A Fairy Tale Can Take A Long Time (a blog post about 37 years of marriage) 

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“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” Unknown

“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” Unknown

It’s a bit unromantic, I guess, to write about our messy marriage on the same day we eloped 37 years ago, but messy is the only story we’ve got.

We’ve been messy from the beginning. John and I married in Mr. Coyle’s living room the day after the justice of the peace buried his wife. That could have served as a forewarning, but we were in love and blind. We shared our condolences, then our vows. A neighbor came over to act as our witness. We consummated our marriage at Tremont Inn in Columbia, S.C. I like to think it’s one of God’s favors that the motel still stands. We rode through its parking lot several months ago and reminisced.

The day after our wedding, I returned to my parent’s home in Conway, S.C. to finish my next-to-the-last semester at what was then a campus of the University of South Carolina. No one found out we were married for six months.

What happened over the next 36 years belongs in a novel, but I prefer Facebook and fairy tales.

Weird, I know, but I’m grateful for the role social networking played in our marriage. Facebook’s the place where, in the middle of arguments, loneliness, and depression, I made up how I wanted our relationship to be. I think a lot of us do that. And who knows? Maybe it helped. In front of my online friends, I shared our best memories, showcased our best moments, and wrote about us like we were living happily ever after – not to be misleading, but because that’s what I wanted more than anything.

Even weirder (since John’s only been on Facebook maybe a dozen times to my two million), this morning he posted a sweet and much appreciated sentiment, which I’ve actually contemplated doing for him since I have his password. I’m thankful I waited on him.

Friends left the kindest notes to congratulate us and even said we set a good example of marriage for our son and daughter. I’m not so sure about that. I am sure, though, there’s little I’d change since recognizing the beauty in our battles. Oh, sure, I often say, “If I had known this, I would have done that.” And John says the same. But we didn’t know this and we couldn’t do that, not until we had some life-changing experiences under our belts. In our case, quick learners that we are, it’s taken 37 years.

But like I said, there’s not much I’d do differently. If we hadn’t entered into holy matrimony while fighting our personal battles, we never would have grown up like we have, we never would have wrestled so hard to get better like we have, and we never would have begged God like we have – begged him to take first place in our lives because our marriage came up short.

Our marriage’s battleground transformed into our personal sacred grounds even though we’re not quite sure when it happened.

This may not sound sentimental and affectionate and gratitudinous, but, let me tell you, I’m feeling all these things and more. This is our most significant year yet and our most special. We’re living our happily-ever-after because we’re asking for God’s help, we’re accepting our brokenness, and we’re healing in spite of our mistakes. Best of all, we’re doing it together. That’s new for us and it feels like a fairy tale.

We have words for weathering the storms for anyone who wants to read on, and especially for our kids if they ever tune into my blog:

  • Love each other. Obvious, right? That is, until you realize you don’t know what love is or you don’t like what the other person’s doing. My friend Betty shared the best definition (it’s one of acceptance) I’ve ever heard, “Love is the act of me letting you be who you are and you letting me be who I am.”
  • Forgive each other. This is easier said than done when you’re always right, but maybe you’re not always right.
  • Forgive God. It’s not his fault when we abuse and suffer consequences as the result of our free will. Okay, so maybe it’s partly his fault because he designed our world this way, but we choose.
  • Change what we can. Blame, bad habits, and distractions are easy, but they get us nowhere. Change is hard and it takes us wherever we want to go.
  • Stop staring at each other. Dr. Orlo Strunk, a marriage counselor who taught counseling classes at Webster University, said, “I wouldn’t have a job if everyone looked at their own part in a marriage, then did something about it.”
  • Look at each other right. When we do watch one another, make sure it’s with the admiration I saw in her father’s eyes and the love I saw in her soon-to-be husband’s eyes when our daughter walked down the aisle on her wedding day.PicMonkey Collage1
  • Pray together. I kind of cringe typing this one because it sounds preachy and self-righteous and cliché, but it’s anything but these things. We’re finally humble. We’ve been on our knees at bedtime for about a year now. Remember I said it’s been our best year so far – it’s a little bit because of our willingness to do what’s uncomfortable and a lot because of God’s grace.

To John ~ I couldn’t find the perfect gift for our day, so I wrote it. I’ll love you forever. A song for us, Broken Together by Casting Crowns.

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54 responses »

  1. Beautiful post. I cried. Thank you for always trying your best in all areas of your lives. Congratulations on 37 years. I just hope Ryan and I can follow in your foot steps.

    • Now I’m crying. You and Ryan have taught us so much. Y’all won’t be following, but will be far ahead by the time you’re married half as long as us. You’ve grown up so much already. For that, I’m so grateful. I’m thanking God that every generation in our family will be healthier, happier, and more willing to get on their knees before we were. I love you!

