Long post short: We don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day to improve our marriage.
Wow. Ta-da! My job here is done.
Actually, we decided before we got married to never celebrate Valentine’s Day during the premarriage discussion we had. My idea.
Am I a fun hater? Maybe.
Has it saved us from fights and hurt feelings on more than one occasion? Heck yeah.
See, I’ve never really liked the pressures the world puts on us to buy gifts and do grand gestures so it started out as more of a boycott of “the system” than anything else. We had been married almost a year before we had our first Valentine’s Day and it was then that I saw this was WAY more than a boycott – it was marriage salvation.
My husband worked construction at the time and that meant VERY long hours…always. There weren’t short days. There weren’t many days off. In fact, sometimes he had to go out of town for the whole week and I got to hang out all by my awesome self. (And he wonders why I became a recluse!)
This particular Valentine’s Day was an extra long day for the construction crew he worked with. All the guys he worked with were panicked. They knew how upset their wives would be. Some had made reservations at nice restaurants that they were hopelessly late for. Others had arranged for babysitters that would have showed up hours before they got home to need them.
My husband volunteered to put away all their tools and equipment so they could go a little earlier. No one could believe that I wasn’t going to kill him. We were still newlyweds after all. Even though he explained our agreement, they all thought he had misread the situation, but they were too worried about their own skins to deny his offer. Off they went to their fate while my husband stayed behind an extra hour or so to finish the day.
He got home and I greeted him the same as I did every day. I saw him relax as he realized that he had, in fact, understood perfectly. When I had told him I didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I meant it.
There were no harsh words. There was no disappointment. In fact, I loved him just a little bit more for being willing to try to help all the other guys on his crew.
We haven’t had a single “bad” Valentine’s Day. Not one. We’ve never fought over his work schedule, experienced disappointment over a gift we didn’t love, felt remorse for being unable to make it a perfect day. I’m not against taking a day to show extra love; I just don’t think it should be a mandated day.
Now I know a lot of you probably really enjoy getting to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’m not here to take that away from you. But perhaps you should consider cutting some slack when things don’t go just right.
The purpose of celebrating Valentine’s Day is to renew and express your love to your significant other. Make sure you fulfill the purpose, even if it means you decide NOT to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Oh, and in related news, we don’t really do our anniversary either…and we buy our own Christmas presents. 🙂 Fun hater? I think I must be!