It must be Valentine’s Day that gets me thinking this way. Last year at this time I wrote this Love is entry.
I’m not a fan of Valentine’s Day. I have written about this numerous times, and the year he spent Valentine’s Day with her in Tokyo (2010, crazy it’s been 10 years!), ew, it’s ugly no matter how you spin it. That was the year The Pragmatist graduated high school. I remember it well. The boys had a Sadie Hawkin’s style dance on that Saturday night before. They were so adorable as I made sure their clothes were just right, photos were taken both by me and by the girls’ parents. So cute. I spent the night alone, probably watching television. Sunday was Valentine’s Day and I remember the boys went skiing with friends. I was home, doing my thing, by myself while Blue Eyes was off in foreign lands, doing his thing, not by himself.
I do have very fond memories though, of spending Valentine’s Day as a family with our boys. Because Blue Eyes traveled so much, we made sure he was home on that day. It was a fun thing to do with them. When they were really young we made dinner for Daddy and dessert was always a cake made in the heart shaped pan. Later we took them to Valentine’s Day cooking classes and one year a luxurious fondue dinner out. Of course they grew up and by high school they were off to those dances and special dates and then Valentine’s day dwindled to what it is today… not much. We gave each other a card. We did go shopping together on Friday for a new sofa for the family room that was decimated by the meth addict, that was fun. Happy accident. The entire room is being re-done all the way down to replacing the wall to wall carpet with hardwood floors to match the rest of the house. The insurance company doesn’t want us to have any PTSD.
No flowers, no chocolates this Valentine’s Day. We took a drive to the beach house. We had a good time. We love our beach house. On Saturday night I was feeling that sort of icky feeling and I asked Blue Eyes what DOES love mean to him. He says he loves me ALL.THE.TIME. I wanted him to define it. He answered me that for him love is understanding. Him understanding and anticipating my needs. Him taking himself out of the equation… being selfless, with me. Well that is certainly not the flowery definition I was expecting. It’s very practical and something he can wrap his head around and something he is working on.
It made me think of the quote from the article in my post last year, about marriage, and failure, and trust.
Some failure is inevitable in every marriage. Therefore, trust is not built on the absence of failure as much as on the genuine attempts by both partners to take responsibility for and try to repair those failures. In healthy relationships, the failures can actually lead to greater trust when they are handled with honesty and love.
I think Blue Eyes is finally really in a place to take full responsibility for and make conscious and active efforts to re-build my trust in him, which in turn leads to a stronger kind of love bond for me. We’re scheduled for another extended therapy appointment at the end of this month. I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly, but Blue Eyes has meetings in LA, and the therapist made space for us. It’s a good thing.