    • Helgi, I wish the same, but I sure understand why people sometimes walk away. It seems easier to get out and start over. Of course, it’s not, but that’s hard to believe when we’re in a lot of pain and afraid. I’m grateful we both hung in here. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Wow! Not only is this a beautiful writing, it shows truth–and not just your truth. This is the truth of all who are willing to put God and spouse ahead of self.

    • Thank you, Peggy. I value your opinion about my writing and, more than anything, I want my posts to resonate with readers so they don’t feel alone. I appreciate your comment. I love you!

  3. Congratulations on your 37 years…
    we have just had our 46…this February 1st…
    and I can attest to the trials one has to go through to make a marriage work…In our case…outside influences…not our love for each other…would attack us…but, being together helped us through lots of things…and has strengthened our marriage as I see it has yours…good post…most truthful!

  4. I always appreciate your honesty. Congratulations on 37 years – messy, wonderful and everything in between! It is an amazing accomplishment – and one that can only happen when both partners are committed to each other and to the marriage. Happy Anniversary! xoxo

    • Anjana, I appreciate your inspirational comment. I’m using your word, but I really mean it when I say I feel inspired by what you share. You’ve been around for some of the wonderful and some of the messy, so I appreciate your words of encouragement about our story. Thank you!

    • I love that , Diane … “eat, love, and pray for the good life.” I do believe God wants that for us. We’re the ones who make it messy. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

  5. ❤ Most excellent! Love explores. If you can't hang on to each other long enough to explore each other – where's the love in that? God bless you both, and congratulations!

    • So true, Helen. We almost didn’t several times, which proves how important words are … “almost didn’t,” but we did. I’m grateful beyond words. I appreciate your blessings and congratulations!

  6. Kim and John,

    Congratulations, not so much on the many years together, but on reaching the this reflective milestone.
    Marriage reminds a bit of a roller coaster ride with your spouse. You should let go and enjoy the view as you go up and hold on tight to each other on the way down. You are enjoying the view while still holding on.

    • Nice analogy, Bob. Thanks for the congratulations on our milestone … we should have been on our knees long ago. How long have you and Agnes been married? I know congrats are also in order for y’all. It was nice seeing you the other day. Thanks for your friendship.

  7. From Facebook ~

    Jan Glover Selwa, Wanda Doyal, Theresa Jordan and 54 others like this.
    2 shares

    Debbie Johnson Love the song. I hadn’t heard it before tonight.
    February 25 at 2:46am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Me too, Debbie Johnson. It’s beautiful.
    February 25 at 2:48am · Like

    Kimberly Duncan Beautifully written. Congratulations for being brave and strong and smart through it all.
    February 25 at 2:48am · Edited · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Kimberly Duncan. I may delete it in the morning. I feel braver, stronger, and smarter in the evenings.
    February 25 at 2:50am · Like · 1

    Kimberly Duncan It is morning, fool. So deletion is no longer an option.
    February 25 at 2:54am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Hahaha, you’ve got a point.
    February 25 at 2:56am · Like · 1

    Debbie Johnson It was beautiful! Do not hit that delete key. There is so many who will learn from this blog!
    February 25 at 3:55am · Unlike · 1

    Lis Morgan PLEASE DO NOT DELETE!
    February 25 at 4:16am · Unlike · 1

    Lis Morgan Kim, that blog brought me to tears in a MAN I LOVE MY FRIEND’S ability and courage to be HONEST and not fall into the FACEBOOK trap of LOOK at MY perfect life syndome. DO NOT DELETE.
    February 25 at 4:18am · Edited · Unlike · 1

    Ursula Ashby beautiful, Kim. Congratulations to you both
    February 25 at 6:29am · Unlike · 1

    Donna Feddick Fagerstrom *tears* thank you for the blessed blog. Thank you for your transparency and authenticity. Two things the world is screaming for. We are all broken people that the grace of God has washed over and continues to do so. Happy, Happy Love day you two Love Birds.
    February 25 at 6:56am · Unlike · 1

    Jeanie Johnson Awe., very nice Anniversary story. I know y’all have been through your ups and downs.Who hasn’t? I can not imagine John without Kim.,or Kim without John. Just truly a couple that is meant to be. Xo
    February 25 at 2:16pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Debbie Johnson. I finally got by to see your mom on Monday and I told her I came by to wish her a Happy Birthday from you. She just laughed and said you told her that you couldn’t read a calendar. It’s time for you to stop teaching and go to work at Hucks & Washington. LoL.
    February 25 at 11:24pm · Edited · Like

