Monday, May 15, 2017

Today is my Wedding Anniversary (the last one, I guess)

Since my divorce won't be final for another month or so, technically I'm still married.

And today is my last wedding anniversary: 13 years.

Surprisingly, this is not the worst one. This one is better than the last one and possibly better than most.

Most years we forgot about our anniversary and laughed about it. But we were often doing something crazy:

2004: Getting married (duh).
2005: Moved from Lafayette, IN to Muncie, IN.
2006: Traveled to Las Vegas for work/fun
2007: Moved from Muncie, IN to Santa Clara, CA
2008: Traveled to Europe for work/fun
2009: Again, traveled to Europe for work/fun
2010: Had a baby, went on a road trip up the coast of the USA up to Vancouver and back
2011: Can't remember
2012: Can't remember
2013: Went to Italy
2014: Went to Palm Springs
2015: Had another baby 6 months earlier and my life was starting to fall apart
2016: Went to a bitter marriage counseling session ending in a car ride home where I was told by my soon-to-be-former spouse that he wanted a divorce.
2017: Divorcing

Most of these were happy memories. I grew up with parents who enthusiastically celebrated their wedding anniversary every year. Where we were expected to celebrate it also. Where we were supposed to get cards and gifts and it was a big deal. When I got married, I didn't want to celebrate it that dramatically, but I did want to remember it. I found it kind of funny that we forgot about it.

Until it wasn't funny anymore and I really did want to celebrate our marriage, our relationship. I craved being appreciated and someone caring about how far we'd made it together. But it never seemed terribly important to him and I was happy to accept that.

But the downside is that you have to keep appreciating each other. You have to try. You have to intentionally keep up the relationship. It is alive. I'm not sure if he didn't or we didn't, but at any rate, our wedding anniversary would have been a good time to intentionally reflect on our time together and what we appreciated and did not appreciate --what we could do differently, how we could improve. I'll certainly make sure that's how it goes for any future relationships--marriage or otherwise.

And I feel good now. Last year was hard. Painful. Excruciating. Everything about the anniversary hurt. Today, I look back and see how far I've come and I feel really really good about it. I celebrate that I am not in that level of pain any more. That I'm not living in the twisted heart reality of abuse.

Mother's Day was hard, yesterday for many reasons, but today feels like a day for celebration.