Happy Anniversary!

May 25, 2016 |

It was on this day in 1974, exactly 42 years ago, that two 18-year-olds married in a very simple and modest wedding ceremony held at the bride’s home in Hope, Arkansas. That bride was my wife, Janet.

We took a brief honeymoon trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in a borrowed car and then settled into our first home, a tiny duplex apartment on Caddo Street in Arkadelphia, where I was a student at Ouachita Baptist University. We shared the apartment with another OBU couple and paid $40 a month, which seemed overpriced at the time! It had been built in the early ‘20s and it’s still standing---and so is our marriage.

God blessed us with three children. We lost a child between our firstborn and second child, but all three are miracles indeed. That’s because during our first year of marriage, Janet developed symptoms that for months were diagnosed as “a textbook case of slipped disc” until it was determined to be something far more serious—a cancerous tumor in the canal of her spine. The initial prognosis for her cancer was not good. “Unlikely to be treatable or operable, and if so, will render her a paraplegic.” That was the best we were told to hope for. I watched her soldier through surgery followed by weeks of brutal radiation therapy that we were told would leave her unable to bear the children we would ultimately have. Then I stood by her as she regained her ability to walk again, step by step.

Life hasn’t been easy, nor is it supposed to be. She has put up with the intrusions experienced from a very public life of ministry, politics, and media exposure. When I first ran for office and lost (after putting in our retirement funds, the equity in our house, and all our savings), she took a job working overnights at the local hospital to help pay the bills until we could get back on our feet. Many of our “friends” abandoned us, but she never flinched nor wavered in her support. She later would become the First Lady of Arkansas, and she threw herself fully into a job that came without a dime of compensation but with lots of criticism and ridicule. She handled it with dignity and class.

She went back to college in her 40s, completed her degree and even served on the board of the school from which she had graduated. She built houses for those without homes in her role working with Habitat for Humanity. She has literally traveled the world to physically drive nails and saw boards, all to give to total strangers something we were always blessed to have—a roof over our heads.

She has endured not only vicious criticism of me, but of herself and her family in the nearly 30 years of political life I’ve pulled her into.

After all these years, we are still together, now enjoying the five delightful grandchildren that God made possible through our union.

Marriage is never easy. It’s hard work. It’s not always fun, and there are tough times along with the good. But marriage teaches us to love unconditionally and sacrificially, and she has more than met that challenge.

On the date of our wedding 42 years later, I’m still glad I said “I do.” I’m even more glad she said it, too. And she still says it, every day, with the way she lives and loves.

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Comments 1-50 of 134

  • Yvonne Robinson

    05/27/2016 11:52 AM

    Happy Anniversary Mike and Janet! I just wish the American People had been wise enough to select you as President. May you have many more wonderful years together.

  • Wanda Vlodek

    05/26/2016 11:23 PM

    Happy Anniversary. You are a fine example of what marriage is supposed to be. God bless you both with many more years together.

  • Kathleen Russo

    05/26/2016 10:41 PM

    Forgive my naïveté , but who could ever find anything harsh to say about you. Maybe some might not like all of your policies, but personally--it is inconceivable! You are living proof that God hasn't given up on the USA. THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR WHAT IS RIGHT AND TRUE. Happy Anniversary ??

  • Anne Wages

    05/26/2016 02:42 PM

    Happy Anniversary from my husband & me. We wish you could have been THE PRESIDENT of the U.S. You would have been a super one.

  • NANCY M. BEVILACQUA

    05/26/2016 02:31 PM

    Congratulations Gov. and Mrs. Huckabee. You are a wonderful inspiration to all of us. My husband and I will celebrate our 46th anniversary this year, and you're correct....it isn't easy. Making marriage work is a lot of hard work and sacrifice. For many years I worked as an assessor in the Catholic Church helping people go through the annulment process. I was shocked at how few people went to counseling before calling a divorce lawyer. God bless.

  • Deborah Dowling

    05/26/2016 12:09 PM

    Happy Anniverary to you both. You are a blessing to this country.

  • Mary and Jerry Hooper

    05/26/2016 10:25 AM

    Congratulations, this is a beautiful story. We have always respected you and enjoyed your TV Show. We would have supported you as a Presidential candidate because of your honesty and knowledge of the condition of this country. We want your caliber of person to be in leadership and we hope you will continue to influence this country. You have a wonderful helpmate beside you to support you in every endeavor.

  • Sharon Anderson

    05/26/2016 06:17 AM

    Congrats on your anniversary...I love seeing couples stay together thru thick and thin...and truly becoming one...as God intended...God Bless and keep you both...

  • Janice Tinsley

    05/26/2016 01:51 AM

    Thank you for sharing your marriage story. Thank you both for living Christ like lives for so many to see.

