Of all people to remind me that my wedding anniversary is this weekend, I never expected it from my girlfriend. I had forgotten about it, quite frankly. Not that I want to be reminded of my ill-fated marriage that was practically over just as it started, but the actual date of my marriage has no significance for me any more.
It was six years ago now and feels a lifetime away. I feel like a different person and I am, when you think about it. There is so much that is different about me now from the person I was then. I started running, lost weight, went through therapy, dabbled with thoughts of suicide, started dating, got divorced, moved back home, fell in love, and eventually met Mirror Image.
When she reminded me, Mirror Image asked me if I “was ok… because, you know.” I told her genuinely that though I can’t change the fact that I was once married, it no longer has any meaning for me. I no longer hang on my ex-wife’s betrayal even though I am more than happy to talk about it with her and with anyone who asked. I also told her that she is the important person in my life, the person I think about every day, the person I want to wake up next to every morning – and not about a marriage that was over before it began. And that was true. Even if I was single, I wouldn’t be pining for my marriage and that’s just the way it should be after so long and having changed so much.
I wanted it to work. Despite everything she had done, I went into couples therapy with a view that we’d work through our problems. I never imagined she would choose somebody she hadn’t met in person over somebody she had seen the world with and experienced so many tears of both laughter and pain with. Mere days before our second anniversary, that is precisely what she did.
But there is life after divorce. Things will get better. I was lucky in that we did not have children, did not have property to divide up and so there was no reason to let solicitors in to get their filthy little mitts on what we had. It was a quick and clean break and I look back on the last six years as one of immense changes.
Mirror Image and I will soon be celebrating an anniversary of our own; it’s nearly two years since we first met in person and we have booked a mini break to celebrate it with a bang (umm, probably lots of banging – of the headboard, bedsprings, of the floorboards, furniture etc *ahem* anyway…)
As for how I will mark my wedding anniversary, I will be celebrating it with the woman I love but that is not the person I expected to spend it with.