A study published in the Journal of Personal Relationships finds that couples who laugh together have higher quality relationships. Miesha and Jon Suber, married now for six years, can vouch for the intimate bond a daily dose of the giggles has brought into their relationship.
“Miesha and I have always been able to laugh at anything and use laughter to get through the tough times,” says Jon. “The biggest thing I picked up watching the adults in relationships around me when I was growing up is just how much laughing went on. They enjoyed every moment.”
This fun and laid back temperament prevented the couple’s first date from turning into a disaster. In fact, an inside joke emerged from that night, and it’s kept them in sticthes ever since. “We went to a mall and decided to go to an Italian restaurant. It was the worst restaurant we have ever been to,” recalls Miesha. They dubbed the restaurant, called Milano’s, “Mi-nono’s.” Jon was impressed with how unaffected Miesha was with the poor restaurant. “She could have made a big deal about it, but she did not,” he says. “We were just cracking jokes on how bad it was.”
While the food may have left much to be desired, the conversation and chemistry between the then-recent college graduates earned a five-star rating. “I was enjoying myself with her so much,” says Jon. “The conversation just flowed so easily. Neither of us was holding back or pretending to be something we were not to impress each other.”
Miesha co-signed: “It felt like we knew each other for years. It was just that easy.”
What wasn’t effortless was Jon getting Miesha to notice him. That took many tries. They shared a mutual friend who suggested to Jon that he should meet Miesha. It was the summer of 2003 and at the mutual friend’s house party, they were introduced. “I was trying to ask her questions to spark conversation, but she wasn’t paying me any attention at all,” says Jon. “It was a quick introduction, but I thought, wow, she is pretty.”
He ran intro Miesha again but their interaction remained the same. It wasn’t until New Year’s Eve 2004 that Miesha finally took notice.
“After the ball drop and a lot of people dispersed and my friend and I were dancing. I turned around and there he was,” says Miesha. “He looked cute. I thought to myself, I think I know him.”
This time they finally had a conversation. “The other times I ignored him had nothing to do personally with him,” she says. “I wasn’t interested in anything but getting my life together. I had recently graduated from college and I started working as an assistant for a realtor. I didn’t really have space for a relationship or talking to anyone.”
Their first real conversation changed all that. Miesha was immediately taken by Jon. The feeling was mutual. “I was really happy to learn how cool she was and how much we got along,” he says. “We were some of the last people to leave that night.”
They dated for six years. She was Jon’s second girlfriend but despite his relationship inexperience he says knew that she was everything he had always wanted in a partner. “She is incredibly thoughtful and she always had a sense of integrity,” he says. ”She is my best friend. We connected in a deep way from the very start.”
Which is why after two years of dating, Miesha planned to come clean with Jon about something that had bothered her since they first started dating. “The time we met the oversized fashion was in style and it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I thought the way he dressed did not reflect who he is, in my opinion,” shares Miesha.
An avid letter-writer, Miesha took pen to pad and jotted down some of her thoughts on his personal style. One weekend in 2005, she went on a trip to Atlantic City and left her note pad at Jon’s house. Miesha had planned to talk to Jon about this upon her return. She never imagined he would find her notes. Nor did she ever intend to break up with Jon over what she can now admit was “a bit superficial.” “It was hurtful because I thought things were going well. I thought she doesn’t like anything about me!” says Jon, who called Miesha on vacation clearly upset. “I took all her stuff and put it in her car.”
The breakup lasted only two weeks before they both realized that their sartorial differences weren’t worth losing each other. “It was just my appearance and not about who I was as a person. We worked through it like we do everything by communicating,” says Jon.
What also took precedent over her aversion to oversized clothing was their compatibility. They found they shared views on gender roles—that is, they don’t subscribe to them.
“Early in our relationship I was in real estate and it was an amazing time,” Miesha explains. “I had more money than I should have had at that age. I wanted to go on a vacation and I paid for both of us. Some guys would feel as if their masculinity is being challenged. He had no issue with this.”
