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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Are Your Expectations Too High?

Valentine's Day is coming...believe it or not, it's just two weeks away. It doesn't seem possible, but time is flying by.

I don't know about you, but this used to be a day I did NOT look forward to. My hubby is not a romantic and for years did little on Valentine's Day. In fact, if I didn't remind him ahead of time, my birthday and our anniversary often got either overlooked, or was a last minute rush to find something to make me happy.

The title of this post can be applied to any holiday where you have a need to feel special and have your spouse or boyfriend/girl friend (depending on your gender) remember you.

How high are your expectations? Are they such that no matter what he does, you're going to be disappointed because it didn't quite measure up? Are you setting yourself up to be let down? Or can you be content with what he does, and say a simple, heartfelt 'thank you' if he does anything at all?

This is the place I finally came to, as getting upset and disappointed that he wasn't putting out the effort I felt he should, only brought continued stress and division. Holidays and birthdays became a mini war zone, or at least a day to retreat into my quiet space and try to pretend everything was 'fine'. I'm not great at hiding my emotions, though...and that rarely worked. My hubby got the idea fairly quickly and division and hurt ensued... the problem is, he didn't MEAN to neglect me, he just doesn't have a strong understanding of what romance means to me.

Over the years, he's gotten better and now (after 35 yrs of marriage) I can pretty much count on dinner out or flowers, or both. No, he's never planned a romantic evening with reservations, a hotel get away, or special gifts planned far in advance...but I've also learned to be thankful for the bouquet he brings home, or the dinner he takes me to, even when it's to a place we might frequent often. You see, I've learned to not set myself up for disappointment. He is who he is, and I've learned to accept that. I've learned to say thank you, I love you, I appreciate you, when he puts out any effort at all. And you know what? It's reaping rewards. When I make a big deal out of the little things he does, he seems to want to do more.

The bible says "give and it shall be given back to you, pressed down, running over..." And I think this applies to our husbands as well. If we give them affirmation, adoration and appreciation, they'll be hungry for more. If we give them disappointment, anger and recriminations, that too will come back to us. It will come back pressed down and running over.

So it's your choice....what do you want to have come back to you this Valentine's Day? Anger or joy?

1 comment:

The Koala Bear Writer said...

I've never had this problem - my husband is a romantic who loves surprising me. :) Last year I had fun by asking him if I could plan Valentine's Day... he spent several weeks dying of curiosity until I took him to dinner at one of my favourite restaurants.

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