Last night, when Mr. D came home from work, he took my hand and took me into the bedroom. He looked me in the eye and explained that he hadn’t bought anything for Valentine’s Day…on purpose…because he wanted this year to be different. This year, he wanted to just tell me, to my face, in his own words how he felt. He told me he loved me and that he felt our relationship was so much better, that we’d seemed to achieved a sort of peace. There was more to it, but that is the gist, the important part.
We went out to dinner, as a family, and then came home…I wrote…he watched TV with the boy. And after we’d watched a show on our own…had a drink or two…he gave me a back rub and sent me to bed, since I had to be up for work and he didn’t.
We didn’t have sex. There were no flowers or cards. There was just us, like any normal night, only with a pause for reflection on where we’ve been and how we’re doing now.
And oddly, I think it was a clear sign that things are better. Neither of us felt any need to pretend or fulfill some outside demand that we express our love in a certain way on a certain day.
Mr. D and I have had some pretty severe downs over the past several years…in fact, I can trace them all the way back to 2015 (maybe even as early as 2012) in my journals. Our marriage has been rocky, our mental health has been up and down, and our methods for dealing with it haven’t always been the best.
Last Valentine’s Day, we weren’t in a very healthy place, and both of us simply bought cards and bought into the expectations, not because we thought it would fix anything, but because it was the norm.
The norm obviously doesn’t work for us. So, maybe not doing anything for Valentine’s Day is the perfect symbol for a love that is clearly strong enough to weather the worst we can throw at it: us.
Yesterday, I wrote about not conforming to labels. Today, I’m writing about that again, but from a different angle. Marriage is a label like any other, yet no two marriages is alike. And to complicate matters, marriages (all relationships) change over time as the people in them change. The marriages that last are those that can not only withstand the changes, but become stronger because of them (or even in spite of them). No marriage is without trouble. I would contest that any marriage that purports to be is fooling itself and is not a true marriage. Lasting, deep relationships require growth and honesty and reflection, all of which can be painful or uncomfortable. Mr. D and I have experimented with all types of labels within our marriage: Dominant, submissive, Daddy, princess, swinger, Sir, non-monogamy, bisexual, BDSM, kinky…etc. I will admit that a few have stuck, but not as true labels for who we are or what we do. For that, there is no other label than “us,” and because we change over time, what “us” means is not something that can even be fully defined.
I can’t tell you where we’ll be in a year, or five, or ten. But, my heart believes that wherever it is, Mr. D will be beside me, hand in mine.