I bought you a card ages ago. I'm sure by now you think I just forgot to give it to you, considering that our anniversary was last month.
It's just a silly, throwaway card, with no flowery language or meaningful subtext. At the time it would have felt odd and insincere to give you something touchy-feely like that.
Because you and I - well, we're the stubborn ones. That old Achilles heel of ours. After six years of marriage, our struggles have become less noticeable and less frequent, but seemingly more potent. It's like we're pushing against opposite sides of an invisible door and wondering why we can't get in.
I know in my head that relationships ebb and flow, a decrease followed by increase. That's the law of nature and of love, but even so - it's hard to know what to do and how to act on an anniversary when there are undercurrents of tension and frustration.
So, I didn't give you the card because I simply didn't know what to say. Instead, I held on to it, hoping for some flash of inspiration or for something to nudge at my heart.
And then I got it. All these weeks later, a sign. A literal, honest-to-goodness sign, via a photo I snapped earlier this year.
As soon as I saw it, I felt a wave knock me over. It felt like regret, and a little like shame for forgetting one of the most important foundations of any good marriage.
Yield, Marisa. Let it go. Stop pushing. Wait. Give.
You, Aaron. Not me.
That's what I wish I would have said then. And it's what I'm happy to say now.
Happy (belated) Anniversary, my love.
Your always adoring wife,