Originally posted on April 12, 2014
Last year, the day that would have been my 10th wedding anniversary totally slipped my mind. I guess I’d been so busy living life, that I hadn’t had time to even think about it. With the start of The Optimistic Divorcees blog, Cheryce and I had the idea to write letters to ourselves on our wedding day. What would we say to our “then” selves now that we’re no longer married? I must admit, I thought it would be a little scary. The book to that part of my life had been closed for a while now and opening it back up could bring up some old feelings. But, on the anniversary of what would have been 11 years of marriage, I’ve written a letter to myself on my wedding day. Writing the letter was therapeutic to say the least. It reminded me of what I’d gone through, but most of all, what I’d come out of and just how strong I am.
Can you believe it’s your wedding day? You were up bright and early after a restless night filled with nervousness and excitement. I know you can’t wait to take that trip down the aisle and marry the one you love. But first, there are some things I want to tell you. You might not like it, and I don’t want you to get mad at me, but I need to tell you because I love you and you deserve to know.
Remember when mama asked you about marrying him and said she didn’t have a good feeling about it? She was right. Remember the doubts you’ve had leading up to today? Wondering if he’s really the one? Well, he’s not. He’s not going to change because you both declared, “I do.”
Listen sweetie, these next few years are gonna be hell. Take a look in the mirror. Take a good look. Remember that face, because you’re going to forget who you are. Close your eyes and be present. Remember how you feel right now, because these feelings? They aren’t going to last forever. The years you’re anticipating wedded bliss? They’ll be short lived – just like your honeymoon phase. You’re going to forget you’re beautiful; you’re going to forget that your family and friends love you, all because you’ll be so caught up seeking the love you want from your husband. The dreams and goals you had for yourself will be forgotten and all you’ll care about is keeping up with your husband’s whereabouts.
Even though you’re married, you’ll never feel more alone. You’ll spend a lot of holidays without your husband by your side. He’ll be too busy doing his own thing and you’ll begin to question his love for you. Yes, he’ll pay the bills, but he won’t pay any emotional utilities. Your doubts about him will cause you have to doubts about yourself.
This marriage is going to have you down on your knees and at times, in a fetal position, feeling a pain you’ve never known before. A pain so deep, no medicine can alleviate, no doctor can cure. Depression will begin to set in and you’ll feel like you’re a nobody who has nothing to offer anyone. So, you’ll consider giving up your own life. But hang in there, Shari! Your family and friends will be there to pull you out of your darkness and remind you that God loves you so much and He’s never left your side. They’ll encourage you to pray and spend as much time with God as you can. And you will. You and God will become BFFs. You’ll really know what it means to have a prayer closet. Sometimes you’ll try to pray for yourself and you won’t have any words. Only sobs. Some days the sobs will turn into songs. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” will become your new anthem. Eventually, you’ll see a glimmer of light in the distance and you’ll keep pushing toward it. You’ll begin to realize that your pain is for a purpose greater than yourself; that you can’t fully empathize with someone else unless you’ve been there yourself.
Yes, there will be moments where you are embarrassed and ashamed because you made a wrong choice, a bad decision. There will be good days and other days it’ll hurt like hell. But you’ll still keep going. You’ll begin to see yourself clearly again. The face you originally saw in the mirror will return. People will remind you that you ARE worth it. And eventually, you’ll believe it.
I wish I could stop you from heading down that aisle, but it’s part of God’s amazing plan for your life and I can’t interfere with that. What you’ll discover about yourself and who you’ll become after this is all over will be well worth it in the end.
So go ahead, take a deep breath. Adjust your veil and take that first step down the aisle. I’ll see you on the other side.
P.S. I can’t wait to meet the stronger, more determined, courageous you.
If you could write a letter to yourself on your wedding day, what are some things you would you say? Share in the comments below!
Cheryce F. Thompson and Shari Anderson
The Optimistic Divorcees was a blog co-created by myself and Shari. It was established, not to promote divorce, but as a platform to promote strength, courage, and happiness. We wanted to let people who were experiencing divorce know that there is a fulfilling life after divorce. We needed them to understand that they could be happy and content in their state, and know that no matter what, they were going to make it, and that they would find their happily ever after! On this blog we shared stories related to our marriages and divorces, our dating experiences, and other elements pertaining to life after divorce. We also welcomed other divorcees as guest bloggers to share their stories.