I am an adult child of divorce. When I was twelve, my parents split after seventeen years of marriage. Their marriage was rocky as far back as I can remember. Although there were examples of strong marriages in my extended family, including both sets of grandparents, I didn't get to see first hand what a strong marriage looks like.
Tomorrow is my wedding anniversary. Even if it's not a big one (like last year), my anniversary still means more to me than my birthday. I didn't choose to be born but I did choose to get hitched. Every anniversary is a reminder that I chose a good man.
Even as I celebrate, I'm the first to admit that marriage isn't always a walk in the park. Sometimes it feels more like a three-legged race - two separate people joined at the hip, doing their best to match the other's stride. Sometimes you get out of sync. Sometimes you trip and fall down. But when you're in it to win it, the two of you make adjustments and keep on going.
As a child of divorce, I run a parallel race of my own. In my mind, there was a big hurdle at the end of lap seventeen. When I jumped over it, it proved to me that I wasn't damaged goods, that I wasn't doomed to fail at marriage. I learned from the mistakes my parents made. I learned what not to do. Every year since then has been a victory lap.
Tomorrow is my thirty-first anniversary. And my 14th.