The 12th Anniversary


October 13th will always be a DATE to me.

The 12th Anniversary

Our clock stopped in 2009, at nine years. There can be no more anniversaries, but that doesn’t mean it won’t visit me every year. Email reminders from florists, marketing materials from hotels or resorts where nine earlier anniversary celebrations took place, the calendar notification that I still haven’t removed after three years.

I don’t need the external reminders, though. My heart still knows. It will always know.

Today is incongruous. Regret battles the confidence that the right choices were made. I remember the visits to tucked away locations, the laughter as we explored genuine Americana, and the fullness pushing from within my chest. From Cape Girardeau to Malibu, Las Vegas to Savannah, the memories shine brilliantly, highlighting the best stops along the path our marriage took.

It ended because it needed to, but the trip will always have been worth it.  I am the me of today because of the me who said I do twelve years ago, the me who made bad choices four years ago, and the me who said it was time to move on.

If you see me today, congratulate me. Not because I got divorced – that was a failure on my part and nothing to celebrate. Congratulate me because I built upon an experience that turns many bitter and became a better person. Congratulate me for realizing that I was unhappy and that I needed to make changes for me. Congratulate me for respecting myself enough to know that I was hurting both of us by staying married.

I will always regret hurting someone who I loved. Whom I still care for very deeply. But I see who I am today, and I know that it was a mandate – it was completely and utterly imperative – that I end my marriage. Every day, seeing people in unhappy relationships who refuse to make difficult choices, who would rather suffer under an illusion that they’re martyrs or being selfless, I celebrate my decision to be selfish and think about myself first so that I can better take care of those in my life who mean the most.

Today would have been our twelfth. But it’s not. And that’s fine.

23 thoughts on “Twelfth.”

  1. Mine just kind of passed me by this year. I think I was half way through the day when I realized what the date was. However, I have no regret for leaving. It was better for me. Your last paragraph says it best.

  2. I applaud you for being so positive and seeing the divorce as an opportunity to change. I did too, and my life is so much better as a result. Congratulation to you for taking hold of what could have been purely negative and making something positive from it.

  3. I can completely relate to everything that you wrote (though regret does not creep in all that often). I do also share the sentiments of the others that have posted here before me. So perfectly said. Thanks all for sharing it.

  4. I have two very different reactions to this post, and since you are my dear friend I will offer both:

    1. I am really glad my ex-husband is not a blogger because I would not wanting him posting this stuff on “our anniversary”. I would want him to move on.

    2. You are such a different person now, or now you are more yourself than you were/could be when you were married. You loved her, so you let her go. That was very, very kind.

    1. With reference to your #1, do you see this as not moving on? I see it as acknowledging a part of my past and identifying how I have moved on.

      I am definitely a very different person, in a very good way. 🙂 Thank you.

  5. i love that you acknowledge what she meant to you and admit that it was right at the time. she is a good woman, just not the woman you wanted to be married to forever.
    wonderful that you are happy. congratulations, my friend.

  6. Never forgetting is a good thing, in most respects. Especially if there are good memories you don’t want to forget.

    I know the good times I had with my ex-wife remain good memories. Although each year that passes since we’ve divorced (12 years now) I don’t remember our anniversary date until weeks later.

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