This year, I decided to come clean about Valentine’s Day. My feelings around Valentine’s Day have generally been determined by how I think my love life with someone else is going. If I don’t have anyone – my thought is “ugh, Valentine’s Day – made up holiday!”. If my partner wasn’t into it, I would pretend I wasn’t either. This year, I decided to make Valentine’s Day perfect.
1. I made the request to my husband. I told him what I wanted to do, but I had already decided that I was going to follow through with these plans, even if he didn’t want to participate. This was not to make him feel bad or bring about any negativity – actually, it was the opposite. This was the year I decided I could do this for myself, out of love, so I felt totally comfortable asking my husband for exactly what I wanted: flowers and chocolate and a nice dinner at home – maybe watch a movie.
2. I made the request with zero expectation. In the past, my requests would have a contingency clause – if my demands were not met, I would pout and cry, convinced that I was unloved by my partner. I had to be clear with myself that my husband was free to NOT want to celebrate Valentine’s Day and it didn’t mean anything about his feelings for me. I know he doesn’t like the pressure of Valentine’s Day and I also know I don’t want him to do things he really doesn’t want to do.
3. I had a back-up plan. I would go to the store after work to pick up my flowers and chocolate and special dinner and I would feel good about it. I could do all of these things for myself and husband, which I would feel much better about than the old technique of crying and pouting.
4. He accepted my request! My husband was happy to do these things for me when I presented a request and not a demand. YAY! It was a win for both of us – he felt good knowing he did exactly what I wanted and I felt good knowing he genuinely wanted to celebrate with me.
Questions for your journal: How do you feel about Valentine’s Day 2021? Did you celebrate with your partner? Did you make time to do something fun together? Maybe you feel kind of disappointed in the whole thing because you wanted to celebrate and you didn’t? How can you take better care of yourself and your marriage on the next holiday or special occasion?