Mind Spirit

Letters to My Husband Over the Years

shandy_aisle

2002 – It Really Did Happen

Dear Andy,

Sorry for torturing you over the past 6 months. I’ve loved our marathon dates of hanging out at Barnes & Noble, eating at Cheesecake Factory, thrift shopping at Savers, and rollerblading. You’re so easy to be around! I’m glad we went to Sadie Hawkins together, but sorry you didn’t win Most Handsome (and sorry I didn’t vote for you…) I’m also sorry that I started hanging out with another guy in the meantime, I’m not really sure what I want, but I’m really glad you asked me to prom. When you saw me sleeping and snuck a kiss on my forehead, I was smitten. A couple days later, I told you that I wanted to be your girlfriend and made you write me a note saying, May 8, 2002 “It Really Did Happen” because finally after 6 months of drama, we’re together. Oh and sorry I figured we would only last two weeks, and I refused to hold your hand in the halls. But after half a summer apart, we were inseparable. Remember the first time we said, “I love you” about 2 months in? I meant it. I know you did too. Love, Sherrie

2003 – Never Give Up

Dear Andy,

It was rough to see you so distraught today. You seemed so down and out about pledging, trying to push through the lack of sleep, conflicting priorities with school work, and just trying to make sense of what all this effort will yield in the end. I think your friends are probably all voicing the same concerns too. It sounds like you want to quit, and I don’t blame you. I don’t really know what it means when they say, “Making good men better,” but I think there is merit in what you’re doing. I hope you stand firm in your values and that you work hard; I hope you stand for your pledge brothers and the bond that you’ve created; I hope you don’t give up because I have a feeling these guys will be in your life for the long haul, and they’re depending on you. I think this process will build your character and the man that you’ll become. I believe in you. Love, Sherrie

2006 – The Road Apart

Dear Andy,

I decided to take the job with Target in Minneapolis. I was pretty upset today when you said I didn’t consider you in my decision. I know long distance will be tough, but I’ve worked so hard to get a good job and feel like I owe it to myself to have this experience. I feel confident in us, we’ll be able to get through it. Maybe you’ll even find a job up there. It’s going to be cold, and I won’t know anyone. But this will be a good move for my career, and that’s so important to me. I hope you understand, and thank you for always supporting me. Love, Sherrie

2007 – I’m Sorry

Dear Andy,

No words can make up for what I did. I broke us. I was so depressed living up here on my own. Work has been so stressful, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I didn’t feel like I could talk to you about this because it was my decision, and I asked for your support. You even took so many interviews up here, and it’s not your fault they didn’t pan out. You did everything you could, and it still wasn’t enough because I don’t feel like I’m enough. And you can’t make up for what I lack..only I can. I wish I figured out how to tell you this before. Now I get when people say, “It’s not you, it’s me.” I’m so sorry. Can you ever forgive me? I also need to learn to forgive myself. I still love you. Love, Sherrie

2008 – Coming Back to Us

Dear Andy,

I can actually say that for the first time in our relationship, I am making a decision for us instead of for myself. I’m so excited to be moving back to Austin! I owe you so much for your patience, your forgiveness, and for speaking up for what you need so that our relationship can continue to grow. I sometimes look at you and wonder what I did to deserve you. I really don’t deserve any of this, but for whatever goodness you see in me, I am eternally grateful. Here’s to our new life together and all the memories we’ll make in our favorite city. Love, Sherrie

2012 – An Awakening

Dear Andy,

So much has happened in the past year. I really hated my job, to the point where I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I fled on my Eat Pray Love trip to India to find myself. What emerged was a girl who finally understood that being alone isn’t necessarily lonely; that writing is a powerful form of self expression; and that peace is something you can cultivate amidst chaos (and streets full of people and cows). I’m happy that I shifted my focus and free energy into Room to Read and yoga teacher training. Teaching yoga has helped me share my experiences – the good and the bad – in order to connect with people on their own path in life. I feel like I’ve found my calling and what I stand for.

