In spite of it all, love grows

Dear Otto,

Happy anniversary, darling! I know I’m a few days late. I’m sorry. This is rather representative of our entire relationship, though, that it somehow just doesn’t work out the way we thought it would, timing-wise. This is not to say that it doesn’t work out, just that planning has become something of a farce ’round here.

Nevertheless, we’ve made it an entire year. It’s official and everything—even our alumni magazine announced the news in its latest issue, so I guess you’re stuck with me now. Nineteen years behind us, one of them married, and do you know what? I still think it was the very smartest thing you ever did. (It was also the smartest thing that I ever did, but I have done so very many stupid things it really wasn’t much of a contest.)

When Chickadee had her first birthday, my closest friend at the time—a more seasoned mother than I—came to the house with a wrapped present for her and a potted violet, for me. “Congratulations!” she said, with a big grin. “You’ve kept a human being alive for an ENTIRE YEAR! You’re now ready to take care of a plant.” Legends of my black thumb preceded me, and while it seemed ridiculous to compare a violet to a baby, it had a certain poetic rightness to it.

(Chickadee is still very much alive, but I killed the violet shortly before I got divorced. Let’s not read too much into that, even if it is completely prophetic.)

I have spent this year continually humbled at how you, who’ve never done this before—and by THIS I mean not only marriage, but cohabitation, parenthood, and enduring my propensity to leave a heap of laundry in the bathroom—have managed to show me the way, time and time again. I’m supposed to know how this works, and of course if I actually KNEW I might still be married to someone else, so perhaps the reality is that starting with a clean slate is almost easier. I am still unlearning bad habits. I am still nursing old wounds. And you have just loved me, loved US, without prodding, without fanfare, with infinite patience and a quiet tenderness.

Congratulations, Otto. You’ve kept our marriage alive for an entire year. You are now ready to get everything you deserve in this life, and I hope that I can help make that happen.

You make me believe in happy endings. Not the insipid, instantaneous kind, but the hard-won, fought-for kind. The kind worth having.

This year has not been without challenges. This last month, in particular, has been so difficult for me, and even more difficult because it’s not your fault and I have grieved my inability to be the wife I want to be, during this time, in the midst of everything else. You deserve more. We deserve more. I need to learn how to weather these storms without fearing that I will drown, again. I need to learn how to be okay with holding on to you for support without pulling you down with me.

And so I’ve already given you one anniversary present—we’ll go have professional massages as soon as we can get it scheduled—but I actually have another one for you, too. Guess what! I’m going back to therapy, because I can’t settle for being kind of okay, anymore. I’m tired of letting this other stuff get in our way. You deserve better. We deserve better. You taught me that I deserve better.

I told you years ago that I wasn’t looking for a savior but a partner. You have exceeded my expectations; this next year I hope I can exceed yours. Because I need to thank you: thank you for being patient; thank you for loving me; thank you for loving them; thank you for never doing anything partway.

Also, thank you for the chocolate.

Mmmmmm... chocolatey goodness!

Me too, baby. Me too.


(Happy Love Thursday, everyone.)


  1. Jess

    Aww! The M&Ms are so CUTE! Happy anniversary, guys, albeit belated. :)

  2. Stacia

    Congratulations on making it year! And you deserve props for going back to therapy. Our stories are very similar (I met my husband in high school, married for two years) and I too decided to go back to therapy after we got married. It was the best thing I could have done. Here’s to many, many more years of happiness and lots more chocolate!

  3. Dani

    Aww. You made me all weepy!

    Happy Anniversary. xoxo

  4. Beachgal

    Awww…the chocolate pic topped off this entry and made me cry. So incredibly happy for you.

  5. Shash

    Happy Anniversary, Mir and Otto!

    You guys deserve all the best and more. Mazel tov! :)


  6. prophet


  7. Teresa


  8. Nichole

    Happy anniversary! You made me cry!

  9. suburbancorrespondent

    Um….you’re not going to eat all of those by yourself, are you?

    And I’ve raised 6 kids, but I still kill plants. Stupid things don’t have the sense to cry when they’re thirsty, you know…

  10. Jenny

    Happy anniversary!!!

  11. Tammy

    Congratulations & Happy Anniversary!

  12. Beth

    Thank you for sharing your joy with us. Congratulations to both of you for being committed to each other!

    (And thank you for giving me a little kick to get back into therapy, too. I’m calling my new health insurance company right now.)

    Hugs and good wishes to the Mir-Otto-Chickadee-Monkey Clan! I’d love to see the clan banner for that one!

