Its Valentine’s Day, a day when flower shops, candy stores and Victoria’s Secret all probably do a brisk business. A day when expectations often exceed our reality and leave us feeling let down. Regular readers know I have been married a while, its been 11 years to be exact, 13 years total that we have been together.
In light of the day, I feel like sharing a few thoughts on this love thang….for starters I am convinced that the reason divorce rates are so high these days in the US is because most of us are walking around approaching the business of love like a bunch of teenage girls.
See, falling in love feels good, when boy meets girl and a connection is made, it feels great. In the early days of most courtships, we are on our good behavior, even at the point we realize the relationship is serious, we are still walking around not truly revealing ourselves in many cases.
I just shared some of this with the Spousal Unit yesterday so now I will share it with you. The past few years of our marriage have been less than perfect, truthfully at times the idea of bailing has sometimes crossed my mind. Why you ask? Well as we settled down, meaning we bought the house and added our own child to the mix, life started to get heavy. In the past 3-4 years, there hasn’t been much time for all the sweet shit that made me marry Mister Spousal Unit, but after closer examination I realized that the problem is not that we have fallen out of love, its just that I was still operating with a teenagers view of love.
I realized when I thought about my parents own marriage, 31 years and it was one of those to death did they part affairs and I know first hand it was not all roses, in fact there was about 10 years that were less than ideal, yet my folks were old school so they realized it wasn’t going to be all good. The saddest tragedy with my Mom’s early death is that right before she took ill, they actually were falling back into that teenage love and it was obvious to all around. In fact they finally had the house to themselves since their entire marriage had been spent raising kids, since I was born 6 weeks after they married. Yet no matter how rough the road got they were there for each other.
Today as I sit back and look at the examples of love they showed, I know now what they had was real despite the fact it was messy as hell at times. Yet when my Mom was sick, too sick to even cook, I watched my Dad, a man whose cooking skills are greatly lacking attempting to prepare the same homecooked meals my Mom had lovingly prepared for 30 years…yeah the food sucked but she knew he did it out of love.
No, real love often involves that mundane non-glamourous shit…around here the hubby shows his love by driving my no driving self around when he really would prefer not too. Its love shown by allowing me my time in the morning to drink coffee and veg out on the computer while he plays with our daughter. Every night he makes me a glass of ice water and carries its up to my nightstand so that I have cold water in the middle of the night.
I remind myself of these tender moments and actions when ever I start to feel pissed that he doesn’t earn much cash, granted he earns enough to still be considered the breadwinner but its less than he used to and as a middle aged man in a dying career, I know it fucks with his pride. Sometimes he gets sad that no longer can we afford the weekend getaways that marked the early years of our relationship, gone are the special Vicky’s Secrets for no reason.
Yet these things are not love, shit the fact that when I was almost 50 lbs overweight he still loved and desired me and never once made negative comments about the weight remind me that his love is real. I will admit sometimes I fall short in the reciprocation department, after all I know I should stop bitching about his missing hair, its been years since he cut it off since the receding hair line wasn’t working.
Sometimes love doesn’t feel like what we think it should, its not always butterflies in the stomach, sometimes its just a feeling of contentment knowing that your partner has your back.
Anyway happy Valentine’s Day, if you are not partnered its still as day to share love, the love of family and friends is just as special as the love of a partner.