    Kim Henson Awww, Lis Morgan. You’ve helped me see the importance of that honesty. I hope you’re keeping a journal of your journey in Africa. Just think, my blog posts is being read around the world because of you!
    February 25 at 11:21pm · Edited · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks, Ursula Ashby. We feel very fortunate to still be together.
    February 25 at 11:17pm · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks you so much, Donna Feddick Fagerstrom. You’re a great encourager and I love the thoughts you post on your page. We are all broken and wanting to know we’re not alone in it. It’s a little uncomfortable to share, but I kind of have to or bust. That’s how God made me. I love that you and I have connected through Treasured Women, our grandgirls, and now our personal pages and experiences. Love you!
    February 25 at 11:21pm · Like

    Kim Henson Jeanie Johnson, you’ve believed in us when we weren’t even sure ourselves. Sometimes you don’t realize what friends are going though and how much your encouragement means to them. Thanks, Flag Girl.
    February 25 at 11:24pm · Like · 1

    Anjana C. Duff Happy Anniversary! Just read the post and, as always, I appreciate your honesty. Congratulations to you both on hard-earned, much deserved happiness and longevity.
    February 25 at 11:30pm · Unlike · 1

    Sylvia Jones Very happy for you!
    February 25 at 11:40pm · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Anjana C. Duff. It’s taken 37 years to get here.
    February 25 at 11:47pm · Like · 1

    Karen Sclafani O’Donovan Ah, that was so sweet. But I’m still not talking to you Kim Henson. I haven’t had the heart to replace you.
    February 25 at 11:52pm · Unlike · 1

    Sandi Cornez Happy Anniversary to both of you. You laughed, learned, and reflected and you’re still together after all these years. Kudos to your honesty.
    February 26 at 12:30am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Karen Sclafani O’Donovan. And oh, no about not speaking to me. That’ll never work, not as much as we talk. And another oh, no that I forgot about returning your key. Remind me soon. I’ve been crazy with work and waiting for Kelly to have the baby. I promise I’ll get it back to you. And when I do, you have to talk to me.
    February 26 at 12:45am · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Thank you so much, Sandi Cornez. I should have written about it years ago. It’s wonderful to connect with others and be encouraged.
    February 26 at 12:47am · Like · 2

    Mary Beth Dahl Thank you for sharing and happy anniversary!
    February 26 at 6:54am · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Mary Beth Dahl. I appreciate it.
    February 26 at 4:50pm · Like

    Shelly Boyd I loved reading this Kim:)! So thankful for both you and John!
    February 26 at 6:11pm · Unlike · 1

    Sue Clifton Stayton
    February 26 at 8:35pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Shelly Boyd, thank you! You’ll never know how much you and Iain mean to us and how much we’ve grown since we’ve been at Trinity. Y’all are dear to us.
    February 26 at 10:27pm · Like

    Kim Henson How appropriate that two of my favorite, favorite, favorite pastor’s wives commented back to back, Sue Clifton Stayton and Shelly Boyd. I love you both!
    February 26 at 10:28pm · Like

    Gwyn Porter That was so beautiful Kim!! Happy Anniversary to you and John and may God grant you many more years together!!!!
    February 27 at 4:54am · Unlike · 1

    Karen Hucks Weisen Happy anniversary!!
    February 27 at 9:04am · Unlike · 1

    Mary Sue Smith Kim, thanks for sharing your heart. It is a beautiful share and Happy Anniversary!
    February 27 at 10:21am · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thank you so much, Gwyn Porter. We’d like to have as many cleaned up years as we’ve had messy ones. Hmmm, that will make us really old, but it could happen.
    February 28 at 2:29am · Like

    Kim Henson Thank you, Karen Hucks Weisen.
    February 28 at 2:29am · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Mary Sue Smith. I appreciate your kind comment. Every time I see your name I think of BRMCWC. I don’t think I’ve been back since we met. Have you?
    February 28 at 2:35am · Like

    Mikey Hough Beautiful. I never expected anything other than this
    February 28 at 2:47am · Unlike · 1

    Mikey Hough There is nothing more touching/sexier than a husband/wife loving his/her partner
    February 28 at 2:52am · Unlike · 1

    Helen Mackovjak Williams I can’t wait to read this! We eloped 37 1/2 years ago – Love waxes on through thick and thin!
    February 28 at 3:00am · Unlike · 1

    Lisa Daniels McLaughlin Enjoyed reading this Kim!
    February 28 at 7:26am · Unlike · 1

    Donna Richardson Happy Anniversary!
    February 28 at 8:24am · Edited · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson It sure does. Helen Mackovjak Williams. We saved a lot of money, didn’t we?
    February 28 at 1:29pm · Like

