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Should we celebrate our Golden Wedding?

(93 Posts)
Quizzer Mon 12-Apr-21 10:19:44

It will be our golden wedding in the summer. This isn’t about Covid restrictions, it’s about whether it is worth celebrating.
Many times I have thought about leaving a mostly loveless, but financially secure relationship but I have never had the courage, so I’m still here after 50 years.
I don’t think our children know the date of our anniversary let alone that it will be 50 years this year. I really don’t feel like having a big celebration as it would feel fake, but if they find out I’m sure they will insist on it, Covid restrictions permitting.
My original plan was that we should go on some special holiday this year again that’s not going to happen. Should I just keep quiet and hope no one notices? If I’m lucky I will get a supermarket card from DH. I haven’t had a present or flowers from him in the last 20 years so he’s not likely to start now.
Have any Gransnetters have any original ideas for a family celebration if I am forced into it. All the children and grandchildren live at least 100 miles away.

Peasblossom Mon 12-Apr-21 10:41:25

I don’t have any original ideas, but I wonder, if you make it a family get together, you can celebrate the family that this marriage has brought you?

Then, perhaps, it wouldn’t feel fake, but something you could look back on with gratitude.

And perhaps donations to a charity rather than any gifts.

SecondhandRose Mon 12-Apr-21 10:41:29

You’re in a loveless marriage? Oh my darling that is so sad to read. You dont have to stay you know?

After 50 years tell him you want a sabbatical and go off and find your self and some happiness. Forget about celebrating with him. Sending you a hug.

Tangerine Mon 12-Apr-21 10:45:58

Peasblossom has had a good idea, I think. A family get-together would, I imagine, bring you all together.

Let's face it - if you hadn't married him, you wouldn't have your children etc. etc.

I realise you can't always go through life thinking like that.

If things are really unbearable, then I agree with SecondhandRose. However, I can see it is hard to leave after 50 years especially if you have had some good times and your husband doesn't ill-treat you.

You mentioned you'd have liked a special holiday so I get the impression you are able to enjoy some good times together.

Tangerine Mon 12-Apr-21 10:47:11

I realise you can't go on a special holiday this year very easily but perhaps think about one for 2022. I think I meant to say that a get-together would bring you all pleasure. I don't know why I typed bring you all together.

NanaandGrampy Mon 12-Apr-21 10:59:15

You could just treat yourself to something wonderful to celebrate surviving 50 years ? If your marriage isn't worth celebrating ( which is incredibly sad) then celebrate yourself - that you made it .

cangran Mon 12-Apr-21 11:05:31

I had a similar problem. My sister and brother-in-law had had a big party for their 50th anniversary (a happy relationship) and I thought the same would be expected of us and I just couldn't face it. Luckily, our two grown-up children solved the problem very nicely by arranging a special dinner out and giving us tickets to the Globe theatre. It was really lovely and was a celebration of the family we had created. Then, totally unexpected, my husband arranged a week long trip by train in Germany and the Czech Republic. It was a rather gruelling schedule but a really good holiday and a reminder that there were good times as well as bad in a 50 year marriage. I no longer beat myself up for not leaving during the bad times and am enjoying retirement, accepting that we live together but have mainly separate interests and are secure financially.

Tangerine Mon 12-Apr-21 11:11:29

Cangran - from what I can glean from your post, I am sorry that your marriage has not been entirely happy.

However, I am pleased your husband arranged the train trip in Germany in the Czech Republic. Unless I am mistaken, he clearly thinks something of you!

Perhaps you are like my in-laws were. Not suited temperamentally but no-one actually did anything really wrong or cruel. I liked them both but they were not entirely well suited.

keepingquiet Mon 12-Apr-21 13:23:07

When my marriage ended after twenty years, my local vicar told me he's been invited to a golden wedding celebration where the wife took him to one side and said she would have left him if she could.
He then said I was ending my marriage because I could, and he was right.
50 years is worth celebrating for all the reasons echoed above.
Find your own way to mark the occasion, it doesn't have to be a 'celebration' but your individual/family way of doing what you feel is right- and a very big well done from me!

Bridgeit Mon 12-Apr-21 13:40:31

Do you think it is worth celebrating? This seems to be the only important question that only you can answer , if you decided that it isn’t then perhaps let family & friends know that you do not & will not celebrate it.
Best wishes either way, but perhaps you deserve a bit of an knees up for all your own personal effort throughout the years.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Apr-21 13:46:46

It really depends how bad the marriage is and the reason to call it a loveless marriage. Is he awful or just careless about showing you attention / affection and having been together so long it has become more of a friendship than a love affair
(I think many men would only manage a supermarket card in fact he sounds pretty good to remember and buy one at all )
You say you should have left long ago but didn’t have the courage, well the chances now in your 70 s you won’t get any more courageous than when you were in your 50s so I guess you will have to manage with what you ve got now why not make the best of what you have got unless he’s a complete tyrant Do you like him ?
As your children all live 100 miles away and would involve a fair bit of organising to get them round for a party why not have a nice holiday anyway as you originally planned we can holiday in U.K. can’t we? Just not fly to certain countries I ve had a couple of lovely holidays in Jersey and guernsey it feels like being overseas and you could make an itinerary so you re not sitting looking at each other
Could he be a companion for a few days ?
Does he know you have no feelings for him ?

vampirequeen Mon 12-Apr-21 13:47:19

I don't see why you should have a party if you don't want one or celebrate something you don't think is to be celebrated.

