Some of you may know that I am not the touchy feely kinda gal. I don't like flowers to be sent to me and I prefer handshakes over hugs (most of the time). If today is one of the few days that your SO chooses to validate the core of your relationship, then I hope it's everything you need and want at this time. However, I hope that everyone reading this tries to incorporate the meaning of this day into their relationship every day.
You don't need February 14th to roll around before you do it. You don't even need it to be your anniversary, Father's Day, Mother's Day, or your significant other's birthday.
Choose to celebrate TODAY! Honor your spouse TODAY. Give them a 20 second hug. Smack their bottom as they are walking away from you. Waggle your eyebrows at them when the kids aren't looking. If you know your spouse is overwhelmed with housework, do a load of dishes.
Don't do it because it's February the 14th. Do it because you love your spouse and you have consideration for their feelings, their fears, their sorrows, and their joys.
One of the most powerful things I have learned in my marriage is the power of saying you're sorry and the power of forgiveness. Sure, things are said in the heat of the moment. We've all done it and yes, sometimes it comes from an obscure portion of your heart that needs to be mended and recovered. It's natural to have those feelings. As a stepmother, I KNOW I've let frustrations over money boil over and blamed my spouse for having two children that he pays child support for. I love those kids, wholeheartedly, but yes, sometimes your judgment gets clouded. It's okay. Say you're sorry. One of the most heartfelt gifts we can give to another person, and not just our spouse, is the power of forgiveness. I was mad and upset and as soon as those words dropped from my mouth, I wished them back inside. I stomped upstairs, sobbing. I was so mad at myself for doing that to my spouse.
I took a breather and after a good half hour, I went back downstairs, put my arms around him, and told him that I was so incredibly sorry and didn't mean what I'd said. My spouse, my loving, amazing spouse, immediately said, "I know. I was mad for about 30 seconds, but I knew you didn't mean it. I forgive you."
Create inside jokes with your spouse. Squeeze their hand when you're sitting at the table together. Wake up and look into each others' eyes and smile. Take an interest in their interests. You don't have to go all in and don the jersey or crawl under the hood, just make an effort to ask them about their interests.
Here's the hard one: Put your spouse first. (Or second, you know, God first, really, if you believe.) Kids are second (or third). I guarantee you and your children will be happier for it. You will model a wonderful and loving relationship for your children and still have someone to talk to when the kids leave the nest.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. The one "rule" my husband and I live by is this: We put each other ahead of ourselves. Simple as that.
Do it NOW. Don't wait. Please don't wait.
Do it because it's worth it, not because the calendar says to go buy overly expensive flowers or chocolates or cards. Full disclosure: My husband and I do not celebrate Valentine's Day. He never sends me flowers. I never buy him chocolates. In the end, he holds my hand at my most unlovable and I am so very grateful for that.