our wedding anniversary – 2018

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

Just a couple of days ago – Jason and I passed the 18-year mark in marriage.

While most couples would celebrate this with a card to each other at a minimum and a dinner and night away at a hotel at the other end of the spectrum – Jason and I did none of the above.

In fact, it wasn’t until I was driving to Red Rocks for an early morning workout that I realized…. it’s our anniversary!

As Jason and I went through the day together – we started to be silly and hug each other – then look at each other with one eye brow raised and say – Happy Anniversary.  I know what you are thinking so I’ll just say it out loud – this was the most non-glamorous anniversary imaginable.  No cards, no gifts, no nothing.

At least that is what it might look like from the outside.

However – on the inside there was so much more happening.

For starters, we talked throughout the day about how grateful we were to be married to each other.  And how innocent and naive our 23-year-old selves were on that day as we walked down the aisle.

I realized that – at least for the day – I had much less bitterness toward Jason than I had in the past on our anniversary.  In the past – I’ve felt so much hurt on our anniversary.  Because our wedding was a big fat lie.  What a waste.

Yet fast forward to this year – and I felt more grace than ever before for our younger selves.  More grace for Jason – knowing he was in a vicious cycle that was trying to forever take him down.  More grace for myself – that I wasn’t stupid or ignorant or blind but that I truly loved him and saw the best in him, not the worst – and certainly not his sexual integrity issues.

Second, I was able to take the day to remind myself that I have no regrets in staying with Jason.  Sure – there are no promises – I realize he is always one step away from blowing up our lives again.  I also realize that I’m one step away, too.  We are simply not the best CEO’s of our lives.  That’s why we need Jesus.

This – in fact – might be one of my biggest take-aways from this journey to date – we are all just one step away from blowing it up.

I used to think I was about infinity steps away – because I would NEVER hurt Jason by being unfaithful to him.  But as God has chipped away at my hard outer shell of arrogance and pride throughout this journey – I now see my faulty ways, too.  I need Jesus every. single. day.

Maybe I haven’t hurt Jason in the same ways he has hurt me – but I’ve hurt him nonetheless.  I am broken too.

(One caveat I need to mention here – you don’t need to look at your brokenness at the on-set of this journey.  If you are new in this process – you work on grieving – which includes a lot of kleenex, tears, snot and anger.  You’ll know when it’s time to work on you – but this is not the time and you are not the cause of your husband’s choices.)

And last – I was reminded of how much more I like myself today than ever before.  Girls – this one is just as HUGE.  Because when my marriage started to blow – I was convinced I was ruined.  My heart would never repair.  My soul was damaged for good.  Heaven come quick.

My biggest fear was I could never get the images, the stories, the experiences that my husband had without me – out of my mind.  I was tainted. Ruined. My life was over.

I am SO grateful to sit here in this coffee shop today as I type this post and tell you this – that has NOT been the case.

Sure – it has taken years to get to an inner peace in my heart and soul.  It’s taken a TON of grieving – more than I’d like to admit.  It’s taken going round and round with God and with Jason to get that repair work done.  Dang – it’s been intense.

And it’s been worth it.

So if you’re down and out and wonder – how will I ever get there – know that it’s one small step at a time.  It’s about the process.  Whether your marriage makes it or whether your marriage goes down in flames – know that YOU can and will make it.

Don’t stop fighting.  Never ever.

