A Knight, if viewed in the traditional sense, is man whom is a protector, a servant, and chaste. Oh well, two out of three ain't bad. This is to suggest that a Knight is a man of strength, of honour, an outward looking fellow in almost all regards. And a Knight isn't really a Knight unless he has Queen. A lady to serve, to honour, to cherish, and to yield to.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. The medication isn't having the usual effect today? He's off on one. And you'd be right. In actual fact I've been off on one since October 2013, because that was when Joy and I began to do things a little differently. Do allow me to explain, and do try to keep an open mind. In so many ways Joy is a traditional girl; classy and feminine and simply oozing intellect and dignity. In contrast I'm a Tasmanian devil, a whirlwind of contradictions and repressed insanity, a contrast of rapier intellect and village idiot. Put simply, she's the sensible one and I'm the court jester. I am a man however who loves to please, to put his lady on a pedestal and create a space where the sky is the limit for her. Yet for so many years we'd had this good, yet also slightly unbalanced relationship in which neither of us were being the truest version of ourselves. Joy loves being pampered and adored, yet I did this only rarely, treating her with typical masculine indifference, not really valuing the amazing lady whom I spent my life with. This is odd, because as I've said before I'm naturally a pleaser; I like to honour and cherish and adore and be bewitched, yet there was something holding me back, some kind of societal stumbling block, this sense that if I ever gave into my true nature it would make me less of a man. Weaker somehow. Dare I use the term henpecked? And for Joy, well she has of late confessed that she used to boss her brothers around and was made to feel she was somehow wrong for doing it, even though beneath her gentle nature there is a strong, clear minded, assertive woman. In fact the kind of women I have always admired and desired. I've seen so many amazing females lose themselves in relationships, conforming to what society expects rather than just allowing themselves to flourish. We've listened to the lie that men always have to be dominant and females submissive, when all along we all have traits that ebb and flow between each pole. Now I'm mindful that I'm rambling, and I'm probably not making much sense. All this is meant to lead to the central message of this blog, which is to encourage couples to allow each other to be the truest version of themselves, to honestly express their natures and let each other shine. In our relationship this plays out with me essentially focusing my energies of giving Joy what she requires when she requires it. It means me being her Knight, adoring my Queen and very deliberately putting her needs above my own. Whether it's something as minor as warming her side of the bed so she never has to get into a cold one, or running her a bath and filling the bathroom with candles, or just opening doors, fetching her coat, helping her with her boots and coat when she comes and goes. In short, a thousand little gestures which when combined show her that she is a treasure to me, a woman to be adored and esteemed and placed on a pedestal. As a funny aside I recall seeing her paint her toes one evening and basically claiming that as a former decorator I could do that. Fast forward and now she gets regular pedicures and foot treatments, which appeals to her love of being pampered, especially whilst she watches Downtown Abbey or Call The Midwife. Perhaps the key ingredient is that I've learned to listen, to anticipate her needs and preempt any requests she has, which she absolutely loves because it shows her I'm thinking of her.
So what to make of this? What to make of me? Submissive? Compliant? Well you can use either term and I frankly couldn't care. But here's a little nugget for you; the definition of submission is actually strength under control, or strength focused, strength channelled. Joy loves my masculinity, and in her eyes I'm more of a man than I've ever been, which is affirmation indeed. I'm still that crazy dervish of insanity, all ideas and volume and eccentricity. Yet around her I'm calmer, more docile, more focused. Oh yeah, and if you think that my acquiescence to Joy extends to all comers be prepared for something of a shock. I may yield to Joy, but only Joy. Which is to say that if you're expecting an easy ride if you fire across my bow then it's unlikely to end well for you. So there you have it; the secret of why Joy and I are more in love, more committed, and more engaged on every level than we have ever been. We've discovered that courtship doesn't have to end, that romance isn't the sole territory of fledgling lovers first setting off on their journey. It can be rediscovered, and it can be ignited and sustained. But here's the rub; you don't get to this point by being something you're not, or by being somebody you're not, and I suspect there are plenty of couples out there who have good relationships when they could be having great ones. This saddens me. It should sadden you, too. Life can be so much more.