Angela Laster-King and Tina Crittenden
How long have you been together?
We have been together since March 11, 2003. We
had a commitment ceremony 9 years ago.
We were legally married in California on September 13, 2008.
How did you meet? Angela: A mutual friend thought we would be
"great" for each other and introduced us.
What was the initial attraction?
She carried herself like a lady- the hair was beat, nails done, and she was
extremely attractive. Angela: I knew
of Tina years before and thought there was this "thing" about her.
After we were introduced she was of course physically attractive, but she had a
"kind sprit” and seemed easy to talk to. My youngest son thought she was
What would you say is
the key to the success of your relationship? Tina:
Angela is my friend, buddy and she’s a solider. She is always there for me. Angela: We are best friends. We have
fun and laugh; we enjoy each other. We make sure that our emotional house and
its foundation always stay intact. This is key to ensuring that no matter what
trials and tribulations we endure, our foundation is solid.
Tina, you said Angela
is a solder. What does being a solider mean?
Angela is a solider. If anything
happens, I know that if there is anybody in my corner, it will be her. She is a
“ride and die” chick. If I am in a battle, she will be there. It is her actions-the
way that she treats me and the way that she looks at me – that lets me know she
loves me. I show her that I love her too, but it is the way that she acts that
lets me to know that she has my back. That’s why I love her. She accepts me for who I am.
Angela, you mentioned
laughter and enjoying each other. What makes that easy: Tina has a kind heart. She is genuine and has a soft spirit. That is
why it is easy to love her. Tina has showed me over the 10 years that she knows
and understands me. She understands my faults and works through my faults with
me. She is my best friend and I can sit back and talk to her about family
stuff, work stuff, my aspirations, everything. We just enjoy being together.
enjoyment are key pillars of a great relationships. You both mentioned them.
How do those pillars support your relationship? Tina: Angela knows and
loves me in my nakedness. She knows all of me and still loves me. This is the
longest relationship that I have ever been in, and this is the first time that
I have been in love. I love her and I try to do what I need to do to make our
relationships work. I do it on purpose.
When we first started dating, she laid back on me, and I felt something
that I never felt before. I asked myself “what’s that feeling”. I had never
felt that before. I knew then that I would do whatever I needed to do to make
this relationship work. Angela: Tina
is sometimes “extra” but she is always Tina. She keeps me laughing, and I have
learned that laugher is really good medicine. It releases stress that I didn’t
know that I had. I enjoy her, and I enjoy being with her.
You both are mothers.
How did your children respond to your relationship? Angela:
We were totally
open and out with our kids. It wasn’t the first relationship that they saw so
that transition wasn’t hard. When we met, my son was 16 or 17, and Tina’s
daughter was 10. Our kids just wanted us to be happy. It was a new beginning
for all four of us. We had some growing pains and some hiccups – stuff that
happens all the time in families. But we
were a unit. Tina
: We just had to
deal with regular family stuff. When we moved in together, there was some
jealousy stuff – but like Angela said – just stuff that all families go
through. We had different parenting styles and we had to learn how to blend
those because we were both used to running our own homes.
What advice would you
give to women blending their families: Tina: Have one set of rules, if not, the kids will
play you against each other. When we did disagree, we would have a sidebar away
from the kids. And, we never challenged each other’s authority in front of the
kids. If you do, they know that got you. We were always a unified front. We
were united. Angela: My advice is
when two people decide to be together, learn each other’s parenting styles
first, especially 2 women who have ran their own households. We had been
functioning one way for so long that we had to learn how to work as a team. I would
l tell others -Don’t be selfish and
understand each other’s viewpoint first. When you have children, you have to
become one with your partner, and one with your family. One way is not better
than the other way, it is just different.
Now that you are
empty-nesters, how has your relationship changed: Angela: I now have time
just to focus on me and Tina. Before, we had a routine with the children. It is
just us now, and now I can make the next 10 years with Tina greater than the
first 10 years. We can just concentrate on us. We can talk and travel, and when
we recognize it is time for us to get away, we can. Tina: Angela and I don’t have the same responsibilities, and so
life is simple. It is pretty cool that they (children) are not here too. We are
learning how to communicate better. We have time to just deal with our issues,
and not theirs. We have us.
You not only ran a
household together, but you also ran businesses. How did you learn to be
business partners? Angela: That was a growing process because you have two
individuals used to running their own corporations. We had to work through
that. I am a very structured, analytical person. I am a planner and I need a
time-line. I want to know and see all of the pieces before I start something.
