Marie Santiago and Danny Santiago

Recorded October 30, 2021 Archived October 30, 2021 28:10 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: mby021201


Spouses Marie Santiago (31) and Danny Santiago (33) sit down for a conversation about the highs and lows of the years that they have spent together and offer some of the wisdom that they have gained along the way.

Subject Log / Time Code

DS talks about the most important people in his life- his mother and his wife (MS).
MS explains why she wanted to interview DS.
DS shares what he was thinking when he and MS were driving to their wedding.
DS describes what it was like when his and MS' three children were born.
MS and DS talk about how their relationship breaks stereotypes, as MS was in the military while DS supported her.
MS opens up about her experience overcoming addiction.
MS talks about the moments in which she has most felt DS' support.
DS describes the ways in which marrying MS at a young age was challenging for him.
MS and DS explain how their faith in Jesus Christ helps their family.
MS and DS tell the story of the first time they spoke to one another, from each of their perspectives.
MS and DS discuss how their friendship developed into a long-term romantic relationship.
MS and DS share the message that they'd most like to teach their children.


  • Marie Santiago
  • Danny Santiago

Recording Locations

Columbus Public Library


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00:01 My name is Marie. I'm 31 years. Old today is Saturday, October 30th 2021. I'm in Columbus, Georgia. I'm interviewing Danny. Who is my beautiful? Wonderful husband.

00:20 Thank you.

00:22 This is Danny Santiago. I'm 33 years old. Today is Saturday, October 30th, 2021. Where in Columbus, Georgia, the name of my interview partner is my wife Marie Santiago.

00:38 Okay, so, you know, I brought you here because I have a final exam to pass and my teacher told us that if we did this, she would count it as a final exam for a perspectives class at at school.

01:00 So I like these questions that we've been provided, so I want to start and ask you.

01:11 Are you ready?

01:13 Comfort.

01:16 Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?

01:25 It's a good question.

01:28 Growing up. I never really had much people that I can.

01:34 Seiwa important obviously I think is more seasonal earlier on, my mom, being the leader of the home with single single parent. And as I got older, I wouldn't say no single person would have been important to me. But when I

01:57 I got to my young adult life. You became very important and influential in my life.

02:07 I say those two women and then some exterior.

02:12 Cultural influences.

02:14 Had a major importance in my life.

02:20 Pretty cool.

02:22 I wanted to interview you because I met you when I was 13.

02:31 And I'm 31 now. So I've known you over half my life. Now.

02:37 And I just thought it'd be cool to interview you out of other options because because you've been in my life for so long. And I met you, when I was in Middle School, and usually, when you get to know someone, you usually talk about your past and you tell them stories about your past, but they haven't been there to witness it and I feel like we've been there.

03:13 To witness each other grow since since we were kids, but I think that's pretty cool. That two people have known each other that long and I met you. When I was 13, you are always asking me to be your girlfriend. I always told you no.

03:31 And now we're married with three kids later.

03:36 And I would ask you if you would marry me and you would tell me now. So now you're stuck.

03:45 It was a nice question.

03:55 Who has been the biggest influence?

03:59 On your life. What lessons did that person? Teach? You think that question is kind of like the first one. Okay, rock.

04:12 What was the happiest moment?

04:15 Of your life. And what was the saddest?

04:21 That's funny. When you said that, the first thing that came to mind was our drive to

04:29 Wall Street in Watertown, New York to get married. And that moment, I had a lot of different emotions and I recall saying I'm God. I'm about to make a big commitment and if if I don't want to do this, I need to jump out this car right now and run back to where I came from this moment.

04:58 It was probably the most terrifying moment in my life. But for some reason, I didn't jump out that car and

05:10 And of being probably the most surreal moments.

05:19 What is your favorite memory of me?

05:32 Think about

05:35 The Three Times Square.

05:39 You gave birth to my children and the joy that flowed from you, when the baby was put on you.

05:47 It's almost the exact same response.

05:51 The three times, the baby were put on, you was always at the joy of laughter.

05:56 Giggle, giggle.

06:02 And you first seen and touched the baby and that always brings me joy.

06:10 When I think about that.

06:19 What are there any?

06:23 Funny stories, your family tells about you that come to mind.

06:29 Family. As in you, or as in any way.

06:39 I don't know. I have one where you recently asked me something very funny.

06:48 Because we live in a military town and people see are disabled veterans plate. They always ask you how your time in the service was or because your man and

07:11 You asked me recently if you could just own up to being the veteran and I told, you know, you are not allowed to do that. I answer every question they would ask regarding unit where you served Iraq Afghanistan, the things you've experienced cuz the time that you've been able to tell me your War Stories and you can't take. But I think when you're not around, I might still make that claim.

