When a marriage is in trouble, it’s expected that Valentine’s Day becomes a dreaded day. You can handle the other days like anniversaries, birthdays, but Lovers’ Day makes the gaps in any relationship quite obvious.
There’s a couple that I have long admired from a distance. Their love is just too cute. Theirs is the kind that many singles go down on their knees and pray to God for, and in the five years that I have known them, I have heard enough to know that I’m not the only one who admires them.
They are still cute in my eyes and are role models of a strong marriage, built on trust and love and daily oiled by both partners, with the attention they pay to each other. However, I have ceased to place them on that demigod pedestal I created in my mind for them. In the end, they are just an ordinary couple doing extra ordinarily well with their relationship.
I would have continued believing that they were perfect, if not for the fact that they shared certain parts of their lives with the married fellowship I belong to recently, and it happened to be around the issue of Valentine, specifically when you don’t want to spend Valentine’s Day with your spouse, because you are aggrieved with him or her.
As they shared their experience at intervals, I got saved literally, as it took me down memory lane, to the times I had shunned my husband on Valentine’s Day, because he had hurt me earlier in the day, or the day before, by doing something or the other that I can’t even remember now. I realise that, while I don’t remember the reason(s) for his offense, I still felt bad.
From their own experience, I realised I wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t such a dire case either.
Snippets from the story they shared went along the lines of sometime in January of that year, the mother of the wife had come visiting. She and her daughter had gotten embroiled in an argument over her need to forgive her father and move on. It was a never ending one, as it has been on for years.
The wife’s father had walked out on her mom when she was an 8 years old child, and never looked back. He came back the year she got married, with a gaggle of step-siblings for her, and the story of how his new wife had just died and he needed help with taking care of the young children he now had.
While her mother took to the children, her daughter was another matter altogether. She did not want to have anything to do with the children or their father.
That was the subject of discussion yet again, and her husband lovingly came in and asked her to take it easy, saying that there was nothing new under the sun. He had said it in Yoruba and voila, that was how a fire that was spitting turned into tongues of flames.
He was consumed in it, her mother was consumed in it. Even she knew her anger was not reasonable, but she was beyond reason. She just wanted everyone to get the message that she didn’t want anything to do with her father or his children. Shikena.
To press home her message, she went into the silent treatment mode, which lasted for the several weeks and past Valentine’s Day.
All the while her husband tried to make plans, she had given him the cold shoulder.
It had hurt her man. He loves Valentine’s Day and always makes a big deal out of it. But his wife didn’t give him the opportunity this time around. She received his Val’s gift with a grim smile and had nothing for him. It was a sad day in their home.
Eventually, they were able to sort it out, but she was the one who had to call a truce, as her bubbly husband kept withdrawing to himself more often than not, so she knew she had to take the step. After almost a month of silent treatment, she made up for it, but her father remained a touchy issue for a long time afterwards. Thankfully, she’s over it now.
It was their worst Valentine’s Day but she still had something to remember of that year’s Val’s day.
Below are some tips they shared on how to celebrate the day, notwithstanding the issue a marriage is going through:
Even when a marriage is going through a rough patch, it is important to mark Valentine’s Day, BUT it should not be with the goal to win back your spouse.
It should be seen as an opportunity to build a little bridge of connection.
Some candy or flowers and a nice card would suffice in this instance. Nothing over-the-top, and it is important that the card should tell your spouse that you treasure the connection and the time you have shared.
If you can’t find that card, then get a fairly blank one and write it. What you want your spouse to know is that he/she is still in your heart, even when those romantic feelings are missing.
Observe your marriage with an outsider’s eye.
Take a ‘crisis break’ in which you relax and observe the situation as if you were an outsider, hearing about the circumstance from a friend or maybe a co-worker.
Take several deep breaths, and focus on your intuition. It is more than likely; you will find answers within you, when your mind is at peace.
This tip also saves you having to share your issues with too many people.
Remind yourself that you took a vow, and divorce is not a good option.
In the end, it is your commitment to your vows that will get you through the long tough days/months/years, because, trust me, they will surely come.
The truth, which I have discovered, and still discovering, is that every healthy happy married couple has had bad years. It is normal; it is to be anticipated. Hence, the need to stop feeling insecure.
When life throws you lemons, kindly make some lemonade…but don’t give up.
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