Do you celebrate Valentines Day? What do you do when you do, but your spouse not so much? It’s always been a conundrum for me. My parent’s had always liked to celebrate special days, birthdays, holidays and yes Valentine’s day. I remember when I was very young they went away on a ski weekend in the Poconos for Valentine’s day, we stayed home with our Aunt Ella and had special treats. My dad always got my mom flowers on special days. One time the florist misheard my dad and sent my mom flowers with a card that said “love, John”, instead of “love, Don”. My dad thought it was pretty funny and after that all the flowers came with a note, “love, John”. I think my dad was a real romantic.
My husband Dean, on the other hand not so much. My first inkling came a few months after we were married. Our first Christmas my sweet husband gave me, a pillow. He had hinted I needed a new pillow and I had told him no mine was fine. Even his mom was mad at him. Next was my birthday, no gift, no card, no special dinner with a cake like my family always had done. He might have said happy birthday, I don’t remember, but I know we did have a discussion and his explanation was his family didn’t do much to celebrate birthdays. And Valentines day, forget it, the day didn’t exist to Dean.
When two people get married they bring many expectations from their upbringing to the union. More than once I have wished Dean was a little more romantic. But in a day and age when most marriages don’t last our commitment grows stronger. We have learned over the years to work and focus on the positive. Dean has always been there working hard and providing for me and our family. He believed it was important for me to stay home with our children and I was blessed to be able to be a full time mom. And eventually he supported me in homeschooling our children. Dean is a planner and he always tried to make what ever we needed happen, and he usually succeeded. In time I was able to dial back my expectations for holidays and Dean, to my surprise, has tried to remember those special occasions that mean so much to me. Today we are headed towards celebrating 37 years of marriage.
Like most marriages, there have been times when it was hard to continue working on our marriage. But working through our struggles together and working to understand each other have made us even closer. The rewards for staying the course have been multiplied over and over again through the years. There is a comfort that comes with being with someone who knows you so well and growing older together. There is special blessing in watching your kids grow up and now grandchildren too. He has always been there for our kids when they need him. Over the years Dean has softened and even become a little more romantic. Dean loves our family and he knows how blessed we are to have them close and in our lives. I love watching him interact with our grandchildren. I am so grateful for him. Happy Valentines Day Dean!