What is God calling you to do next?  Step out and do it – for yourself, for your marriage, for your children, for the legacy that you will leave behind.  Don’t wait.  Go now.

xo – Shelley




12 thoughts on “our wedding anniversary – 2018

  1. Chelle

    June 15, 2018  |  02:20 pm

    This picture is darling g, precious and full of hope
    I love you girl
    Happy anniversary , of a new life

  2. Nat

    June 15, 2018  |  05:54 pm

    Miss & Luv ya

  3. Denise

    June 18, 2018  |  10:46 am

    Shelley, you are so beautiful! Happy Anniversary…and when you think of it….it’s a miracle that your marriage survived! When I see the numbers of marriages that are decimated from sexual integrity issues, it makes me realize that each one of our marriages that survive this onslaught (what a slap in the fact for the Enemy) is nothing short of a miracle!!! Love, Denise

    • Shelley Martinkus

      June 18, 2018  |  11:27 am

      you are so right – it’s such a miracle. Sometimes that can feel really scary – like I’m walking on thin ice and it’s just a matter of time. I have to choose not to think of it that way – but rather another opportunity to surrender it to God. Thank you for your words. xo

  4. Sarah

    June 19, 2018  |  06:58 am

    At my request we have not celebrated an anniversary since disclosure (3 anniversaries ago). Even though we are in a much better place and healing is happening the day still feels so hard and like such a lie and a reminder of broken promises. It’s nice to see that it won’t be that way forever. You and Jason are such an encouragement!

    • Shelley Martinkus

      June 25, 2018  |  12:57 pm

      Sarah – I as well wondered if it would be that way FOREVER and EVER. Ugh – I just didn’t know if I could handle it forever. I am relieved to say that with a lot of hard work – it hasn’t been the case. I am SO grateful for that… There is hope for you Sarah – I think it’s so important for you to be true with what you can and can not celebrate. No need to push it, rush it, or fake it. xo

  5. Lori Newberg

    June 21, 2018  |  09:30 am

    Thank you for openly and honestly sharing. I’m only 3.5 months into this journey, and I’m still in the foggy grieveing part. I don’t know at this point what God wants me to do. So, I’m going through classes w/hubby and Pastor, praying, reading the word and crying alot. I don’t know if I’m totally getting anywhere because I feel like I’ve tuned out. I’m numb.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      June 25, 2018  |  12:57 pm

      Hi Lori – Thanks for writing. Are you still crying a lot of do you feel like that has ended and now you are tuned out and numb? I want to hear more… xo – Shelley

  6. Laura B.

    June 26, 2018  |  05:35 pm

    Shelley, thank you for sharing your journey. My recovery through betrayal is in the early days, and I am so grateful to hear your story and others who have have walked this road for longer and seen the Lord work in powerful ways.
    We recently un-celebrated our 14th Anniversary, and it is so difficult to look back on our years together and not see waste. So much waste. Aside from our sweet babies, that is all I can see.
    God is using your story for his glory and for the encouragement of his people. I hope I can say the same someday.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      June 27, 2018  |  05:54 pm

      Thank you Laura for your encouragement. I love what you said – uncelebrated! yep, that sounds about right. For many years for me that was exactly the case. I don’t know if you read Jamie’s post – but very similar to yours in wondering what happens with all this waste? Where is the redemption? I believe the exact same is possible for you, for her, for all of us – to someday look back and see that it wasn’t a waste. God speed until then. xo – Shelley

  7. Jamie

    June 27, 2018  |  02:49 pm

    It’s my 20th wedding anniversary today. 4 1/2 months after D-Day. I’ve got to say, I am feeling pretty hopeless. It’s hard not to think of past anniversaries spent “celebrating” what I thought we had. My life is still filled daily, with so many tears, and so much grief. Today, it seems impossible. Impossible to make anything good of this mess that my husband has chosen for us. Today, quitting seems so much easier than all the hard work that I know is yet to come. Today, as with other days, I barely made it out of bed.

    • Shelley Martinkus

      June 27, 2018  |  05:53 pm

      Oh Jamie – you are so brave to put into words how you are feeling and share it here. 4.5 months in – you are out of the shock and it’s all really becoming a reality. I so remember those hopeless days where I felt that there was NOTHING good that could have come of this. That quitting was the best option. I was ruined. Simple things like getting out of bed became a huge chore. Yes – I’ll never forget those days. You aren’t alone, as I know there are others reading this that GET it and are there with you right now, sitting with you in this. Big hug to you.

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