  • Pam Rosinbaum

    05/26/2016 01:38 AM

    Beautiful love story! I was privileged to work with Janet on the first Saline County Women's Build through Habitat. She is an amazing woman! Happy Anniversary!!

  • Carolyn Hinrichs

    05/26/2016 01:15 AM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Janet is definitely filled by the love of Jesus. Happy Anniversary to you both. I thank God for you and know you would have been an answer to many prayers as President of our Country. I continue to pray for God's forgiveness and healing for our nation. Thank you for your divine wisdom and please continue to lead our country according to God's Will. You are an example of our Hope according to His Living Word.

  • Ann Law

    05/26/2016 12:34 AM

    Happy anniversary to you both. I think you are a wonderful man who I prayed would win the nomination both times asI believe you would have made a great president. Now I believe God has a better plan for you and I wish you the very best

  • JoRene Lasiter

    05/26/2016 12:19 AM

    Happy Anniversary to both of you! I love stories like yours. Not many people stay married these days. I married my high school sweetheart and have been married for 58 years.

  • Orice Walters

    05/26/2016 12:12 AM

    Congratulations on your42 years of ups and downs and mountains and valleys but always walking with God. My late husband and I married at 17 and were blessed with four children and 63 years of marriage . He went home to be with the Lord 13 months ago.( Heart Failure)
    In his last few years and months. He always left people with " God loves you. So do I" and so he did. May the Lord continue to be a blessing in your marriage and you.

  • Deanna Bodenhamer

    05/25/2016 11:47 PM

    So happy for your faith that has remained steadfast all these years. Together you've conquered many challenges as the Lord has kept you close. Am so glad to hear your 'story' and know my faith in you & your abilities has not been misplaced! Hoping to see much more of your presence in future years. God continue to Bless and keep you both!

  • linda hart

    05/25/2016 11:37 PM

    Thank you for sharing the story of your lives. Many of us have been blessed by the sacrifices made by the two of you. Happy Anniversary!

  • Roger Engstrom

    05/25/2016 11:05 PM

    God Bless You Both. You have been an inspiration Mike, both as a pastor and as a meaningful politician!
    Roger and Linda

  • Edith webb

    05/25/2016 10:46 PM

    Blessings on your 42nd ANNIVERSARY.

  • Ann Preece

    05/25/2016 10:13 PM

    Wishing you both a very blessed day. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for our country. Wish you were on the ballot in November.

  • Ginny Fields

    05/25/2016 10:12 PM

    Happy anniversary Gov and Mrs Huckabee. I loved and could relate to your sweet story. You sound very blessed to have each other. God truly wanted you together. Bless you both.

  • Bernice Tackett

    05/25/2016 10:07 PM

    May you both be blessed with many more years of wonderful adventures!

  • Cindy Norton

    05/25/2016 08:48 PM

    So happy for you both. God has a plan, and it is a plan bigger and better than anything we could imagine. Thank you for being who you are. Of all contenders I wrote in your name for Republican candidate (voted absentee in CA). I pray for you and your bride, family too. May our Lord bless you.

  • Debbie McGee

    05/25/2016 08:25 PM

    Congrats! We celebrate 42 years in July. Our story has different details than yours. But you are spot on. Seldom has it been really easy. But always worth it. Oh and a grandchild? Truely God's blessing. And the reward for the trials of raising children. Thankful for the man who was my dream when I was 18 years old and he still is. Thanks for sharing your love story.

  • Leslie Riner

    05/25/2016 08:20 PM

    You both know what ONE is! And that IS a truly AWESOME thing to know!

  • Michelle Bruce

    05/25/2016 08:12 PM

    Congrats....May God Bless you with many more years together...

  • Pamela Cruz

    05/25/2016 08:04 PM

    Happy Annversary You two! Proud of the both of you! Keep fighting!
    Maybe the GOP will still nominate you! God Bless you.

  • Dennis & Dawn Pochel

    05/25/2016 07:31 PM

    Congratulations on 42 years. You are a couple who has been through it all. No surprise your strong Faith brought you to this special day. My husband and I have so much respect for both of you. We pray for you both and wish you many more years of marriage together.

  • Nada Chastain

    05/25/2016 07:12 PM

    Your both first class folks and honored to serve with you at church. Happy anniversary and here's to the next 42 years!

  • Bonnie McDonald

    05/25/2016 06:55 PM

    Mike, you are a man of integrity. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the country and for being a wonderful example of family.

  • Glenda Ebersole

    05/25/2016 06:14 PM

    Happy Anniversary! May you continue to share your love for eternity. God Bless You!

  • Linda warnock

    05/25/2016 06:05 PM

    Blessings on you both,my husband and I just celebrated our 39th year of marriage,so it does take a lot of hard word and the loving hands of God to guide us!

