Feature Story: Love happens in the unexpected way

Robert and Dale Fordham (Fordham Family Photos)

COCHRAN, GEORGIA: Dale Fordham’s earliest memories of her husband of 20 plus years, Robert, include when “he worked for the farmer that owned the land where I lived … I remember my mother running him down because he drove by our house one day going extremely fast,” she said.

Dale said, “It is a funny thing … I knew him because he dated my best friend’s niece …I actually loaned her a necklace to wear to the prom.” There is 10 years age difference between the couple.

“Never though my mom would one day be his mother-in-law,” she laughed.

The couple dated eight months before Robert proposed. According to Dale, “Nothing seemed to be working out for him that day. He went and asked my dad for permission and to see if he and my mom would keep my six-year-old son and niece so he could propose. But before he got a chance, his best friend drove up, and he had to ask him to leave long enough for him to propose.”

She said, “I had to steady his hand to be able to see the ring. I got a lot of flack from friends and family because he was so much younger.”

Dale continued, “I just kept telling them that they don’t know him. He’s always been so much more mature than me. He was a gentleman and treated my son well. It’s really hard to marry someone and take their child in and treat them like their own. He has never referred to Aubrey as step -he nor my in-laws.”

Besides Dale’s son from a previous marriage, Aubrey, who is married to Miranda and has two children, Carter, age three and Sawyer, age 15 months, Robert and Dale have a son, Julian, age 17.

Robert works for the Bleckley Board of Education as bus shop foreman and Dale is a dental hygienist at Middle Georgia Family Dentistry in Dublin.

She said the couple enjoys doing various things together in their spare time. “We have spent 10 years doing mission trips in the Dominican Republic. Robert also designs products to help with problem parts on school buses.”

When asked about what the secret to a good marriage is, Dale said, “There’s no perfect marriage, but I will have to say ours comes pretty close. You have to put God first in your relationship, each other second, and children last. That doesn’t mean you neglect your children.”

She stated, “We were heading for rough times until we got this part right. We’ve managed to grow stronger through communication. I tell younger couples that once you get it in your mind that men and women do not think alike at all, you can better communicate.”

Dale continued, “You have to keep questioning each other until you understand what is being said. Never assume you know what the other is thinking.”

“You also have to take time for each other. He doesn’t need a boy’s night out and I don’t need a girl’s night,” She said.

“Don’t do anything that you would get angry about if he did the same thing. Your marriage is like a rose,” Dale said, concluding, “It will bloom fully if it’s tended and nurtured. Joanna Gaines had a quote on her show that is so fitting. ‘Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.’”


Author: rlhwrites

Curator of prose and such.

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