AFTER 40 YEARS ◽ MARRIAGE
I hadn’t written my article yet, when I got an email from our writer of the other marriage article under the column In This Together. She expressed strong opinions about the V-Day and about how she’s not a fan of celebrating one single day, but rather all year long. I LOVED what she wrote, and I know many women (and men) that feel the same way. They’d rather be purposeful all year long, remembering niceties and kind gestures every day, not just on V-Day.
I thought I’d write an article with the same title but with a different feeling towards the day of red hearts and pink roses. I do not like either of those things, by the way, but I really do love celebrating holidays of any kind, all year long. And…I also like celebrating each day. I guess you could call me selfish, self-absorbed, or self-driven…but I want to be taken out and our love to be celebrated on Valentine’s Day.
The cool thing is that the writer of In This Together and I are super great friends, and we still are, even with our difference of opinion! And that leads me to my spin on this holiday, and others like it, where we are pushed, prodded, and pointed to all things commercial to buy and experience to make that someone feel special.
My husband and I are very different. I plan to the detail, over plan, and over stuff fun days. He goes along and enjoys each thing we do, because he’s a contented man. He seriously is.
He knows that I love getting out of the house and traveling and running around town, experiencing new things. And he has learned that I DO want a date night (but not flowers and roses – nope – don’t like those) on Valentine’s Day. And he knows that I love celebrating every single holiday that’s on the calendar, with fun food, outings, and fun. That word – fun – it’s important to me!
Our differences don’t keep us from enjoying life together.
Instead, we’ve learned what floats the other boat and we’ve jumped in for the ride…
I grew up in a rather legalistic environment and somehow in my head I equated fun with sin. Yeah, not a fun childhood to talk about. It “seemed” that all the things I wanted to do (aside from be at church at every event) were either not proper or evil or unholy. Imagine my freedom when I finally realized at age 30 that going to movies wasn’t wrong, it was a delight! And over the years, I’ve experienced freedom to enjoy life and not feel guilty. My husband didn’t grow up that way, so he didn’t have these hang-ups, but he listened when I explained and he got it.
I’m guessing that’s why I long for and look forward to the very next event on the calendar. Now I don’t care if we spend big and stay out late, I just want to do something FUN. Can I say it enough? FUN! And while staying home with a movie and a candy bar was fun when the kids were at home, I want to leave the house to create a different ambience and cheer!
I read the other article and smiled, because I thought….How cool is that? Both she and her husband relish their relationship over revelry on any given celebratory day. That’s a solid marriage. And I thought about how we enjoy getting out and I do quite desire that he plan something for us to do – on THE day. And that too is a solid marriage.
A solid marriage does not mean that my marriage looks like yours, or that yours looks like mine. What it means is that communication has taken place and each knows what the other loves and is willing to give and serve, and enjoy the journey. I know that my husband loves it when I plan a birthday day surprise for him, and he doesn’t want to know anything ahead of time. He loves the surprise! I, on the other hand, want him to plan but I want to know and have input and not be surprised. We are different. And when I try to change him or he tries to change me, we have a problem.
If you’re staying home on Valentine’s night and that’s what you love doing, enjoy every minute of it. If you’re lonely and have no one to celebrate and all of the hoopla has you depressed and down, call a friend or plan an outing that you ENJOY. And if you and your husband are dressed up and out dining and dancing, look around…you might see us there as well.