Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Today is Valentines Day. A day when many are enjoying expressions of the love of their significant other, or they are expressing their feeling for someone that they have long desired. Of course, there are also those that dread this day and see it as nothing more than a reminder that they are single. Most amusing among these people are the husbands that have failed to buy a Valentines Day gift for their wife. I remember watching a sitcom back in the 90’s where men were fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on the last card and box of chocolates in the store. It was pretty funny. Well, I have a confession to make. I haven’t bought a Valentines Gift for my wife in several year. I’m still alive and still married. Imagine that!

Now don’t misunderstand me. I have always been big on Valentines Day. I used to get roses or other flowers for all of my female friends in high school because I didn’t think that any lady should be without a flower on Valentines Day. Yes, I gave my girlfriend more than I gave my friends. I tried to be creative every Valentines. This continued into my marriage. I was always trying to come up with something unforgettable each year. It started to become a rather expensive and stressful endeavor, especially since my wife felt the need to try and match my creativity. Then one year, and I don’t quite remember when that was, we both started asking ourselves, “Why?”

It would be easy to start thinking that the romance has gone out of my marriage. After all, I have been married now for over fifteen years, we are parents, both of us work full time, and Netflix and chill for us actually means that we watch Netflix and relax. Add in the fact that we don’t get each other Valentine’s Day gifts and it’s easy to think that we are just going through the motions. However, you have to take a look at the other 364 days in the year to see that this isn’t true. I never miss the chance to tell her that I love her. We snuggle together on the couch every night. We are constantly holding hands. One of the reasons that we have stopped getting each other gifts (we often do not give Christmas gifts to each other either) is so that we can save money to go on trips as a family and have fun together in new ways. I can honestly say that I haven’t missed the Valentine’s gifts. I recognize the love that is there for me every day.

Now, if you happen to be someone that enjoys Valentine’s Day, be my guest. I’m not trying to rain on your parade. Have a great time. However, if you chose not to give a gift this year, make certain that you have expressed your love every other day this year. What better Valentine’s gift could anyone ever hope to get?

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In July I will have been married for fifteen years. There aren’t many things that television shows and movies get correct about normal life, but one thing that they do tend to accurately portray is the idea that as time passes in a committed relationship, romance seems to go away. How often have you heard married women talk about how they wish that their husbands were as romantic as they were earlier in their relationship? I’m sure that my wife says the same thing. I feel that I need to help deal with this problem. However, I am not writing this to tell the husbands to take more opportunities to be more romantic towards their wives (although they should). I am writing to explain to some of the wives out there how often your husbands show you how much they care without you ever knowing it, much less acknowledging their efforts.

I don’t claim to be an expert on male psychology. I tend to be more of an observer than a participant when it comes to many of the male-bonding rituals. What I have observed leads me to a conclusion about myself as well as other men: we rarely show our true selves. Men worry about our reputations a lot more than we will ever let on. You can’t show weakness in front of the other guys. Aggression is applauded. Meekness is degraded. There are a million things that a typical guy can do in a minute that can impact his reputation, both with other guys as well as with women. It might be his choice of vocabulary. It might be how he answers a question or if he chooses to answer at all. It might be his posture. It might be if he smiles and how. I don’t know if it is all social conditioning or a natural aspect of male psychology, but men have a lot of difficulty trusting someone so completely that they always show their true selves. (No, I’m not saying that every man secretly cries a lot and always wants to watch rom-coms. That only happens in the movies.) Once a man finds that level of trust in someone, it is a very big deal.

I understand that ladies want a romantic candlelight dinner and a night out on the town. That’s perfectly legitimate to expect and even demand. However, if you want to know how truly romantic your relationship is, just look at a typical day around your loved one. Look for the times when he relaxes around you. Maybe he holds your hand or puts his arm around you. Maybe he gives you a kiss on the forehead. Maybe he volunteers to tuck the kids in. Maybe he cut the time he was spending with his friends short so that he could get home. Sure, he may make jokes with his friends about “the old ball-and-chain,” but maybe he’s coming home early because he wants to be with you. Even if it seems like a lot of the things that he does are out of a sense of obligation, he may be doing them because he wants to. He may trust you enough to be showing who he really is.

In July I will have been married for fifteen years. I’m sure that there are times that my wife has wondered what has happened to the romance. She’s right to ask for more outward displays from me, and it would be appropriate for me to accommodate her. Still, I hope that every day she might look at the things that I do and realize that I trust her with seeing my true self. Each one of those acts that shows that I am relaxed around her is another time that I am showing her how much I love her, and how much I appreciate her for accepting me for who I am.

Featured image via candles.lovetoknow.com

I’m the most non-nutritious eater that the western world has ever seen. My breakfast consisted of an iced honeybun every morning for two years. This wasn’t when I was a growing teenager. This was last year! My lunchbox has become the stuff of legend among my co-workers. What Little Debbie snack will he have in there now? How many will be in there? We took everything out one day at lunch and discovered nothing with any nutritional value whatsoever. If you ever wondered what the teachers did in the teacher’s lounge when you were a kid, there it is! I feed my son better than I eat, although we do both have a weakness for fast food. Five Guys…yummm…

I’ve never had much concern about my eating habits because I have always maintained a healthy weight. I rarely get sick. My cholesterol is good and I pass my yearly physical with flying colors. Lately, though, I’ve been worried about some of my eating habits. What has changed? My wife is on a diet.

My wife is a wonderful lady. She has never asked me to join her on the diet. She exercises daily and she loves it. I exercise momentarily and don’t like it. She has never forced me to go to the gym with her. She has remarkable drive and willpower that I wish I possessed. The reason why I worry about my eating isn’t because of myself, it is because of her. How terrible of a husband and I to still eat a normal supper while she has to eat this exceedingly healthy food? I have asked her again and again if it is okay, and she insists that it is. Still, I worry about the temptation that I must be placing on her. I don’t find the sweetest, most delicious thing in the world and eat it in front of her while making sounds of delight or anything! Nevertheless, I will occasionally eat a nutty bar while I’m at home, and I worry if that angers her.

The thing that keeps me from joining her on her diet is the fact that I find all of her food incredibly nasty! She loves vegetables. I think that they are nature’s practical joke on the taste buds. I believe that the purpose of a salad is to hold the delicious dressing for you. She can eat them dry. She thinks that brussel sprouts are amazing. I comb the internet searching for signs that this is the symptom of some greater illness. How do I support my wife when I am scared that her food is going to grow teeth and attack me?

I try to do whatever I can to support my wife. Really, I do. But I can’t seem to make myself enjoy her dietary tastes. Does that make me a horrible husband?

featured image via abovethecrowd.com