    Kim Henson Awww, Mikey Hough, you’re a wonderful encourager. Thanks for your friendship.
    February 28 at 1:30pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks, Donna Richardson. Now, for that lunch we’ve been talking about for a year …
    February 28 at 1:30pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading and commenting, Lisa Daniels McLaughlin.
    February 28 at 1:31pm · Like · 1

    Pia Savage Truly beautiful : )
    February 28 at 1:39pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Pia Savage. I appreciate all the encouragement here.
    February 28 at 2:09pm · Like · 1

    Christy Young This is absolutely precious.
    February 28 at 2:18pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Christy Young, it was good to put my thoughts about our marriage into a blog post. Writing it down helps me focus on gratitude and all the lessons I’ve learned.
    February 28 at 2:30pm · Like · 2

    Christy Young A few of things I’m sure are going to stick in my mind as well. When you share these things, you are inspiring others, whether you mean to do that or not. I appreciate that in you.
    February 28 at 2:44pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Christy Young, thanks for saying that. I always pray before I hit the publish button that the post isn’t too much about me and that it will help others.
    February 28 at 3:26pm · Like · 2

    Helen Mackovjak Williams I suppose we did, Kim (save a lot of money). Not that we’d have had it to spend in the first place, but at least we didn’t start out in debt. I know way too many people who spent a fortune on the wedding, only to let the marriage slip through their fingers shortly thereafter. So sad. But, I know a lot of people who had nice weddings and they’re still happily married, too. It’s the couple – not the ceremony.
    February 28 at 3:42pm · Unlike · 2

    Rilla A. Thomas Beautiful! It sounds a little like our 36 years!!!
    February 28 at 3:58pm · Unlike · 1

    Mary Catherine Sargent We had a simple wedding no fortune, we started out with nothing, we have been happy married for 54 1/2 years. Use the money buy what you need start house hold, right?
    February 28 at 4:44pm · Unlike · 2

    Mary Catherine Sargent I agree with Christy Kim, a young couple starting out read your story, you would inspire them.
    February 28 at 4:49pm · Like · 2

    Karen Hucks Weisen So beautiful Kim! Love your words of wisdom.
    February 28 at 6:24pm · Unlike · 1

    Joan Pisani Wow that was beautiful! Wishing you many many more happy years together!
    February 28 at 7:14pm · Edited · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson There’s a lot of wisdom in your comment, Helen Mackovjak Williams. It is the couple and the time and effort we’re willing to put into the relationship.
    2 hrs · Like

    Kim Henson Rilla A. Thomas, thanks for relating. Staying married is a lot of work.
    2 hrs · Like

    Kim Henson Oh, how wonderful, Mary Catherine Sargent. Congratulations!
    2 hrs · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks, Karen Hucks Weisen. I wish I had had some of that wisdom 30 years ago.
    2 hrs · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading and commenting, Joan Pisani. I’m happy we’ve reconnected on FB.
    2 hrs · Like

    Louise Dash Allison A beautifully written inspiration for your children. Thanks for sharing.
    1 hr · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Louise Dash Allison. I hope they learn from our mistakes.
    1 hr · Like

    Wanda Doyal Happy Anniversary you two♡♡
    1 hr · Unlike · 1

    Wanda Doyal Kim this is lovely!
    1 hr · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Wanda Doyal. I appreciate your friendship and encouragement.

  8. From Facebook ~

    Kelly Atwood Stigliano, Kimberley Turner McKenna, H David Mendelsohn and 30 others like this.

    Dorothy Essex Well written!
    February 26 at 11:10pm · Unlike · 1

    Elizabeth Lisa Mealey Fithian ~ ~
    February 26 at 11:19pm · Unlike · 1

    Donna Hambrick Tyson Thank you for sharing your heart’s story so beautifully. Love you.
    February 26 at 11:22pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thank you, Dorothy Essex.
    February 27 at 12:54am · Like

    Kim Henson Elizabeth Lisa Mealey Fithian, thank you.
    February 27 at 12:55am · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading and commenting, Donna Hambrick Tyson. You’ve set a wonderful example of doing that yourself. I love you!
    February 27 at 12:56am · Like · 1

    Connie Rogers That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing Kim Henson If only every married couples would get to last of your story … On their knees together before God. I can’t even imagine how many marriages would have been saved or save. Love you both … You both are good people
    February 27 at 8:59am · Edited · Unlike · 2

    Karen Hough Kim Henson that was the sweetest thing I’ve read in a long time!
    February 27 at 6:59am · Unlike · 1

    Amy Oliver Causey Kim this is Beautiful
    February 27 at 9:59am · Like

    Kim Henson Connie Rogers, I’m so grateful we made it there. It was really uncomfortable at first, but now I’m wondering why we didn’t pray together years ago. We sure needed to! I love you!
    February 28 at 2:24am · Like

