Redefining Happy Anniversary

Jason and I are redefining what “Happy Anniversary” means this year. You know a man really loves you when you tell him you want a divorce and he still buys you a Keurig for your anniversary.

Yup, the big D word.

For the record, I didn’t actually ask for a divorce for our anniversary. It’s something we’ve been moving towards for a very long time, and we’ve just been discussing it more lately. In fact, we’ll be talking about it with our marriage counselor at our appointment on Monday.

I wasn’t planning to blog about this side of our relationship, but I feel really guilty about all of the people wishing us a happy anniversary. Like we’re being fraudulent or something.

It’s not like we hate each other or even dislike each other. We’ve just come to realize that we don’t love each other the way we used to. Instead of falling more in love, we’ve been drifting apart, and all the work in counseling for the past 4 months has brought that to our attention. Back when we started going to counseling, I wrote about how priests and rabbis don’t perform marriage ceremonies, they witness them. It’s up to the couple to make the commitment and make it work.

That’s where Jason and I have failed. Although we’ve made the commitment to each other, we haven’t made it work. We’re fantastic friends, great parents, but poor partners. I have no idea how any of this is going to turn out, and I’m extremely scared about the outcome.

In the meantime, Happy Anniversary Jason. I love you and I’m honored to have spent the past 5 years by your side. You’re a wonderful man and an amazing father.



  1. Carrie Phelps says:

    I hope life brings you both happiness. My daughter and her husband just split as well. I was a bit shocked because they seemed so perfect together and apparently they are … as best friends. I can say they both have this beautiful shine about them now that they are both able to look forward to love and happiness.

  2. My husband and I hit a really rough spot this past year, where I honestly wasn’t sure if we were going to make it. We’re on slightly more solid ground now, but I’m still not 100% sure how things are going to go. I think the hard part is that the way people make marriage seem is that you fall in love and it’s forever, and that’s the end. When really, it’s about falling in and out of love, over and over again. We can’t expect to be with someone forever and not expect that nobody will change, when that happens, we can’t expect that there won’t be differences or rifts. Sometimes it’s just a matter of holding on during the rough parts and coming through on the other side, and sometimes you have to know when to let go. I wish you guys the best – it’s a scary time, I know.

  3. You’re so strong to blog about this openly, and I want you to know that I’ve been there. With a big, fat DOUCHE so it is a little different, but I’ve been there. Being a single mom was the most empowering thing I’ve ever done and I’d be lying if I didn’t sometimes wish I could go back 5 years and do it all over again. xoxo

  4. I totally understand. Me and my bf have been together for years and have two kids. We aren’t married, and I’m pretty sure we won’t ever be. Our relationship is just not like that. we work together great, and are awesome friends, but over the years, we’ve lost anything else. I’m positive we’d be divorced by now if we had ever been married.

    • I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one struggling. My fiance and I have been together for 7, going on 8 years and have 2 children together also. Sometimes I’m so madly in love with him and other times I feel like I’m just with him because I couldn’t give our kids the quality of life they have now. Truly it helps(as sad as it is) hearing that so many other people are in similar situations and I guess we really aren’t alone in our struggles even though it may feel that way. So strange how when I was a kid I just thought you grew up and got married and you lived happily ever after.

  5. Your honesty is refreshing! Sometimes divorce is best for both parties. I wish you well whatever happens!!

  6. Change is often a scary prospect, but changing your status from married mom to single mom could be the scariest change of all. It can be so scary that some people will stay in a relationship that is no longer working. The resulting anger, bitterness, constant hostility, resentment, guilt, self righteousness, ridicule and all kinds of other negativity is not a good environment to bring up children. It’s great that you and Jason are seeing a counselor and it would also be great to continue to see someone to help you keep both your trains on the right tracks afterwards too. Having that sounding board and a safe place to share what you are feeling will be invaluable for you & Jason & will also benefit Levi in the long run. It’s tough what you are going through & I don’t envy you having to do it. But I do envy your strength and bravery in making a difficult decision & I have a feeling that you will continue to be a wonderful role model of a woman, mother, friend and open mindedness. Best of luck to you sweetie … oh, and that shine that one of your other commentors mentioned? It’s already on you and Jason. Can’t you feel it?

