The blog of photographer and musician, Kim Ayres

If you're not into sentimental slush, move on

When we express our ultimate words of love for our ultimate loved one, are we expressing the words they need to hear, or the ones we need to hear?

For years I have been letting Maggie know how much I love her and want us to be together for all time. This, I always believed, was the ultimate reassurance and expression of love for her. Surely she should realise that if I only ever wanted to be with her, it would help to soothe away her fears and anxieties.

But while she was clearly pleased to hear this, it didn’t do the job I felt it should. In her times of worry and stress, I would let her know more frequently, or with more intensity, that I was here for her, that she was not alone. Somehow, though, it was never quite enough and I would despair at being unable to give her the emotional security she so desperately needed.

Over the 17 years we have been together our souls have grown more and more entwined. I cannot think of a worse thing than to be separated from her. Together we can cope with anything; apart I feel I could not survive.

Yet it wasn’t until the other day that I had a blinding flash of the obvious: all this time I have been trying to support and reassure Maggie against my biggest fear rather than hers, which is subtly different.

Maggie doesn’t fear being alone in the same way I do; her biggest fear is that if people knew who she really was, were able to look deep into her soul, they would not like her, would not want to be with her, would be incapable of loving her. And then she would be truly alone.

But I do know Maggie. I know her desires, her insecurities, her dreams, her pleasures, her fears, her loves and her guilts. I know Maggie better than anyone else in the world; sometimes I know her better that she knows herself. I have looked deep into her soul, many, many times. I know exactly who she is, and I am deeply, powerfully and eternally in love with her.

So finally I realise it is not enough for me to proclaim my love and let her know I will always be there for her; I also need to remind her that I do know exactly who she is inside. And that she is worthy of that love.


karatemom said...

awwww loved the "sentimental slush"...I am jealous ...She is a lucky woman to have someone that cares so deeply for her and you are lucky that it is reciprocated.


Sam, Problemchildbride said...

*dissolves into puddle*

You're both very lucky people.

TheAmpuT said...

Thank you so very much for putting your process into words and sharing it.

For me, feelings of worthiness (or lack thereof) have been big features in my emotional landscape. I've been tinkering with it for years, trying to better understand.

I'm so happy for you that you have each other :-)

Charlie said...

Exactly right.

Restaurant Gal said...

You have the key. Never, ever lose it, forget about it, or doubt its importance.

Carole said...

What an exquisite view of your marriage. "Together we can cope with anything; apart I feel I could not survive." Good stuff. Surely you got an extra brownie button for this post.

Fat Lazy Guy said...

Sentimental... slush... too thick. Must... talk like... Captain... Kirk. ;)

Just kidding man. That's really nice. And it's a good thought too, outside of the sentimental. Trying to pay attention to the needs of others instead of projecting your needs on to them, kind of thing.

Namaste said...

thank you so much for this. thank you.

Sarah said...

i like sentimental slush.

i think it's cool that you put all that thought INTO it. sometimes we are word people and sometimes.. we just need to know without the words.

Kim Ayres said...

KarateMom - well we're both very emotionally intense. If we weren't married we'd probably be stalking each other...

Sam - I know, and there isn't a day goes past I'm not thankful for it

AmpuT - I think feeling unworthy of love is a big thing for a lot of people - it's not that we're not loved, it's that we don't allow ourselves to feel it.

Charlie - damn right

Restaurant Gal - I've spent 17 years growing, nurturing and cherishing it, I have no plans on forgetting where I put it :)

Carole - it is one of the most powerful truths of our relationship.

FLG - but that is illogical, captain...

Namaste - and thank you for taking the time to visit and comment :)

Sarah - and sometimes we expect other people to be mind readers... ;)

Conan Drumm said...

So very well expressed, Kim. And I can understand it took seventeen years to get there. There's hope for me yet.

Kanani said...

I think acceptance is a very deep thing and speaks of your commitment to her.

As for women, well, I think a lot of us accept that one day we probably will be on our own. Our days are filled with loads of things --from working to kids and house work. So there's no doubt we'll survive, but still, it's not something we necessarily ever want or look forward to.

Now, please Kim. Take out the trash.

Brave Astronaut said...

WOW. I mean, WOW.

It's good to know there are other talented husbands like me out there. :)

When I met Mrs. BA, I was married to someone else, and she was married to someone else as well. We became really good friends and then after our marriages broke up moved our relationship to a higher level. She taught me all about love and every single day with her is a gift that I cherish forever.

We are truly lucky men.

Sarah said...

it's been proven that we are mind readers - to a certain extent.

Sayre said...

You've hit it spot on. If you can love the woman inside and let her know it, she will always be by your side.

Sini said...


Kim Ayres said...

Conan Drumm - you're already a slushy romantic

Kanani - OK, I'll take the trash out, but it sounds like you need a hug first.

Brave Astronaut - so what you could say is "When Mrs BA and I first met we were married"

Sarah - I knew you were going to write that just before you did...

Sayre - I hope so :)

Sini - :)

PI said...

Oddly enough, whilst looking for some American stuff for my post I came across a little book i had given MTL in '98 'To my husband with love' a book of quotes about marriage. Some are mushy and some are funny but this one really resonates for me.
'It seems to me, to myself, that no man was ever before to any woman what you are to me - the fulness must be in proportion, you know to the vacancy... and only I know what was behind- the long wilderness without the blossoming rose...and the capacity for happiness, like a black gaping hole, before this silver flooding.'
Elizabeth Barret Browning1806-1861 to Robert Browning
Carry on:)

Kim Ayres said...

Thank you for that, Pat. It's beautiful :)

savannah said...

what a perfect post to read this evening, sugar! thank you

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