Mr. Shaheen & Ms. Rodríguez: Take on Marriage


Elisa Ligero

Ms. Rodriguez and Mr. Shaheen.

Elisa Ligero, Writer

Every year Mr. Luis De Prada, senior class Social Justice teacher and class moderator, launches a project where students are to ask a married couple 10 questions related to their relationship. This year ILS’ very own Ms. Lianne Rodríguez and Mr. Patrick Shaheen shared their answers so that others could learn from them.

Ms. Rodríguez and Mr. Shaheen have been married for seven years and known each other since 7th grade. At first they were friends, but after dating for almost nine years, they decided to marry.

“I proposed because she was my soulmate and the love of my life and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her so I proposed so we could get married and have kids,” said Mr. Shaheen.

“I said yes for the same reason, almost as if he waited too long. I cried so much when he took out the ring, I didn’t hear the first time and made him do it again,” recalled Ms. Rodriguez.

Elisa Ligero

When asked about their first year of marriage and the difference they felt from boyfriend-girlfriend to husband-wife they both agreed, that they both learned a lot. They explained how it was different because once married, they moved in together and had to figure out how to work better as a team rather than on their own with their friends. This happens to many couples who face troubles sometimes in coming to agreements on things.

During disagreements, Ms. Rodríguez agreed and Mr. Shaheen explained, how they, “are both pretty stubborn so it’s more about talking it out and coming to a compromise on one end or the other or for both. It’s not always quick but we try to communicate with each other, and we always tell each other in your ideal perfect situation how would this go? And then, we discuss how to find middle ground from there which is very helpful.”

This is also something couples or friends should apply to disagreements, to ask how either would want the situation to go is a great way to figure out how the two people can meet in the middle and find a compromise for both.

For the couple, children and faith also play a significant role together and in their marriage. Mr. Shaheen explains how the hardest part of raising kids for him is the lack of sleep. Meanwhile Ms. Rodríguez says for her, “more like you don’t know what you do, because any little thing can affect them for the rest of their life and I feel like I’m hyper aware of that. And we are definitely aware of how we talk to each other in front of the kids and how that affects them too. Other then that it’s great and fun because we go on little family adventures too.”

As far as their faith is concerned, Mr. Shaheen, who happens to teach theology, says, “It’s part of our vocation as married people. We are supposed to raise them Catholic if we are married in the church. Part of what enhances our marriage is helping them grow in their faith.”

He also went into detail about specific things they do such as take the kids to church, pray as a family every night, and just being good moral examples.

Their faith, has also been affected since being married. Ms. Rodríguez and Mr. Shaheen dated long distance for some time, especially because of this Ms. Rodríguez explained how, “I feel like my faith was really individual to me, and the way I saw it and practiced it. We talked about it while we were dating but it wasn’t unified, and we had to figure that out.” After that, they say they felt much closer to God.

Elisa Ligero

To finish off their interview they offered advice to couples considering marriage.

“Compromise. Things aren’t worth whatever selfish argument,” said Mr. Shaheen.

Ms. Rodríguez agreed and added, “I got a pin once that said if you’re always winning the arguments, you’re married to a loser. They told us to put in on our fridge. We didn’t. But it was an idea that if you always win, your partner is not going to feel good either, so definitely compromise.”