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A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten

A Different Kind of Anniversary -

It’s been five years. Five years ago my marriage was destroyed, and I felt helpless to save it as my family crumbled around me.


When you’re in the middle of a crisis, it’s as though your time stands still, and it’s unbelievable that life can just keep going for everyone around you. I distinctly remember that feeling. People were lined up at movie theaters to see a paranormal romance. The radio kept right on playing songs, one after the other. Reminders of the upcoming holiday season were everywhere that I turned. Life went on all around me, and it felt as if I would never catch up.


I look around at my life now, my cozy home, my growing boys, and I see the comforting signs that life really has moved on…that I have moved on.


At six months ~ I was still married. Confused, hurting, betrayed, and desperate to understand why this had happened, I was also hopeful that we could repair the damage that our little family had endured. I read every book that I could get my hands on that dealt with healing a marriage after infidelity. That Thanksgiving, my broken heart felt far from thankful.


At one year ~ My ex had told me that all men knew that if a husband had an affair, it was entirely the wife’s fault for not being enough. Recognizing the lies, my heart felt free to distance itself and to heal. I was a single mother. I had met my Beloved. The understanding of our similar hurts turned into a beautiful friendship. My boys asked Mr. Joe if he would marry their mommy, and to please be their stepdad. Our friendship was turning into a love and a desire to become a family.


At two years ~ I was my Beloved’s and he was mine. We were married and becoming a family, and yet had to live apart so that my boys could stay near their father while my husband was stationed elsewhere. My Beloved spent every possible moment with us, deepening our family relationships. The pain was still there, but it was fading.


At three years ~ Because of co-parenting, I saw my ex more than I was able to see my husband. We had gone through a custody trial, and had found out that even though I had retained primary care over my boys, we could not join my Beloved where he had been stationed across the country. We must continue to be apart. It was during the third anniversary that my Beloved came to be stationed much closer to us – only five hours away – and so we were finally able to see him on the weekends. The custody trial brought back all of those feelings of hurt and betrayal once more. For the second time, my family had been torn apart…and my heart was breaking.


At four years ~ Healing and forgiveness had continued their work in my life. We did our best to remain a family over the miles. My Beloved had been deployed, and we had eagerly waited for the time that he could come home to our arms, safe and sound.


At five years ~ Our boys are growing into their roles as young men-in-training. Our little family was shocked to learn that cancer was in our midst. After two surgeries and a clean scan, we are grateful that we are now in the clear! Because my Beloved is healthy now, we have learned that he will most likely be deployed again next year. And his contract with the Air Force was extended for another six months. There will be another anniversary before we can finally live together as a family.


At times, my heart still aches. Even after all of these years. I long to be with the one whom my soul loves. Even though the hurt of the infidelity has healed, scarred over on the surface, its painful effects are still present. I ache to be a complete family. There is the deep pain every time I watch my boys drive away from my protective arms. The ache of loneliness because of why my Beloved and I must be apart. The fear of further heartbreak when painful words replay in my mind…It was all my fault. I wasn’t pretty enough. I wasn’t submissive enough. What if I’m not enough now…


I must call out those thoughts for what they truly are – lies. This is when I have to tell myself that the nightmare is really over. I think back to the quiet doormat of a girl that I once was – what I had thought that I needed to be in order to fit the definition of a good, Christian wife. I see the growth that has taken place in my heart, and all of the growing that I still need to do. I think of my Beloved and all that he taken on – becoming part of an instant family of five, having to be apart from us, and all of his sacrifice. When those lies attack, I try to tell myself that HE chose me. He CHOSE me. He chose ME. I will never be perfect, but he somehow picked me, all of my boys, all of my faults, and all of my fears.


This anniversary, I am looking back on the journey that has brought me to this point, and I am oddly thankful…


I am thankful for my ex – Because of him, I have been given three of the most beautiful little treasures…Camden, Aiden, and Quinn.


