Valentine’s Shouldn’t Be A Test

Yes, your hubby should do something for you for Valentine’s, and I’m sorry if he doesn’t. HOWEVER, please don’t make Valentine’s a test.

Valentine's Shouldn't Be A Test


If he makes a decent effort, take it as an indication he cares and thank him. Don’t expect him to make a huge deal about it, and please don’t compare what he does to what other men do for their sweethearts.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I used to be the guy all the other men hated.

Related Post: How to Make Your Valentine Gift Meaningful | Hot Holy & Humorous

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15 Comments on “Valentine’s Shouldn’t Be A Test

  1. I always hated the obligatory nature of Valentine’s Day; the first Valentine’s Day gift I gave my wife (while we were engaged) was a six-cell Maglite and a Buck knife. The Maglite, however, was red.

    The next year, our first married Valentine’s Day, she got a kukri (a Gurkha machete).

    And the next, some magazines. Not the kind you read; the kind you fill with cartridges and load into a black rifle.

    Fortunately, she was delighted. She said it was the first time someone cared about her life and not her image.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 440 – Hope At Midnight {FMF}My Profile

  2. You’re right, of course, but it is so hard not to compare. It’s especially hard when you know a couple personally and they squabble a lot or she says she can’t stand him and she bosses him around or some other issue, and yet he cares enough to buy her roses and surprises her with a fancy dinner or something. Because through it all, he obviously still thinks she is wonderful and worth all he can give.

    And maybe your husband, who is a great man and says he loves you, is usually like “oh crap it’s Valentines Day” and stops at 7-11 and grabs an overly mushy card at the last minute.

    So you try not to compare but you wonder, is she really so much more special to her man? Even though she bashes him publicly? They must have a super secret love! Or – how bad must I be to rank so much lower to my husband?

    It’s wrong. You are right. I know it’s wrong. I’m just saying it’s really hard not to compare and wonder what makes me so low on the comparison chart.

    I am smart enough not to say anything. Fake smile. Thank you for the card. Cry later when he’s not around.

    I do try to remind myself that my husband is an excellent provider and he does tell me every day that he loves me. That should be more than enough. Not all women are deserving of romance, and I’ve tried accepting that. It just seems “off” that some of the downright nasty women in my family seem so much more special to their husbands. I’ve yet to figure it out.

    Comparison is an awful trap, and I struggle with it.

    Thanks for the post and the reminder. Maybe this year will be better because I’ll be prepared with a better, more mature outlook.

    • @B “Because through it all, he obviously still thinks she is wonderful and worth all he can give.”
      Or, he’s terrified of not doing enough and paying for it for weeks. Most of the guys I know who go over the top for Valentine’s are in that position. It’s why I wrote the post in the first place.
      But that said, I’m sorry your hubby isn’t motivated to do a bit more.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Flowers That LastMy Profile

      • Yikes. I never looked at it that way. That’s so sad. I wouldn’t want my husband to feel obligated to do something romantic, and certainly not terrified. That kind of takes the specialness out of it.

        This was a worthwhile post. It’s helped me see things differently. Thanks for writing it.

        • I really don’t think that “deserving of romance” is the issue at all. I’m sure that you are an excellent wife, and your husband clearly loves you. More than likely he just doesn’t know how to speak the language of romance, or at least not the language you consider to be romantic. Have you and your husband figured out your love languages and talked about them? If not, that might be helpful to both of you.

          Also, talking about your love language would give you an opening to talk about what romantic gestures would mean to you, in a way that doesn’t accuse or blame your husband.

          It’s hard not to compare. But I would gladly take a pleasant marriage and a husband who says he loves me any day over a contentious marriage that involves flowers and dinner on Valentine’s Day.

    • I feel that way, too, B. I wonder what I am doing wrong that I don’t seem to merit any romantic gestures.

      One theory I have that has research to back it is that my husband dated a LOT of girls before he met me. He has nothing good to say about any of them, really. Many were totally the “I expect it, I demand it, and I will make you pay if you don’t” type of girls. As such, hubby swore off anything obligatory. Valentines, even other holidays, birthdays, anniversaries….

      I think what I hate most is that I am being punished for the crimes of his mother and former girlfriends. He even didn’t want to be with me during the birth of our first child because his sister verbally destroyed her husband during labor. (My dad was with me and pretty much told him to man up and stay).

      I’ll do Valentine’s Day with my kids. My children have been such a healing balm in my life.

    • That is likely what he has to do to have sex a couple of times a year. She’s a bear to deal with all the rest of the times so he ignores her, or does his best to. He knows he can get some on Valentines Day if he manages to get that right, so he plays the game. There is no “super secret love”……it’s an empty gesture to get laid.

