I’m away this week enjoying a 10th annivesary vacation with my husband. In celebration I’m delighted to feature a series of guests writing their thoughts on love, friendship and partnership. Please welcome Hyacynth from Undercover mother. Hyacynth is a spiritual and generous writer and mother who never ceases to warm and fill me up with her words.  I eagerly look forward to the day when I get to sit and chat over a mug of hot chai with her. I think her post is the perfect fit for my 10-year anniversary. In the 18 years that my husband and I have been together he’s never been a romantic, but he’s never wavered in his support for me. This is what it’s all about. Thank you Hyacynth.

by Hyacynth at Undercover Mother

I’m guilty of putting love into a box — a box that says a man really only loves his wife if he shows her his love in very specific, planned, romantic ways.

He’s got to take her out on dates if he loves her. He’s got to write her love letters like he did while they were dating. He’s got to send her roses. And light candles during Saturday-night dinners. And buy her sparkly, shiny rocks to adorn her fingers and wrists as symbols of his love. Oh, how, I’ve mistakenly grown up putting love into this box, this perfect and rigid box. And, oh, how I’ve been heartbroken when my husband hasn’t loved me inside the box, wondering if he even loves me at all.

It’s been a process, but I’m learning to love and embrace love outside of the box. I’m learning daily about loving and living beyond that little space in which I’ve so frequently tried to trap affection and heartfelt emotion.

I’m learning what love played out — outside of that box — looks like.. And it’s beautiful, breathtaking.

It’s forfeiting your Saturday mornings to get up with the kiddos while your wife sleeps until 10 a.m.

It’s single-handedly bathing and putting two little ones to sleep while she escapes for a bit after a long day bound to the house with a cranky toddler and teething baby even though you’ve been working all day, too.

It’s driving all the way to her mom’s house after a long day of work during rush hour with two irritated children just so she can cram as much time as possible with her family into the weekend.

It’s rubbing her back every night while she’s pregnant for hours, attempting to make her just a little more comfortable.

It’s wearing a silly cowboy hat to appease your two year old enough to let his mommy take a picture of him while he’s smiling.

It’s walking out the door every morning to go to a job that isn’t as exciting as maybe you’d hoped because it provides for her and your little ones.

It’s entertaining both kids and a dog during the Superbowl so she can sit alone and just breathe out the craziness of the day.

It’s holding her when she cries or doubts or fears or stumbles or falls and assuring her that you’ve got her back this time and every time.

And it’s being here. Being present. Being attentive. Being brave enough to love her outside of the box even when she doesn’t understand what that looks like or how much it means.

And the roses? Well, the roses, really, are just the punctuation at the end of an action-packed sentence that you’ve been living for the past four and a half years of marriage.

Hyacynth writes about life, love and testosterone at


16 thoughts on “Roses

  1. I love that picture of him with kids hanging all over him and he’s still able to entertain the dog, too. That is a MAN!

    • Hyacynth says:

      Hehe, that’s how I feel. I used to think a man was someone who, like, mowed the lawn and carried heavy things. And now I know the true definition of a man includes being able to wrangle two small children alone. 😉

  2. Justine says:

    I love this – I was just like you, hung up on the glossiness of romance until I saw what My Guy did for our family as a partner and father, and it just blew me away. I know now what it feels like to be loved. The little, unglamorous things that make the ordinary of every day extraordinary.

  3. ShannonL says:

    Beautifully said, and so very true. Looks like you have yourself a really great partner, Hyacynth!

  4. LZ says:

    I have always been the same way. I had an idea of what was supposed to be done, and got disappointed if if wasn’t…even if something equally thoughtful and romantic was done in its place. Romance and love needed to follow a script. Luckily I learned to relax and appreciate the genuine efforts, not those made just to ‘fit the script.’
    Very nice post – well said…

  5. So very true. My hubby does surprise me every once in a while with flowers or chocolate, on my darkest of dark days. But more often than not, he shows his love by stepping in when I have no more to give.

  6. So beautiful, Hyacynth. Three cheers for partners who remind us of the value of non-traditional romance!

  7. Corinne says:

    I absolutely love this post 🙂 It’s so true…

  8. Rudri says:

    Well said. I like how you described the evolution of your love. It is in the ordinary, but necessary gestures that love means the most.

  9. Kelly says:

    The daily actions speak so much louder than any grand gestures. We know we are loved because of the day-in and day-out. It’s a beautiful feeling.

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