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Why my friends hate me now – An Anniversary Tale

February 23, 2011

Why is it that we spend so much energy falling in love only to exert so little energy staying in love? I used to write my spouse (girlfriend at the time) love poems and love songs and sing them to her in a crowd of people. I would open doors for her; carry her over puddles and even put ice cream on the tip of my nose to make her laugh.
Then we got married, and the romantic part of my brain just seemed to shrivel up.  Oh sure, I brought her home flowers on our anniversary and took her out to dinner, but most of the time I got them on the way home and looked for the marked down ones at Kroger’s. I also made her pick the restaurant because I was too indecisive.

I’m not sure when the rock hit me in the head and finally woke me up, but at some  point I realized how little I put into our anniversary, something that symbolizes one of the greatest days of my life. Years before, I stood at the altar and promised to give her my life and my love and to make her my number one. Then, too quickly, I pushed her back to number three or four, behind other commitments and things that needed to be done day in and day out. Eventually, that became her place in my life on more than just our anniversary, and I didn’t realize it.  My wife has always been appreciative of the things I’ve done for her, and I’ve never forgotten even one of our anniversaries or other big days for that matter. However, I realized somewhere around the 10th year of our marriage how little I had been giving her and how much I had been taking.

Since that time, I have corrected my error and spent much more time—days if not weeks—before our anniversary planning something special for her, keeping her hopes, dreams and feelings in mind. I try to look for ways to say to her “not only have I been thinking about you, but also you are so very special to my every day.”

On our 16th anniversary, I surprised her by taking her to a church and renewing our vows. Except this time I knew what it meant to say, “I will love you and honor you in good times and bad, for richer or poorer, in times when our children will be faced with surgery and illness, and through the death of those we care for.” After that, we went back to our alma mater where we first met and remembered our first date, our first kiss, and where I proposed to her. From there, we went out to a nice dinner and then to a hotel where there were flowers and cheesecake and no distractions from our children or other commitments. There I told her again how much I loved her and how much I enjoyed every day with her. Through this anniversary celebration, I had given her my time and energy once again as I did when we first dated.

I have finally come to realize the greatest present we can give is our presence in the PRESENT! That 16th anniversary will be a hard one to top, but you can bet I’ll keep trying. However, if I keep raising the bar, all my wife’s friend’s husbands are going to hate me. Oh well, I can live with that.

~Greg

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2011 2:19 pm

    Excellent post Greg!

    What a great opening question. Ditto for me on the marked down flowers strategy. I call that other commitments thing being OBE (Overcome By Events) and I don’t know anyone that doesn’t suffer from it at one point or another.

    My 16th is in October and my goal now is to make it as memorable as yours.

    Kevin Decker

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  1. Meeting Each Other’s Needs is Not Just for Anniversaries! «

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