It was almost perfect timing for you to drop this quarter-life crisis on me. For some reason, all my training had prepared me for this moment. Why did you do it? How could you lose faith in us? Is this my karma coming back to me? I was shocked and confused. But when I took a step back and thought about it, my own life lesson rang true – this wasn’t about me, it was about you. It was all the pressure and expectations you put on yourself. It was feeling not good enough as you watched me grow spiritually while you felt stuck in place. It was you questioning your worth and what you deserve. But I’ll tell you this. You won’t find the answer in a new job or a fancy car or a list of achievements. None of those external measures will define your worth. It comes from within. It comes from your belief and willingness to be better even when you don’t feel your best. It comes from your actions and your expressions of love when doubt and fear arise. It comes from recognizing your power and standing firmly in it no matter what people say. I recognize this is your internal struggle, and it has nothing to do with me. So I’m willing to let you go if you decide that’s best, but I’m going to stand by you until then.We both deserve love if we’re willing to choose it. I still believe in you, and I still believe in us. Love, Sherrie

2013 – Shift in Perspective

Dear Andy,

I see a marked difference in you – in the way you carry yourself, in the way you communicate, in the confidence you exude, and in the way you love me. Your actions speak of a new man, or maybe this is who you always were but your fear and self doubt overshadowed your truth. All I know is, our relationship is thriving, and so am I because we are feeding off of each other. This is what I envisioned a great relationship to be: one of mutual trust and understanding, open and honest communication, and one that always strives to be better. When you got down on one knee and proposed, every ounce of my being screamed yes. I didn’t need to look down and see the ring (but my it’s a beauty!). Your eyes said it all, and my heart felt certain. It took us 12 years to get here, but every single one of those years served a significant purpose. I’m excited to plan our wedding and fulfill our mantras – keep it simple, do what’s best for us, and have fun. We can both firmly say we’re ready for this next step, and it couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time. You are the true definition of a partner, and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my days with you. Let’s do this! Love, Sherrie

2014 – New Chapter

Dear Andy,

Our wedding day flew by, but I think we both have so many rich memories of that day. I’ve never danced so much, laughed so hard, or felt more loved by you, our family, and our friends. From the impromptu speeches at rehearsal dinner (and tons of waterworks from your sister and Bui), to the rounds of tequila the night before when we were supposed to “take it easy,” to dancing down the aisle, to your amazing heartfelt letter and incredibly touching vows, to your dad’s epic speech and me and my dad’s epic dance, to your shirt coming off during Ginuwine’s Pony, to everyone chanting “Shandy! Shandy!” to all the dance circles, and finally to taking a moment and looking around knowing everything happened at the right time, in the right way, for the right reasons. It was truly a perfect day, but more importantly, it was a pure reflection of the life we have built together along with our family and friends. I’m so grateful for everything. Adventure awaits us! Love, Sherrie

2016 – Our Purpose

Dear Andy,

14 years have flown by, but as you know, the significance of our time together is seared into my heart through our wild adventures, the highs and lows, simple daily joys, and tons of unforgettable memories. This year we celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary and our 32nd birthdays. More importantly, by this year’s end, we will welcome our little girl into this world. She is our life’s purpose, our little miracle, and a creation of pure love. If I could rewind to 2002, I’d need to re-read that note and reaffirm: “It really did happen.” Because this life with you has been better than any dream I could’ve possibly imagined. We didn’t simply live up to our expectations for our careers and marriage. We created something even better, and it’s uniquely ours. I have so many hopes for our daughter. I hope she’ll be loving, strong, and kind. I hope we’ll be thoughtful, compassionate, and inspiring parents. I hope she’ll grow up feeling loved and knowing the meaning of love. But I’m going to lay all those hopes aside and just come back to us, the root and foundation of my understanding of love. Lately, I have noticed that you love me more. I see it in your daily actions, the way you take care of me, and how you speak to me. I could never have imagined that I would constantly witness this evolution in our relationship, but it’s literally happening before my eyes. Our love has never steered us wrong, and I trust it will propel us forward, no matter what the future holds. Happy Anniversary to us, and cheers to growing old together. New adventures await us! Onward and upward! I love you more, Sherrie

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