Why not do something just for you? A spa day. A makeover. A guided tour around a stately home or an art gallery. Anything that appeals to you. A treat for yourself.

vampirequeen Mon 12-Apr-21 13:51:19

If you have to celebrate with the family why not have a day out with an 'experience' thrown in.

It's our 10th Wedding Anniversary in August. I'm hoping (if I can save the money) to arrange for us both to get close to and feed some tigers. You could all go to the zoo and then your family would be able to see you and your husband as you enjoy the added experience. If you don't fancy tigers, most zoos do experiences with a variety of animals.

geekesse Mon 12-Apr-21 14:09:14

Many years ago I went to a very posh silver wedding anniversary party, with expensive gifts, speeches, the works. The following day, the happy couple announced that they would be separating, and shortly afterwards they divorced. The many gifts that they had received were divided between them, and I couldn’t help thinking that it was merely a ploy to extract gifts from friends to resource their new separate lives.

maydonoz Mon 12-Apr-21 15:49:07

Hi Quizzer I don't think you should be forced to celebrate your 50th if you don't feel like it, which you say you don't. It doesn't seem like you normally celebrate it as you say your DC are not aware?
However, fifty years together is surely worth marking in whatever way you find suitable, whether alone or together as a couple.
I wouldn't worry about cards or flowers, which I find rather artificial, which is just as good as in forty four years together, my DH has hardly given me either, it's not his style! On the other hand, he is the best, decent, reliable and fun, most of the time!
I wish you luck however you decide to celebrate or not, keep us posted.

Daffydilly Tue 13-Apr-21 10:36:00


I don’t have any original ideas, but I wonder, if you make it a family get together, you can celebrate the family that this marriage has brought you?

Then, perhaps, it wouldn’t feel fake, but something you could look back on with gratitude.

And perhaps donations to a charity rather than any gifts.

What a wonderful idea.

Soozikinzi Tue 13-Apr-21 10:38:25

If your children suggest it then do something nice with them and celebrate being a family as others have suggested. You have succeeded in bringing them up together so that’s worth celebrating.

Annanan Tue 13-Apr-21 10:43:04

Two years ago my ex-husband and I “celebrated“ our Golden wedding with a wonderful lunch in a special restaurant and a lot of reminiscing while looking through our wedding album. We had a lovely time and we have two wonderful daughters Whom we both adore. Why not celebrate the good parts while acknowledging that you are not the lovers you once were?

jaylucy Tue 13-Apr-21 10:43:12

Just because your husband doesn't bring you flowers and only gives you a cheap card, doesn't mean he doesn't love you or at the very least care for you. Some men just don't do the hearts and flowers, that is just the way they are!
You said that you have thought of leaving several times and I can only say that there must be a reason why you didn't.
Not everyone has a marriage that you see in films or read about in books but the fact that you are still together, despite the negatives, for 50 years is definitely worth a celebration ! How about arranging an afternoon tea for the family (and maybe a few friends if allowed) or how about a picnic in a nearby park? We did it one year - someone took a gazebo and we all took chairs or folding tables and some food.
It was a great get together .
My parents asked for donations to a hospital where one of my nieces had been treated instead of presents (but still got several of those useless things in boxes!)

optimist Tue 13-Apr-21 10:43:37

I hate celebrations perhaps because my husband never remembered the dates So on our 50th anniversary I told no one not even husband or children but invited two good friends to tea in the garden. I made an important announcement and my husband looked astounded. We all laughed and the moment passed. 3 weeks later he died and I was pleased that I had acknowledged the anniversary.

Cossy Tue 13-Apr-21 10:44:19

Don’t “waste” the rest of your days being sad and unhappy in a loveless marriage.

You deserve to be happy and you can do this alone.

It is never too late to make positive changes.

I wish you all the luck x

TillyWhiz Tue 13-Apr-21 10:48:21

If you don't feel you have something to celebrate and don't want to organise anything just now, you don't have to. If your children or your DH does, that's fine, that's up to them. But planning a holiday for next year sounds an excellent idea. Pre lockdown, my husband was in very poor health and make it clear he wasn't celebrating so I booked a holiday away which was enjoyed by both of us.

moggie57 Tue 13-Apr-21 10:53:20

start planning and make sure your children know in advance .and see what happens ..if not go out for the day ...

Theoddbird Tue 13-Apr-21 10:56:40

I think you need to sit your husband down and talk about this. Maybe he feels the same. Do you want another possibly 20 years of this?

kwest Tue 13-Apr-21 10:59:20

I wonder what your husband would say if he was asked how happy and content he was within his marriage. Does he ever feel unappreciated or lonely? Does he miss the girl he married?
When did things start to deteriorate for each of you?
Perhaps asking each other these basic questions might help you to 'walk in each others shoes'. How would you each like the other to be now if you could change one thing about them?