My husband once said to me that he thought anniversaries were a commercial way for companies to earn money. And I can understand why he thought this way – it was his belief that in order to celebrate your wedding anniversary ‘correctly’ you had to buy each other gifts, from a particular style for each year you had been together. He also believed that jewelry stores preyed on males who want to make their wives happy and that women bought men things like cologne or socks. Not exactly an exciting celebration.
I know he isn’t alone in his thinking. Once upon a time, I managed a jewellery store. We often sold expensive diamonds and gold to men who were celebrating their wedding anniversary by buying their wife a piece of jewellery. We would have women come into the store, shop around with them and find something they loved, have it all detailed down on a card and get her to give the card to her husband. Anniversary gift sorted. We would even offer to call her husband for her and let him know she had chosen something.
But how is this really celebrating anything about your relationship?
My husband and I talk, a lot. We talk about all the things that are important to us and why. We talk about our previous relationships and we learn from them – both in things that weren’t so great and things that were. More importantly, we learn about ourselves and about each other.
One of the things we both realised was that in our previous relationships, we didn’t really celebrate our anniversaries. And when we did, it was more of an obligatory celebration because we felt we had to in order to meet someone else’s expectations.
In my last relationship, we only celebrated our anniversary twice – the first year we were together and the last. The last wasn’t even really a celebration as it was a last ditch effort to try and piece back together a relationship that was broken beyond repair.
We didn’t want the same for our relationship now. As much as I love diamonds (they are just so pretty) I don’t feel like they, in any way, represent my husband’s love for me. And my husband didn’t want our anniversary to feel like a commercial obligation we needed to make.
So we were left with a choice. Ignore the idea of an anniversary and avoid the commercialism, or decide what we want our anniversary to mean and celebrate it our way.
During our conversation, we were able to determine why celebrating our wedding anniversary was important to us. Here’s what we came up with:
1 – You May Love Each Other Every Single Day, But This Is Your Time To Truly Celebrate Your Relationship
We tell each other ‘I love you’ every single day, we say it, we text it and most importantly, we mean it. I often talk about how amazing my husband is, and I know he feels the same about me. But we don’t often actually celebrate our relationship.
Taking time to celebrate your wedding anniversary means you get to celebrate the amazingness that is the two of you together. When you spend years together you really go through a lot – having a successful marriage isn’t a walk in the park. It takes time, it takes effort and it takes a lot of emotional power. Celebrate that you were able to do this for another year!
Your relationship is something that deserves to be celebrated. It isn’t a time to celebrate each other – you do that on a regular basis. This is your time to celebrate the two of you together.
2 – It’s Nice To Take The Time To Remember Your Wedding Day
How often do you talk to your husband about your wedding day? Sure you might reminisce when you’re telling stories with friends and family, but how often do you sit down and talk to your husband about it?
We choose to celebrate our anniversary in a similar way each year. It all started before our wedding, when we were celebrating our years together and it has continued on. We go to the same hotel and the same cabaret resturant. We did the same on our wedding night (we eloped) and we will continue to go back there each year.
It gives us a time to relive our wedding day and remind ourselves of how amazing that day was for us.
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3 – Gives You An Opportunity To Reflect On Your Relationship – Where You Have Been and Where You Are Heading
As I’ve mentioned, we talk a lot. Communication is one of our strong points (probably because I kind of force my husband to talk to me sometimes – and a 3 hour car trip to our hotel makes it a little easier). But really, it’s easy for life to take over. With kids to take care of, jobs to work and a household to run, it’s easy to just keep going without taking time out to reflect and plan for the future.
Your wedding anniversary is the perfect opportunity to do this.
You’ve achieved some amazing things together and a whole lot happens in a year. What have you done this year? How far has your relationship come? And where do you want it to go? What are you doing together that is amazing and what can you do to make things even better.
Celebrating your wedding anniversary isn’t all about gifts. In fact, we don’t even buy each other gifts – we give each other time. We make our anniversary celebration a priority and we make our relationship a priority. For just one weekend a year, at least, we take the time out to celebrate our relationship together. Because it is worth celebrating.