5 Valentines Tips for Imperfect Marriages, like mine!

So its valentines eve and I just got out of a bubble bath where I shaved my legs and painted my toenails fire engine red.  Before you get too jealous know this:  There was a 2 year old and rubber duckies also in this tub and my bath lasted 6 minutes before my little man woke up from his morning nap.  But as least I will have red toes and mostly smooth legs for whatever tomorrow brings me.

This Valentines Day I am trying something completely 100% different and totally out of the box for our culture these days.  I’m not giving a thought to what my husband Kel will do or what I feel I deserve.  Instead I am focusing on giving love and loving others, in particular, my husband Kel.

We’ve been fighting a bit this weekend.. honest this whole month.  We went to bed last night not snuggling in red silk sheets and champagne, but back to back, with exhausted souls and fresh apologies on our lips.  There are a millions reasons for me to say: “Screw Valentines Day, I’m just not in the mood.  However, something in me feels that creating a special space for love and romance is vitally needed in our imperfect marriage.  So here are my 5 tips for imperfect marriages to creating a valentines day that might feel perfect to you.

1) Put it behind you and forgive:  Are you irritated and discouraged from a fight or a disappointment?  Are you struggling to communicate?  I’ll be honest, that’s where we find ourselves on Feb 13, but I’m endeavoring to leave that behind and pour romance all over the next 36 hours.  What we were doing isn’t working, so I am doing something new, something better.

2) Ready for this one?  Because it’s important:  Do something.  Yup, you won’t have a memorable valentines day if you write it off as stupid and irrelevant.  A lot of people will say: “we don’t need valentines day, we should be romantic and loving all year long.”  True concept, but are you doing that?  If your marriage is like mine, then you believe it but don’t act on it.  So do something: stay in, order a heart shaped pizza, write each notes, drink champagne and play boggle in bed- do something out of the ordinary for you.  Simple is good, Nothing is bad.

3)  Throw the concept of perfection, the high expectations and the expensive fancy notions out the window.  I have ruined at least 30 different holidays by setting my standards and expectations unreachably high and then focusing only on my disappointment.  I have cried when carnations weren’t roses, or the gift was too practical and not whimsical enough. Endeavor to see joy, love and romance in your day, come what may, and you will have a Valentines Day that is miles better than you’ve experienced in the past.

4) Get a little Lacy:  If you’re like me than you have a drawer of lingerie you got when you were first married, but never  EVER wear anymore.  I used to think that once I had revealed a sexy outfit that it was old hat and boring to my husband.  Turns out that’s FALSE.  Lacy and silky efforts = super sexy to husbands.  Red toes and smooth legs don’t hurt either.  And if you’re reading this and you’re a husband, most ladies love a new pair of heart boxers on valentines day.  It would make me giggle and move closer.

5) Speak another language:  And I’m not talking French, although that would certainly do it for me.  If you ever learned about your spouse’s love languages via this book or website (take the test here!) , then you know what I’m talking about.  Go back and implement that knowledge tomorrow, for example Kel’s love languages are encouragement and physical touch, mine are gifts and acts of service.  We are polar opposites.  When I think of how to love him, I tend to speak my own languages and get him gifts or do something nice for him.  I forget that a kind word or embrace would fill him up even more than a new iPad case or gourmet meal.  So as you plot your romantic plan of attack, speak their language and not yours.

Important:  Fathers do you want your sons to grow up without learning how to romance their wives?  Then don’t show her any romance tomorrow.  Mothers:  Do you want your daughters to grow up without an example of romance in a marriage?  Then don’t dance in the kitchen or kiss your husband over the kitchen sink.  Our romance, or lack there of, will speak to the next generations.

If your marriage is composed of two imperfect people, then it’s hopeless and beautifully flawed, as ours is.  We need valentines day tomorrow, and next week, and in April, we need it because we put romance next to last.

Bear with each other and forgive one another… Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful- Colossians 3:15

May your Valentines Day bring you simple, romantic and much needed space to connect and rekindle feelings left too far behind you on your marriage journey.

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About leannepenny

A woman, wife, mother and writer journeying with those hurting, healing and choosing joy.
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3 Responses to 5 Valentines Tips for Imperfect Marriages, like mine!

  1. Good advice. David is on a business trip and won’t be home until late tomorrow night. It will be too late to go out or do much of anything but I do plan to make him a cherry pie for a little late snack when he gets home. Otherwise, any special date night will have to wait until Friday as I have things going on both Wednesday and Thursday. It’s not exactly how I would prefer things but it is what it is.

    The love languages book is very helpful in understanding our spouses but in addition I would recommend “His Needs, Her Needs”. We actually attended the Marriage Builders weekend course based upon this and taught by the author about a decade ago and both of us credit it with saving our marriage. I cannot recommend it highly enough. I only wish we had known what we learned back when we first got married.

    Oh, one more thing. About 15 years ago, David, who rarely asks anything of me, requested that I stop wearing t-shirts to bed. He promised to keep me supplied with plenty of pretty, lacy nightgowns. We have both kept our end of the bargain and it’s amazing how something so simple can lead to such dramatic changes. Granted, by that point we no longer had children likely to end up in bed with us so your mileage may vary, but it’s something to consider.

  2. Heather Tiger says:

    Excellent and insightful post. Good tips for all those marriages that need a little romance sprinkled in with the imperfection!

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