07:49 But I don't mind being the military supporter. It's a good road to being a very good job, being a military supporter for me. Only broken be able to cash in on that road.

08:08 Bring me to cash in some people get money for being a caregiver. I'm going to take care of you, but I think they did not me, cuz I'm not too broken. That's why.

08:27 Can I ask you a question?

08:39 When in your life, you have felt most alone?

08:51 There's been a few times that I felt.

08:54 Most alone.

08:59 And,

09:03 I think.

09:06 When I was struggling with.

09:11 Addiction. And

09:16 I wanted to stop being on these drugs that a VA doctor had prescribed me.

09:26 It's by the way, he he got fired.

09:30 And I just felt like,

09:34 Nobody understood the physical part of it.

09:39 How to make think about that.

09:42 And I felt alone because I overcame the addiction.

09:49 And there wasn't much acknowledgement about it.

09:57 But,

10:01 That's okay, because God was with me every step of the way.

10:08 That was a time.

10:11 How are you? Think? I did you overcome.

10:17 Those moments.

10:23 Well, I I I would think about

10:29 Just the reasons why I didn't want to be addicted anymore.

10:40 I always felt like I had to do it for others, for you, for my children.

10:48 But I realized I had to do it more for myself and that I I had to be willing.

10:57 Let it go inside feel like

11:01 That's when I overcame was, when I

11:05 Decided to do it for myself.

11:09 I need answers your question.

11:12 Looking back at it.

11:15 What could I have done better?

11:17 And that time to help you through that struggling in life.

11:23 I think just acknowledging.

11:27 When I was going through.

11:31 And then also, I think you were a little bit.

11:36 Fake oblivious to my addiction. Like I felt like I was a Haddam, hit it pretty well.

11:46 From you.

11:49 So, I don't think you knew the severity of my addictions.

11:55 Which is what what people who are addicted to things, do they manipulate and try to hide stuff.

12:03 It's on today knowledge for themselves that they have a problem.

12:09 But,

12:12 If you don't answer your question, I think if you were a little bit more aware, then the key thing would have been to not enable me.

12:29 And and then when I was coming off of it to just ignore me, like I know you're going through something and I'm here.

12:40 Do you think you're doing that. Any life? What I did? Good?

12:55 I don't know what you think of regarding lot.

13:06 I think at that. You did not know, are you they talking about my addiction or?

13:18 They overcame that addiction and then

13:22 I felt like a few years later. It came back and and it got so out of hand that you became aware.

13:32 And you you were that person who did not enable anymore.

13:41 And it it really helped that you were involved and that you disagreed with.

13:50 My decisions.

13:54 I know it hurt you, too.

13:57 Femi.

14:01 See me like that, but I'm proud of you for remaining firm with me.

14:11 Thank you.

14:13 For doing that. What would you say in your life, where you felt?

14:18 Most a company by me.

14:22 And I forgive my lack of words.

14:30 So, you know, we've lost a few babies.

14:35 And,

14:40 I feel like a

14:45 Do you have a guy five, most about your support during that process?

14:53 See where they are when you are willing to do anything.

14:58 Don't I feel like that's when I felt the most important. Also, when you take initiative and you clean the house or wash the dishes, super turn on. By the way, you should do it. More often all fake all the time.

15:22 You have let me know, really that was legit. Like I feel like we're a team when you help me with the house, like, without me having to ask you, if I feel most of company, I do, I do, I feel your support and I feel like we're in this together. It's our home, our children, our life, you know, and I don't feel like

15:49 Make a loan in that that the home is just my my thing. When work is just your thing. Like, I feel like

15:59 We got this so we can do it.

16:08 You may, I ask you a question.

16:17 When in your life, have you felt most of all?

16:27 I guess I'm just going to go with the first thing that comes to mind.

16:31 Marriage. It obviously is not easy thing and you get you, you can make a commitment or somebody and brought it was very young age. You were nineteen out of twenty one and there was no script to this. There was no, this is what you're supposed to do. All these things out there, you could rebut.

16:51 Nothing like actually being in it. So I would say, I felt most alone.

16:59 This, the ins-and-outs of marriage. My

17:03 Just expectations.

17:08 Advise that I was given all those things had the effects of me and, you know, when

17:20 Being married to somebody, then I can always make you feel happy. They going to say stuff or they going to do stuff and

17:27 But through it all.

17:30 Even when I felt alone, I still had to drive to

17:34 To push for. And I don't know what that comes from. It probably comes from

17:42 Knowing that our relationship is bigger than us.

17:47 And it has purpose as meaning.

17:52 And not willing to.

