“Happy Anniversay, LOL.”
“Oh that’s right! Happy Anniversary.”
“Not quite what I envisioned, but we r still swimming. Have a fun day.”
“Lock and load, baby.”
This was the exchange between my ex-husband and me today. Today would have been our sixteenth wedding anniversary if we hadn’t divorced.
In honor of this, I would like to point out the things that went well in our marriage.
Loyalty. I never felt like he was looking over his shoulder to find a newer shiny thing. I never felt like he had a more committed relationship with his phone than he did with me. I never doubted his faithfulness. I often came behind business and life, but I never came behind another woman. Those things aren’t so meaningful when they are givens, but having experienced the opposite of that, I can tell you I like the former better. Long live Capricorn.
Making the effort to be with me. I’ve experienced a lot of flirting, false starts, and empty words. I’ve even experienced words that seemed like real words but that were not backed up by action. I’ve made decisions to put myself on hold to wait for some of those empty words to become real. I’ve chosen partners who didn’t have the bandwidth to be full partners. My ex had none of those. He clearly sought me and he put action behind it.
He sought my counsel. He talked to me about our business, our spirituality, meaningful philosophical concerns. He would let my ideas influence him. At the level of decision-making, I felt like we were full partners.
Honor. While he would struggle with difficult decisions – hirings / firings / strategic turns, once he figured out what was right for him and us, he would do the hard work and have the difficult talks. He let me hide behind him and carried the weight of those things so that I didn’t always have to.
While there were many things that didn’t work well, these were the important things that worked very well. As I get to a place where I can process the last four years with appreciations and a sense of wholeness and learnings, these are the characteristics that stick. It feels very powerful to be able to see the good so clearly because I realize that there was a lot of it.