The Un-Anniversary

I love Facebook, especially when women post about how much they still love their husbands after many years of marriage. Or men who proclaim the beauty of their wives after a long period of marriage. The “I would do it all over again,” is sweet to see.

Actually, bittersweet.

This Sunday will be my 23rd wedding anniversary. It’s not acknowledged or celebrated. I try to keep busy and ignore the date because my husband does. See, it’s not important to him because I am not important to him. Many years ago he decided we couldn’t do that recommended “date” thing because it costs money. Even after learning ways to do “dates” that cost nothing, he held to his belief that it is not something he could or would do because he doesn’t want to spend the money on me.

It’s not about having the money. It is a testament that I am not worth spending it on.


It’s been years since I’ve worn a wedding ring. I wear a ring on that finger because I am not in the market for an affair. I really don’t have a marriage and yes, my choice to stay married for a variety of reasons, means that I cannot seek another who might really love me. I put my ring aside and over the years my husband has never said a word to me about it missing.  Either he hasn’t noticed or doesn’t care. I have at times been tempted to sell it to provide money that my husband denies me. Yeah, I can be a bit passive-aggressive.

Part of me wonders if I could even do love. If I could give myself to another person and trust him.

Part of me wonders if my husband ever repented could I really trust that and embrace a new marriage with the man who has hurt me so deeply? I haven’t had to cross that bridge.

Can I regret marriage as difficult as it has been and continues to be?


I’ve grown. I’ve matured. I’ve written a book. I’ve three children to parent here and one waiting for me in heaven. I’ve had heartache and pain that enables me to reach out to others in their hurt and validate their pain. My book about those lessons learned is due out in January of 2014.

Would I have spurned all that for the opportunity to be loved for who I am, protected and cherished as a wife? It’s a moot question since I did have opportunity before I ever had kids, to walk away from the marriage and I didn’t. Twice my husband threatened to divorce me and he didn’t.

23 years of marriage though is in reality 30 years in a relationship with this man. I’m not the same woman he met at our first date. My husband lives with a stranger because he doesn’t care to know me.

Sunday is a mile-marker like one sees on the highway. A little post that is missed if you blink, whizzing by faster and faster as the years pile up.

How about you? If you are in a difficult marriage, what are anniversaries like for you?

Lilly Grace




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