being married to someone, but not fully married to him,
being grateful to be “moving on” whatever that means,
but saddened at the very real death of our family and dismayed by the load dumped upon you.
Its weird having an anniversary that’s not an anniversary.
I didn’t even think about it for a while after I woke up. It’s weird that each year your anniversary becomes – somehow less, but still there. It’s weird how despite the passing of time, the awareness of what you promised on this day creeps in and you think to yourself
Oh yeah…Today’s the day we promised forever…
or at least I did.
I don’t know what he promised.
And then you start thinking of the wedding day. Some people have picture perfect weddings. Maybe our day should have served as an omen.
I thought it was a sign that we could make it through anything.
I guess he didn’t share the same optimism.
But the wedding is a distant memory, a story for another time…
Today, the day that lingered in my mind like the stench of onion under my nails, is not the wedding day, but the anniversary just before his sudden announcement.
We had renewed our vows on Valentine’s Day 2009, but on Easter I became very ill from the IV needed because of pregnancy complications; the doctors decided the IV may have been causing more harm than good and pulled it, but I still wasn’t feeling great, I couldn’t get him a gift.
I remember saying, “We’ve reached the point in our relationship that we don’t have to exchange anniversary gifts to show how much we love each other, right?”
He laughingly agreed.
I wasn’t concerned about his lack of a gift for me either. He’d never been much of a gift giver, and that Christmas he had outdone himself by buying me the candy bar I always teased him about and a Hummel. Those gifts may not seem significant, but they held meaning I’ll explain another time; I adored my husband and was thrilled not only by the gifts but the thoughtfulness and effort he put into them.
Or did he?
Will the questions about what was he thinking ever cease?
That Christmas was a few weeks before he met his girlfriend and a few weeks before I knew for sure that I was pregnant – the Perfect Storm.
What Do You Say When Today’s My Anniversary…But It’s Not
If you say anything to someone about this day being your anniversary, about what this day means, even though you yourself are not really sure what this day means anymore, they tell you
to, “get over it,” they may – or may not! – phrase it less bluntly, but the message is the same,
or they tell you that you should meet someone else, as if you have time and as if snapping your fingers turns frogs into princes when you believe time is more likely to turn princes into frogs
or they just stare not knowing what to say and you really can’t even blame them because you don’t know what to say either. What do you say to someone whose anniversary is today…but not really?
And today is my anniversary, but it’s not.
And it didn’t bother me much. I now think he’s a jerk (sorry, Lord).
Even with their bank account, they cannot buy what he’s lost, but I did kind of think of our anniversary with a tinge of sorrow and regret.
Regret that he’s chosen this life for all of us.
Regret that I chose him.
Never regret for my children.
Never regret for falling back in love with him when we struggled so many years ago.
It’s weird being married – but not.
I reached my hand into our big black mailbox earlier, something we do every day,
but suddenly, surprisingly I was taken off guard by the thought,
“Please don’t let the annulment papers come in today.”
Today, had been a day of celebration. Whatever it is now, please do not let it be a day of death too.”
I know in many ways, the annulment should be a sort of rebirth, of new life, but in some ways…
It’s just weird to be married…but not.
It’s weird to have promised to Love, honor, and cherish until death do us part
and be stuck in this 1/2 alive, 1/2 dead state of marriage.
How do you love someone you who hates you and you no longer respect?
How do you love someone you wouldn’t want as a friend?
Today is my anniversary…but it’s not.
Please pray for all those who will celebrate anniversaries that are really not. Please pray that more don’t follow in our footsteps. Hold onto your Marriage. Hold onto your vows. Find happiness in where you are.
For my reflections on our 2012 anniversary, three years after sudden abandonment while pregnant, please click here.
Our world is under attack. I won’t take it laying down or twiddling my thumbs. Instead, I am launching the Fiercely Beloved Challenge! Using training I’ve gotten from US elite military forces including Green Berets, Navy SEALS, and bomb disposal techs on mindset, resilience, and gratitude along with courses and research from faith filled theologians, top universities, and field experts along with over 10 years of research as a certified coach, I invite you to join the Fiercely Beloved Challenge. You will get off the couch and start living intentionally. This 8 week Challenge will help you love God, America, your family and yourself better. You will strengthen mind, soul, heart, and strength through daily challenges and social connections. Join the Fierce Cadre today! First class launches May 12th, 2023!
Click here to read Kyley’s Story, a woman who shared on Single Mom Smiling (If you are interested in sharing your story, please let me know.)