  13. Jennifer

    Congratulations to all four of you! Happy Anniversary, Otto and Mir!

  14. jenn

    At 27 I have gone from the sort of person who just expected marriages to work, to being incredibly marriage and lifetime-partner cynical, to being in a relationship which has been proving to me time and time again that love and partnership can be so much more than I ever expected … and more vibrant and exciting that I ever dreamed possible (and we are getting married next month!). From what you describe It sounds like you are experiencing something similar. I am very happy for you and hope that your relationship only gets better from here.

  15. Jamie

    Happy Anniversary, Mir and Otto, and may you be blessed with many more. :)

  16. Caution

    Gosh! I think I love Otto, too, now :)

    Congrats on the anniversary and the therapy decision!

  17. Flea

    That was beautiful, Mir. It can only get better from here. :D

  18. judy

    Congrats to you both! I found one a lot like Otto and was blessed to find him early in life. He helped me become the person I never knew I could be. I am confident that when you two have 18 years under the bridge, as we do, you will say the same about your precious Otto. Here’s to another year of positive growth. (in mental health and plants alike).

  19. Sheila

    I think you BOTH make us believe in happy endings.

    Happy anniversary!

  20. Sara

    Happy anniversary. Love rules.

  21. All Adither

    Aw. Yay! A year.

    My husband and I are approached number 7. It’s great. It’s hard. It’s lovely. It sucks. It’s amazing.

  22. Astrogirl426

    Happy Anniversary, Mir and Otto! Here’s to many, many more (lifting champagne glass and toasting you).

    What, 10am is too early to start drinking? Pish posh, it’s never to early to celebrate!

    And good for you on the therapy thing – it took me 15 years to finally pull up my big girl pants and start therapy, and it’s the best thing I could have done for me and for Bunker Hubby.

    Yay for love!

  23. Heather

    *Sniffle* Happy Anniversary!

  24. wafelenbak

    Awwww, I’m welling up a bit too. Congratulations you two!!

  25. Aimee

    Yay Mir! Yay Otto! Yay love!

    Happy Anniversary, you two.

  26. Holly

    Congratulations! May you have many, many years with this incredible man!

  27. erma

    Sitting here all teary-eyed…congratulations to you and Otto!

  28. Rebecca

    Happy Anniversary! That was beautiful, and now I’m all teary.

  29. StephLove

    Happy Anniversary, Mir & Otto. Here’s to many more.

  30. StephLove

    p.s. The entry’s not late–you were just waiting for Thursday, right?

  31. steve

    Best wishes from all of Otto’s home-townies.

    We hope to raise a glass or two with you over mounds of BBQd flesh this summer!

  32. donna

    happy anniversary

  33. Mysh

    Your love for each other is inspiring. Congratulations and many blessings for all of you!

  34. Cheryl

    Happy Anniversary!

    And good for realizing you need some help. That’s such a major step. I’ve been there. It’s easy to think that things will be “okay” – but those around us affected so much by what we do and how we think.

  35. E

    Oh my, how beautiful. I wonder if you’d be willing to write a letter to my husband in August, because your letter was so sweet and heartfelt.

    Happy Anniversary.

  36. jess

    I can understand everything you’ve said. I married an Otto type of guy. My husband is the most caring and (very importantly) most FORGIVING guy I’ve ever met. He’s put up with me, baggage and all, and has only continued to love and support me as I struggle to become a better wife. He makes the desire to be better stronger every day, just by being caring and loving and kind. I am truly blessed by having this wonderful man in my life (even if he, too, might have made a few mistakes during our friendship prior to dating/marriage).

    Thank you for writing this. I’m forwarding it to my husband. (And he’ll recognize the part about a heap of my clothing in the bathroom as well. Well…that’s where I take my clothes off usually, so it makes sense that they should be there! *laughs*)

  37. jess

    Oh, and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to you two!

    (Ours is coming up in a little over a week, so this was definitely timely for me, too. Two years of marriage! Whoo!)

  38. jen

    THIS is love. Hard-earned, worked-for, appreciated. Happy Anniversary to the both of you!

  39. Sarah - Ji

    Happy Anniversary to you both! It takes a lot of honesty and courage and love to do what you’re doing.

  40. The Other Leanne

    Mazel tov!
    (and good for you for going for the tune-up)

  41. Heidi

    Yay Mir! Yay Otto!

  42. Sarah

    I’ve lurked for awhile but I just wanted to say congratulations on the anniversary and the decision to return to therapy. The best gift you can give to a partner is to take good care of yourself.

  43. themuttprincess

    You gave me goosebumps!

    Congrats at One Year!!!