After four years of dating, Jon landed a one-year gig in New Jersey. While they were living apart during that time, they never felt like they were in a long distance relationship since Jon was in Maryland every other weekend. “In my mind, I thought we would break up before his move. I was surprised when he said we would stay together,” says Miesha. After spending a year in Jersey, Jon relocated to Atlanta but this time he asked Miesha to come with him. He spent six months in Atlanta before Miesha finally joined him.
Jon proposed a month later. It wasn’t over the top; that just isn’t their style. Jon popped the big question in their car on Christmas day.
“I bought the ring in August and spoke to her dad before. I wanted to show him I was serious about this,” says Jon. Miesha’s reaction? “She laughed and couldn’t stop laughing.” Knowing how the Subers roll, laughing was a good sign. “I was overjoyed and happy! I was laughing because I was happy, because the ring was larger than anything I would have expected and I was laughing at how he did it. It was just so us,” explains Miesha, who was so busy laughing Jon had to remind her to give him an answer.
They had a destination wedding in St. Maarten on December 4, 2010. They were joined by 90 friends and family. “People really went out of their way to support us and it meant everything. It was the best day of my life,” says Jon. He cried as he watched Miesha walk down the aisle. “Marriage is a formality of our relationship. It’s the relationship that really makes up the actual marriage,” shares Miesha.
Adds Jon: “We were 23 when we first met. We grew into adults together. Many people who meet so young would grow apart or outgrow one another. For whatever reason, we have been blessed to grow with each other. I think we are a better version of what we were when we met. I knew I married the right person but going through what we have together in the last 15 months. I can’t even quantify what she means to me.”
Last February Jon’s right eye was blurry and after consulting with an optometrist and later a neurologist, he learned that he had lesions on his brain. “At the end of March, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Between all the treatments and tests, Miesha went above and beyond in supporting me. She was amazing in taking care of the household, keeping the business running and make sure we made all of the doctor appointments,” says Jon, who credits his wife’s “extremely positive” energy with keeping him afloat when he felt like drowning.
“We can’t both give up and be down. My take was that we need to get through this together and stay hopeful,” says Miesha. ”I had to be strong for him no matter what our new normal was going to be.”
Their way of life would further be put to the test when Miesha developed some health issues of her own. After suffering a miscarriage in 2013 at the age of 34, Miesha was referred to a fertility specialist. Following some routine tests, she learned she had a septate uterus, which is a congenital condition in which a thin membrane called a septum divides the uterus, either partially or completely.
“Basically my uterus was not whole. After having surgery in 2014, we started trying again to have a baby,” explains Miesha. “Nothing was happening, so we decided to transition into fertility treatments, specifically artificial insemination. We started in 2015 and here we are 2016 and nothing yet.” The Subers have made six unsuccessful attempts and are now considering in vitro fertilization.
“The early part of this year was very challenging. We went to Brazil for New Years and we said 2016 would be all about positivity. Everything is going to be great. We didn’t expect to add more to our plate,” adds Miesha. While they are all for trying in vitro fertilization, the cost has been a challenge. “Hopefully this year we will figure out what will be the path to starting a family. For me, it hasn’t been so much a physical tool on me like Jon. It is more of an emotional toll for me.”
For now, Miesha and Jon have decided to take a break from trying to get pregnant, instead focusing on Jon’s health. “It is kind of difficult handling both these things at once. We are concentrating on getting Jon back to speed. He is about to be on a new drug and he has a new additional doctor that he is going to be working with to manage his MS.”
In the midst of these health challenges both Miesha and Jon are eager to share the positives that have come out of these stressful times, like their current healthy eating journey. Their new healthy lifestyle has not only been beneficial to their health, but it has also inspired the pair to start a new business together, Fuel For Life. The couple bought ten vending machines and has plans to place them in locations in Maryland and Washington D.C.
“The idea is to make healthier food more accessible and more affordable,” Jon says.
“We love working together and we complement each other. Probably because we are honest–sometimes brutally–but there is never any room for interpretation, we always know what each other is thinking,” says Miesha.
“But mainly because we are able to joke and laugh all the time, we have truly grown to be best friends. No matter how long or challenging the day might be, love and laughter cures all.”