  7. I’m glad you are honest about it.
    Marriage takes work, and so does romantic love. Try, it will be so worth it. Spend time together as a couple, not just as parents.
    Even if you have fallen “out of love”. You can fall back in love again.

  8. I completely get it. After fifteen years and raising my daughter together from the age of two to graduation (and our own thirteen year old) together, we looked at divorce in the face very seriously in June. We haven’t decided to call it quits just yet, and it is about more than falling out of love, but it is rough when one partner wants to work at things and the other partner wants to coast and ignore the problems. Our anniversary was in June – fourteen years – and we hardly batted an eyelash. I, too, am in counselling. I hope that you are able to remember why you married and to grow together as you change as individuals.

  9. Beth Johnson says:

    Praying for all 3 of you. My husband and I have been married for 20 years now. We are best friends, and more in love than ever. But, about 6 years ago, he came to me and said that he just didn’t think he was in love with me any more. Even though we had been having a tough time, I stubbornly refused to consider ‘THE D WORD’. We have 3 wonderful kids, then 8, 11, and 13, and I was not interested in harming them. My parents divorced when I was 11, and I vowed not to do that to my babies. I think my words were “So sad for you, we have 3 kids and we have to do what’s right for them”. OK, maybe not the most loving words I could have chosen, but I was upset. We made it through and our love is better than ever!
    Just saying, it’s not always easy or fun, but so worth it to plow through the rough patches. And you will never, ever, find anyone who will love your child as much as he does!

  10. The problem with “love” is that it doesn’t always feel the same. We’re all fed this notion of what love is and what it’s supposed to be (from movies, books, etc…)… so when our relationships evolve and our “love” changes – we think something is wrong – when in reality it is just maturing into something different than we’re used to.

    Last year I talked to my mom about not “being in love” with my hubby and how distant from the marriage I felt. Of course I love my hubby, at the time, however, it just didn’t feel the same anymore.

    Thankfully, she explained how love changes and it’s completely normal. She’s been married to my dad for 41 years… so I trust that she knows what she’s talking about.

    Last year it was nearly impossible thinking about being married to my hubby for the rest of my life… I was unhappy – more so with myself and my life than my hubby or the marriage itself- but the effect was felt everywhere in my life. Right now, I couldn’t imagine life without my hubby…

    It helps to think of marriage the same as I think of being a parent… While I love my children dearly – there are many times when I’m not happy with them or they are downright exasperating (I even think about how simple life would be without them) – but I don’t divorce myself from my children just because our parent/child dynamic/relationship has changed…

    (Oh, and speaking of children – they also have an impact on most marriages and it takes years to get things “back on track.”)

  11. I hope you both find what truly makes you happy. I really admire the maturity between the two of you and how you are handling the entire thing (emotions and all). = ) I’m your newest follower from the hop I believe. Looking forward to reading your blog.


  12. Hi there–found you from the Make My Morning Blog Hop. I really appreciate your honesty–I’m sure it must have been tough for you to write this post. Whatever you two decide, I wish you peace and happiness.

  13. Eliza-Ligia says:

    Have a really happy anniversary!

  14. You are very brave to share this with the world. You are an incredibly strong woman and amazing mom! I’m sorry that you are having to go through this but in the end it will make everyone happier and healthier!

  15. Nena Sinclair says:

    What’s really great is that you can talk openly about it and remain friends, that’s a big plus for your son, too, it will make it much easier than if you couldn’t stand each other! Kudos to you!

  16. I dont know how old you two are but You are dumber than a rock !! When you get older if you let the D word happen you will be looking for a Best Friend to spend the rest of with & you will regret letting this happen

    • Patricia you’re rude! Get a life.

    • I agree with Sadie. You are ruder than rude! Your comment is completely uncalled for.

    • I don’t know how old you are, Patricia, but you sound old and bitter! Just because you don’t agree with someone’s choices doesn’t mean you should call them stupid.

    • Honestly, Patricia, that was uncalled for. Staying together for the kids isn’t a wise thing and if they feel they are better off as friends, then that’s a decision I can both understand and respect. Have a little class.

