Today's blog entry is part of the "Let me call you sweetheart" blog hop sponsored by The Frugal Housewife! This is my first blog hop, so I am very excited! It's sort of a pre-Valentines Day bash. It's interesting to note that celebrating February 14th as a day of romantic love was unheard of before Chaucer (of Canterbury Tales fame) got a hold of St. Valentine and turned it into the hearts and flowers holiday we see today.
Now, I've been married for the past 5 years and 11 months and Valentine's Day has definitely changed in meaning and likely will the longer I stay married. It's gone from the swooning, sweep-me-off-my-feet holiday to more of a "I still find you sexy even though I've seen you at your worst" kind of holiday. Of course our anniversary has also changed over the years from a "Yay, another year married" to a celebration of "Holy crap, we survived another year despite the forces moving against us".
The key to this all though is that Big Guy and I make a point of celebrating these holidays and celebrating them together. I think that our attempts to romance each other, even after 6 years of marriage, a child, and 3 moves, only strengthens our relationship. It's one of those things that you have to work on in a relationship. There are going to be days where you are unhappy, cranky, or just don't feel sexy and you'll still try. If you have a good partner, most of the time they will pick up on the fact that you just aren't feeling it and will work to help get you in a better frame of mind.
Fighting against your own blahs is difficult enough on your own, but it's worse when you and your significant other go through it together. That has happened to Big Guy and I on occasion and we refer to it as our "downward spiral". It's the opposite of feeding off positive energy and we feed off the negative and just get worse and worse. Luckily, after 6 years, we've learned to recognize when it starts and we will look at the other person and say: "Wait, stop, we're heading into our downward spiral." Generally, that's enough to snap us out of it and work on finding the positive. Noticing the beginning of the spiral, though, was no easy task.
We did work hard at it and we learned to notice the clues in our therapy sessions. And, let me tell you, in a blended family, marital therapy is invaluable. We learned to communicate better and that helped us deal with issues that came with the ex and kids. And through all of that, we worked on making sure we still romanced each other.
Some of the things we did weren't terribly romantic on the surface but were insanely romantic in context. One of the first Valentine's Day's we had together, we were dirt poor. Those were desperate times, living hand to mouth and we had no way of getting out of it, but that day Big Guy came home with a heart-shaped pizza. It was, for our budget at the time, a massive expenditure. For my first Mother's Day, we were still dirt poor but Big Guy wanted to make sure I knew that he felt I was a good step-mother to his kids. He brought home a case of Wild Cherry Pepsi. Those were and still are big things to me. He worked hard to get something that we would enjoy and expressed his appreciation. Always find someway to show your significant other you appreciate their efforts and find some way to make it something that speaks directly to them.
Valentine's Day isn't just about hearts and flowers, it's about being with and appreciating the one you love. So, I love and appreciate you Big Guy. Thank you for being there for me; for rubbing my back when I'm cramping, for letting me puke on your feet on election night, for standing next to me and seeing more of me than even I have seen during the birth of our son... In return, I have rubbed your back as you puked, dealt with intestinal issues with you, and allowed you to slough off on your dish duty. They may be the messy, gross times, but they are the times that are indicative of our love.
And I still find you sexy.
Next Stop on the Hop - Lola's Diner! Thanks for visiting!