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Karen Hough. I appreciate the comment and the tag for Bible verses.
    February 28 at 2:24am · Like

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading and commenting, Amy Oliver Causey.
    February 28 at 2:25am · Like

    Helen Mackovjak Williams Loved it! Happy Anniversary!
    Helen Mackovjak Williams’s photo.
    February 28 at 3:27am · Unlike · 1

    Sylvia Jones That is a good song. You are fortunate to have each other.
    February 28 at 5:21pm · Edited · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson I want a slice or two, Helen Mackovjak Williams. Thanks so much for your comment here and on my blog.
    February 28 at 1:27pm · Like

    Kim Henson Sylvia Jones, I cry every time I listen to the song. I can’t wait to see what God has in mind for you.
    February 28 at 2:08pm · Like · 1

  9. From Facebook ~

    You, Diane Wilson Dale, Monica Faulk and 2 others like this.

    Kim Henson Gina Trimarco Cligrow, thanks so much for sharing this post! I appreciate your friendship.
    February 27 at 12:53am · Like

    Brenda Trott Tagging to share
    February 27 at 3:29am · Unlike · 2

    Kim Henson Thanks, Brenda.
    February 28 at 2:22am · Like · 1

    Kelly Atwood Stigliano I can’t get this to open up.
    February 28 at 5:24pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Kelly Atwood Stigliano, see if you can get it to open from my page, It’s posted several times, so maybe you can open one of those links.
    February 28 at 7:21pm · Like · 1

  10. From Facebook (author page) ~

    Elizabeth McNew, Shelly Brown, Sherrie Craven and 47 others like this.
    1 share

    Elizabeth Haas Morris Beautiful! Happy anniversary.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 7:02am

    Mandy Pate Beautifully written, Kim! Happy Anniversary to you and John!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 7:20am

    Sylvia Jones Wonderful! Happy Anniversary♡♡
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 7:21am

    Tony Calvanico wow congratulations guys u both deserve medals.just kidding. t
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 7:31am

    Peggy Mulligan Pitoscia That was beautiful Kim!! Happy Anniversary to you and John!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 8:10am

    Julia Zimmerman Corontzes Happy Anniversary !! Beautiful story…beautifully written!! Life is so good!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 8:33am

    Judy Honeycutt I love your love story! Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 8:33am

    Pamela Patterson Happy Anniversary and please tell Kelly and Ryan hello.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 9:58am

    Jean Steen Happy Anniversary! Thanks for sharing…your words give encouragement to all us old married people!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 10:03am

    Maureen Shaffer Happy Anniversary! ! Love is one of God’s greatest blessings!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 10:16am

    Mary McKerihan Wilson Kim, this is a beautifully written story of a marriage. It gives hope to all who struggle with the imperfections of their own marriages (all of us). Happy Anniversary to both of you.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 10:39am

    Gloria Penwell What a tribute to your marriage. I’m convinced a perfect marriage would be boring, and your’s apparently hasn’t been boring. Many blessings in the years ahead.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 12:06pm

    Joan Pisani Congratulations on your special day! May you have many many more 🍷🎂
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 8:11pm

    Alice Wilson Roscoe Blessed! Thanks for sharing your beautiful story.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 25 at 8:42pm

    Linda Hopkinson OH Kim Henson, thank you for sharing your story…. Kim, you are a beautiful writer, certainly because it comes from your heart and your humble honesty. Love and Hugs Happy Anniversary
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 26 at 10:31pm · Edited

    Twila Mason Boaz Happy Anniversary to you both!!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · February 26 at 3:43pm

    S. Kim Henson Thank you, Elizabeth Haas Morris. I’m praying for your hands to be out of pain because you need to be writing. I know you have a lot to share with women.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:30pm

    S. Kim Henson I appreciate it, Mandy Pate. Thanks for reading and commenting.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:31pm

    S. Kim Henson Sylvia Jones, what’s this I hear about an appliance guy? :DI’m nosey, I know. LoL. Praying for you and praying that 2015 is healing.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:33pm

    S. Kim Henson Tony Calvanico, you’re not kidding! We both do deserve them, and maybe a check for a million dollars. Thanks for the well wishes!
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:34pm

    S. Kim Henson Thank you, Peggy Mulligan Pitoscia. Thanks for taking the time to read.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:36pm

    S. Kim Henson Julia Zimmerman Corontzes, thank you! Life is good.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:36pm

    S. Kim Henson Awww, Judy Honeycutt. Thank you. I’m loving and appreciating it more by the day. So happy we’ve stayed friends all these years. Love you!
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:38pm

    S. Kim Henson Oh my gosh, Pamela Patterson. How are you? I’ll definitely pass along a “hi” and a hug. You look beautiful, as always. Okay, sent a friend request, but just ignore it if you only accept close friends and relatives. I sure understand. Kelly’s having baby #2 any day now and Rusty’s getting married May 2 (want to perform another ceremony?). You sure helped make our first wedding a perfect one. Stay in touch.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:45pm

