Erase the Date: what happens to your anniversary after divorce?

Sunset shadows

I still have the Save the Date! postcard we sent to our friends & family to announce our engagement and wedding date. It was a cheeky, goofy, blatantly non-traditional design that captured our quirky personalities.  The wedding day was pure joy followed by epic mishap. Lather, rinse, repeat. In other words, it was a perfectly imperfect day. For many years thereafter, we would celebrate our anniversary in NYC visiting art galleries, shopping in Soho and enjoying decadent dinners toasting another year. To us.

It’s been almost 4 years since we separated – nearly 2 since we divorced – yet every year the anniversary of our wedding day rolls around, I am overwhelmed by a mixture of anticipation and dread. After 10 years of celebrating the day, it’s understandable to start to feel a sense of excitement as it draws near; like my brain & my heart are hardwired to crave Central Park in early September.  I feel slightly maudlin when the day comes and goes without fanfare. And without foie gras.

Several “faux”anniversaries and holidays have passed since our divorce but this past year was different. It would have been our 15th anniversary, a milestone – the so-called “crystal” anniversary – but it was also the first year that my ex was involved with someone new. We spoke on the phone that day (not unusual as we communicate nearly every day about the kids) but I was inexplicably anxious about whether he would remember that it would have been our anniversary. After a few discussions about the boys’ latest antics and our co-parenting schedule, he casually mentioned that he had to run as he was planning a romantic weekend and had to get things ready.


I hung up the phone & contemplated that for a moment. Just let all of the emotions wash over me – an accelerated version of the Five Stages of Grief  – but a few minutes later, I surprised myself (& the cat) with a huge laugh. Not of bitterness or jealousy, but one of relief. After years of celebrating that date while we were married and subsequently dreading the day post-divorce, I could finally let it go. I will always remember our wedding fondly, but the actual date itself no longer held any special qualities for me. And as for his new relationship? I can honestly say that I am thrilled for him and also happy for my boys. Seeing their dad moving forward with his life with a new partner is such a positive thing for them. We have many dates that we celebrate as a family, from birthdays to Hanukkah, but from now on, that beautiful day in September will be just another day in the after wife.

About Pamela

I’m a Vancouver-based divorced mother of two awesome boys embarking on a respectful, amicable and often humorous co-parenting adventure with their father. By day, I'm a publicist for good causes + companies at

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16 Responses to Erase the Date: what happens to your anniversary after divorce?

  1. Shirley November 29, 2013 at 7:54 pm #

    Brave and beautiful. You are.

    • Pamela November 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you Shirley. And back at you x 2.

  2. Lynn November 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    You constantly amaze me by just how grown-up you are. Please tell me that you sometimes lock yourself in the car and just scream in frustration! You are awesome, powerful, cool and so put together. If we weren’t friends I’d have to hate you.

    • Pamela November 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      Sorry Lynn. I’m not much of a screamer but I know you love me anyway. xo

  3. Sarah at Journeys of The Zoo November 29, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    I’ve never been one for dates and given my loss, I’m happy for it.
    I’m also happy that you are happy and in exactly the place that you want and or need to be.
    Here’s to many new dates like October 3, 2013.

    Besos, Sarah

    • Pamela November 29, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

      Dates are meant to be eaten, not dwelled upon. I love that you have such a positive attitude about everything you’ve been through. Besos back xo

  4. Jody November 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    You are just amazing! And the most fantastic after wife I have ever known. xoxo

    • Pamela November 30, 2013 at 2:08 am #

      Thanks, Jody! xo

  5. Tara November 29, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    This is so well written and I think gives a lot of hope to women to hold on through the hurt and know that there can be peace in the future. I am glad that you have found that peace after going through divorce. Thank you my friend! <3

  6. Magnolia Ripkin November 30, 2013 at 12:30 am #

    the most key thing here in my view is that it is good for the kids. They just want happy parents and it seems that you in particular make that your priority. Way to wear the big girl pants.

  7. Bradley James Cooper November 30, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    Well done. Treads respectively around and on the subject in a light manner that draws the reader in but doesn’t demand a commitment to your treatise.

    As for my own date of same, I am easily confused so I often mix up one date for another and then can’t quite remember. Instead of a date on the calendar, I’m plagued by sharp mental imagery that is keyed up by geographical cues.

    I consider it all richness of experience.

    • Pamela November 30, 2013 at 6:10 am #

      Thanks, Brad! That’s exactly the message I hope to convey with my writing.

  8. Tiffany @ MyDirt November 30, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    These are wise words for those who are harbouring an anger and sadness for those landmark days from a marriage past. I love your honesty to yourself. XO

  9. mom December 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    The wedding day date was special and beautiful and that date will always be connected to The Day you joined as one but will go to the bottom of dates to remember Great post

  10. Jess January 3, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    Even though that guy’s the luckiest, ever, for having you around, his good fortune pales in comparison to that of your kids’. You two, as parents, are giving them a rock-solid place to fall back on for the rest of their lives; rock on, mama. Lynn and I are the screamy ones of the group; we need you in the car as a beacon leading us back to the light. xxx+o

    • Pamela January 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Aww, thanks for the lovely message Jess. It’s been a pleasure getting to know you through our Bluntie world. Mwah xo

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