I heard that!
For one thing, we've never had much cash for it early in our marriage as missionaries, then as we struggled to make ends meet as "ordinary" people.
Later it was because my wonderful babysitter shared her birthday with the holiday so I felt terrible asking her to babysit on that day!
I have to admit, I spent some of those early years wishing (sulking, pouting, feeling sorry for myself...) that we could celebrate the way that EVERYONE ELSE does! After a while, my husband got tired of my attitude and started dreading the holiday altogether.
It was time for an ...ahem... attitude adjustment.
It was Lexy's birthday that did it for me. I now had a good reason to stay home. (At least it was MY choice.)
So I started a new family tradition with our children. We eat in the dining room on the good dishes. I make something special - including dessert, which we rarely have at our house.
One year I made French silk pie. It is Rich. It is time consuming...
My family did not like it!
But I digress.
Anyway, the kids love the holiday. Hubby tolerates it. And my bad attitude is gone.
It works well for us.
Yet I continued to think that everyone else went out for Valentines day but us.
Until last Valentine's Day.
I was at school for the class parties and two different moms asked me what I was making for dinner. I had not told them about our family tradition, so I wondered how they knew that we were "eating in." As we stood there exchanging recipes, I figured it out! We are not the only ones who include ALL of the special people in our lives, not just our "significant other," as we celebrate Love!
Wow! A new dose of reality!
Yes, you heard me. I said we set ourselves up for disappointment. We imagine a romantic ideal of the way that we think it should go (maybe from a book we read or a movie that we watched of someone else's romantic ideal). We make it impossible for our poor husbands to please us without a great deal of effort or expense on his part. He carries a fear that if what he does is not good enough, he will be "punished" with pouting, rejection, a cold shoulder, withholding of intimacy, nagging, or keeping score.
If he does succeed, his prospects are not much better because he must then meet or exceed the new expectations the following year!
If you are a woman like me and you have already sabotaged the holiday, there is still hope! Take charge. Start by choosing to become become a woman that "the heart of her husband safely trusts" (Proverbs 31:11)
Make a plan. Don't put the pressure on your husband. If you have something in mind for that day, plan it yourself! That way, you will get your dream date, you will have the right attitude, and your husband will be more relaxed. It is the first step to making sweet memories to replace the tense ones.
Happy Valentine's day
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