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Jean Steen. I think most of us who’ve been married for a while have gone through a thing or two and can relate a little. I sure appreciate you reading and commenting.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:46pm

    S. Kim Henson It really is, Maureen Shaffer. Too bad some of us don’t know what to do with it earlier on, but He’s patient.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:47pm

    S. Kim Henson Mary McKerihan Wilson, write that book. You write beautifully and you’re such an encourager of others. Thanks for saying the post offers hope – that’s what I want from my writing, is to let others know they’re not alone and to offer some optimism and brightness where it’s been dark for a while. I appreciate our friendship.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:51pm

    S. Kim Henson Hahaha, Gloria Penwell. I laughed out loud at your comment. It has not been boring! I do like a challenge and that it’s been. I always appreciate your comments. Thank you.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:52pm

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Joan Pisani. We need at least 37 more so we can enjoy all we learned from the first 37. Wish us luck!
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:53pm

    S. Kim Henson Alice Wilson Roscoe, thanks for reading and commenting. I love that we’ve reconnected on FB.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:54pm

    S. Kim Henson Linda Hopkinson, I so appreciate your kind words. They mean a lot. I love our friendship and you.
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:55pm

    S. Kim Henson Twila Mason Boaz, thank you!
    Like · Reply · February 26 at 10:56pm

  11. From Facebook ~

    Delinda Loebs Kim, your story is beautiful! It’s hard to believe you were married 6 months in secret. That part of the story would be intriguing to hear….may be a topic for a future blog. Love your writing.
    March 3 at 6:29am · Unlike · 1

    Sue Englert Kim……I love happy endings (and middles) It was such a joy to read your story. I have a sign in my office that reads, Never Never Never give up. Love Sue Englert
    March 3 at 7:36am · Unlike · 1

    Mary Anne Benedetto Love your story and advice! Absolutely beautiful.
    March 3 at 4:25pm · Unlike · 1

    Hettie Harris Stuckart Awesome!
    March 3 at 8:00pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Delinda Loebs. You know there’s story behind everything. I appreciate your sweet comment. Happy to see you every month!
    March 3 at 8:45pm · Like · 1

    Kim Henson Awww, I love the saying in your office, Sue Englert. I appreciate you reading and commenting.
    March 3 at 8:46pm · Like

    Kim Henson Thank you, Mary Anne Benedetto. A big compliment coming from another writer.
    March 3 at 8:49pm · Like

    Kim Henson Oh, Hettie Harris Stuckart. thank you! I think about you all the time. I wish I had found y’all on Facebook a long time ago.
    March 3 at 8:51pm · Like

    Tammy James I love this Kim~love reading your stories~!
    March 3 at 8:52pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Thank you, Tammy James. I appreciate that.
    March 3 at 9:11pm · Like · 1

    Wanda Doyal Kim! Do you have any printed? I would love to read more…..your words make my heart feel better♡
    March 3 at 9:25pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Oh, that’s so sweet, Wanda Doyal. Writing makes my heart feel better. You can read lots of them on my blog, but some are old and I like to think my writing is improving. Moral of this story: They’re not all well written. I’ll post the link in a minute.
    March 3 at 9:28pm · Like

    Kim Henson Here it is, Wanda Doyal. Just scroll and more will come up or you can click “See more posts.” I don’t have anything printed yet, but maybe one day. https://skimhenson.wordpress.com

    S. Kim Henson’s blog
    Well- Written Days: All About Livin’, Lovin’ & Laughin’
    SKIMHENSON.WORDPRESS.COM
    March 3 at 9:29pm · Like · Remove Preview

    Wanda Doyal Well……I flunked marriage twice……and I know, if we had taken a knee, instead of other distractions……..things would be different……….thank you, Kim♡
    March 3 at 9:29pm · Unlike · 1

    Wanda Doyal Oh I hope so…….published, too!
    March 3 at 9:30pm · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson Prayer certainly isn’t magic (at least not for us), but it helps, Wanda Doyal. Thanks for asking about published pieces. That’s a nudge I need.
    March 4 at 12:26am · Like

  12. Congrats Kim~and John!
    You are so fortunate to have each other to be able to go through all of life’s ups and downs together. To have God in your marriage is matrimonial strength.

    I was fortunate to have 36 years with my husband-but it has to be a joint effort. Our separation and pending divorce has brought me back to God. So, in essence, this traumatic experience is what I needed. It has given me strength when I needed it the most. I am still a proponent of marriage, a true romantic at heart. Besides God, a husband and a wife should hold each other and their relationship as a couple priority #1.

