There are two groups of people you will encounter in your life. One group will be those who have a front seat to all the highs and lows you experience. The other will only view things from a distance. Both, however, will assume they understand the things you endure along your personal journey. Because I believe there is still a lot of good in this world, most of these individuals, from either group, will want the best for you. Yet, they will still make several mistakes in interpreting the way you view and live your life. For me, one of the ways I experience this interpersonal misstep involves my wedding day and my memories of it post-divorce.
Several years ago I married who I thought was the love of my life, and we were blessed to create two beautiful children. Spoiler alert: Life happened, and things changed. One domino tipped another, and we eventually decided it was best to get a divorce. That’s not a secret now, and in no way will I ever shrug it off as something that I intended when I said “I do.” That being said, though, thoughts of my wedding day still make me smile.
My Wedding Day: Taboo Talk
An interesting thing happens when you’re a divorced person who had the wedding of her dreams: people never want to talk about it. It’s not because they’re insensitive or disinterested. There seems to be a general presumption that mentioning my wedding day will conjure bad memories for me because my marriage ended. It’s as if people think I bear an internal heaviness around that day, and that the dissolution of my marriage meant the entire experience, from start to finish, was negative.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Humans are naturally born with the capacity to compartmentalize. I definitely can, and I did when it came to my wedding day and the end of my marriage. When I think about my wedding, I still consider it an absolutely perfect day that was beautiful in all aspects. Because I was pregnant when I got married, I felt my most beautiful. I was creating life inside of me and simultaneously creating a new life with the man I cherished and adored.
We recited heartfelt vows on the beach, which, to this day, is still my haven and happy place. Vividly I remember imprinting the sand with my feet, the waves infinitely applauding our union as we looked into each other’s eyes. I felt like a princess in the gown of my dreams. I surrounded myself with people who endlessly cared for and tended to my heart and soul, and wanted nothing but the best for me. On that day, I was completely enveloped by unconditional love.
These sights, sounds, and feelings were genuine on that day, and they are as real today as they were then. They all come cascading back when I reminisce about my wedding day. That’s why I do not for a moment regret or feel bad about it simply because life after that wonderful day didn’t go as planned.
Divorce could never put a permanent cloud on the memory of my wedding day. I don’t feel like I need to tuck it away like a traumatic experience or a bad dream. Neither do I consider it a family heirloom that needs to be stored away in a seldom-opened trunk kept in a forgotten basement corner. My wedding day was SUCH a celebratory moment in my life, and I think back on it affectionately.
My marriage ending poorly will never mean my concept and hope of love is now meaningless or hurtful for me. I don’t consider love to be this Voldemortian, “he-who-must-not-be-named” villain. I still love “love,” for myself and anyone else who genuinely feels they have found it. It is a fascinating adventure, full of warm and precious moments. The end result should never take that away from the journey.
Friends who have seen the intimate portrait of my life, with its ebbs and flows, often tiptoe around the subject of my wedding day with me. I guess they suppose it creates feelings of emotional pain and distress. I also honestly believe this is rooted in their love, concern and compassion for me. But that’s why talking about this now is so important. Whether you’re in my inner circle or a casual acquaintance, I know you’re rooting and cheerleading for me. I know you mean well. I know you don’t want to hurt me or bring up “bad memories.” As the protagonist in this story, I sincerely appreciate your consideration. But it’s not necessary.
I’m Okay – Really
My wedding day isn’t a memory that I ponder daily, weekly or even monthly. But I’m not afraid to talk about it, and I don’t attach the *negative feelings* about my divorce to such a significant and joyous day in my life. Unfortunate circumstances should never invalidate the beautiful moments in our lives. Likewise, mentioning my wedding day won’t send me spiraling into a deep rage or depression. I think too highly of it. Now, I will never sell you a story about divorce being easy; it’s not. But creating my fairytale wedding was, and I will always cherish it as such.