From struggling with living a double life to talking about their marriage on stage, Richard and Sheri Bright are using their own story and humor to help others with their marriages.
So often, the story we get about what makes a strong and happy marriage starts at the beginning of a love story. There is a fantasy romantic dating life blossoming into a beautiful engagement and wedding. Typically, people don’t dream about meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right and struggling through years of conflict until you finally find your calling as a comedy duo that travels around telling your story.
However, for Richard and Sheri Bright, that is their story. Sure, it isn’t the story they imagined for themselves. It’s the story that found them in the midst of realizing the path they were on could ultimately lead to the demise of their relationship. These two not only turned their lives and their marriage around, but they are also now using that story to guide people on their own journey to strong and lasting marriages.
Right into my conversation with Sheri, I loved her honesty and direct nature. She knows that trying to sugarcoat details of what they have been through doesn’t get people to sit up and focus on their relationship the way they need to.
“People call us Truth and Love,” said Sheri. “I’m Truth, and Richard is Love. The first questions I always ask is, ‘Are you willing to do whatever it takes?’”
The Brights didn’t begin their relationship with the vision of being the marriage power couple they are now. They met 17 years ago at a party after Sheri had just gotten out of a challenging marriage. “I felt like I was finally free when I went to that party and I was not looking for a relationship,” she said. However, their connection was instant.
What began as fast attraction later became a two-sided relationship that held some very dark secrets. “We were shiny during the week and partied on the weekends,” she recalls. Drugs and alcohol were a regular part of their other life and Richard struggled for years with pornography addiction. As financial struggles increased and their relationship challenges continued, Richard gained full custody of his children.
With full custody of Richard’s kids and a child of her own from a previous marriage, Sheri decided it was a wake-up call to get their life on track. Still not married, Sheri decided to start taking the family to Joel Osteen’s church near their home. Having seen him on television, she felt like living in Houston, with such close proximity, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. So every Sunday, she got the whole family in the car and they went to church.
“I kept going thinking that there had to be help for us,” Sheri remembers. Pressing on every week, change began to happen. One Sunday, the message was on relationships and living together. “The pastor said, ‘If she’s good enough to live with, she’s good enough to marry.’” They agreed to get married then and take their commitment to the next level. However, despite their commitment, they still lived a double life.
At this point, their double life also included volunteering with a marriage class. When the discussion turned to being submissive in marriage, this led to the squirm many couples feel when they hear the verses in the Bible about wives submitting to their husbands. “No one else seemed to be in our situation. It felt like we couldn’t tell anyone about our lives.” So Sheri asked the blunt question that put their lives out in the open.
What if your spouse struggles with alcohol and pornography?
The more they continued to share their story, the more people came forward. The more they were transparent, the more they connected and eventually began teaching the marriage class. They have been doing so now for 14 years.
The comedy came from how they told their story. “We told our story with humor,” tells Sheri. “It makes it easier for people to hear the harder details. One day, someone said you should take this on the road, and we did.” Thus the married couple, struggling with trust, addiction, and their relationship evolves into a comedy duo that travels nationally to share their story and inspire others.
From there, doors just continued to open. Richard and Sheri are members of the Christian Comedy Association and do marriage coaching. They have started a 501c3 and hope to be doing their comedy/ministry gig full time by the end of 2020.
“We aren’t shocked by many things,” she says when I ask about what has helped the success of their growing success. “We have experienced incredible loss in the time of our relationship, and we just keep popping back up.
Richard and Sheri, through it all, are a walking example of how the only way to get over the problems in your marriage is to walk right up and stare them in the face. An example of vulnerability and courage, their willingness to show their flaws, and the hard lessons they had to learn, reinforce the renewed strength they found in their relationship.
Check out The Real Brights and see them in action, check out their videos and work online at therealbrights.com