17:56 Go back on on my word.

18:00 I'll just say,

18:03 Is the hardest the heart moments in marriage made these sometimes feel alone.

18:16 Thank you for sharing that I agree with you.

18:21 There's two things that you said that, I want to highlight and acknowledge. You said, like we don't there's there's no manual to this, you know.

18:36 And share those practical ways.

18:41 You know to work on things, but you said we know that it helps knowing that it's it's there's something bigger than us.

18:52 And,

18:57 I'd be you wrong, not to acknowledge what that something bigger than us is. And it's, it's our faith in Jesus that has sustained us and also I know I just want to tell you. I'm very proud of you.

19:19 Because I think about our life and I think about,

19:27 Just you as a husband and as a father, I know that you grew up in a single-parent home, and you did not have a father to role model. What it's like to be a dad. And your mom did not have a husband to model with a husband.

19:53 Should be like,

19:55 And I think that,

19:58 By God's grace and his kindness on you. You have been a wonderful husband.

20:11 For the most part.

20:13 And I'm an awesome dad, you know, and and just proud that you are the dad that you are and our kids adore, you. And I always tell him, I wish I had a dad, like you is that I wanted to tell you that and then, you know, I came from a single-parent home as well. I was just my mom. So neither of us knew what a male.

20:41 Husband, Father Figure was like, would be like

20:48 You think I'm?

20:50 When we discussed our faith and as far as like the model that Christ left, when we think about his selflessness is servitude his sacrifice, all that lays bare on the relationships that we have specifically marriage. So I think in those hard as moment, I try to embody those qualities and I think it's what brought us this far.

21:27 I want to ask you or did you have a question for me?

21:34 Sure.

21:39 You know, we can't not share.

21:42 How about ourselves in that talk about the first time we formally met each other.

21:57 You want to share your side or how much?

22:05 I guess that would be like, what is your earliest memory of me?

22:14 Or we spoke.

22:18 It's true because you have memory of me that I wasn't even aware you were there.

22:29 I was walking in the streets of New York and our neighborhood and I saw you, I was 13 and my best friend said, hey, you see that kid right there. You should talk to him and then I spoke to you and then we became friends.

22:54 Father like that.

22:57 I remember standing on the corner in New York City, where I hung out at, and this young lady who?

23:07 I noticed around the neighborhood. Very, pretty young lady said, hey show. That wants your number.

23:15 How was it was a relief? Because most of time I was the one that had to ask for the number.

23:21 So I came easy. I just had to give you my number.

23:31 Add a note between two friends through became boyfriend and girlfriend.

23:36 2 weeks. But I mean I had even had my first kiss yet. So I don't even know what that meant.

23:42 To be fair, but the good thing about that is

23:49 We broke up because you found out, I was talking to another girl in the neighborhood. So we stay friends for the rest of our teenage years. Be a real girlfriend, then I'd ask you.

24:05 Are you going to marry me and you would think about anything? No, I'm not going to marry you. And I tell you that I'm not going to be a girlfriend and it wasn't because I was a good Christian or anything cuz I didn't even believe in Jesus better than it was because you're my best friend.

24:23 And I don't want to lose my best friend. And also where we grew up in the consequence grew up in the New York City. There weren't too many people that were married. You look around New York City. Not too many people have rings on their fingers. So the idea of marrying, somebody was born. So of course in my lifestyle that moment I was not thinking about that but you were the only one only girl that was actually a friend throughout all those years that I could talk to about life and that I can actually

25:06 Sit down and listen to without trying to, to get with them and your stories were so entertaining to me.

25:19 Get me busy. Probably get me out of trouble. Remember you using me for my bike.

25:27 Yeah, I would try to b a couple times and you let me borrow your iPad or iPod.

25:38 That was cool.

25:44 Can I ask you a question?

26:04 If?

26:07 If you can leave a message for your children.

26:14 What would it be?

26:17 That wasn't on the paper. That was a really good question. I always think about that. I think the most important thing for me to tell my children is

26:32 To love God and to love Jesus. Because

26:38 We know that our life here is temporary.

26:43 And, you know, I have to go to Christians. We believe that life goes on after you in after death. And so, I would tell my children. I love God to love Jesus.

26:59 So that we can be together for eternity, but also,

27:06 Not that you believe in in Jesus and life becomes easier. And so,

27:13 It's just like a rock, no matter what you go through. There's always that that

27:20 Personal God, will you can come to in all situations that will sustain?

27:28 That that's what I would tell my children. If that's one thing I could teach him.

27:35 I would Echo that sentiment in life is going to be hard going to be unfair sometimes.

27:44 But we can't forget who we are as people.

27:52 I love you. Thank you.