Sunday, May 15, 2011

Acknowledgment

I've talked before about the importance of birthdays, and it's a topic that I'll be touching on many times in the future. Acknowledging a person's birthday doesn't have to be a huge ordeal - mostly, all that is needed is a card, a hug, or a simple heartfelt "Hey you, Happy Birthday!" At the heart of the matter, celebrating a birthday is a way of acknowledging and accepting someone's very existence. If you are sincere in wishing someone well on the day that they were born, it means you genuinely love them and want them to be happy.

DH's birthday represents a day of protectiveness for me. We've been together long enough to celebrate two of his birthdays (with another fast approaching) and each time, I have felt a powerful urge to shield and protect my dearest love from the barrage of attacks that come at him from all different angles. I recently pulled out our box of greeting cards that I saved from all the holidays these past two years, and it was then I came to the realization of what DH's birthday symbolizes for me. Of course, it is a happy day too, when we get to celebrate his life, but for right now, I mostly feel an overwhelming need to protect DH from his FOO, as well as from himself, as he begins to abandon his old self-destructive behaviors in search of newer and healthier ones.

I first pulled out the birthday card I gave him in June of 2009:


The inside read simply, "Happy Birthday" to which I added: You know it's true! This card puts it in such a succinct way, don't you think? I love you, DH. Here's to many more happy birthdays. We have our whole lives ahead of us! (Heart) Jonsi

I think it's obvious that the makers of the card intended it to read as a joke. But I neither read it as a joke, nor gave it as a joke. I was serious, and the matter of DH's birthday and peoples' treatment of it was an important enough issue for me that I was angry, righteously so, when his FOO attempted to sabotage it. To "ruin" his birthday with their manipulations, guilt-peddling, nastiness, or trickery was to hurt him, and I just wasn't okay with that. While I wasn't necessarily going to "ruin" anyone's "life" as a result of their cruelty, I wanted to be clear: If you mess with DH, you're messing with me. And believe me, I'm not an enemy you want to have. It is unacceptable to hurt my loved ones and I don't have any problem expressing that to people who have, or who look like they might want to try.

Next, I pulled out the card I gave DH in June of 2010:

Sometimes, our relationship takes work to keep things on track. 
But no matter what we go through or whatever effort it takes,
it's always worth it...
And inside it read:

Because our relationship
is more important to me
than anything.

You're a wonderful husband.
(I added in parenthesis underneath: And father)

Happy Birthday

To that already poignant message, I added: There is no one else I'd rather be with. Yes, I'll take your dysfunctions over anyone else's. I love you. Love, Jonsi.

I spent several hours in a couple of different stores, searching for the perfect birthday card last year. And when I found this one, I knew it was the one. It conveyed the message I wanted to send to DH: That I love him in spite of his dysfunctions, and I know that we're going to work through them together. In fact, we have our whole lives to do so. As my dad recently pointed out to me, I love DH too much to watch him hurt himself. I thought it rather appropriate that each card had an underlying message: I love you, and I want to protect you - no matter if I'm blocking your FOO, or yourself, I'm here to keep you safe. When DH's birthday comes this year, I know I'll feel the same way, perhaps more so than in years past, given the circumstances.

5 comments:

  1. My NPs are always bragging that they're "a team" and they sure are! Just not in a good way! Funny they never accepted that my DH and I were a team too. Hence, when he was dying NM felt free to "comfort" me by saying she didn't "give a shit about him."

    It's great that you and DH are a team, supporting each other in the healthy way that "normal" couples do. Too bad the Ns in your life are too stupid to understand that!

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  2. Mulderfan - There is definitely a lot of "teaming up" that's going on. And I feel, in NMIL's case, it's teaming up for the sake of bullying, rather than for any healthy reason (like for the genuine well being of her son).

    It is too bad the N's are behaving the way they are - they are always the ones to miss out in the end. DH and I were just talking about that last night. They miss out on him and his beautiful children. They miss out on me! I may be a scary enemy, but I am also a great and loyal person! They are missing out because they would rather team up to try and hurt us, than be a healthy part of our lives.

    I have to say the same about your NPs - they've missed out on one really awesome person (you!) and that is their loss! It's sad really. And pathetic.

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  3. I love this post on so many different levels, Jonsi. I know how much my wife has meant to me and how much she's given these past few years. It's taxing. But her strength and willingness to deal with it has been my rock to stand on. I feel that here, too. DH is extremely lucky to have you. :)

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  4. <3 times infinity!

    I love your love.

    upsi

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  5. Shaun - I totally get how much your wife means to you whenever I read your blog. I think one of the reasons I am so compelled to read your blog is because I feel a sort of kinship with you. You are like my DH is so many ways! It's really tough to watch the people we love most get hurt, so I feel for your wife, of course, in those situations. And, finally, thank you! I feel lucky to have DH too.

    Upsi - Right back atcha! :)

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