Today is my 14th wedding anniversary. My husband and I have been together for almost 18 years and have been friends for 28 years. We met the first day of freshman year of high-school and were friends for ten years before dating. It is a special day for me, as hopefully all anniversaries in our lives are (birthdays, graduations, engagements), but also one that l tend to ponder as the day rolls around.
I think it is important to acknowledge special days in our lives and the anniversaries of them from year to year. These were big days – some positive and some negative – and each of them had an impact. The date of the death of a loved one reminds you of them. You may remember that day in particular, the smile on that person’s face, or memories that you shared with that person when they were near. The date of your graduation led to your next big steps in life, whether that was moving on to further education or getting a job. Each anniversary is a turning point towards the next chapter.
In the week or two before June 20th, I get a little thoughtful. I am grateful for my anniversary, grateful for my husband, and grateful for the life we’ve created together, but there has been so much in addition to that. So much that has gone into the building. So much that didn’t have to do with our actual wedding day.
I think that when you celebrate an anniversary, it is just as important to think through those in-between times. The times that weren’t as easy and weren’t as glamorous. How you communicated – or didn’t communicate – and when maybe you should have tried harder.
My marriage hasn’t always been easy, as I’m sure most people can relate to. There are trying times in life where it is difficult to be on the same page. No two people are alike and you are going to have differing opinions and feelings. But the hope is that you can talk through it. Work through it. Find a way back to that partnership that you committed to from the beginning.
I believe that intention is a huge thing in a relationship. One of the things that my husband and I can count on with each other is that we have our best intentions at heart. That doesn’t mean that we always do things exactly as the other would like, but we do things with the best of objectives. We work towards a good outcome for each other and the family we’ve created. And most times, we find that the other person’s way of doing things had the result that we ultimately wanted. So it all works out.
I am not someone who believes in soul mates. I completely respect other people’s rights to believe, but I don’t. I believe that we choose a partner that we are drawn to and who we feel fits our lives. We live with them, we love them, and continue to choose them every day.
For me, it is about the choosing. When you are choosing someone each day, you are standing in your power. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if there is such a thing as a “soul mate” when you are deciding to be with this person either way. It doesn’t matter if the universe or a higher power has declared that this person is “for you” when you are choosing them and the life you have together.
So on my anniversary, when I’m reminded of a day that I chose my husband in front of our family and friends, my feet bare in front of a tie-dye cake while using animal crackers for a blessing, I’m extremely proud of the last 364 days. Our wedding and anniversary dates are a given. Those are the days you’re supposed to remember each other and celebrate. But I find the other 364 days more valuable. They were smaller and more unassuming, but we chose each other because we wanted to.
Here is what I know about my husband and why I wanted to write about this today – he is a good, good man who I love beyond words. He loves his children and his family, he loves and supports me – craziness and all – and he chooses me, just as I choose him. I really can’t ask for anything more than many more years together.
Desert Flower says
Today, June 20th, is our 54th wedding anniversary. My husband has progressed in his illness for the past 22 years and now has severe mobility issues and dementia. Most days he knows who I am. He still lives at home and I am his full time caregiver. You helped me to think back, remember the first 32 years of our marriage, and acknowledge the special days in our lives.
Alli Doubek says
Hi Desert Flower,
Happy anniversary! I am honored to share this day with two people who have held on to their commitment for so long. I can only hope that we do as well.
I’m sorry to hear of your husband’s failing health over the last years. I am sure it is not easy and I am so glad that I could in any way help you find some good memories.
maryann necker says
I am so happy to see you share about your story. I hear your love and devotion to each other, and pray that you have many more years.
I have always called my marriage a love story, and, I had the greatest pleasure in the world to be his wife for 57 years, before the Lord took him home. I was his care giver the last 5 years of his life, as he had Alzheimer’s. I was able to keep him home, except for the last 2 weeks.
Alli Doubek says
That is so beautiful, Maryann. That is a very long time to be married and be together, what a blessing. I can only hope that my love story is as committed and long lasting as yours!