Why Bother Celebrating Anniversaries?
I think wedding anniversaries are a little more monumental than birthdays. Growing a year older happens to us, while staying married happens because of us. In other words, as long as we are alive, our birthdays automatically mark another year of living. But commemorating a wedding anniversary is dependent upon how well we have done with someone else. Recognizing wedding anniversaries announces to others that, for another year, we have succeeded as a couple. Yet, if we do not hold a high regard for our better half, if we do not accept their idiosyncrasies, or remind ourselves of the important commitment we made on our wedding day, there would be no wedding anniversary to celebrate.
There is no other relationship, other than marriage, that requires more of two people. First of all, staying married calls us to practice and eventually develop an attitude of sticking with it. I must confess, I did not begin my marriage that way. It is a little embarrassing to think back to how I started out as a wife. Yes, I fell head over heels for the man who was patient enough to ask me more than once to marry him. And yes, I did say the part in the vows about until death do us part. But, my heart did not match my words. There was a secret and unspoken clause in the back of mind that went like this: lf this does not work out, I can always get a divorce. It was not a good way to begin. But after a few years of being married to a man who was in it for the long haul, no matter what, I realized I needed to seal off my escape hatch. Once I did, our marriage took a turn for the better.
I can accept another’s idiosyncrasies for a short amount of time. When I go to work, I live with the traits and qualities of my coworkers for the eight hours I spend with them. But I don’t bring them home with me. I get to leave them at work. Not so in a marriage partnership. Since we live with our spouse, we witness one another’s quirky ways day in and day out. Our habits, moods and perspectives along with our point of view, and opinions, most likely differ a bit from each other’s. Yet, it is only in the marriage partnership that necessitates us to admire those differences in our spouse. In doing so, our scope of how we think about things enlarges. Being married has been a good education for me. I am constantly learning how to live harmoniously with someone quite unlike myself.
Finally, marriage calls us to trust the one we live with. At the altar, no one knows what is up ahead nor can anyone predict future events. More than likely though, there will be financial decisions to talk through, health issues to prepare for, and unrealistic expectations to evaluate. If we rely on our spouse and our spouse relies on us, then the unpredictable, unexpected and future surprises won’t sever the relationship. Those things will only deepen the appreciation for one another.
Why bother celebrating anniversaries? It is worth acknowledging an anniversary because a job well done deserves some recognition.