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He doesn’t bring me flowers. He never has. We’ve been married ten years and I think I’ve gotten flowers once or twice. It’s not that he doesn’t love me. It’s not that he doesn’t enjoy doing nice things for me. But he doesn’t like to bring flowers.
I learned this early on, even before we got married. So when our first Valentine’s day loomed on the horizon I thought, Uh-oh. Am I going to be disappointed? If he doesn’t bring flowers am I going to be sad? When I hear of the gorgeous bouquets delivered to my friends, will I think poorly of my husband? Will I judge his love for me or feel discouraged about the strength of his feelings if my flowers don’t arrive?
That all just seemed so ridiculous. So instead of setting ourselves up for failure, we sat down and discussed it. As it turns out, my shy husband feels terribly embarrassed buying flowers. The oohs and ahhs, the grins and winks of the florists make him want to crawl under a rock. Some would say he should buck up and do it anyway. I chose to say, why? Why not find something that was fun for us both and maybe even something that lasted longer than the week.

Write Love Letters
So for our first married Valentine’s day, we decided to write letters to each other. Love letters. A letter that would share our thoughts about the last year of our marriage and that would dream of the future. 
For ten years, we’ve been writing a letter each year. He always finishes writing his first. And teases me that he’s had his planned for weeks and that I need to get with the program. His face lights up when he hands me his completed letter on our Valentine’s date. He takes great joy in expressing his feelings for me in this way. And of course, I love it. 
Those letters live in a book that sits on the mantel year round. A reminder of our love, visible daily.
Valentine’s day can be a nightmare for many people. Whether married or single. There are many expectations created in our minds by the world. But we need to set those aside and come up with something that works for us.  Something that allows you to honor a special day without the day ending in a fight or hurt feelings. Why allow a date on the calendar to cause strife, when it could instead be a catalyst for growth?

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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