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Need some anniversary help

154 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MsChatsAlot
Today is my 11th anniversary with DH; our wedding anniversary is in April, but we met 11 years ago today, and that's usually the day we celebrate (modestly). I am trying to write 11 things I love about him, and I came up with a really uncomfortable realization. We have had some pretty difficult times for a lot of our relationship, and we are doing well now (still seeing a therapist about 2x a month, but doing okay). I am unable to articulate 11 reasons why I love him. Every time I try to think of one, it reminds me of something crappy he has done, or some way he has screwed up. I feel horrible.

I feel like now I really, really need to come up with these things. I feel like I have spent so much time mopping up and putting back together that it has become a habit to highlight the bad or things that need to be fixed, and now I can't say why I love him. I am not asking for anyone to tell me why I love him, but does anyone have any suggestions about how to get there? Right now I am stuck with things going through my head like, "tries to do the right thing," which is stupid, patronizing and unromantic, and highlights all the time he has failed to do the right thing. Fast help necessary, as I need to get this on a card by the time I go to sleep.

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Does he know that you're planning to do this? If not, why not come up with a different anniversary commemoration that is not so stressful for you -- write him a poem, make him some cookies, whatever.

I think doing the list is a good idea to focus yourself on the good things, but you can make it private, for yourself, and without a deadline -- just to remind yourself of why you DO love him. Without all the pressure of having to get it done and knowing he'll see it so it has to be good enough, it might be easier?

As far as coming up with ideas -- think of the times when you had the strongest good feelings for him. How did you see him then? Think of things he did that made you happy, big or small. Think of silly, personal stuff, like an inside joke that you and he share that wouldn't make sense to a stranger or just little details like (an example about my DH) I just love his hands, he has beautiful hands. Think of when you first decided you wanted to spend your life with him. Why did you feel that way?
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OK, start with "tries to do the right thing" to get where you'd like to be . . . what qualities does that show about him? Every characteristic that makes us screw up has an aspect in which it can make us nail something exactly. Like if he's been too trusting in certain situations, that could mean he's optimistic (to a fault, but that can stay off the card). Or if he finds fault, then his perfectionism and eye for detail may warrant a compliment. If getting him to communicate is like pulling teeth, then you might mention how that translates to deliberation or discretion where blurting or hurrying through something could have caused harm.

Happy anniversary!
"tries to do the right thing" could translate to "honorable" or "caring."
Thank you. All good suggestions. He doesn't know I am doing this, but it is probably the best thing I could give him right now, and I really want to try to do it. I am going to continue it in my horse journal for myself.

I like caring and optimistic. I will keep going...
11 favorite memories of time together could be another way to approach it. Something like that might also help you go about doing a list of 11 things you love, too. (and congrads! Dh & I also celebrate right around now as it's when we initially met too!)

Originally Posted by mumkimum View Post
11 favorite memories of time together could be another way to approach it.
This is what I was thinking, as well. Including 11 special memories you share as a couple might help you focus on the positives, as well as making the card special.
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I recently made a list of reasons why I love my husband. It really was for me as much as it was for him. It was mostly just brainstorming and really small simple things. I made a list of about fifty things, but I could have kept going. I had things on there like "has nice hair," "will put up with me," "doesn't complain if the house is a mess," "brought me food in bed after a had my babies." Those are probably not the main reason why I love him, but just counting all those little things brings to mind more little things and then some big things, too. I know you probably finished your card, but I would still encourage you to keep going. There probably are a lot of little things that you take for granted. Like is he faithful to you? That is a pretty big blessing when you think you could be with some one who isn't. Does he help support you financial? That would be another big thing that we don't always show how much we appreciate.
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I did it, and he liked his card, said it was the most touching thing and he would keep it.

I am going to try, but there aren't many little things either. I am just not in a great place with him mentally. He was grumpy and mean all weekend.

No, he doesn't support me financially and although he hasn't cheated on me, he has looked at Internet porn and even searched local porn. We have a had a long, checkered 11 years. He is like a porcupine, but I guess the same could be said of me. We don't really even have the same political views in many ways anymore either. We are in the same party, but it's a very fine line.

I think I am going to meet with our counselor individually and talk about some of this. Divorce was on the table for awhile (for many reasons), but I am trying to keep it off and I need to feel better about DH. I think I need to work on just accepting him and letting go, but I also don't take crap from anybody and will not take it from him. There has to be a balance.

Thanks for the help, again; it made it possible for me to make him feel good, and he is definitely going through something.
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What a wonderful thing for you to do.

A lot of struggle and difficulty over the years can cloud our feelings toward one another, but it is great that you pushed yourself to do this.

Just like the habit of finding the faults has developed over time, the habit of finding his strengths and your love can develop over time too. I would suggest doing this daily. Spending some time to sit down and really think about the things you love about him. The first few days will likely be more difficult (as you've already discovered), but as time goes on, I have a feeling you'll find it easier and easier.

Loving someone is like using a muscle and the more we exercise it and focus on it getting stronger and stronger, the more we start to feel it and see it.
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