  • Doris Lindsay

    05/25/2016 05:36 PM

    Happy Anniversary and many many more Blessed years <3 <3

  • Amelia DiMarco

    05/25/2016 05:26 PM

    Happy Anniversay. to you and your wife. I will pray that you and she will catch up to my husband and I of 65 years of marriage. May God send you both many blessings.

  • Shirley A Blanton

    05/25/2016 05:21 PM

    Happy Blessed Anniversary!!!
    Hope you get back on TV, nothing good to watch @ 8:00pm on Fox Saturday nights!
    God Bless you both!
    Jeremiah 29:11
    Philippians 1:3

  • Ted Taylor

    05/25/2016 05:01 PM

    My wife and I was put together in a odd way! I was working for the telephone company as a Installer/Repairman. I had a job to do and that was to install her telephone. She was "Sweet as You Can Be" and interested me. She had a cat that hated men except for her father. Well, as I was calling dispatch to clear the install of her telephone, her cat "Samantha" jumped up in my lap, layed down and started suckling her tail which she only did when she was happy since she was a kitten. My wife was astonished of her behavior and that was the beginning of our relationship. Her cat chose me for her and at the end of the year 12/29 we will have been married for 43 years with five children, eight Grandchildren and two Great Grandchildren. She said that I was a "REAL OPERATOR"!
    We had our "Ups and Downs" in or life time and every time the Lord and lifted us upon our feet because of His faithfulness and His & Our LOVE for eachother! He IS an AWESOME GOD!

  • Laura Gentry Vaden

    05/25/2016 04:59 PM

    Happy Anniversary, Mike Huckabee. I admire you very much and I wish you could be our vice-president since you cannot be our POTUS. God bless and protect you and your family.

    Laura Vaden
    A sister in Christ

  • Cheryl Higgins

    05/25/2016 04:45 PM

    You both are so blessed. God does that for those who are truly his children

  • Earlene Tarleton

    05/25/2016 04:45 PM

    Happy Anniversary to this special couple. I hope you have many more wonderful years together. Might you go back to Fox News?

  • Sherry Stroup

    05/25/2016 04:24 PM

    We were married at the "ripe old age" of 18 too. Lord willing, going on 44 this August. You are ahead of us in the grand kiddo count - we only have 4. Hard work-yep. Tough times-you bet. Trade it for anything-NOPE!! May God grant you many more years. Congrats.

  • L. G. Hayden

    05/25/2016 04:19 PM

    What a lovely tribute to your sweetheart!
    You have always been able to express your thoughts, feelings & opinions
    so eloquently.

    May you and Mrs. Huckabee experience many more wonderful years together
    is our prayer!

  • Edwin S. Burney Sr.

    05/25/2016 04:14 PM

    Mike,

    When are you going to return to TV?? We miss your programs, Am writing this aboard the

    Oceana cruise ship Reggata

  • Nora J Berlinger

    05/25/2016 04:14 PM

    How positively wonderful! You were married on my birthday! I turned 68 today without the love of my life being here. God took him last November two days after my back operation. I admire and truly believe that God, love, fortitude, and character get you through the "tough times". We only were fortunate enough to have an only son. Not for lack of trying, but I had three miscarriages. As my beloved husband said for the 25% that we got it turned out to be pretty good!
    I am so glad I managed to read this article in the doses of everything that comes across the internet.
    Happy Anniversary and may you have many more!

  • steven wayne ballinger

    05/25/2016 03:41 PM

    God bless you Governor. Happy Anniversary! You are such a blessing!

  • Ruth Ann Smith

    05/25/2016 03:06 PM

    Congratulations on your 42nd Wedding Anniversary. You both are shining examples of love, faith and endurance. Mr and Mrs Huckabee, you are Americans who have led the fight and given all you can. We just don't know what God's total plan is for you yet. It isn't over.

  • Dorothye Billingsley

    05/25/2016 03:04 PM

    This brought tears to my eyes. What a wonderful tribute for you as a husband to give your wife. You are both blessed indeed.

  • Ed & Joan Flagg

    05/25/2016 02:47 PM

    The best to both of you. We are proud to say "yes" we are from Hope AR - home if Mike Hucksbee!!

  • Heidi Nelson

    05/25/2016 02:45 PM

    Congratulations and Happy Anniversary! I would have so loved for you two to be our President and First Lady. I guess God has other plans.

  • Wanda Taylor

    05/25/2016 02:34 PM

    Wonderful article. Our 58th anniversary was yesterday, and we agree that God did a wonderful thing putting us together so many years ago - and we are still happy and looking forward to the return of our King!!

  • Ivy Fisher

    05/25/2016 02:30 PM

    Congratulations on your 42 years! I admire you both. Thankful for your testimony to God for all that you are and have.

  • Sandy Montgomery

    05/25/2016 02:15 PM

    Love ya, Mike! Wish you were the Republican nominee instead of what's-his-name. Congratulations on 42 years of marriage!