Today we will be taking a look at how expectations impact our marriages in part 4 of a Valentine’s Day series. If you’re just joining us, feel free to check out our other posts on how to make Valentine’s Day special in bedroom (Going all Out, Going all In). Also remember your intimate times together are an overflow of a great marriage.
Have you ever wondered how this one day, Valentine’s day, came to be elevated above others as a gesture of sharing love with your spouse? We are supposed to love, honor and respect each other everyday, so why is this day any different?
Within our marriage, we don’t believe Valentine’s day is meant to be lived in a radically different way than any other day. That said, we believe all marriages should create memories and make an effort to celebrate special occasions. If you so choose to make Valentine’s Day a time to celebrate and express just how much you love your spouse – that’s great! Shower them with love, gifts, flowers, cards or whatever you think would express your love to them. Or (being true to our blog) just skip the gifts and jump in the shower instead! However you choose to celebrate (or not celebrate) Valentine’s day, it is important to consider what your spouse may expect concerning any celebratory event.
You see, sometimes the way we choose to celebrate special occasions can cause tension and leave unmet expectations in marriages. If one partner considers the day a big event and the other doesn’t even remember it’s a special day, rejection and a feeling of being unloved may rise to the surface. Open communication in marriage is important to a healthy marriage. Though this may seem like a no-brainer, our experience tells us that communicating about expectations, big or small, doesn’t happen naturally. We must work on it and provide opportunities in our marriages to talk about the issues, both big and small.
Here are a few questions to open dialogue about how special occasions can be remembered and celebrated in our marriages.
1. How did your family celebrate special events when you were growing up? (Birthday’s, Holiday’s, Achievements, etc.)
2. What occasions and special events are most important to you and why?
3. How does it make you feel when I remember/forget an occasion you believe is important?
Now, we know all the romantic types out there are thinking; “Seriously! I shouldn’t have to tell my spouse what is important to me. They should just figure it out!” There is some truth to this, but if there is any chance you will hold it against them if they don’t figure it out, you need to openly communicate your desires. If you are a less than romantic type, take notes and then spend time thinking of creative ways to communicate to your spouse how great it is to be married to them, especially on these special occasions. Not only that, but you also ought to plan ways to express your appreciation for them on random days, just to make them fall deeper in love with you. However the conversation goes in your house, it is important to learn to ask questions and then really listen to the answers. Trying to understand where your spouse is coming from on the seemingly little things opens the door to discuss the bigger things. You might even learn something new when you dare to ask questions.
Let us know how you celebrate special events in your marriage. How have your marriages grown by communicating about expectations, both big and small?