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The Business of Love

If you want to be successful at both, be careful whom you marry

(page 2 of 5)

Photo Courtesy of Trini Kaopuiki Clark
Sean and Trini (Kaopuiki) Clark with their two children Malie and
Kala on their annual family trip to Keystone Colorado.

The Juggling Act

Love, marriage and kids have been a whirlwind for Trini Kaopuiki Clark and her husband, Sean Clark. They met at a mutual friend’s wedding in May 1999, got engaged eight months later and were married eight months after that.

“To me, timing is everything,” Trini says. “When we met, we were both ready to be in a long-term, committed relationship. We had done the wild and crazy partying and had gotten all of that out of our systems, so now that we have a family and have practically no social life, we’re fine with that,” she says, laughing.

Although Trini knew exactly what she wanted in a husband, she says, you never really know how your partner will behave until the situation arises. Lucky for her, Sean helps with diaper changes, puts their two children to sleep and even woke up with Trini in the middle of the night every three hours for feedings, despite having to get up early in the morning for work.

Now that their daughter, Malie, is in school and their son, Kala, is 2, Trini says life has become one big juggling act. Sean, a partner at the Honolulu law firm of Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel, gets morning duty with the kids since Trini wakes up at 3 a.m. to deliver the weather report on KHON’s Wake Up 2day show. Sean takes Malie to school and then drops Kala off at KHON before heading to work.

“Basically, we have two minutes together in the morning when he hands off my son,” Trini says. “Then, Sean normally gets home around 6:30 or 7 p.m. and I go to bed at 8 p.m.”

Although their time together is limited, the couple tries to set a date night once a week. “I think a married couple needs to put each other first, even before the kids,” Trini says. “I have seen, firsthand, marriages crumble when both mom and dad only focus on the children. Then, when the kids grow up and leave the house, mom and dad realize they have nothing in common anymore.”

The couple also recognizes the importance of alone time to pursue their own hobbies. They will switch off watching the kids on the weekends so Sean can surf and Trini can go walking with friends.

“You have to trust your instincts and if there are red flags in the beginning of the relationship, pay attention to them. You want to marry someone you can grow old with, because looks will fade, but hopefully you choose someone whose good qualities will last forever,” she says.

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