Was your Valentine’s Day about fun and companionship with your husband? Or were you disappointed by how your Valentine’s Day went?
Many times, we women have very specific expectations about how things “should” go on special occasions like Valentine’s Day. On top of that, we grow up with romantic myths such as believing that our dream guy will “just know” how to make us happy without any effort on our part. When we don’t let our partners in on those expectations, it can cause tremendous stress in the relationship.
Disappointments like a Valentine’s Day letdown can easily lead to resentment and feelings of hopelessness about the relationship. What can you do to ease these hurt feelings and move forward? Here are a couple of ideas to consider:
1. Be direct. The next time a special occasion (such as your birthday or your anniversary) is coming, be more direct about how you would like the event to go. Remember that the romantic images in your head might not be the ones in his. This is one of the reasons men often say, “Just tell me what you want!” Speak up because if you value a romantic night out on special days, but he thinks he’s supposed to buy jewelry, you will end up disappointed. It might not seem as romantic to communicate your wishes so directly, but you’re more likely to enjoy the occasion. And, as a bonus, anytime you bring more of the real you into your relationship, you’re always deepening the intimacy with your husband.
2. Look at the big picture. Don’t use how your husband did on Valentine’s Day as the sole measure of the success of your relationship. It’s one day, not the total picture of your marriage. Look for all the ways that your husband does communicate his love — maybe he’s great about helping you around the house or he’s very physically affectionate. Make sure these other efforts are acknowledged. Otherwise, you will end up with a partner who feels discouraged about his attempts to make you happy.
Everyone will disappoint us sometimes; opening ourselves up to that is part of being in a close relationship. But remember that being disappointed by Valentine’s Day does NOT have to equal being disappointed in your relationship!