It Can Get Better

We celebrated our anniversary a few days ago. So many years together–suffice it to say we’ve grown up together and have mellowed well with age.

Memories of our wedding are still very clear. I was the first in my family to get married, and back in the day, the wedding was more about the parents since they paid for everything. Mom had given me the choice of two wedding dresses to choose from that she liked. She picked out the invitations, colors, flowers.

I was grateful to be the one walking down the aisle.

What John and I didn’t know was how naive and unprepared we were for marriage. We’d dated for four years and thought we knew each other.


We’d seen each other at our best; we knew we were right for one another. We agreed early on we’d get married but waited to finish college.

Marriage was a rude awakening.

Gone was the man who wooed me every chance he got. Gone was the girl who always looked her best, always had something nice to say.

We became our real selves.

Our stories impact marriage; each of us had different role models in our parents to gauge what being married should be. I was raised in the suburbs with a mom who was quite vocal about what wasn’t right, where appearances meant everything. John was raised in a small town where everyone knew everyone else’s business and weren’t afraid to talk about it.

I had big emotions. John stuffed his. I’d learned how to argue out loud. John had learned to not argue back.

It’s been a learning curve these many years. But it’s been worth the journey.

We’ve made many mistakes along the way. We’ve hurt one another and others, and we’ve made horrible decisions. Our mistakes often outweighed our best efforts, but we have stayed the course, and I love him now more than I did the day we married.

We had to learn to forgive each other for our imperfections.

Any relationship takes work. Commitment is needed if we choose to learn about and care for someone else. Quitting can’t be an option.

I don’t want to quit on someone because they make a comment I don’t agree with. I want to know them better because of it, to understand our differences so I can grow as a person. I want to be free to forgive, to lay the groundwork for continued relationship.

The apostle Paul stated, “Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Forgiveness is what most of us long for, to know we’re absolved of the hurtful things we’ve done or said so we don’t carry unnecessary shame and guilt with us. Forgiveness lets go of the hurt others have caused us.

In his song, “Just The Two Of Us”, Will Smith said, “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.”

Marriage, like any worthwhile relationship, takes forgiveness, which is work.

People are worth the work of forgiveness.

14 responses to “It Can Get Better”

  1. You two are the CUTEST! And such an inspiration and example to all of us. Your love and commitment to each other are a beautiful picture of God’s love… and it makes me smile. 🙂 May He continue to bless you and your family and give you years of laughter, grace, and purpose together. Much love to you both!


    1. Aw, thanks, Ter. The journey has been rocky, but God has persevered with us so consistently. I look at where we are and how we’ve gotten here, and I regret nothing–even the misery and loss–because He has used it for His glory. Love you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. People are worth the work of forgiveness…I like that! Thanks Dayle!


    1. Thanks, Kev. It makes me wonder how often I need to be reminded of that before I’ll really believe it.


  3. This sort of describes us to a “T”. Best advice we were ever given is “Love is not a feeling, but a commitment”. We all know the feelings are not there many times. Good job hanging in there through the thick and thin.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I find it fascinating that people are blind to the work when they go into marriage. Every one of my kids married someone whose story was quite different from theirs, and expectations had to be restructured. You and Steve are such a wonderful example of staying the course, giving your best in all things, doing it together even when one of you is hot and the other cold!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Trudy McCleskey Avatar
    Trudy McCleskey

    This is so beautifully said & echoes much of our journey too. The timing was perfect as Kirk & I celebrated our 31st anniversary on August 18.


    1. Aw, Trudy, I’m grat4ful you enjoyed it. The journeys the Lord has us on are challenging adventures with good times and hard times that reflect His faithfulness to us. Thanks for reaching out, my friend,.


  5. What a beautiful testimony to both of you and the marriage bond. So sad it has been forgotten in so many parts of our world.



    Captain Tom Maxwell (USN retired)

    United States Naval Academy Central Missouri Blue Gold Officer (retired)


    1. Thanks for your kindness, Tom. What a journey we each are on. How long have you and Betty been married? An even greater testimony to the power and presence of God.

      On Thu, Aug 19, 2021 at 12:30 PM Tip of My Iceberg wrote:



  6. Oh Dayle–what needed, needed words to my heart, and the hearts of so many. Thank you, so, so much!! Authenticity is apparent in every line, and grace, grace, grace!! Love you and John!! Thanks for pioneering a path of going the distance in life and love!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Katers. Such wonderfully affirming words. It is a path, isn’t it? Full of dips and turns, highs and lows, areas of light and dark. And still, God sticks with us, giving us what we need to stay the course. Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. You are more than welcome!! 🙂 Hope you are having a great day!!

    Liked by 2 people

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