Should You Do Anything To Acknowledge The One Year Anniversary Of A Husband’s Affair?

Most wives are well aware of how much time has passed since they discovered their husband’s affair. Some will tell you that the time has passed quickly. Others will tell you that the time was so slow that it dragged. Some days, it feels like a little bit of both. However, because the wives are so aware of the passage of time, many will notice when noteworthy days pass. Many women call the day that the affair was discovered “d day” or “the day my world came crashing down,” or some variation on this. Many wives notice when the one year anniversary of “d day” is coming up. And they wonder if they should do anything about it. They wonder if they should just ignore it or use the day to take stock and discuss it with their spouse.

You might hear a comment like, “next weekend is the one year anniversary of the day that I found out about my husband’s affair. This knowledge has hit me hard. A year ago, I felt pretty certain that I would be divorced. The fact that I’m not divorced is a testament to my husband’s and my stubbornness. Neither of us wanted to give up. I admit that we’ve come a long way. But there are days when I still feel very hurt and raw. And then, these feelings will pass and I will feel okay again. Plus, I can’t really fault my husband. He has done what he’s been asked to do. Some days, he gets frustrated that I still hold pain and we have conflict about this. But overall, we are still standing. I mentioned this weird anniversary to my husband and he acted like he hadn’t even remembered. I find that hard to believe, but I did not make a big deal about it. I decided that I’d like to use the day to really talk to my husband about the state of our marriage, where we want it to go, and what we’d still like to work on. My husband said he will have that conversation with me if I want, but he says that ruminating over that day is kind of creepy and unsettling. Is he right? How can you not notice when that day passes? It was kind of a noteworthy day in my life. It was an awful day, but does that mean you’re just supposed to forget it?”

I think that different people will approach this in different ways. I would compare this to how people approach other painful events (like the death of a family member or accident) very differently from one another. For example, some of my family members honor the day of my grandfather’s death every year. They will meet at his grave and go out to dinner afterward. I DO remember my grandfather on this day, but I find it painful to dwell on it, so I don’t necessarily focus on the day of his death. I definitely remember my grandfather any time that memories come up and I definitely visit his grave, but I don’t pick specific days to do this. Neither way is right or wrong. Some find it cathartic to remember. And others find it painful. I don’t see anything wrong with choosing whatever method works for you. As long as you aren’t ruminating and whatever you do brings you a sense of relief or closure instead of pain, then I don’t see the harm.

If dwelling on the day bothers you or brings up fresh memories of the affair, then I’d definitely skip it and I’d try to make new and better memories. I’d plan an outing with my husband that gave me a sense of happiness and a fresh start. (By the way, it is completely normal to feel like you aren’t quite where you want to go one year post-affair. But, it’s good that you can see definite progress.) It’s fine to note where you still have work to do, but don’t let the setbacks keep you from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

If you want to talk about your progress with your husband, then don’t hesitate to do so. Talking about these issues is vital. Having open communication is a must. This could be a very healthy and productive conversation, but I don’t think that you need to wait until any special anniversary or any specific day to have it. And I don’t think that you want to set a precedent where every year, you’re going to feel a need to look back at the affair. After a year, things can most definitely still feel fresh. But you’re eventually going to want to get to a point where you want to look forward and not back. So this is only my opinion, but my answer is that you can notice the date if you feel that it might benefit you or be productive. But if all it does is bring you right back to the pain of the affair after you have made a year of progress, then I just don’t see the point.  From my own experience, I found it more productive to focus on things that pulled me forward and not pushed me back.  There’s more of that story on my blog at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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