I honestly can’t believe it’s been 20 years since we stood in front of our family and friends, and said “I do.” For richer or poorer, better or worse, in sickness and in health, we pledged our love to one another. We were young and in love, with no idea of all of the joys, successes, trials and tribulations our life together would bring.

We have raised a family together, moved many times, fought cancer as a couple, made many wonderful memories, and fought and made up countless times over big and little things.

But 20 Years Later…

I’m questioning if this marriage is enough?

If I’ve changed too much?

Or if you have?

If we would be happier apart than together?

It’s hard to say this, to think this, to believe this… yet many days, it’s all I can think about.

A New Perspective

I remember all of the times we would be out together, laughing, talking, immensely enjoying each other’s company. We would look at other couples who were barely talking. Aloof. Body language closed off, appearing as if they wished they were somewhere else. We noticed, and said, “that will never be us.”

But now it is….

Sometimes, it’s as if we are both afraid to talk about anything serious. Our time is filled discussing safe subjects or sitting in silence. We have past baggage that has been packed away and never brought up. We both have hurt, anger, resentment, overwhelming feelings that are extremely difficult to acknowledge, let alone talk about to each other. 

One innocent comment can be perceived as cruel, and then we are in battle again. Circling again and again, around the same never-resolved issues and past disappointments.

It’s Sad to See What We Have Become

During our 20 years, we have grown up together. We have loved and supported each other through the great and the challenging times. We have changed tremendously, as individuals and as a couple.

Yet, we have fought, have said and done things we can never take back, have hurt each other deeply. The small quarrels, the many misunderstandings, the lack of respect and care, have created a wall against each other, and around our once-open hearts.

So, I am deeply grieving.

Regarding the loss of the young, infatuated “us” who believed with love we could do anything together. Over the strong marriage I believed we could create. About the person who gazed at you with so much love and trust, when now I don’t even want to look at you.

I don’t want to let you in because I have in the past, and been wounded over and over again.

It’s hard to trust you. You have violated my trust and faith in you.

In my vision of the future, I picture you without you by my side. In this future, I am happy again.

I want you to be happy, too.

Where Do We Go From Here?

I really wish I knew. All of the turbulent feelings swirl inside my head and in my heart. Some days, I really want us to work out. I want to feel like things are better, more like how they once were.

I’m nervous to break away. I question how I will handle being a single mom, the financial worries, the impact on my children, and the dating scene again.

Other days, I really want to be done and to start the crazy, scary, exhilarating ride of discovering who I am and creating a life without you.

I’m a completely different person now than when I stood in that church and promised forever. I’m stronger now in my values, in my beliefs, in how I want to be treated, and in what I want from my life partner. 

Is that still you?

I guess only time will tell. 

20 years