Today is My Anniversary…But It’s Not – Divorced, but Not Annulled

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 8.31.17 AMI’m divorced, but not annulled – It’s weird having an anniversary that’s not an anniversary,

being married to someone, but not really married to him,

being grateful to be out of that marriage,

but saddened at its death 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 garlic under my nails, is not the wedding day, but the anniversary just before his sudden announcement.

We had renewed our vows on Valentines 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 greater 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 either. He was never much of a gift giver, and that Christmas he had outdone himself 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, 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 the frogs into princes

or they just stare not knowing what to say and you really can’t even blame them. 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 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 will be a say 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 don’t 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.

My reflections on our anniversary 2012, please click here.

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.)

God Bless…

6 Comments

  1. […] faith-based sites. Just as there are those who criticize me for not dating sooner, there are those who might criticize me for getting on those dating sites too quickly, but in many ways, reading the forums, scanning the message boards and reaching out to others gave […]



  2. […] Today is My Anniversary, But It’s Not […]



  3. floyd on May 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I’m praying for you, sister. I think you’re handling it well and our Father is walking you back to light and strength. I know it’s not ideal or planned, but on a positive note, your boys will use the struggle they share with you to be stronger men for God… and for the wives He chooses for them.

    Keep writing, sister. God is using it for you and the ones you share your words with.



  4. Zoanna on May 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Is it okay to say simply that I’m sorry? I’m sorry he broke his vows, abandoned his family, lost your respect, dishonored God, and left an ugly, confusing mark on the date known as your anniversary. I am truly sorry for your many losses, but blessed by your hope in God.



    • Strahlen on May 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

      Thank you, Zoanna. Sorry is a beautiful thing to say. You summed it up perfectly. I was filled with sorrow when he left, but that sorrow has turned to hope. Thank you for noticing that.



  5. ReginaMary on May 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    You mentioned that for your last Christmas he had outdone himself with his gifts. I actually laughed out loud when I read that because for my last birthday before my ex-husband moved out, he gave me a GORGEOUS Michael Kors handbag (all wrapped in custom tissue paper) with a card saying how unfamiliar I was with such luxury, and how much I deserved it. I used it twice, got a pen mark on the inside, got scolded for being so careless and promptly wrapped back in the fancy-ass tissue and gave it to my attorney after the divorce! Beware of overly generous, but out of character gift!!!!



%d bloggers like this: