How This Couple has Kept the Magic Alive Long After Their Wedding Day

This couple built trust as long-distance pals before taking the plunge into marriage.

Marc and Carrie Arrouet, and their dog, Hazel, in their Brookfield home; Photo by Aliza Baran

Marc and Carrie Arrouet have been married for 20 years and, critically, friends for 30. And it all began over a pickle bucket.

It was the summer of 1991, and they were working at a deli in Madison, where they were both students at UW-Madison. But Marc, an East Coast native, had already decided to transfer to Syracuse so he could compete as a gymnast while he finished his degree. So despite a mutual attraction sparked in that deli cooler, they decided to forgo dating at first.

For the next seven years, they remained friends while living in different cities and dating other people. Because in-person interactions were few and far between, they kept in touch by calling and writing each other.

“Our friendship has been the foundation of our relationship,” says Carrie, a native Wisconsinite who credits that friendship with creating a safety net that allowed them to be vulnerable with each other very early on in their romantic relationship.

In the fall of 1998, Marc visited Madison for business, and they decided to take a chance on long-distance dating. “We trusted that if it didn’t work out that we could stay friends, but that was a big risk for us at the time because we had such a great friendship,” Carrie says.


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They talked every day and alternated cities for their rendezvous – Carrie’s Milwaukee in the summer, Marc’s Tampa in the winter. Carrie even took on a second job selling cookware at Boston Store to help pay for expensive long-distance phone bills (in those days before cell phones) and flights to Florida.

From the beginning of their partnership, they faced heavy decisions: who would move, who might have to quit their job, where to buy a home. “All of those were long conversations and involved patience and understanding, humility, kindness and trust,” says Marc. They both learned the importance of compromising and stopped thinking of it as a negative word.

In 2000, Marc transferred his job to Milwaukee. That same year, he proposed while they were on vacation in California. They wed in 2001 at Villa Terrace, followed by a reception at Osteria del Mondo. “A successful marriage has to do with communication, but on so many different levels,” Marc advises. “Being vulnerable, being willing to be wrong and being willing to wait for the right answer to appear, have been the keys to our success.”

Carrie and Marc now live in Brookfield with their corgi-border collie mix, Hazel, and love to travel and cook together. On a night out, you might find them sipping tiki drinks at Foundation in Riverwest.

Carrie advises making decisions as a team. “We’ve learned that our relationship is about each other and not about what other people think we should do,” she says. “Not taking everything so seriously and laughing together has also helped a lot.”


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Jenna Kashou is a writer, storyteller and journalist specializing in lifestyle and culture feature writing for print and web. She is a frequent contributor to Milwaukee Magazine, MKE Lifestyle Magazine, The Business Journal and more. She was chosen as the fifth writer in residence at the historic Pfister Hotel where she wrote about and photographed guests and events. A Milwaukee native, Kashou has lived abroad and visited far-flung locales like Greece, Portugal, Spain, Brazil, and Argentina. She has always had an enormous sense of pride for her hometown and spreads this Milwaukee love everywhere she goes.