I've never been big fan Valentine's Day. I held tightly to the belief Valentine's Day was nothing more than an over commercialized holiday corporations used to guilt men into spending enormous amounts of money. While part of me still believes there is some truth in that notion, I've come to the self-realization that much of my aversion to Valentine's Day was rooted in selfishness.
For too many years of my marriage, I allowed myself to believe surprising my wife with a gift for no reason made me a better husband than doing something nice on Valentine's Day. In my mind, it all made sense. However, as I reflect back on the many years of forgoing a Valentine's Day celebration I realized I had also forgone the gifts for no reason.
This year I decided things were going to be different. I was going to make sure that Valentine's Day was AWESOME. I was going to surprise my wife with a night at a hotel suite, dinner at a fine restaurant and hopefully make up for my years of neglecting her on Valentine's Day. You see, the past several years our marriage has been anything but "great." We went from Husband and Wife to roommates who got along really well. It's a long back story on how we got to that point, but one day I decided it was time to changes things. I felt a huge gesture on Valentine's was the perfect way to show her how much I wanted to change things. As well intended as this ideas was, it wasn't the right path.
Once I had everything planned, booked and confirmed I told my wife of the great plans I had. It seemed to me she was totally on board with the idea. This was in late December. Three weeks before Valentine's Day she dropped a bit of a bomb on me - She didn't want to do it. She said it was "Too much, too fast." Whoa. What had I missed? How could my grand gesture be so far off the mark? What wife wouldn't apprecaite her Husband planning something like this? I was completely lost on where I went wrong.
Thankfully my wife explained to me her thinking which was: It was too much pressure for her. She felt like I expected this to fix everything in one night. Even though I never expressed those thoughts, it's how it made her feel. It took me a while to comprehend what she had shared with me. Yet, after much thought, I was able to see it from her point of view. I canceled all the plans I had made and simplified it. A nice romantic dinner close to home. Exactly what she wanted.
Last night was Valentine's Day and we had a very nice evening out. Our first Valentine's Day celebration in many years was a great success. She didn't need all the bells and whistles. She simply needed me to show I cared and I was listening to and understanding her feelings.
The last several weeks we've both expressed how hopeful we were for the future of our marriage.
Happy Valentine's Day.