    • Patricia – Regardless of what you think of divorce, your comment was totally uncalled for. Personally, I believe in the concept of “sacrificial marriage”, but that would not give me the right to judge others who don’t share my beliefs, nor would I call them stupid! I truly value this bloggers honesty and I am happy that she has been trying to work it out with her husband…many people do not do that. I wish this couple nothing but blessing and happiness in the years to come 🙂

  17. My parents went through some seriously rough patches…but they plowed through and have a renewed relationship now that all the kids have grown and are out of the house. People misunderstand that love isn’t a feeling – it is a verb. An action. The best way to demonstrate it to our kids is to put it into action in front of them. I remember the fighting and the struggles my parents had, but I have more respect for them because even though their marriage struggled at times, they stuck it out for us kids. My dad always threatened that when the kids grew up and were out of the house, he would be gone. But their decision to struggle through made them love one another more in the end.

    • Well said Rebecca, as I mentioned above, I too believe in “sacrificial marriage” (of course there are extremes in which I believe separation to be necessary).

      Here is a wonderful post from another blog that I follow about “love” & marriage…

      By posting this, I am not pushing judgement upon those who have divorced or who are thinking about divorce. It’s just something to consider….

  18. Love your honesty. Wishing you great happiness in your life!

  19. I hope you guys are able to remain friends throughout this all. That would obviously be the best anniversary gift ever, for both of you – and for Levi. I’ve never been married to someone I love, so my divorce was a happy time. I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be to be with someone for so long, love them, and then have to face the big D word. You are both amazing people (I don’t know him but he had to be pretty amazing for you to stay with him for 5 years, right?:)), and you will make it out of this alive. I promise! <3

  20. I love the way you look at things. The positivity makes me smile. I hope you both get fulfillment in every way, in your life.
    -Dawn aka dawnmomoffour

  21. Anita Leibert says:

    I think that sometimes people just change. I admire that you both can discuss this in a civil manner and that you hold no anger towards one another. You have to do what makes you happy. We only have one life to live!! I wish you the best 🙂

  22. It is good that you are finding this out before it becomes ugly. It is much better to split up and remain friendly. , especially for your son. I hope all works out for you

  23. Whatever decision you guys will make, I hope its for the better. I hope the kids would understand your situation. Happy Anniversary though.

  24. Start having sex everyday. My husband and I do, and we couldn’t be happier!

  25. Wow. It takes a lot of courage to blog about this. Your son will thank you so much for being more than just civil if you do decide to divorce. I wish my parents would have given me a good example of positive partnership growing up, be it as a loving couple or good friends co-parenting. Bless both of you.

  26. A separation did me a world of good….7 months we spent in two different houses learning to not only work together but remember why we married in the first place. I thought we were going to divorce for the entire time and then one day he said he wanted to come home. Then we went to counseling but ultimately it was the real want and try that made it work. It wasn’t easy. We had to hit rock bottom.

  27. My ex-husband is still an extremely close friend and loves his kids, but just didn’t love me and had a lot of issues. Frankly, I realized I didn’t love him either after years of begging him to do counseling and trying to make it work. Now I have a very happy family with the kids and someone new. The kids get to hang out with Dad on Saturdays and he gets to be free of responsibility for the rest of the week. Best of both worlds for him and led to a better, more stable home here for the kids and I. You’re a lot stronger than me Ms. Jen and I know if you two do get divorced, you’ll come out okay. <3

  28. I agree with sadie about the rudeness. Really that’s just uncalled for.

    As for the actual post, my husband and I have been feeling the same and discussing the same thing. We’ve realized we are great friends, and awesome parents but together as an actual married couple we are both miserable and fight constantly. I hope you can continue to be great friends and partners in regards to raising Levi, but you both need to be happy. And as long as you are happy Levi wont care. I would have rather my parents divorced earlier and remained friends than fight all the time and then have an ugly divorce to where they haven’t spoken a kind word to each other since. Best of luck to you all

  29. I am so glad you have been so open and honest about this part of your life. It doesn’t always work out like everyone thinks it does and I’m happy you guys are happy with whatever you decide. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, its what you think. 🙂 Hugs Jen!

  30. I love your honesty and the fact that you are, in away, reaching out to the world with this can be helpful. I made the stupid decision to married when I was 18 and was divorced before I was 20. I got remarried at 25 and we are about to celebrate 4 years on 9/18. He’s my best friend and so much more than my husband, but honestly, if we ever got to a point in our lives where we were better off as friends than spouses, we’d go our separate ways, because that friendship is so important.
    I wish you guys nothing but the best…..

