October 28th was my wedding anniversary. I say was, because my husband and I divorced two years ago. It was an amicable divorce (my husband is one of the nicest people around) but nevertheless, it was still a painful experience to go through.
We were separated for two years before we officially got divorced, so more than a few October 28ths have come around. That day is, and probably always will be, weird for me.
I always wonder what to do that day. Clearly there isn't an anniversary to celebrate, but it seems somehow wrong to just let the day go by without any acknowledgement of what that day represents. It's not something that people typically talk about, and I'm not even sure what to call it.
I've started to call it my "un-anniversary."
Anyone who has read any of my past articles has heard me say time and time again that no one gets married thinking that they are going to get divorced. Despite the statistics, I thought my marriage would last and we'd have many happy anniversaries to celebrate.
We had plans to do something big on every milestone year that passed. For our fifth anniversary, we went to Vegas and got remarried by an Elvis impersonator. The little wedding chapel sent a limo to pick us up; I wore a cool dress and the headpiece that I had worn to our wedding; it was a hoot! They even broadcasted it live on the internet so some of our friends back home were able to watch it.
We never made it to our 10th celebration.
It was right around then that things started to fall apart. I wish he had tried harder; I wish I had tried harder, but since we didn't, each year, I end up dreading October 28th.
For me, the day represents a loss of many hopes and dreams, plans that were never made, adventures that will never be gone on, and a life that turned out differently than I had expected. My un-anniversary is not a happy day, but a day that fills me with sadness and regret.
Most un-anniversaries I think I should call or email my husband to say hi (we're still friends) but then I wonder if that's a good idea. I wonder if he's feeling badly on that day. Is he sad? Is he unhappy? Or, what if he is going about that day just fine? What if he's having a perfectly wonderful day and my reaching out to him just ruins it for him?
So for the last few un-anniversaries, I've kept my distance.
I often wonder what other divorced people do. I suppose that has a lot to do with the circumstances by which that day became their un-anniversary. I suppose it's different if the two exes had an ugly split, if they've remarried, if they still keep in touch.
I always feel like there's something I should do that day, but I honestly don't know what that something is. It's not a day to be celebrated, or is it?
Perhaps my un-anniversary is a day to celebrate, not that my marriage ended, but that it happened in the first place. Perhaps it is a day to be grateful for the good times, the memories and the lessons I learned through divorce. Perhaps I have been going about this whole thing the wrong way.
My husband and I have been trying to make lunch plans for several weeks now. We work three blocks from each other, but with our crazy jobs and hectic schedules, we haven't been able to connect. We've had to reschedule lunch plans twice already, but keep trying to make it work.
We looked at our calendars last week and tried to find a day when both of us would be available. It would have to be the last week in October. After much deliberation, more than a couple of emails back and forth, and more than a couple checks of our schedules, we finally settled on a date -- October 29th.
Looks like I'll have to find something to do again this year on my un-anniversary after all.