Thomas and Kelly Davis on marriage, kids and making it work

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You don’t have to spend much time around Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis and his wife Kelly to realize that they love to laugh.  And what's not to keep them smiling these days?  They have a happy marriage, a beautiful family, and Thomas is leading the Panthers in a record-breaking 12-0 start to the season this year.

But it hasn't always been all fun and games for the couple.  Each of them had a child from previous relationships when they first met, and they both grew up in single-parent households.  Neither one had a real-life example of a healthy relationship. They both say their eleven year marriage has taken hard work to beat the odds.

"It was so funny because when we first met I didn’t even know he played football,” Kelly said. "I had met other football players before and I was like, oh my gosh when I found out, like NFL players, ugh.”

Kelly overcame that initial reaction as they got to know each other. Now the couple has a beautiful blended family, with four kids. In their household, school comes first.

“Without a doubt they are very privileged, but I’m not going to let them lose sight of how to work hard or what it takes to gain things that you want in life,” Thomas said. “That’s why when they want things they have to work for it. They have to do chores. They have to go outside. They have to be active. You have to participate in some kind of activity at school — it doesn’t have to be sports."

The Davises back that up by example. Both Thomas and Kelly Davis have college degrees. Even though Thomas left the University of Georgia early for the NFL, he went back to college and finished his degree during the NFL lockout.

When it comes to their marriage, Thomas says it comes down to one thing.

“Happy wife, happy life, that is so true. I heard that long before I got married and didn’t really understand it, but it makes your life so much easier as the husband when your wife is happy,” he said.

Maybe two things: the couple regularly prays together too.

“Even if you’re mad at someone during the day, how can you stay mad with them when you pray together that night?”

Mobile app viewers, click here to watch video of the Davis family at home.