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On Valentine’s Day: The Disappointed and Sad Person

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Valentine’s Dayis a favorite holiday of many, providing wonderful opportunities for couples to express their undying love and commitment to each other through either big or small ways, which oftentimes include chocolates and roses.Unfortunately, Valentine’s Day can also be a day when those same love birds can become more selfish toward each other than they are any other time of the year. Allow me to explain.

1. The Selfish Husband With Ulterior Motives On Valentine’s Day

How many husbands go all out the way they do on Valentine’s Day in order to make his wife excited to have sex? When they do so, they convey the message, “I have really made an effort to do something special on Valentine’s Day. You need to appreciate my efforts and get excited to have sex with me. I deserve sex."

Such an attitude devastates a wife. She can feel anything but special and actually feels used. Few things pain her as much as this mistreatment. What should be a day that symbolizes his undying love leaves her dying inside.

2. The Selfish Husband Who Does Nothing On Valentine’s Day

The husband’s selfishness may not be from his expectation to have sex but from his complete neglect of Valentine’s Day.

One woman wrote to me about her Sunday school teacher husband who totally skips over the holiday: “We never talk. . . . I am so broken and would say that I am dead except I am in too much pain to be dead. If you would ask anyone about my husband they would give a glowing report, he is perfect. He hides it well. . . . I do okay for a while. I lean on the Lord. But then something sets it off like Valentine’s Day. I did not get married to be neglected."

I do not lack empathy toward the wife who feels alone and unloved many months out of the year and secretly hopes her husband will at least make Valentine’s Day a special memory for her. She has struggled all year being the wife God calls her to be in the face of a husband who neglects her. For this reason, we challenge husbands to convey their love on Valentine’s Day, and many husbands accept the challenge.

One wife wrote, "Thank you for encouraging my husband to love me. This Valentine’s Day was very unique. . . . I woke up to a candy scavenger hunt. My husband had taken the time to write four short poems and attached each to a baggie filled with four different kinds of Valentine candy . . . it started in the bathroom . . . and had clues of where to find the next. I just giggled around the house, it was so fun. . . . That night my husband made reservations to go to a Valentine supper. A classic guitarist played, they took our picture and put it in a special ‘thank you’ frame from the restaurant. We feasted on wonderful food in a very relaxed atmosphere. It was absolutely one of the most memorable evenings!!"

Indeed she felt loved beyond words.

However, there is another side of Valentine’s Day that we rarely highlight. Too many instances arise and make Valentine’s Day a disappointing and sad day because the wife—and this is hard for me to say—is the selfish one.

3. The Selfish Wife Who Wants a Story to Tell Her Girlfriends

Sarah has expressed her concern to me about how some wives fixate on their husbands doing something very special on Valentine’s Day in order to have a story to tell their girlfriends.

Sarah says, "Women are forever talking about their marriages. What some of these gals want are stories of love and romance to be able to report to their girlfriends. Without that story she seems to be a damsel unloved. She is not special. She is not really the object of anyone’s affection. She is a nobody. To avoid this, she expects her husband to make her feel special so she can tell her adventure about what happened.

"It isn’t about the husbands loving their wives 364 other days of the year but about these men jumping through the Valentine’s Day hoop. These women expect their men to perform on Valentine’s Day so that they have a great answer to their girlfriend’s question, 'So, what did your husband do for you that you did not tell him to do for you—but he thought on his own as a surprise—to make you feel loved and special?'”

Sarah expresses, “We need to remember our little sons and how uncomfortable it is for boys in grade school when they have to give those Valentines. The same holds true with birthday cards. Most boys do not track with these kinds of things. Ironically, most mothers accept this about their boys and go about helping them remember all of these occasions. But these mothers do not give the same grace to their husbands who used to be these boys! Instead of giving their husbands grace and compensating, they get angry at their men."

Sarah continues, "We need to admit that a woman’s disappointment at Valentine’s Day can be about women and their stories and feelings. Fortunately, there are many wives who recognize this. I remember one godly wife saying that she and her husband take turns on the anniversaries, for example, deciding how they will celebrate it since both got married. Yet, it seems for too many that it is the husband’s responsibility to prove himself each year by acting a certain way related to Valentine’s Day or on anniversaries. If he does not, he is in the dog house. His wife cannot brag about what he did to her girlfriends."

On Which Side of the Equation Do You Fall?

I do not know your situation. As a wife, you may be married to a selfish husband who expects sex or totally neglects you on Valentine’s Day. On the other hand, you may be married to a man who would literally die for you but he falls short of doing creative things that provide you a story to tell your girlfriends. If you are in the latter camp, appreciate the man you married and all that he does for you 364 days of the year. You will want your daughter-in-law to extend the same favor to your son.

-Dr. E

Emerson Eggerichs, Ph.D.
Author, Speaker, Pastor

Questions to Consider

  1. Whether on Valentine’s Day or at another time, have you ever felt your husband’s kind gestures toward you were mostly about getting you to have sex? How did this make you feel? Did you share that with him?
  2. For the husband, how would it make you feel if your wife was only lovey-dovey toward you because she was hoping it would lead to you giving her a gift?
  3. If your husband lets Valentine’s Day go by this year without doing anything special, how will you react?
  4. For the husband, what do you think it would communicate to your wife if you allowed Valentine’s Day to pass by without any notice? Is this what you are wanting to communicate to her?
  5. Can you relate to the wife who selfishly desires to have a romantic story to tell her girlfriends about? Do you agree that this is selfish? Why or why not?
  6. Can you love and appreciate your husband for the amazing man he is 364 days a year, even if he never provides you stories to brag to your friends about on Valentine’s Day? If despite his yearlong devotion to you his neglect of Valentine’s Day still hurts you, are you willing and able to respectfully share that with him?