Levar Fisher is a retired NFL player for the Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints. He now travels the country as a motivational speaker for youth, business, churches, and sports venues. While working with Levar and his wife Jacinta as their copywriter, I have observed how beautifully supportive they are of each other and how hard they work to cultivate and maintain a strong marriage and loving family.
I recently interviewed them about how they keep it all together since Levar spends a great deal of his time traveling. Their candid answers provide fresh insight to other couples who struggle to find balance and stability in the midst of hectic lives, often separated by time and distance.
What are some ways you and Jacinta work together to manage your speaking, PR, marketing, and traveling?
Levar: I deal with many companies that handle my traveling and hotel scheduling but Jacinta follows up with each one to make sure everything is right. She makes sure all of my supporting material is ready. I show up at the speaking venue and make it all happen. I also have before and after meetings with the particular venue leaders to make sure we’re all on the same page.
Jacinta: Levar makes it truly easy. He’s an open book and freely shares his schedule with me and that makes calendaring smooth and easy to follow. With technology today, we share calendars, emails and text messages so everything gets done.
How do you keep your marriage strong with your hectic travel schedule?
Levar: At first, it was a challenge. We’d get in disputes here and there but when we started seeing results, we realized this was our dream coming true; this is what we wanted. Both of our backgrounds are a perfect blend for what we’re doing. We have great people surrounding and supporting us which makes it even easier. It’s our priority to make time for ourselves by planning regular date nights.
Jacinta: Levar is great with trying to be romantic across the country. With special notes every morning via text messages and with the features on our iphone 4 (facetime) we are able to stay connected. Some weeks are better than others but most importantly, we do our best to try to satisfy each others’ needs and we make sure we both feel emotionally secure during his traveling time.
Jacinta, in what ways do you support Levar when he’s on the road?
Jacinta: Praying is a huge part of our marriage. We try to study together over the phone, listen to motivating teachings and share only inspiring stories. I try to keep negativity completely out of any conversation so he doesn’t worry when he’s away from his family.
Levar: I talk to both my girls and try to keep them calm. I make sure my 7-yr. old daughter understands what’s going on and I encourage her to take care of mommy and to help with her 2-yr. old sister. I tell Jacinta often how much I appreciate her and I remind her that I’m gone for us…our common goal. I send flowers and when I’m home, I’ll plan surprise outings like spending the weekend in downtown Chicago with the kids.
How do you keep in touch with your two daughters when you’re away?
Levar: I bought my 7-yr. old daughter a cell phone so she can call me when she’s out of school. We text often and even with her limited spelling knowledge, she gets her message across. Skype and iPhone’s facetime make it even easier to stay in touch. My 2-yr. old hangs up on me a lot because she gets so excited to see me or hear my voice.
What kind of things do you do together as a family when you’re all together at home?
Levar: We go out a lot; out to eat, to the movies, the local game zone. I like buying my girls things and seeing their faces light up.
Jacinta: On average, we have Levar 2-3 days a week. He and I have date night on Fridays and family night on Saturdays with the girls. Both of our girls are daddy’s girls; they love and adore him. He will make us all breakfast in bed on the weekends most of the time.
How do you manage and resolve conflict with so much time away?
Levar: We still deal with it on occasion. For awhile it seemed like every time I left, something would happen with the house like a broken pipe or other household emergency. Fortunately, Jacinta has family close by and they help her out. I’ve constructed a team of people who are available to help with emergencies when I’m gone.
Jacinta: We try our best to not have any conflict at all since he’s gone and you never know what can happen. We have learned that nothing is promised, so why waste time being mad. We both have accountability partners who we can talk with and get different point of views when we can’t agree to disagree. That helps because sometimes you just need to hear it from a non-biased person who loves you both.
What would you say to other retired NFL couples who desire a healthy marriage but who are apart a lot due to speaking and travel?
Levar: Take one day at a time. Don’t allow issues to pile up. Know what your common goals are; know that you’re in it together. Learn to appreciate each others’ role and realize that one role is no more important than the other’s. It’s important to show mutual respect for the daily tasks you each have to do.
Jacinta: Communication is key. Keep God first in your marriage and develop trust in each other. Levar has taught me and made me aware of so many things during our time apart, but most importantly, he shows me that he loves me unconditionally on and off the road!
Image by levarfisher.com