    • Your comment is beautifully written, Sylvia. Women need to hear your message because there are so many out there like you who tried hard, but their marriages still didn’t make it. I hope you’ll write for them. They need to read about your acceptance and healing.

      John and I talk a lot about how we wouldn’t have made it if it’d been left up to us. However, you are right, both of us did have to be willing and, messy as it’s been, it was a joint effort.

      I appreciate more every day what God does to bring us back to HIm. I’m sorry your marriage was lost, but you aren’t. Thanks for sharing your romantic heart and your heart for Jesus. I love you and I’m grateful for your friendship.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, liking, and commenting on my blog, Colleen. I so appreciate readers like you and your supportive feedback. Congrats to you and your husband on 22 years of love, commitment, and forgiveness. Marriage takes a lot of work, but most days 🙂 I know it’s worth it.

  13. From Facebook ~

    Anjana C. Duff, Jeanie Johnson, Kenneth Land and 37 others

    3 shares

    Mary Lancaster Happy Anniversary Kim and Hubby
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Mary Lancaster. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Delores Thompson Happy Anniversary
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

    Kim Henson Thank you, Delores Thompson. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Maria Franken Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Maria Franken. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Sylvia Jones Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Sylvia Jones. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Gwyn Eargle Porter So true Kim!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

    Kim Henson Gwyn Eargle Porter, heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs · Edited

    Gwyn Eargle Porter And Happy Anniversary to a sweet couple!!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 15 hrs

    Kim Henson Awww, thank you.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Sally Smith Happy Anniversary to a very special couple! God bless you!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks for being there, Sally Smith. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Denny Sherrod … Happy Anniversary to you both… smile emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Denny Sherrod. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Kathy Andros Eckert May Jesus bless you all many more!!! Have a blessed one!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

    Kim Henson I hope so, Kathy Andros Eckert. We’re just getting it right. smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Cathy Baker Happy Anniversary!! smile emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 14 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Cathy Baker. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Helen White Forehand Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 13 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Helen White Forehand. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Cristy Nickel Thanks for sharing. Love you guys!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Cristy Nickel. heart emoticon We love you and Mark too.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs · Edited

    Sandi Kay Lenning Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks, Sandi Kay Lenning. heart emoticon I hope Kevin is feeling better.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Sandi Kay Lenning You’re welcome and he’s not 100% but quite a bit better than he was.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Kim Henson Sandi Kay Lenning, I’m glad he’s doing better.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Laura Heldreth Sawyer Happy Anniversary!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Laura Heldreth Sawyer! heart emoticon I wish your sweet momma was here to celebrate. We’re doing okay. smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Laura Heldreth Sawyer She is here celebrating with you all !!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Kim Henson Laura Heldreth Sawyer, you’re right. She wouldn’t miss it. heart emoticon Makes me cry.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Jenine Marie Howry Happy anniversary! heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Kim Henson I’m grateful for our friendship, Jenine Marie Howry. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Jenine Marie Howry Me too! heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 7 hrs
    n
    Elaine Miller Creasman Kim, I like what you wrote here. I write a lot about our messy marriage, and I could relate to what you said. Thank you. And Happy Anniversary.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 12 hrs

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Elaine Miller Creasman. It was hard at first to share we didn’t have a perfect marriage (like anyone thought we did wink emoticon ), but it got so messy, it was harder to keep it a secret. I love having company on this writing journey. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Pam O’Day Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Pam O’Day. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Cindy Shearin I agree, marriage is a glorious mess and well worth the journey! Happy Anniversary to two extremely wonderful people – and many more.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Cindy Shearin. I think we’ve been messier than your average bear. wink emoticon But you’re right, it’s worth every messy day! heart emoticon Love to you and David.
    Like · Reply · 11 mins

    Kathy Squires Jordan Thank you for sharing! Happy Anniversary!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 5 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Kathy Squires Jordan. We had a special one.
    Like · Reply · 13 mins

    Jeanie Johnson Love you two., and all the Family!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 19 mins

    Kim Henson We love you too, Jeanie Johnson. heart emoticon Thanks for being a wonderful friend.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 14 mins

    Anjana C. Duff Another year longer, another year stronger! Happy Anniversary dear friend! heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 11 mins

    Kim Henson Anjana C. Duff, what a wonderful saying! That’s how it’s working here. Thanks for the wishes and your friendship. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 mins

    Anjana C. Duff I just made up that saying when I went to wish you happy anniversary! lol It just popped in my head. I like it too. I think I’ll coin it and use it again. wink emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 6 mins

    Kim Henson Anjana C. Duff, it’d be great in a greeting card. I really like it.
    Like · Reply · 1 min

