10 Year Reflection

divorce, divorced, married, marriage, wedding, endings

When it comes to reflection you can pick anything to reflect back on. Last month, yesterday, 4 months ago, 2 years ago or 10 years ago. My decision to do a 10 year reflection comes with an awkward anniversary on today’s date and is a little different than most. It’s also super vulnerable and a story that most don’t know the full details to. But as it’s part of my story and my journey to where I am today I thought maybe I’d share and see where it went.

10 year reflection

10 years ago today I was getting married. On a cold snowy day in April I was marrying a military man with all our friends and family there to celebrate us. Little did I know how much would happen in our short married life and then in the years to come.

10 years together is a long time. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to our 10 year anniversary. We didn’t even make it to 5 years of marriage. All together we had been together for almost 7. But for our marriage we only made it just over 2 and a half before separating and then making the final call to end things all together.

Thinking about how today could be a great celebration of 10 years together is crazy and weird. But looking back on how it went down and all that I’ve been through is also weird. But here it goes.

10 Years Ago Today

On a snowy day in April we were walking down the aisle to say “I do” before a deployment would put us in two different countries for a year. We were of course one of many that got married quickly before one would be sent overseas to serve their country.

This was hard to know we would be apart for such a long time during our firsts year of marriage. But we did it. Not so successfully to say the least, but we did. Spending our first year of marriage while super young apart is awful but then dealing with integrating into real life together after a traumatic experience makes it even harder. I can’t elaborate on what happened on his side while he was gone because one, I don’t know because he didn’t share it with me. And two, it’s not my part of the story to tell.


Part of the problem was that we shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place. But then coming together again after a deployment was also hard because I wanted to start a life together and was full force into working and shooting photos. But he needed time to be away from all that he had to deal with while away. And together that didn’t work.

Eventually things just didn’t work and there was no relationship between us and we became more like roommates than a married couple. Tensions got high with the issues and insecurities that we both had and that put even more of a riff between us. The mental state for both of us was bad and we didn’t get along and fought all the time. It was mentally exhausting to walk on egg shells around someone all the time. Being married to an alcoholic is not easy. I know things are hard but being mentally abused through it and verbally brought down all the time takes its toll on you.

Splitting Up

This wasn’t easy. And in all honesty it took a few family members realizing this was a bad situation I was in and pushing me to get us to separate and see if we could work on it. He moved out and we lived in two different homes. But even the few months apart didn’t change things and he wasn’t ready to work on it and was done. With that we filed for divorce and I moved to North Mankato by myself. That was incredibly weird. I had been with him for 7 years and now it was weird doing life by myself.

On My Own

For a year after that, I spent life alone. Working and making new friends but being on my own. It was tough. But more looking back on it it’s surprising I didn’t venture to trying dating sooner but I spent a lot of time alone or with a married couple I was friends with at the time. Also looking back on it being alone was probably for the best for the time I was alone. But it was also a time when I should have learned more about myself. And I probably did but it’s hard looking back and thinking you were in the same state of mind as always. Wanting a guy to complete you instead of learning to stand on your own and be happy with yourself.

But anyway. Then I started the online dating thing. That was interesting. Lol. It was nice to try to make connections without needing friends setting you up or meeting in bars. But eventually I found a guy about an hour away. Farm boy who was divorced just like me. We connected and that brings us to today.

Today With that 10 Year Reflection

I probably could elaborate more. I could probably go into way more detail about the tough times we had during our marriage. But unfortunately I think too much about what others think and it’s hard to elaborate on details. First it’s hard to just tell some of those stories. And second I don’t want anyone coming off looking bad. Oh well. Those issues I have are for another day or for a chat with my therapist. This 10 year reflection was a bit of a way for me to just write out what has gone on and think about how far I’ve come.

Here we are today. 10 years and looking back on a wedding that seems like a disaster and like it should be a sad part in my life. And in ways it is. In other ways no matter how hard it was, it’s part of my journey. It’s completely part of how I got to where I am today. I’ve learned a lot in 10 years about friends, life, myself and love. Every day is a journey and a new lesson about something in life. It’s weird to say but I’m glad for the experience and then time we had together. But I am also glad for the lessons and the journey for which I have made it so far.

If you’d like to know more feel free to reach out via email to chat. melissaleephotography.mn@gmail.com and maybe I’ll be ready to be more detailed on the things that went on. But also be willing to listen and help you with you journey as well.

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