Even if we're in the middle of a fight, he will know the perfect thing to say to get me laughing at him. So really listening and laughter, I think, are two really important thing in a marriage because those things you know, they don't go away. They can always be there.
How does your life work? How do you feel that effect or inter plays with your your relationship?
Our relationship is interesting because I am the hustler in the relationship. I love working. I've created businesses. I'm the one that does the housework and anything that needs to be repaired. And he is more of the Nestor. He'll do the laundry and make dinner for me. And we always have this saying that I'm gonna make enough money someday to make him a kept man. And I would be absolutely fine with him staying home, just taking care of May and me, you know, bringing in the money. It's just, you know, we just really fit well together and we have dreams together. So I think that it's really important for us
how it is that you feel that he supports your dreams.
He never tells me no. And when he does, that makes me even more determined. And he knows that as well. So I think that is one thing that works well for us. And he always is positive about anything that I decide I want to dio. He is always there to cheer me on and then to be supportive of me when you know things aren't that great. And I struggle with bipolar and he knows the days that I'm down, how to help me out. And then he knows how to keep an eye on me if I'm manic, so I don't go on buy houses are great hound dogs.
What would be your definition of love?
It would be taking that person in all their glory. And they're, you know, bruises and their history and their future and accepting them for what they are. And then you know them being able to support you and encourage you to love yourself. Do
you think there's any tie into your business? Is where you could sort of help people to achieve the same kind of balance you have?
Yes. So I am actually a mental health therapist and a coach and I really enjoy helping couples work on communication and helping individuals get to the level in their life that they really strive to be, whether that's a relationship
or business or just personal goals. And my website is Melissa de silva dot com. Like the podcast, make sure to share it with your friends. It's available on all major podcast providers. Just search for the two's love podcast I'm a Can of Athena and thanks for listening.