I am thankful for discovering the affair – The truth really did set me free.


I am thankful that I took him back and worked with all of my heart to restore our marriage for six months – Otherwise I may have always wondered if I did the right thing.


I am thankful for the divorce – It was the painful gift of strength and independence that my heart desperately needed.


I am thankful for meeting my Beloved when I did – I believe that it was orchestrated by a Heavenly Matchmaker, and was the perfect balm for my healing heart.


I am thankful for the young men that our sons are becoming – Navigating through a broken home was never something that I wanted for our boys, but they have handled it with more grace than I ever did in my own childhood.


I am thankful for our military life – My husband’s willingness to protect and serve the country and its people that he loves so much is a wonderful example to me of laying down one’s life for others.


This is difficult to write, but I am truly thankful for the cancer – It reminded me of how incredibly blessed that I am for the gift of my loved ones. I pray that I will cherish each and every moment with them…for the rest of my life.


This anniversary, I am incredibly thankful…

I hope that you don’t mind, but I fast-forwarded Our Story a bit today. Being thankful for the more unusual things has recently weighed heavily on my heart, and it wouldn’t let go until I had written the very last word. I will be back soon with the continuing chapters of Our Story. I hope that each and every one of you have an extra special time of Thanksgiving! ~ Love, G

Photo is courtesy of Joanne Funk


~ Our Story ~

There’s No Place Like Home ~ Chapter One

Letter to the Other Woman ~ Chapter Two

The Nightmare ~ Chapter Three

Meanwhile, in Afghanistan ~ Chapter Four

With this Ring…Saying Goodbye ~ Chapter Five

A Letter to a Graduate ~ Chapter Six

Over the Miles and Years ~ Chapter Seven

Someone Like Him ~ Chapter Eight

In the Quiet ~ Chapter Nine

A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten

Healing a Little More Each Day ~ Chapter Eleven

My New Friend ~ Chapter Twelve

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Written by ginger


  • Brenda says:

    I really related to this. November is sort of a month of anniversaries for me too, and it helps me to know that other women in our situation still sort of look back, even after we’ve moved on.

    • ginger says:

      Brenda, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I wish that I could give you a big hug…I will be praying for you and your own anniversaries. I’m off to check out your blog! 🙂

  • Ruth says:

    I remember being a Twilight mama with you. =)

    • ginger says:

      Ah, yes…those Twilight days! 🙂 I still have a soft spot in my heart for my guilty pleasure! 😉 Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Ruth – you’ve got me walking down memory lane! 🙂 I am so happy that you stopped by tonight!

  • Wow… What an amazing love story you have! I hope someday soon you’ll be able to live in the same place finally. Wishing the best for you, your Beloved, and your boys.

    • ginger says:

      Thank you so much, Sarah! We’re getting closer – enough to where we see the light at the end of the tunnel. About one more year until this enlistment is up, and then we may never let him leave the house! 🙂 Your comment was such a sweet encouragement to me tonight – thank you!

  • Ana says:

    Such and amazing story, and so brave of you to share it! Thank you

    • ginger says:

      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Ana! I really appreciate that you stopped by today – and your note was such an encouragement this morning! It’s scary to put it all out there sometimes, but my prayer is that it will be an encouragement to others! 🙂

  • Rachel says:

    THANK YOU for sharing this. You just can’t even know how much I needed to read this today. Some of my story is so similar. It’s been three years since my marriage ended. I just survived a custody battle with my Ex and was ordered to return to his tiny town. I’m now 2.5 hours from my fiance, and the only place in my adult life that ever has felt like home. The wounds from my divorce were ripped open again. All I hear is how this is all my fault. I’m finding it difficult to choose healing. Hearing all you have walked through over the past 5 years gives me courage. Just knowing that someone else “gets it” is so hope giving.

