When we are single we pray for a relationship because being alone on Valentine’s Day makes us feel the lack of a close romantic relationship more then ever.
So then our prayers are answered and God gives us a partner and we think every Valentine’s Day From then on out will be wine and roses.
Then reality sets in and it’s not always what we expected.
It took me years to realize that our expectations of Valentines Day are rooted in our childhood and our partner’s expectations are rooted in their childhood.
A lot of unfulfilled expectations can be avoided if we simply get real about things.
I am a giver and I come from a giving family. In my childhood, every single year my father bought a large heart shaped box of candy for my mother and a smaller one for me. My mother, who loved surprises, would put a stuffed animal, or some other gift, on my bed to be found by me when I got home from school. I looked forward to that each year and could barely wait for the school day to be over so that I could rush home and see my surprise.
My expectation of Valentines Day was shaped and took root in My childhood. I thought everyone’s family was like mine.
What a shock when my husband did nothing for me for Valentines Day. My expectations of Valentines Day didn’t equal his. I took it personally and it meant, in my world, that my husband didn’t love me.
As time went on I found out that my husband came from a very different background. In his home of origin they very seldom gave each other surprises. They would often tell the other family member what they wanted. They wanted to make sure the gift was appreciated and those gifts were Birthdays and Christmas only.
One other thing I found out that put a crimp on my husband’s giving was that a relationship in his past consisted of him buying things for the other person who usually complained about the gifts he gave. That led to him feeling rejected and he avoided that rejection by not gifting anything at all.
A lot of my hurt feelings went away when I started to understand that it wasn’t that my husband didn’t love me instead he was dealing with things he had learned in his family of origin and lessons he learned from another relationship that made him believe every relationship was the same.
Rather then having a big fight on Valentine’s Day, birthdays and Christmas I began to understand to not take it personally. Did I wish things were different? Yes I did. Was it worth breaking up our otherwise good relationship for? No it wasn’t. I left it alone and prayed about it.
God started working on my husband when I accepted the situation and prayed.
My husband’s slowly started to change. He too began to realize that I should not be punished because of what his experiences of the past has been.
Now, at fourteen years of marriage things have changed through prayer and mutual understanding of each other. This year Valentine’s Day is on Wednesday and he bought me something Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. He can’t drive anymore and he buys online, little things he can afford. Little things should and do mean a lot.
One other thing I feel like saying is that things in other relationships are not always as great as they look.
Years ago I worked in a large building in downtown Albuquerque. My oldest son’s wife, my daughter in law, came with my oldest grandson to bring me a little something for Valentine’s Day. I pointed out to her the two dozen roses on a co-workers desk. I mentioned to my daughter I law that the woman’s husband was so in love with her he sent flowers constantly.
My daughter in law started to laugh and whispered to me, “ I know her! Her husband is the guy I told you about that put the moves on me when I worked with him! He probably does that out of the guilt he feels because he’s a player.”
We should never be jealous because someone else’s husband seems so perfect. We just never know!
One thing I do know is that God loves us unconditionally and this life is not perfect for anyone but the eternal life to come will be!
In His Unconditional Love,