Can you feel the love? Here's how these South Texas couples fell in love, stay together

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

Valentine's Day is a special day for couples. Couples celebrate the holiday by trading gifts, candy and some exchange marriage vows and wedding rings.

Here's the stories of how these South Texas couples met, fell in love and some advice they have on how to make relationships last.

Daryl and Brittany Rodriguez

After two years of dating, Daryl and Brittany Rodriguez decided to make it official and exchange wedding vows which they have kept for the last five years. Every Valentine's Day the couple celebrates their lives together.

Daryl and Brittany Rodriguez celebrates their wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day.

The San Diego couple met through a mutual friend. They spent their days and nights talking and spending time together. Month after month their feelings for each other got stronger.

"The biggest thing for me was how he stepped up to be a father to my son who was about 2," Brittany said. "He didn't have to, but he did and I knew that I'd never find someone else like him."

Together the couple has four children; 8-year-old Bradley De La Rosa, 5-year-old Noah Rodriguez, 3-year-old Diana Rodriguez and 2-year-old Kristiana Rodriguez. 

"The key to any marriage is communication. We had some trouble with this at first, but we have worked on it over the years. We tell each other how we feel and try not to keep things bottled up inside," Brittany said. "You know, trust is important, but communication is key."

To celebrate their anniversary they hope to play a few rounds of bingo and have a nice dinner.

Shelly Martinez and Bobby Ramirez

Shelly Martinez and Bobby Ramirez have known each other since their days at Alice Independent School District, but they lost touch after high school until they reconnected at a local gym.

"I love his personality. He's not always serious and can be silly," Martinez said. "We have a lot in common and I describe us as that weird couple."

Due to COVID-19, the couple, who are in their late 30s, plan to have a small outdoor ceremony with a romantic theme. 

Martinez said they chose to get married on Valentine's Day because Ramirez had originally planned to propose on the special holiday a few years back until she ruined the occasion when she learned about his intentions.

Shelly Martinez and Bobby Ramirez to wed on Valentine's Day 2021.

But now the day will be one to never forget as Martinez also celebrates her birthday on Valentine's Day. 

The couple will wed in front of their five children; 19-year-old Dezarae Moreno, 15-year-old Natalie Moreno, 13-year-old Tres Ramirez, 12-year-old RJ Moreno and Aubrie Ramirez who is 7. They also have a 1-year-old granddaughter, Jeslynn Sandoval. 

Anthony and Kaysi Jacquett

Sometimes couples meet in an unexpected place. That's what happened with Anthony and Kaysi Jacquett, who are celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. 

Anthony and Kaysi Jacquett celebrating their 16th wedding anniversary.

"We met when I moved from Alice to Houston to attend Job Corp. Anthony, who lived in Houston, was going to school there also. We started talking, three kids later and here we are celebrating our 16th anniversary," Kaysi said.

Kaysi said the key to their long marriage is staying strong.

"We learned a lot from each other over the years," she said. "It's important to stay strong and work through issues no matter what. Everyone is going to have their ups and downs and if you're not strong, together, everything will fall apart."

Because of COVID-19 the couple can't celebrate like they would like to. Kaysi would love to go to a casino for their anniversary, but she knows that it's not the right time with the pandemic. 

"Anthony told me it's up to me to decide what we are doing for our anniversary. He said he's up for anything," Kaysi said. "We might to have a quiet dinner at home or maybe even a trip to our favorite restaurant, Red Lobster."

The Jacquett children are 14-year-old Anthony Jr., 12-year-old Karolynn and 5-year-old Aaliyah.

Joe Luis and Hilda Ayala

Being a teenager is exciting. It's a time to make memories and spend time with your friends. Most kids aren't looking for their soulmate in their teenage years, but many times a friendship during your teen years turns into forever.

Joe Luis and Hilda Ayala met as teenagers and eventually life separated them until 2013 when they reconnected through Joe Luis' cousin.

"Communication is our secret. We check on each other daily and we know when something is bothering us. Talking about issues, good or bad, is important," Hilda said. " We also do date night either us alone or with another married couple. There's so many aspects to a marriage and we keep the spark alive."

Joe Luis and Hilda Ayala - six years of marriage and going.

They are celebrating their sixth wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. They got married in front of their family and friends to express what they meant to each other.

"We wanted a wedding date that (Joe Luis) wouldn't forget. He suggested Valentine's Day for two reasons," Hilda said. "One to remember but also to honor his parents who got married on Valentine's Day and have been together for 40 years now."

The Robstown couple have a blended family that consists of four "wonderful" children; 24-year-old Pamela Ayala, 21-year-old Angel Lopez, 17-year-old John Lopez and 10-year old Raegan Ayala. Never a dull moment with a range of children in the household.

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