Valentine’s Day, The pressure!

This morning I woke up to a lovely bunch of flowers and chocolates from my hubby and a card saying, ‘Thank you for being that special person in my life.’

I have to say, after thirty two years together, it is really nice to receive such a nice token of love and appreciation. My hubby never forgets my birthday, or Christmas presents or Mother’s Day, ( although, I may remind him that the occasions are coming up) not because I need to receive the actual present but I know my husband would be disappointed to have forgotten. He likes to show his affection on these occasions. I, on the other hand feel my long term commitment speaks for its self and I wouldn’t be disappointed if there weren’t flowers on my kitchen table this morning.  My husband needs to have his occasions remembered, he likes to receive affirmation that he’s loved. I have to agree in some areas, I like birthday celebrations, because I feel it is good to celebrate another year on this Earth. Life is a challenge and one that should be recognised and celebrated.

But receiving flowers doesn’t mean that we have a mushy, lovey relationship! Our thirty two years together has been hard work! My husband was the jealous type and I went along with that for a lot of years, because when I was younger, it was romantic that your guy was possessive! Imagine!

We had a lot of arguments for twenty five years, because obviously, in actual living, it’s not romantic at all if your partner is jealous. It causes a lot of problems. I was quite an insecure person while I was young, I had no clue about myself or what I wanted in a relationship, so, without my knowing at the time, I was allowing this behaviour from my husband. Although I was arguing against it, I wasn’t really changing things. Until I really started to figure me out and what made me happy and what made me sad, only then, could I change my situation.

I could’ve left the marriage, but there were two of us doing the damage to our relationship and I had to take my own responsibility too. I had to find the parts that were good in myself and change my own bad habits. There are so many negative things that we do in a marriage, that we don’t realise it until we start changing. For example, I used to focus on my husbands bad habits and blame him constantly, stupid unimportant things like putting the bins out, picking up dog pooh!

As soon as I started focusing on his good qualities and let him be the person he wanted to be in the marriage, things immediately changed within me for the better. Also, I was teaching him, ‘Hang on! You know? I have only one God in this world that can lead me and guide me and it’s unfair of you to think that you can tell me what to do or judge me! As long as I’m living within the guidelines of our marriage and parenting, I’m still entitled to be me! The person I want to be! The person who is free to be the person she wants to be! I also support you to be the person you want to be within the guidelines of marriage and parenting!’

As soon as I knew this about myself, I couldn’t put up my husbands jealousies anymore. I would just hand them right back to him and tell him, ‘I’m sorry, this is your insecurity, you need to figure it out yourself!’

And you know, being fifty two years of age is pretty good. With life’s learning experience, it brings a lot of confidence within oneself.  It doesn’t mean that I can sit down and not work on the relationship. I have to remember to show gratitude for my husband also, but it doesn’t have to be a pressure. When you have children, it’s very hard to give your relationship time, especially if you have children with challenges. It doesn’t even have to be weekly date nights. It can just be in the guise of regular support and encouragement or once a year flowers that say, I appreciate you. The rest is having patience in the relationship.

Jean xxx



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