SuzieQ
So in the thick of this, our 11-year wedding anniversary is Friday. We spent our wedding night at a quaint inn in VT. Every year we go back there for a long weekend to celebrate and be together...except last year, which was our 10-year anniversary. Last year went went to Disney World for a fabulous 10-day adventure which included a special vow renewal atop the Contemporary Hotel overlook with our children.

I didn't plan anything this year because of My husband's affair confession in June. The entire summer was turbulent. It's been a little calmer these last few weeks as we have both decided to work on rebuilding our marriage and work to reconnect.

Now I'm not sure what we should do. My husband has left it up to me. Part of me feels like - what the heck are we celebrating? He broke his vows and promises. That marriage we had is dead to me. That innocent girl who married him has been traumatized and lied to and betrayed and beaten down beyond recognition. The other part of me dies want to go away for a few nights and try to work on reconnecting more. Fight for what I want. That part of me still feels like we have something to celebrate. This has been totally traumatizing and agonizing and horrific, but it hasn't ended us. Not yet.

What have those before me done on your anniversary? Any advice? Should I let the pain sink in or should I try to reclaim the power?
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SuzieQ
On the same topic, the priest who performed our wedding ceremony read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit during the homily. He read...

"Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

This quote came to my attention again last week. How timely. I have a whole new lense for it now. It holds new meaning. Part of me feels like our love is "real" and that's why it hasn't died. That's why I have the strength to work through this. Not that it doesn't hurt - because it does hurt - but not in the way I would have thought it would. I won't let it kill me. And I feel like now that the truth is out (a lot of people knew before I did) our friend group really sees my WH as a monster. And I know the reality that he did terrible things. Monstrously horrible things. He did them to me. But I can still see the humanity in him. I can still see there's beauty in his heart...in his remorse. He's not ugly to me. And I must be really strong - not easily broken - that's why I'm surviving this.

Isn't that worth celebrating?
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Guiltguilt
Who'd have thought the Velveteen Rabbit could be so powerful. Our anniversary was on Tuesday. I sent an email, apologising for ruining the day. She sent one back that was nice enough, but it's few sentences were filled with pain and resignation.
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Kalmarjan
Last anniversary I sent a text message that didn't recieve a response. I don't know why I thought it would.

This year we did celebrate. But, there are still some undercurrent with hurt, but I am hoping over time the new memories we make will overshadow this. It's all about the long game, and how I can make today better than the past.
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Graceandhope
We're 10 months out. Last Wednesday was our 15th. For the most part on s daily basis we are doing well but that day was more difficult than I thought it would be. I had all those same thoughts. That it s/b 15 but it hadn't mattered enough and that it was all broken.

We did dinner with the kids and are going away this weekend.

We tried a weekend away a couple of months ago. To get away, spend some time together. It actually didn't ho so well. Emotions were still too raw and volatile. It seemed like a good idea just bad timing.

Long way of saying, expect emotions. Try not to over think or expect too much. You guys are early on in your new situation. Be kind to yourself and to him, you both will be dealing with ramifications of past.
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Lostmyspark
Our anniversary was 4 months after DDAY. I expected too much. I wanted to be swept off my feet. He wasn't ready for that I guess
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Ttsd
Our 21st anniversary is coming up. Last year we made a big deal about our 20th (his idea) following DDay 1 10 months before. It felt fake and ungenuine. Our 21st is coming up in Nov after D day 2 in Jan. (Hmmm, see a pattern?). I am still here for the kids and my own comfort. He says he doesn't want a divorce and is going to individual counseling but won't go to joint. I have good days and bad.
I'm thinking there won't even be a card this year from me.
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TimT
Ttsd wrote:
He says he doesn't want a divorce and is going to individual counseling but won't go to joint.

Is that okay with you? An affair doesn't affect an individual; it wounds a relationship. I think individual counseling is fine (often recommended), but it should be working in parallel with whatever work the couple is doing together. Why do you think he is okay doing individual work but not couple's work? 

Of course, if he is telling you "I want to do counseling with you, but need to figure out a couple things for myself first," that's one thing. But otherwise, he gets to control the issues addressed in solo work but would have to be much more vulnerable if you were in session with him. I suspect that is exactly what you need from him.
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Ttsd
I' m sure joint counseling would make a huge difference. I think I am afraid to press it because I am afraid of the results. I. e. that I'll find out I don't want to be married to him anymore. I'm 59 years old with teenagers still at home and starting over terrifies me.
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Anna26
SuzieQ wrote:
On the same topic, the priest who performed our wedding ceremony read an excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit during the homily. He read...

"Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'

'Does it hurt?' asked the Rabbit.

'Sometimes,' said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. 'When you are Real you don't mind being hurt.'

'Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,' he asked, 'or bit by bit?'

'It doesn't happen all at once,' said the Skin Horse. 'You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand


SuzieQ

I found this part of the story so powerful. It made me think of how at first any relationship is all exciting, shiny and brand new and then as the years roll by how it can get a little rough and worn around the edges, but is solid and reliable, full of love and REAL. It was so evocative that I've now searched for and read online the full story. I'd forgotten what a beautifully written and charming children's story it is. Thank you for posting, I really enjoyed the read...
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SuzieQ
I thought I should update...

1) We did end up going away alone for a weekend in honor of our anniversary. It was lovely. We made the rule not to talk about the A and that was so nice. It was nice to know we can still have fun together and enjoy eachother's company.

2) As for our actual anniversary day, I decided that I needed to be very clear. I realized I did have some expectations that WH would/should put in a little more attention/TLC this year so I told him straight up. The night before I said, "Look, I know we don't usually exchange gifts on our anniversary or make a big deal out of it. In the past a simple 'I love you' accompanied by an extra long hug has meant the world to me and been enough. After all we have been through in these last few months, with all the pain and hurt and betrayal, I have to be honest and say i'm not sure that is going to be enough this year. I would appreciate some extra thought. I think I'm going to need a few extra hugs this year and probably multiple 'I love yous' throughout the day. I'm telling you so you know what I need so I don't have to be resentful at the end of the day." He totally followed suit. He extended extra hugs and tender moments throughout the day and even bought me a little gift. I bought him a gift too - a vintage copy of "The Velveteen Rabbit" and drew a decorative border around the passage that I draw strength from. I know he appreciated it.

I think it went as well as it could have gone. It was still a difficult/mixed-up emotional day...but at least I felt valued.
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