Tina is different. She just needs to know the end results. We had to learn to
communicate because she functions one way and I function differently. That’s
why we have separate offices and I know not to move things around in her
office. Tina: Angela is the
administrator, she does all of the administrative stuff because she has to
analyze everything first to make it happen. I am operational. I just need to
know the end result and I can make things happen without knowing all of the
pieces. At the end of the day, we have the same
goal but getting to the goal may be different. We had to learn that we had
different methods of getting things done and accept that. Angela: We are who we are and we had to accept that. It is the
80/20 rule. If something falls in the 20% that does not really affect us or our
relationship, we let it go.
Discuss how you deal
with and face challenges that might come up in your relationship? Tina:
To always remember I am not the only one with an opinion in the relationship. I
have to listen to my wife and try to put myself in her shoes, and understand
What role does
spirituality play in your relationship? Tina: Spirituality is key to making
our relationship work, and understanding God is the main focus is important. Without
God, there is no relationship. Angela:
Spirituality is a BIG part of our relationship. Our belief in God and serving together
is very important to us.
What role does
sensuality play in your relationship? Tina:
It is important to keep the fire going, i.e. role playing, date night, etc. Angela:
Sensuality is a way to allow passion and awe into everyday life - a life for
which you will begin to feel more and more grateful and appreciative, even in
challenging times. This is key to us because when we play up each other's sensual sides: such as a
touch; a smile; a wink, or maybe a compliment-it carries us through almost
anything on a daily basis. Flirting is key!
Never lose that touch.
Over the years, how
has romance and/or sex changed? Tina: It
has changed because we know each other now. It is more than sex; it is deeper.
Early on I made the mistake by saying that “sex is over-rated”. In the past, I
could have sex without being emotionally connected. But to Angela, sex is different;
it was important for her to feel connected. Sex is still hot, but it is way
better. It was hot then, and it is hot now but more intimate. We know each
other, and I know what she likes and how to get her there. It is better and
How do you celebrate
your love and stay connected daily? Tina: We flirt and we do a lot of role-
playing. For example, we act like we are in high school sneaking behind the
bleachers. Lol. We also never go a day
without telling each other that we love each other. Angela: You have to reach back to the passion you initially had.
You have to reach back to understand what the passion was and why the passion
was there. You have to plan a date night and switch it up so that it makes it
exciting for your partner. When you take the emotional portion away and if you
hit rough times, it will be a rough ride. But if you remember the emotional
part and keep the connection solid, it will lift you when you are going through
What has your
relationship taught you the most about yourself? Tina: It is not all about me, because for the first time in my life,
I am in love . And, I am will do whatever it takes to make our relationship
work and to make it better. I have learned to be more considerate. Being with
Angela and being in love with Angela, has taught me to be more mindful of what
I say and what I do. I have to be mindful of how she feels and what you wants
too. If you are in a relationship, you got to act like you are in a
relationship. Angela: That I am part
of a team, and the decisions I make will affect us both. This was a hard one
for me and I have grown from it, and I’m still learning. I have to remember
that we are a couple/team - no more me/I
- in everything I do, BIIG OR SMALL! Being with Tina has taught me that
we are team, we are one.
What advice would you give other couples
Always communicate your feelings. Understand there are two people in the
relationship - 2 minds and 2 personalities.
Always fight fair - don't be mean
while arguing, be mindful of what you say to your partner. Angela
: It is important to get to know
your partner for who she is. Remember what made her tick. Get to know their
family background. Have date night and have fun. Discuss your goals together and often-- this
can change as time passes.
What do you want your
legacy to be as a couple: Angela: One of my friends said “you are my
favorite couple” and that made me feel really good. I want our legacy to be
that we set and maintained an example for other couples to aspire too. We are
not perfect. But by giving and sharing, we want people to see that there can be
normalcy in our relationships. I hope that we set the bar for others. Tina: I want our legacy to be that we
were and are a happy couple; that we laughed and enjoyed ourselves; that we had
fun and knew how to relax. When people
look at us, I want them to know that we love each other, and that at the end of
time, we still loved each other.
What one word
describes/characterizes your relationship: Tina: Enjoyable. I enjoy my life
with my wife. Angela: Easy. I am enjoying life to the fullest. Loving Tina is easy.
You can also find
Tina and Angela at:
Tina is also a fulltime Realtor, Founder- GW
Angela is a Business Consultant- Specializes in Grants
and Business Proposals. Her new book is
scheduled to be released in the Fall 2013.
(Interview conducted by SharRon Jamison)
We are grateful to Angela and Tina for sharing your
amazing love with us at Create Love for Women Who Love Women! www.createloveforwomen.com
Imani Evans, MA
SharRon Jamison, MBA