Today is my tenth wedding anniversary. I married my husband at Chester Zoo ten years ago, and it was a wonderful day. I wore a beautiful dress and felt like a princess. Our family and friends came to celebrate with us, and we went on honeymoon in North Yorkshire. We took our dog, Baxter, because my husband could not put him into kennels and go abroad for a honeymoon. I found us a beautiful holiday cottage on the coast near to Whitby, and we visited the famous Whitby Abbey so that I could indulge in my Gothic fascination. Two days before our wedding, we discovered I was pregnant, which came as a surprise but a very welcome one. Our honeymoon was spent mostly staring at my stomach in wonder thinking, “How are we going to be parents?!”
I had hoped that my husband might take half a day to work from home on our anniversary, or at least try to finish work on time instead of returning home around 10pm. He has no such intentions, however. Why should he spend time with his wife on our ten-year wedding anniversary? His reasoning is that we can’t go anywhere because of lockdown, so we should do something later in the year instead. I explained that I just want some time with him at home, with his family. We have barely seen him for the past three months as he is so engrossed in his work. His one day off is usually spent doing personal admin, small DIY projects, and sleeping. We have had no quality time since New Year’s Day.
I have mixed feelings about my husband’s complete disregard for our milestone anniversary. We have now been together as a couple for twenty years, which is more than half of our lives. And yet we do not share our lives. We are married but we do not really live together. His life revolves around work, and it always has done. I didn’t notice before we got married because I worked full time and spent my weekends on overnight ghost hunts. I only began to realise that he had anxiety and depression after we were married. He never made it clear to me, and his parents didn’t try to prepare me. Indeed, it is only this year that I found out he has had mental health problems all his life. I knew it was inherited from his mother, as this became apparent during the past ten years. I have been left to parent our two children completely alone for the past two months while in lockdown, and train our rescue dog, who we adopted in December last year. My marriage has been a lonely one so far, but I still believe it has been mostly happy. I can see the bigger picture, and I am more than capable of looking after myself and my children. We take our holidays with friends when we can, we have outings and parties without my husband, and that’s just the way it is. Maybe he will decide to join us eventually. Today I will celebrate my wedding anniversary with my daughters. They suggested we have a little tea party at home, and that is what we will do. Happy Anniversary, Daniel. Hopefully, we will see you soon…
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