      Don’t lose sight on the other 364 days in the year over a commercialized holiday that encourages women to determine their value based on how much money some guy is willing to spend on them that day.

  3. I had an uncle that was a notorious philanderer, and my mother asked his wife why she stayed with him. Her answer was he was otherwise so good to her. My wife would claw my eyes out–justifiably. Marriage relationships are so subjective. Valentine’s Day is, too. I think that a husband should ask his wife what she wants. If she tells him, he should do his best to provide it. If she expects him to know, then he should tell her he can only provide it if she tells him. Each gender can barely understand each other when they talk. How foolish to expect that they can read each other’s minds. My wife would say that I am probably more romantic than she is, and I hate Valentine’s Day. It’s not that she is unreasonable, I just hate the obligatory part of it.

    • @Charlie, you make some good points. I hate having to tell my husband what I’d like because then it feels to me like he’s fulfilling an obligation as opposed to doing something because he loves me. I have a hard time seeing it from the other point of view – but I’m trying! The logical part of me understands that he can’t read minds, but the idealistic part thinks romance is supposed to be a surprise.

      Female relatives don’t help. Every year my mom asks “so, did you get anything special for Valentines Day?” And if I say “a nice card” she usually says something like “that’s it? Did you hear what your sister got from her husband? He’s so thoughtful!” And I just say “oh that’s so nice”.

      It’s weird because we didn’t grow up wealthy or spoiled, so I’m not sure when or where my moms focus on getting stuff came from. But the reminders don’t help. I have to learn to be happy with my husband’s love and ignore the comments of family and friends.

      It is a greeting card holiday, I agree. I can see how what most of the men here have said is correct. It’s just a struggle to not notice all the hullabaloo and/or care about it. Especially when – regardless of reality – so many men SEEM to care so much and try so hard to make their wives feel extra special.

  4. If a man loves his wife, he wants to please her. In order to please her, however, he must know what she wants. The wife that expects him to guess, and then be unhappy when he guesses wrong is setting both of them up for disappointment. Men don’t want the same things that women want when it comes to gifts. He’s really in the dark. You will actually make Valentines Day more pleasant for him if you tell him what you want. Do you want to go out? away? flowers? chocolates? A target one can’t see is pretty hard to hit.

    • Understood. I’d just ask one tiny thing. If a man honestly wants to make his wife feel special, and she does ask, and it’s reasonable, then follow through. One time I did ask, and it was a simple, inexpensive gift. Begging to be loved is something I really detest doing, but I followed the advice and went out on a limb and asked for the littlest gift that would make me feel like he cared. And he forgot.

      That made me feel totally unimportant and unworthy of his love. He remembers the things that matter to him. He never forgets meetings, or the tools he needs for the job, or to have his crews lined up. Because you focus on what is important to you.

      I’m sorry if I sound like a shrew. I didn’t whine or complain. And I’ve forgiven him. But it was a very clear signal to me of where I come in on his list of importance. It’s quite low.

      I’m trying to believe him that I do matter to him – according to him “more than anything” – but actions speak louder than lip service. And gifts are not even my love language. It wasn’t the gift itself. I think it was putting myself out there by asking, and being overlooked that hurt.

      So my point is, if she asks, and the husband wants her to feel loved, then try to follow through. Being forgotten hurts a lot. Especially when you know how much more important the guys at work are, and always have been.

  5. I will never forget a few years back sitting in a Sunday School class where the women were complaining that for Valentines their husbands wasted money on flowers, when they could have spent it on something that would last……and on and on it went. I told my mom later how angry and hurt I was, because I can’t even tell you the last time I received anything for Valentines day, and here they were complaining that their husbands not only thought of the, but gave them something……in front of a class of women, just assuming that all women got something because its Valentines. It reminds me to be very careful of what I complain about to other women, because they may not even be getting that.
    I appreciate that comment from LIBL on her husband dating alot of women, and his feedback on them, I have a similar scenario, except the one “girl”, he was really ready to settle down with – the one right before me. And the paying for the crimes of his mother/girlfriends/sisters (for me), I think this is very accurate – at least in my case. Becoming more noticeable then ever before – maybe there is truth to “love is blind” and that is wearing off.
    So, just like all the other Valentines Days, I expect nothing. And that’s what I get. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt, I have just accepted it as my life at this point. But I avoid certain women around this time of year – because its salt in a wound.

  6. B and Henri, my comments were not directed towards women like you. It’s hard to give a man any credit whatsoever if he doesn’t even try. Not feeling loved and appreciated is definitely difficult. I truly wish I had an answer for you.

    • Charlie O – I didn’t think they were. I was only stating how Valentines is here. I do agree with your statement!

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