    • ginger says:

      Yes, yes, yes. I can relate to everything that you are saying – even more similarities to my story! I am so sorry for all of the pain that you have gone through! I wish that I could give you a giant hug. You are right, choosing healing is very difficult. Sometimes it’s a daily struggle. But I have found it to be the only way to heal. Time doesn’t heal. Choosing to heal and to forgive is the first step. It hurts so much, and I hurt for you, too. But it is also freeing – and that is what I hope for you! *hug*

  • […] got an Instagram peek into my life, learned what makes me – me, and I shared about a very different kind of anniversary – looking back at the five years since my first marriage […]

  • Thank you for sharing your story. You are a strong woman and look forward to continuing to watch you grow through future blog posts. You are an inspiration.
    This may be the first time I saw a book tab on a new to me blog and didn’t immediately click on it. I finished reading this post first.

  • Lisa H. says:

    My story is somewhat similar to yours (although I met my Beloved in a different town and he was able to relocate once we got married – we didn’t have to deal with deployment). My first husband was physically unfaithful, but I think we could have worked past that. Then he was emotionally unfaithful, and once he told me he was in love with someone else, well, that was the end of that. I wasn’t going to raise our son waiting and wondering if the other shoe would drop, would my husband fall in love with someone else again down the road. Our son was not quite three when his dad moved out. Now he’s 11, and struggling with the whys of it, and not real happy leaving our home to go stay with his dad. It’s tough, But like you, I believe God brought me the right man at the right time. I remarried just over two years after the divorce was final, and he’s just perfect for me. Bless you and your family – may y’all have many years of happiness, and may dealings with the ex be as painless as it’s possible for such things to be.

  • Tanya says:

    My heart goes out to you being separated from your beloved. I can’t imagine! You have a great attitude though. Keep hanging on and holding onto God. I pray that it is sooner rather than later that you are all together. Thanks for sharing on #throwbackthursdaylinkup.

  • […] don’t often feel like a military wife – maybe that’s because of our unique circumstances. When the guest speaker spoke of the appreciation he has for the military spouses who do the duty […]

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

  • […] let go. I have also recounted my journey through being a single mom to three little boys, and how my heart healed after all of the pain. Eventually a wonderful man entered my life, and we became a blended […]

  • Mary says:

    Your story gives me hope that I will find a love that can help heal my heart!

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

  • L says:

    “The truth will set you free.” I hate to say this, but I know someone who cheated on his wife a couple of times in the last year. I never told for a number of reasons. No proof, he would deny it, they have 2 little kids together, etc. I don’t want to rock their marriage when she will probably believe him anyway (and shoot the messenger). What do you think? Would you still want to hear it from an acquaintance over your husband? Would it matter? (I am not asking this in a cynical way)

  • brandy says:

    This story as well as the one about your son asking if you still loved his daddy..reminds me so much of my life. my son has asked me this multiple answer (even though hard sometimes) is always yes. Thankfully, his dad and I get along now and co-parent better than I ever imagined .. we have a wonderful relationship and our son is able to grow up knowing it’s okay to love us both equally. This didn’t always come easy though and his infidelity broke my you we tried a couple times to work it out (even after we divorced) but the hurt and pain doesn’t go away no matter what and I could never trust him again. I still have days where I struggle with the fact – I feel as though I failed my family and my son but I know deep down it wasn’t my fault.

    • ginger says:

      Hi Brandy! Thank you so very much for your note. I’m so sorry that you are also going through this – but please know that you’re not alone in how you are feeling. This pain really isn’t your fault – please let that wash over you. I wish I knew what to say to help other moms like us feel comforted. I just said a prayer for you and your little one – and wish I could give you a big hug in person!

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

  • […] A Different Kind of Anniversary ~ Chapter Ten […]

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I’m Ginger ~

I'm a wife to my Beloved, mom of three boys, bookworm, survivor of a broken heart, and Kansas Girl. It is my desire to encourage you. No matter what storm you're going through right now, you are not alone. I promise.

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