To the Guy that Made me a Better Woman

Last night we celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary. We went to a fancy French restaurant called Bistro du Midi and ordered foods that we can’t pronounce; things like “Coral Infused Tagliatelle” and “Gratin Dauphinois”. And it was wonderful.

We laughed and talked and ate. And then we laughed, talked and ate more. It’s that one night of the year where we are guaranteed freedom from the worry of time, money and stress – we simply enjoy.

The night was not magical  – but it was lovely. While magical brings up images of Disney and Prince Charming, lovely is an image of real and gritty and lasting. Fake pearls are pretty but not lovely. Real pearls born of irritation in the oyster? Those are lovely. And that is our marriage – it’s the grit in the oyster and the belief that something lovely is being created.

Marriage is an astounding venture. That two people can put aside their selfish ego-centered ways and move forward in one direction is a miracle. That it could be anything other than an act of God’s grace is impossible for me to believe.

Marriage strikes me as a balance of comfort and challenge – to marry that person who is as comforting as warm socks on a cold day and as challenging as a fencing rival is not often the advice that people are given – but it’s my advice.

I recently saw an illustration of this while watching the movie “This Means War”, a clever comedy with Kate (Reese Witherspoon) as the love interest being vied over by two best friends.

As Kate is trying to work through this dilemma, her best friend is a wealth of terrible and good advice. At one point while talking about love and her own husband she says this:

“I know he’s fat and ridiculous. But he’s my fat, my ridiculous. I like the way I am with him. Don’t choose the better guy. Choose the guy that will make you a better woman.”

And I’m pretty sure I chose the guy who’s making me a better woman.

Because of him I have laughed more.

Because of him I have learned to fight well.

Because of him I have had more adventures, gone way beyond my comfort zone.

Because of him I have learned more of God and Grace and Grit.

So to the guy behind the blog, the one that makes me a better woman – Happy Anniversary and thank you!




35 thoughts on “To the Guy that Made me a Better Woman

  1. Happy Anniversary! I need to remember that…”to the one who made me a better woman”. What a beautiful way to phrase it and communicate a truth that should also be true with respect to us making our husband a better man or maybe it should read “freeing him to be a better man”. I think we, as women, like to reshape those dear men in our life! Again, best wishes on many more years.


    1. Thank you so much Lou Ann! I agree with your words about husbands. So easy to disguise our manipulation and control and call it other things….It’s something that I constantly have to guard against.


  2. Marilyn, You are such a gifted writer…if I were a publisher, I would sign you up right now! It has been a ‘lovely’ (I really like your interpretation of this word) journey following the relationship of Cliff and Marilyn…the birth and life of your dear children and your ‘joy’ of life together no matter what the circumstances. I will always remember our ‘first’ meeting in Cairo…..


    1. Lori – thank you so much! Since I don’t go much for the “advice” part because I am so flawed at living out my own I really appreciate the comment.


      1. February 10th….I don’t care what they say but beauty is not just skin deep. Beauty starts from the heart and soul and penetrates outward. Yes gorgeous couple! Your blog is proof of this with your words.


  3. Happy Anniversary!!! Loved this post . . . love you two . . . and will send this to my kids because I so appreciate and agree with your thoughts on marriage! I often told my kids that choosing a partner is the most important decision they will make, and know that I, too, am so much better a woman because of the guy I married! Can’t wait to tell John that all the times he gave me pearls because they are my birthstone, he was really giving me a lovely symbol of our marriage!!!


    1. So cool that John has given you pearls! I’m pretty sure that illustration was inspired – there is no way I’d think of it on my own. So honored that you would think it wise enough to send your kids when they have you as a living, breathing model.


  4. Yes!!Yes!! We need a guest So.Many.Stories. from Cliff! The masses are clamoring!

    I still remember the blue skies over North Park, the vitality of the crowd gathered, the languages, colors, oh it was such a fun day!


    1. I remember you and Dave playing the duet; the globe on the top of the cake that started orbiting the sun on it’s way from the south side; the people from warring countries sitting beside each other unaware of their presumed hatred….thanks for sharing not only that day but so many days since.


  5. Happy Anniversary to both of you!! :-) I’m single, not married, not even dating … but oh, I love this post. You defined love, you know! I especially love this: “I know he’s fat and ridiculous. But he’s my fat, my ridiculous. I like the way I am with him. Don’t choose the better guy. Choose the guy that will make you a better woman.”
    Thanks so much for this sweetness. I just might write this one down in my journal reserved just for those precious, special things. ;) The photos are wonderful, Marilyn – Blessings to both of you!


    1. Jessica – thank you thank you! You’re gift of encouragement has been used mightily in this blog for many of us. And I hope you do write some of these down. :) My daughter took the photos on a whim with my iphone. There is even one with a kid who isn’t ours….!


  6. Happy Anniversary to Cliff and you! It is such a blessing to be friends with a couple believing in an enduring marriage. May our Lord continue to bless you. It sure be nice to read Cliff’s thoughts about your marriage, Petra


    1. Petra – it is time to see you again and talk until late in the night. I have given Cliff the messages – and he has also read them so I’m hoping for a post!


  7. Congratulations you two! God and truly blessed you, I wish you both the best. I miss you both very much as well, but you will always be in my prayers, my memories, and my heart.


    1. Jeff – so lovely to hear from you. The sentiment holds true our end as well. How well we remember that pivotal semester with all of us crying at the end. It is amazing to look at what God has and is doing in all of us eh? Love to you and your family.


  8. First of all Happy Anniversary to you both. A lot of honesty and good advice in this one. Now what I really want to read and I am sure all your other readers will agree with me, is a guest post ’28 years of being married to Marilyn’!


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