  31. My ex-husband and I couldn’t and still can’t live in the same house. Do we love each other? Yup. Do we love the kids? Yup. We just couldn’t find a way to make it work as a marriage. And we tried. Twice. So now, we are best friends, married to people who we can live with. We are all together (all 4 of us) with the kids and now grandkids, for birthdays, holidays, family cookouts…you name it. We just make it work. And sometimes we argue like we’re still married. Cause I still know what his buttons are 😉 Whatever you decide will be right for you. It seems like you’ve thought it through and it will be fine. I’m not gonna tell you to keep working on it because sometimes you just can’t. But we love you.

  32. Wishing you and your husband all the best. The question I have for you is — now that you guys know what is broke are you able to fix? Or do you guys start new chapters? No matter the outcome I wish nothing but the best for all of you.

  33. I agree with the sex post. Do the 30 day sex challenge. Have sex with your husband everyday for 30 days, and see how it goes at the end. No excuses! Do not falter for any reason. Every day!

  34. Roseanne A says:

    You are brave for telling the world and I send you the strength needed to hold on and trying to make it work.
    Good luck!

  35. I think the thing everyone needs to remember is that you are going to marriage counseling. So what that means for us is that you are not needing advice on how to fix your marriage you are getting that. What you need is understanding and support for what ever decision you and your husband make for the good of your family circumstances. So good Luck and I hope everything works out for the best be it fixing your marriage by staying together or getting a divorce.

  36. Kathy Goyer says:

    I so agree with what Beth Johnson said, it is rough sometimes, but every marriage has hard spots and good times, some far and few between, but being married is not easy, it is a lot of work on both parts. I have been married for 20 years now to my 2nd husband, and it is hard. I brought two teenagers into this marriage and that made it even harder, but if you really want it to work, you can plow through the hard times and make it to some great times. We have had times where I wanted to run, he wanted to run, but we hung in there and we have a great marriage, not that we don’t still have rough times, but it is so worth it. Finding a good man and a good dad, that is a really hard thing to do;. Being a single parent has it’s good and bad.; I was single for 7 years with my two kids, we had a lot of fun, but we struggled every day to make it. Money was tight and we didn’t always have what we needed but we had each other. Getting married again was really hard on them. After 20 years they now have come to respect my husband but it was a long road. Anyway, I just want to say, good luck in any way you choose to go, and I send prayers and blessings your way.; Kathy

  37. I sincerely hope that things work out for the two of you, however that is supposed to be. I can understand what you’re saying about where you’re at. It’s not an easy place to be and it’s even harder to admit when you’re there. You will all have a much better chance at having a functional family, even if it means divorce, if you don’t try to lie your way into something that isn’t.

    Best of luck to you both and happy anniversary.

  38. Wendi Scharrer says:

    Jen, I appreciate your honesty with yourself and the blog world. This is not an easy topic to talk to anyone about. I am sure you and Jason will do what is best for your family. Levi is very lucky to have 2 loving parents. Which will never change, with or without the big “D”!

  39. Jennifer Hedden says:

    I am so sorry to hear this and I hope that everything works out for the best. I am currently engaged to a wonderful guy and we are so in love, but I do worry about things happening down the road. It is not because I question our love or don’t trust him it is just because we do come from different backgrounds and his family does not like me because of that. I guess it is like the quote says “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a gift to be enjoyed.” I wish you and your family the best.

  40. Pamela Halligan says:

    I hope your divorce goes smoothly and that you both remain friends for your kids sake. My husband and I have been married for nearly 10 years, and the “Big D” word came up for the first time last summer. Fortunately, we have been able to work through our issues for the moment and are looking forward to celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this fall. However, we still have much to work on, and I always feel divorce, unfortunately is a possibility for us, where as before I never thought it would affect us. Thanks for being open and sharing. Good luck and God bless you and your family.

  41. Are you able to turn to God and faith for help as well?

  42. My parents split when I was 10. It’s still the worst thing that ever happened to me, and I’ve been through grad school. And a divorce of my own.

  43. I hope you two will be able to work things out and be happy eventually..

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