Getting to know Odette and Mark Clayton


Odette and Mark

How long have you been together and what first attracted you to each other?

Odette: Mark and I have been together for 21 years. I was first attracted to his funky hair styles and his passion for God. 

Mark: I was attracted to Odette when we met as she appeared to have a glow around her and she was beautiful.

What is the thing you most appreciate about each other?

M. I appreciate many things about Odette but if I’m to name one thing, then I would say her way of keeping us connected as a family. Odette loves family and ensures we all spend time together as often as we can.

O. His willingness to say sorry and be the Peacemaker. 

What is the other one’s most annoying habit?

M. Sometimes Odette eats really loud

O. Telling me how to drive! 

What is the thing that keeps your relationship going?

O. Being intentional about communicating our feelings, expectations and plans.

M. Love, compromise and communication are probably three things we do well at in our marriage and I believe this is what keeps us going.

What’s your top relationship tip?

O & M.  Aim to BE the right partner, not just have the right partner. 

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a couple?

O. After about 6 years of being married we almost spilt up, I felt that I didn’t want to rely on Mark for anything.

M. We had both had enough and I was on the brink of leaving. My belief in God was very important at that time, I felt like He was saying “keep going I am with you”. This helped us to stay together as Odette could see I was not going to give up on our marriage.

Why did you want to work with FamilyLife?

O. I have, for many years, longed to equip couples with the tools to be able to exercise unconditional love. I want to enable couples to enter marriage with a good understanding of how to build healthy relationships, working as regional co-ordinator for FamilyLife will help me to do that and Mark and I can both be involved as we speak together at A Day Together events.

What are your hopes for your marriage for the future?

M. Our hope for our marriage is that it will get stronger and stronger and will be an example to many.

O. That we will continue to grow deeper and deeper in love with each other and understand each other more.  

Jo Arkell

July 2016

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