  14. From Facebook ~

    Alice Martin McDowell, Adelee Russell, Wanda Doyal and 16 others

    Mikey Hough Happy Anniversary, you two!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 21 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Mikey Hough. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Barbara Falco Galante Beautiful Kim – Happy Anniversary
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 17 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thank you, Barbara Falco Galante. heart emoticon It was fun seeing you at the gym even if from a distance. smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Melanie Brumfield Sawyer Happy and blessed Anniversary!!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 12 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Melanie Brumfield Sawyer. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Jenine Marie Howry I remember reading this last year. I am reading it again this year. Not sure if Pat and I will have 37 years under our belt (pun intended) but I have plenty of them (belts) in my closet just in case I need one as the years go by. Love you both, my friend heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 12 hrs · Edited

    S. Kim Henson “Under our belt” … bahahahaha. Now, that’s funny! I’m so grateful we’ve all moved forward since last year. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I may buy John a belt for our anniversary. wink emoticon I love y’all lots and pray for you daily. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Jenine Marie Howry lol….Im laughing!!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 7 hrs

    Jenine Marie Howry heart emoticon
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 7 hrs

    Christy Young Happy Anniversary to a beautiful couple! God Bless you both!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 12 hrs
    S. Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Christy Young. Friends help marriages survive and thrive. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Helgi Vannell Happy Anniversary to you both !
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 12 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Helgi Vannell. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Peggy Harley Eaddy Happy Anniversary!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 12 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thanks bunches, Peggy Harley Eaddy. heart emoticon Love you.
    Like · Reply · 1 · 8 hrs

    Peggy Harley Eaddy S. Kim Henson love you back!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 7 hrs

    Chesapeake Style Magazine’s photo.
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 11 hrs

    S. Kim Henson That’s beautiful, Chesapeake Style Magazine. Thank you. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

    Jean Steen Happy Anniversary, my sweet friend!
    Unlike · Reply · Message · 1 · 8 hrs

    S. Kim Henson Thanks so much, Jean Steen. heart emoticon I can’t believe they made US a national holiday … closed schools and everything. wink emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 6 hrs

  15. From Facebook (shared by Chandler N Briannae) ~

    Kim Henson Thanks for passing this along, Chandler N Briannae. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs

    Chandler N Briannae You are so welcome Kim..so precious!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs

    Kim Henson Awww, thank you.
    Like · Reply · 8 hrs

  16. From Facebook ~

    Summer Turner What a sweet gift for your husband and a powerful gift for others. Happy Anniversary.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 4 mins

    Kim Henson Awww, thanks, Summer Turner. heart emoticon This year I bought him a Fitbit. Getting him in shape for future anniversaries. smile emoticon
    Like · Reply · Just now

  17. From Facebook ~

    Lucille Zimmerman This is real and beautiful.
    Taylor Armstrong (tagged)
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs · Edited

    Kim Henson Lucille Zimmerman, thank you! heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · 2 hrs

  18. From Facebook ~

    Debbie Morris I loved your blog and MayGod bless John and you with many more anniversaries!!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · 9 hrs

    Kim Henson Thanks for reading, Debbie Morris. I appreciate you and our friendship. heart emoticon
    Like · Reply · Just now

  19. Kim I have thought of responding to this many times and tonight I realized why I haven’t. I sometimes feel like I failed somehow in my last marriage which I invested 22 years of my life and myself in, but I realize that I know I gave all I could and tried my best and I did pray about it. I can’t take all the blame but some because I was the one who let me be put last for so long and I was the one who suddenly decided it was my turn to matter. But I believe that God sent me Kevin at just the right time, he taught me a lot about myself by showing me what he sees in me. I in turn showed him that he is worthy of love and respect and what that looks like. So although we only have a few years of official marriage under our belts (because I said never and he said that you never SAY never) I am quite sure that when two imperfect people both try they can end up perfectly happily ever after.

    • Oh, Sandi, I’m so happy you decided to share instead of leaving this comment unspoken. So many women have said “Never again” and they need to hear what you’ve said in your comment.

      I understand that feeling of failure. Although John and I are still together, there were years I lived in hopelessness because “together” doesn’t mean our marriage was anywhere near good or successful. We were both drowning in it. It’s not always best to stay together, even though today I’m grateful we did.

      I also understand there comes a time to walk away. My relationship with my parents ended in “divorce.” We were estranged before they died. It didn’t matter how hard I tried, how hard I prayed, or how much I changed, I couldn’t make it work with them. Like you said, I had to start mattering. My daughter says she doesn’t think I’d be alive today if I had stayed and she’s probably right.

      Instead of guilt, I think I’m more sad I couldn’t fix all of us. John’s sister said, “I think you miss what you wish you had had with them, not what you had.” That’s true and it helped.

      Thanks so much for commenting. ❤

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