  44. Crisanne

    Happy Anniversary, Mir and clan! Here’s to a wonderful second year with more healing and less pain.

  45. elizabeth

    that was beautiful. every time you write to Otto like this you say everything I would to say to my husband. he is also a trade-up and everything I could ever hope for.

    so, yeah for Mr and Mrs Otto! and many more.

    but is it still cheaper than therapy if you are also in therapy? (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  46. Deb

    Happy belated Anniversary and Happy Love Thursday. That was just beautiful.

  47. arduous

    Aw, happy anniversary & congrats.

  48. Laurie

    ok…that made me cry.

  49. Procrastamom

    Bee-U-tee-full! Happy Anniversary Mir & Otto.

  50. Sue

    Happy Anniversary! You need to put a tissue alert on this because I just had to wipe my nose on some looseleaf. You are a lucky gal, Mir. And, Otto is a lucky guy too!

  51. Melissa

    Congratulations and wishing you many many more wonderful years (that you will please continue to share with us!)

  52. Vane

    See, you are not supposed to make me cry at work …

    Happy Anniversary to the two of you, may many years of happiness come your way :)

  53. dad

    You never cease to amaze me.

    You’ve made a whole series of good moves this year and Thursday remains my favoite day of the week.

  54. zeghsy

    congratulations. i hate it when posts make me cry at work.

  55. RubiaLala

    That is sweet. Happy anniversary.

  56. saucygrrl

    Ah, therapy. I like to call it “the gift that keeps on giving.” Seriously. :)

    Happy Anniversary Mir and Otto! May there be many more…

  57. Carrie

    So sweet. Happy Anniversary.

  58. Libby

    That was very sweet. It made me all weepy. Congratulations!

  59. Im No Clair

    Congratulations on your marriage, family and anniversary.

  60. Fold My Laundry Please

    His and her massages for an anniversary gift? Hmmmm…Father’s Day is coming up. Maybe I’ll get my husband his and her manicures. Wait! No! Pedicures! Pedicures are more manly.

  61. Fold My Laundry Please

    And to think I almost forgot to say, “Happy Anniversary!” Isn’t it good to know you’ve found your Happily Ever After?

  62. The Other Other Dawn

    I gotta get me one o’ them Ottos.

    Congrats on the first anniversary. You do give one reason to hope, if only just a little.

  63. jennielynn

    I’m all weepy. It must be the chocolate.

  64. Jaime

    that was an incredibly sweet post!! congrats on reaching your first anniversary!

  65. David

    Awww. Lovely post, Mir. Congrats and Happy Anniverary to you both.

  66. Mom101

    Aw look at you all sentimental and mushy. I love it. Happy happy to you both.

  67. stew

    What a beautiful tribute, dear Mir. Congratulations to you both!

  68. emily


    And gorgeous chocolate, too.

  69. Kira

    See, now, I thought therapy was the traditional 7th anniversary gift, while #1 was usually celebrated with paper or oral sex.
    HEY! Guess which one we went for?
    Whoops. Did I say that out loud?
    Happy anniversary, guys. And Otto? Thank you for loving my friend so well.

  70. becky

    happy anniversary! this made me sniffle (of course, i cry at commercials right now, too. damn hormones.).

    but even w/o the crazy hormones, this would make me sniffle. so glad you found someone worth all the good & all the bad.

  71. Nancy R

    Happy Anniversary! Wishing you many, many more.

  72. carrien

    It’s really quite wonderful to be with someone who makes you want to be a better wife just because they are a remarkable husband.

    Happy Anniversary

  73. Emma

    So Cute! Happy Anniversary.

  74. Spice

    That is SO sweet! I got chills reading it. Happy Anniversary!

  75. Emily

    This brought tears to my eyes. Happy anniversary, and may you have many more rich years of burning things down together.

  76. Megan

    Lovely. And lovely to share it

  77. Susan Getgood

    Happy Anniversary to you both. I wish you many many more happy years ahead.

    and BTW on the plant thing, I’m okay with the outdoor plants — rain helps — but I can even kill CACTUS indoors.

  78. ramblin' red


    You guys deserve this kind of love.

    Happy for you Mir – loved seeing you on Today, love that you’re in a book and that life is going up for you. Now, please pass some of it my way, okay? Please pretty Mir?

  79. J from Ireland

    Crying my eyes out over here, that is just lovely. Happy Anniversary.

  80. Jamie AZ

    Happy anniversary! Those M&Ms are great!!

  81. SheilaC

    Congratulations, Mir and Otto. Happy anniversary, and many more to come!

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