7 Years Of Marriage – This post includes a gifted item.
Today I’m sharing a few thoughts about being married to my sweetheart John for 7 years. Seriously, time flies and I don’t know where it has gone. Our Wedding anniversary is always bittersweet. I love to recall the beautiful moments of our marriage, to share photos, think of the memories but I also feel a little sadness each year as I am reminded of a few losses we have had along the way.
I’m a positive, half cup full kind of person and so today I’ll be sharing some thoughts as well as reflecting on life as it now is.
Married For Seven Years
Being married to John for seven years is to some a sense of achievement, after all, those who know me, (or think they know me) may be aware I had two failed marriages and divorces before meeting my eternal companion John Milnes.
Yes, I found myself divorced at the young age of 22. I was devastated to say the least, accused of things I’d not done and faced with judgement from those around me – especially at my church. Leaving an abusive and violent marriage was the best thing I did. That was the best decision ever and I’m so glad the young Angela grew the courage to leave a man she loved so much back then to take care of myself and be the person I’ve become.
However, as you know, I married a second time and yes, once again I found myself subject to violence, emotional abuse, constant power and control battles and suffered once again from the devastating effects of domestic abuse. In 2010, I found myself divorced once more, living in the UK as a single mother.
I wasn’t alone. I relied upon family and friends to help me out and one family, in particular, did just that. Not only did they help sort my flooring, but these “old friends” from my childhood also helped me in so many ways, giving me furniture, bedding, utensils, a fridge, washing machine and much more to help me get started as a single mum in the UK.
3 years later I had moved on in life and in July of 2013, I married John. Our wedding day was beautiful. Happy and sad. I was sad because my parents and siblings were unable to attend. My family lives in New Zealand and with my track record – I’m not sure what my family thought when I announced I was marrying for the third time.
Our Wedding DAY
My wedding day was beautiful. My best friend Esther helped me with all the preparations, as did many others. The same family who helped me settle into the UK in 2010, were there to support me baking cupcakes and helping me reduce the costs of our special day.
Although Dad was not there to walk me down the aisle, my wonderful grandpa David Bottoms had the honour. I am and was the only one Grandpa ever walked down the aisle and that’s a memory I will forever cherish. Now grandpa has gone I do miss him and each year when I see our wedding photos I take a moment to reflect on that special moment.
The Best Man
John’s parents both passed away many years ago so we did not have any parents attend our wedding, however it was the most beautiful day. The day is tinged with sadness as it was the hottest day of 2013 and sadly lives were lost that day in a terrible accident on the news and each year I do pause to think of those who lost family members and grieve as we celebrate our anniversary.
With sadness, I will say John’s best man Simon suffered a terrible stroke a few years after we married. Simon is now in a bad state. He was young and married himself but following his stroke, he is unable to talk or walk and do many things for himself and so he lays in a bed in a care home many miles away and we have unable to visit him. That’s one thing we hope to do in the future.
Our wedding was the most amazing one ever. it was to me perfect and a happy moment. It was filled with dreams and hopes. We did not have a professional photographer. In fact a family friend who was only 16 at the time took our photos and he did a fabulous job.
Sadly Harry passed away at only 19 years of age and whenever I look at my photos I feel a token of appreciation to Harry and hope he is doing well up in heaven reunited with his dear mother.
Well, this marriage of mine outlasted any that I’d had previously. Within weeks of our wedding I had collapsed with an adrenal crisis and was diagnosed with Adrenal insufficiency. which plagues our lives.
Our dreams and goals came crashing down. My plans to continue my career as a teacher were dashed, John became my full-time carer and our hopes and dreams to have more children, to work 9-5 jobs and one day own a home were all put to the side. Our focus became, managing with poor health, attending medical appointments, learning to use a wheelchair for long-distance and fighting to get an adrenal pump.
In 2014 we moved to Lancashire and for the past 6 years, John, Sylvia and I have adapted to our new life dealing with each hurdle as it has come. We have lost a few loved ones over the years, grandpa, harry along with other friends and family. Some of our wedding guests are no longer with us, some are divorced and separated, others still together and yes there are people who we have over the years drifted apart from. I’ve come to realise this is all part of life.
We became dog owners in 2014 (which has been amazing) and Sylvia completed primary school last year. In 2020, the year of the pandemic, Sylvia has spent most of the year so far at home however she did go on her first trip to the Preston temple with me and her dad John just before lockdown. Another milestone for our family – being in the temple together! all three of us.
In Sickness and In health
As a couple, John and I have worked together to make our marriage a success. We do not fight, although we do disagree on things. John is not violent, emotionally abusive or controlling and we gel together really well.
We are not the usual couple. We don’t go out on dates due to my health and we barely socialise out of the home, but we do have a wonderful and rich life – which is lived mainly from our headquarters here in Chorley. We are totally. computer and social media kind of family and that’s okay! It’s who we are.
John has supported me through all my health problems, diagnosis and treatments. He takes me to the hospital, helps organise my medications and cares for me as a loving husband. I often feel guilty that life didn’t turn out as we had planned but we have turned things around and are making the best of a difficult situation.
Despite all my health problems we are working together well as a married couple. We are parenting the best we can and giving Sylvia the best life we can. We are working together to build our family business from home and have a successful website. We have new goals, new dreams and new hopes. Our big dream is to eventually return to New Zealand and live with my parents!
Wedding Anniversary Gifts
With all we have been through during 7 years of marriage, the good, the bad, the ups and the downs, I think each year we deserve to sit down and pat ourselves on the back for all we have achieved and been through. John and I are growing stronger each day and whilst life is far from perfect, we are perfect for each other.
This year John bought me a cute planner for our anniversary. I love it! The planner is great for adding my goals, plans and lists of things to do. I, on the other hand, was able to give John a special treat. John is a fan of American Sweets and the very family who helped me both when I arrived in the UK and during my wedding now have a fantastic sweets business called Benny’s Sweets and Treats.
I was able to give John a selection of American candy items along with his all-time favourite USA drink A&W. It’s great to be able to source the things we love here in Lancashire. As I reflected on seven years of marriage John sat with his box of candy, drinking his AW and playing his favourite game on the Xbox. We are happy and that is what counts!
We have some big goals for the future. We are planning to take Sylvia back to New Zealand so we can be with our family again. It’s a work in progress and we are taking one step at a time but it’s a huge goal and one we are working hard towards.
We will continue to enjoy each day of marriage. My church leader once told me as I sat in his office crying many years ago that I would be third time lucky and one day I’d have a wonderful husband and father for my child. He was right. It really did happen. There is a time and a season for everything and even when things are not perfect it’s how you choose to live and the attitude you choose to have that makes all the difference.
John and I have still not been on our Honeymoon yet, but we are planning to do this for our 10 year anniversary. We have three years left to decide where to go and I am sure in the meantime we will continue to be happy and work towards more goals as a married couple.
About Angela Milnes
Angela Milnes is a Qualified Early Years Teacher who has specialised in Preschool and Kindergarten teaching. She has a wealth of experience teaching young children and is passionate about kids crafts and having fun as a family. Angela has also taught cooking skills and loves to share both family recipes and easy instant pot recipes here on The Inspiration Edit. Follow her on Pinterest!