Here where I live, this Monday fell on a Day of a provincial vacation. We call it Family Day! So we are off today.Yay! For me it’s like living the grand life of being able to write without a schedule.And this year it fell the day after Valentines Day! After looking at the posts on Facebook I figured I might put some thoughts in a blog that would help the people who are not affiliated or a couple on what some call “the most romantic day” in the world.
I saw some perfect posts yesterday about what a relationship should be and sorry folks. I just don’t agree. After being married for 23 years and together for 28 years, I think I can safely make comments on what it takes to make a relationship work, especially since I have one that has lasted through some major crap. Basically, there is always one person who expects stuff more than the other. There! I said it. In this relationship, I would say it’s ME.
If you were in a relationship yesterday and one of you forgot “lovers day”. What do you think would have happen? Nothing good I gather.
I read something yesterday saying “I love you” means that I accept you for the person that you are, and I do not wish to change you into someone else. etc… talking about loving you when you are in your worst times or in a bad mood.
Look, I’m not here to rain on anyone’s parade, but I will tell you how it is in this relationship.
For years, we did not celebrate anything except Christmas for the boys since we had one income and it was just too hard money wise. But as the years went by and the money started entering the home, I wanted my husband to start practicing the “love day” ritual of flowers and such, because that is what I saw in novels and TV what love was supposed to be on Valentines Day. And if he would have dismissed it or forgotten it, I would have not been super happy about it.
So every year, I would say he gets better at it. But it does not stop me from being a bit curt with him for that one year we had an argument and he said that Valentines Day and my birthday were just another day of the year. Not really nice, but you know, they both are just another day of the year. Before anyone starts yelling divorce, I do believe that it was meant as a joke on his part, one that at my young age at the time I did not appreciate.
So this year, he took us out to the museum and a new seafood restaurant. When we are not hurting from arthritis (him) or fibro or endo (me). It’s nice to spend some time together talking and enjoying each others company.
But here is where I will get brutally honest here. I expected him to do something for me. Why? Because I am that kind of pain in the butt. I think I deserved to be thought of on lovers day. Because I am his lover and if he passed it by like I was his buddy, that would not fly. So in essence, I changed him over the years and I’m sure a lot of men change on this day to make sure the honey in their lives are happy. Why? Because they would hurt us if they were thoughtless on that day. We know on the calendar where that day is. The TV ads remind us every year when that day is. And as they say “happy wife, happy life”.
Now I happen to know that my husband thinks this is a great opportunity to try a good restaurant and go visiting new spots. Since he enjoys that, it’s not a great sacrifice anymore to plan Valentine’s day, except maybe having him do the leg work to get there. It’s getting easier for him to just go with it because we are comfortable with each other and he knows what we like and its just nice to belong to one another.
And now the poor dude has to plan another weekend because next week is my birthday as well. February is a crazy month for this guy.
But he was not this guy 10 or 15 years ago. NO. He thought because he married his best friend he could just be easy with it, that we were past these grand gestures of love. I put the stress on him telling him that it was not to be forgotten or taken lightly. I changed him and he let me change him.
That has happened a lot over the course of our relationship. Over the years my husband has worked very hard and got old before his time, especially when it comes to his body. He has told me that he believed he would work until he died and that he did not really think of old age being a part of his life. Because I told him that I saw things differently and pushed for those ideas, he followed and now is looking forward to early retirement and lots of travel to discover new things. I changed him. And I expected him to.
You should see him on vacation discovering new places. His whole demeanor changes. He becomes this open blossoming human being. It’s truly remarkable. I think my favorite is to watch him at those times and I really love him and the child I see there. My heart squeezes in ways I have never thought possible and that to me is what LOVE feels like.
See it comes in both varieties.
I do always love him even when he hurts and has aches, but don’t always like him when I see he does nothing to help himself. I want to take his pain away because I love him, but can’t be responsible to fix everyone, so that I don’t get sick being worried about everyone.
So sometimes I need to be selfish, but it’s important to do these things to help with self worth and preservation of your own health.
Do I bully him into taking action to help himself. DAMN RIGHT I DO. I want him healthy and happy and that means if I need to be mean (not nasty just telling him he knows how to help himself mean) to get him to do what I think is right, then so be it. So am I trying to change him again. YES I AM.
So do I love him? Yes I do. Did I change him? Absolutely. Did he change me? Most likely but in more subtle ways over the years.
We all come being completely ourselves. To assume the partner we are with does not change to fit with us over the years is not reality. It’s just who pushes harder and who in essence gives in, sometimes the manipulation is good and other times maybe not so good, but that is when compromise and negotiation come into play.
We also have to remember to agree to disagree at some points (usually after years together, you realize that this is best instead of huge arguments) because it’s a fact that we are not made a set regardless to what people will tell you.
A couple is truly each its own individual being that ends up liking each others company and are willing to love each other and see if they can share a life with one another.
You chose someone and they chose you, usually because you felt a pull and a kinship to one another. A common ground and an attraction. A support system. Someone you can rely on. That is an expectation too. And I like this one. I need to know my husband will be on my side, my knight and he knows that I need this and wants to be my protector. It makes him feel good to be needed.
So I decided to explain what I have thought love means to me and how I got rid of the book and TV meanings of it and came to realize what it truly means in my life:
Love is when I see that you took to the time to learn what I like even if it’s not what you like to see me smile.
Love is when I can do something that brings you joy and happiness, then I have changed your life for the best and that makes me happy.
Love is when we can be both in pain and still come out the other end realizing that love is not perfect, but it’s enduring.
Love is sharing the best moments in my life and the worst knowing you will still be here by my side even if we are a little worse for wear, but still forever standing beside one another.
Love is knowing that I won’t always like you and there will be times when I will wonder if we have gone as far as we could possibly go, but like someone hanging on to someone else falling off a cliff, we will somehow hold on and get through it.
Sometimes you will be falling and sometimes I will be the one falling, but the only thing that truly matters is that we held on to one another.
Love is knowing that sometimes it will not be the all encompassing wonderful new thing that you feel, but it’s at all those times that you work the hardest to try to make love feel new again. To take the moments you need to realize how special that person you married really is. To let them wow you in ways you never thought they could. To create a new life while still embracing the old.
And love is knowing that it goes far beyond this one little day of the year. And it should feel small compared to the fact that you fight and love and learn everyday, being blessed to have someone by your side that you can make feel better with the a simple hug, kiss and smile.
I wish you all the friend I have found to spend your life with. I promise it will sometimes be the hardest thing ever, but the best thing that can happen to you as well.
All this to say that we can all read about what love is, but until you are full on into it will you truly realize what definition you want to assign to it and you should not feel like a failure if you feel you cannot live up to these beautiful sayings, because they sometimes represent an idealization of what love should be, not necessarily what love really is. There are many definitions of love.
And just because you are not a couple on this day, does not mean this holiday did not apply to you. Love comes in many forms and someone somewhere loves you, but that is another blog entirely.
Have a good week everyone!