Once the joyous marriage takes place and daily life resumes, the thrills and hopeful longing of separated lovers is replaced with contented togetherness. It’s a good thing. But when Valentine’s Day comes around, we want to celebrate our love the same way unmarrieds do. Bring back the courtship rituals of flower, candy and candlelit dinners! We don’t put undue pressure on our husbands to think up creative ways to say ‘I love you’ like some demanding singles. No diamonds, regardless of what jewelry commercials say, are necessary. Wives are easy. But that doesn’t mean one should take them for granted on Valentine’s Day.
What husbands don’t realize is that if they treat their wives like “the old ball and chain” then they will act like “the old ball and chain” ; On the other hand, if they treat their wives like the young, exciting lovers they fell in love with, their wives will feel those same fluttery feelings all over again. And it goes both ways. Many a married but dormant Don Juan has been resurrected with some romantic attention, too.
A little reflection will show you how your own feelings, attitudes and behaviors towards your husband or wife have changed over the years. Do you still…
• anxiously look forward to seeing him/her each day and greet each other with a kiss, hug or at least a smile?
• think of ways to make your spouse happy?
• feel deeply concerned if your spouse is troubled?
• laugh with each other?
• play and explore together?
• like to present your spouse with surprises?
• respect what your spouse has to say?
• enjoy time alone with your spouse?
If not, it’s time to return to those early marriage acts that can revitalize your relationship. Valentine’s Day is a good time to start.
It’s true that a good marriage doesn’t “need” expensive expenditures to solidify the relationship. The most important factors, like trust, love and commitment, are safely in place. But to mark a special holiday, such as Valentine’s Day, with just a bit of romance or nostalgia could only show that you spent some time thinking about your spouse. That is what romance is all about.
Spend time thinking about her/him
Men often seem perplexed about romance. “I’m just not a romantic guy.” “I don’t know what women like.” You don’t have to know what women like. You just need to spend some time thinking about what *your* woman would like. What would make her smile? What would make her feel young again (and don’t suggest make-up or plastic surgery!) It’s about her *feeling* young and in love again. The same goes for men. What would make your husband feel young and in love all over again?
A Real Valentine
Even the simplest token of love will do. One year, I made my husband a Japanese love knot. It was a love note written on a pretty, scented piece of paper, folded and tied into a knot. Japanese love knots would be slipped discreetly from a lover’s hand and deposited into the large kimono sleeve of his intended as they passed innocently by on the street. Of course, the contents of my note will remain a secret between us.
What do you love most about your husband or wife? Write it down on a piece of paper, roll it up like a scroll and slip in somewhere where it will be discovered by your spouse. Let your words pour out anything on your mind. They needn’t be poetic, if you’re not inclined to pen literary prose. Only let them be honest and loving.
When the flowers fade and the chocolates are consumed, I promise you that this real Valentine will be cherished for the rest of his or her life.