Valentines Day & Why I Put my Marriage First
It’s that time of year when pink candy hearts, roses, sappy cards, and cute teddy bears line the shelves of stores everywhere. A lot of people hate on Valentine’s Day. They think it’s a waste of money, restaurants are too crowded, and most of all, many complain that it is a day where single people are made to feel horrible for not having “someone special” to spend the evening with. You might think, “What is the point of having a holiday to show people we love them, shouldn’t we show them love all the time?!”.
Here’s the way I see it. To me, Valentines Day is simply a reminder and a chance to tell people close to you that you love them. Our days here are numbered and one thing I know for sure is that I don’t want to lose anyone close to me and regret not taking the time to let them know how much they mean to me.
Of course we don’t ONLY express our love on Valentine’s Day. But it’s a fun day to remind ourselves how thankful we are to have a partner and remind them just how much we love them. I see Valentine’s Day as an excuse to be “extra” and spend money or time on someone you care about, go all in, just for fun! Yes, it’s like any normal day of the week, except it forces us to take a minute to think about someone we love and do something sweet for them. It’s an excuse to appreciate your “Valentine” who might happen to be your love, friend, or child, and spend time with them. While Valentine’s Day is seemingly about love and mushy stuff, it’s also a day to remember why friendships are important. If you were having a Galentine’s day I bet you know exactly who you’re spending it with and it’s fun to send extra appreciation to your friends too.
But here I am, married, wifed up and Momming, and you guys know my Valentine this year and every year is my husband, Sal! I prioritize our marriage above all else and I wanted to share today how that has made our relationship stronger and stronger as the years go by, even through the ebbs and flows of life.
Why I Put My Marriage First
I put my marriage first, even before my kids. Why? Because I want to give my babies the best possible childhood. I want them to not only know that we love them, but also that we love each other. I want them to grow up happy. You see, your relationship is the foundation of your household. A happy marriage breeds happy children. Kids are always watching and they can read your energy. If they witness love and respect between their parents at a young age it’s likely that those values will be instilled in their hearts and minds and that someday they will create that same type of relationship for themselves. So yes, it might sound selfish or crazy at first, but if you can’t seem to wrap your head around putting your relationship at the top of your priority list for you, then do it for them!
It is so easy to take your significant other for granted. It is so easy to fall into the habit of thinking our marriage/relationship is a guarantee. Nothing is a guarantee. You have to put work into your marriage just like you do in your career, your fitness, your children, or anything else you care about. You have to be intentional. Don’t just go through the motions. Don’t take your person for granted. Sometimes it’s easier said than done to ‘keep things alive’ when the days are flying by or when times get tough. Okay, I’ll step down off the soapbox and give you some actual tips instead of just preaching, lol!
Here are some tips and relationship guidelines I try to live by:
Date Your Spouse
Whip out your calendar and set a date night for every single week (the same day each work will likely work best). Book a standing time with your baby sitter or set aside time to be alone together when your kids are sleeping. That could mean waking up early for a couples workout sesh, or a late night dinner and movie. Whatever it is for you. Make it happen. Zero excuses! This is the only way this works, trust me. You wouldn’t cancel work just because “you’re tired” so don’t cancel a date with your spouse.
Express your Love
Undoubtedly you love your spouse/partner. You admire them. You watch them and their little nuances. The things they say that make you smile, they way they are with your pets or kids that makes your heart melt. Don’t you dare keep those thoughts in your mind. We assume our partners know all these thoughts we have about how incredible they are because we are thinking them all the time. But actually verbalizing these thoughts can go a long way. “I love watching you with our kids in the mornings”. “I love our first big hug when you get home from work, I really appreciate that moment”. “I’m so proud of you”.
Be Spontaneous – even if it feels a bit forced.
If you sent your partner a text right now saying “I just wanted to tell you I love you!” would they think something is up? Like, “OK…What did your do?!” Haha. If your answer is Yes, then maybe that’s something to work on. Send the random text or sext 😉 . At first, if it’s not something you do it can feel a bit awkward, but after years together anything new or different can feel fun and exciting even if it’s a little uncharacteristic. Leave a little love note before work, go out of your way to do something intentional and sweet. It’s all about the little efforts. As you might know, things can get boring…so keep them fun!
Speaking of spontaneity. If you’re in a slump with your partner it’s time to switch it up. As adults I think it’s easy to get very comfortable. I mean, by 30 you pretty much know what you like so why try something new? But getting out of your comfort zone is important for growth as an individual and as a couple. If it’s something you would normally say no to, try saying yes! Explore that new hobby, try that new restaurant. Even if it’s nor typically your style…why not give it a go? If you hate it, who cares? You can laugh about it together.
Support Each other as Individuals
Offer support and encouragement. It is important to give our partner the space they need to do the things they love. Whether it’s a little alone R&R time, or time to build their empire – give them a minute to do their thing and then use that time to do yours. I always try to treat Sal with the same love, respect, and encouragement that I would want him to give me.
I’m proud of the work Sal and I do as a couple. It’s not always easy. There have been really hard days, hard weeks and even months. But we communicate constantly and without fear of judgement. We express our needs. We love each other and we continue to work for our love week by week using these 5 practices and reminding each other we refuse to be complacent.
Even if you’re not reading this on Valentine’s Day let this be a little reminder to send that text and express some love to someone you care about!