11 February 2007

Thoughts on V-Day

So we all know that Valentine's Day is coming up. Actually I had forgotten about it until a few days ago when someone asked if Spencer and I were doing anything special for V-day. My first reaction was we don't do much for Valentine's Day, why should we this year? (For the record though, we are going to California Adventure as a family. My sister had 2-fer tickets and couldn't use the second trip so she gave them to us. Yay!)

Then I got to thinking. When Spencer and I were dating and first married I scoffed at these types of holidays. I told Spencer I thought they were worthless days and their only purpose was to give wives the opportunity to make their husbands feel guilty and lame about forgetting them. I was a total V-Day hater.

Then something happened. Spencer and I would agree that we wouldn't get anything for each other on this day. Then when it would come around I would have something little for him and he woud have nothing. Then I would proceed to cry and whine and ask stupid questions like, "Don't I deserve something? Aren't I a good wife?" In essence I set him up to fail. Looking back I can see how seriously immature I was. I became the person I always hated.

Last year was a really hard year for me emotionally and mentally. A lot of things were going on in my life to contribute to my frail state. I really blew it last V-Day because of this. I laid the biggest sob story-guilt trip I could on Spencer because he had nothing for me. Around August of last year I realized that I needed to figure out what was wrong with me and if possible get some help. I have since done that and feel SO much better.

My relationship with Spencer is tons better. In fact I have become a more active part in our relationship rather than the selfish, why-doesn't-anyone-do-anything-for-me person. Ironically this very attitude switch is what has made me feel different about Valentine's Day.

My main gripe before about the holiday was that it was an opportunity for Spencer to do something nice for me (and me for him) but to me, he wasn't taking it. His excuse was that why should we do something special on this one day when I can do special things on other days too. Well I didn't see that happening so I felt like he could use V-day as an opportunity to make up for what he wasn't doing. It was all about me. Even though I rarely did things on regular days either I blamed Spencer. Looking back I can see that my lack of active participation--and not Spencer's--in our marriage made me feel unloved. For a while I was listening to Dr. Laura. One thing that she had to say really has made a lasting impression on me. She said that when wives are good to their husbands, when we say nice things about them, and fulfill their basic needs they want to do things for us in return.

I have found this principle to be so true in the last few months. I have realized that the more I have given love the more I feel loved. The more I have opened up and taken an active role in making sure my husband feels loved, the more love I have received. It's funny too because today we were chatting about V-day and Spencer mentioned that he was thinking of getting me something. I immediately piped up and said I didn't think we were getting each other anything and he said he wanted to this year. I guess the effort I have put in our marriage in the last few months or so has really made a difference.

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