Love is… a year later

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A little breakfast in bed ala Blue Eyes, to cap off the weekend.

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.

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View from the beach house Sunday afternoon.

16 thoughts on “Love is… a year later

  1. “…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.” Yes to this. I don’t expect perfection (despite often being accused of that). I do expect acceptance of responsibility and effort at repair. If I have the same expectation of my children, I don’t think it’s asking too much of my partner. It’s adulting.
    xo

    Liked by 2 people

    • “It’s adulting.” – Made me laugh. So true. It’s also “husband-and-wifing” — there are certain expectations of marriage. Vows can be different, but love, honor, cherish — well — methinks honoring a marriage partner includes truth. And we all mess up, so apologize, own, repair.

      Liked by 2 people

      • We do have expectations when we marry someone and they know what those are. They took the same vows and made the same promises. It’s why there really are no excuses for cheating. It’s cruel and the only thing they can do is learn from their mistakes and be and do better, or move on. I know our husbands have addictions and that was part and parcel to their mistakes, but it’s time to take the next step now… reparations, truth, honestly, kindness, understanding, compassion, humility. No more dirty secrets, no more hiding, nor more lying, no more shame driven behaviors. Sorry, I know I’m preaching to the choir, but it is nice to say it, over and over and over. Reminds me what I’m fighting for. ❀

        Liked by 2 people

        • You can preach it anytime. It is affirming, really, IMHO. Affirming what you need and deserve.

          Would you believe my husband actually said (at one point) that he didn’t know what his marriage vows meant? Yep. I bet you’d believe that kind of nonsense when a liar/cheater/gaslighter spews garbage.

          Obviously, he knows I am smarter than that, and I think he said something to that effect when we discussed his ridiculous comment at a later time, but – WOW.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, blackacre. For me, my children were shaped by me and are much more agreeable to responsibility and better at adulting than my husband is. Parenting is one of the greatest responsibilities we face… too bad so many people are horrible at it and create little monsters that turn into big monsters. I have faith though that my husband will grow up one of these days… xoxo

      Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, yesterday I ran across your very first comment on my blog. I forgot that you were basically the one who diagnosed your husband. It feels like ages ago, but I know how this story goes, like a roller coaster ride, just about the time you think it’s leveling out, you lose your cookies. Thinking of you. xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • That seems like a lifetime ago and I’m guessing it was only about two years ago. I actually think you diagnosed him first. πŸ™‚ You called it. I wasn’t quite ready to hear it or to believe it at the time, but then just a few weeks later it was abundantly clear that you were on to something. Since then, you are completely correct about the roller coaster ride. There’s a point during the Space Mountain ride at Disney World where the car slows and you think it might be stopping and then it shoots off again seemingly faster than before. It’s kind of how I feel about much of the last two years. Eventually that ride stops and everyone is safe. I’m hoping the same is true on the emotional roller coaster.
        xoxo

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes, exactly! Space Mountain has always been a dubious ride for me. When they first built the ride at Disneyland, it had so many issues that we stood in line multiple times just to be turned away because it wasn’t working. I think I was in 8th grade. The first time we actually got inside and on the ride, it stopped in the middle. Music stopped, lights came on and we had to climb down scaffolding type ladders to exit the building. I have been wary of it ever since. It is actually a ride my kids have asked to skip on trips we have taken there with them.

          Part of the reason this journey with an SA is so difficult is we have spent so much of our lives (or at least I have) trying to avoid obvious mistakes, pitfalls, dangerous situations… just to be thrown into one of the scariest, and most destructive predicaments, and without a parachute or really a skill set to manage the fallout. It does get better, but it will never be fair. ❀

          Liked by 2 people

          • So, according to Space Mntn — please get off the ride and exit carefully? It’s not horrible advice, really. But those of us with tremendous hearts and a solid work ethic (for all types of relationships – friends, business, marriage…) work hard to WORK at it.

            Maybe Space Mntn speaks to me. Hmmm. (And, hahaha, I’ve been on the one I n Orlando and wasn’t scared, but I can’t ride those things anymore. OY!

            Liked by 1 person

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