Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s impossible not to know this Hallmark holiday is nearing, since we are assaulted on a daily basis with ads for flowers, chocolates, jewelry, and heart-shaped cookies. In stores, Christmas decor was immediately replaced with Valentine’s, reminding customers not to forget anyone they love.
My husband and I have been together for over a decade now and although our marriage is far from perfect, we have managed to keep our love and desire for one another alive.
I don’t mind setting aside a day to celebrate the ones we love, so long as it is not the only day we do so. Because I believe, deep down, we all share one thing in common- we want to be wanted.
We want to feel desirable. It feels good to be needed.
As a parent, I sometimes gripe about all three of my daughters sitting on my lap for bedtime stories, but secretly, it fills my heart.
Pet owners, school teachers, nurses, service members, fire fighters, librarians, custodians, florists, writers, gravediggers- they all are needed and likely serve best when they are reminded frequently of how necessary and appreciated they are.
In times of stress, when our marriage has been challenged with sleep deprivation, moves, or careers, my first instinct is to feel defensive. I wish my husband would do more of XYZ and panic when I sense distance between us. Over the years, I’ve realized that the more I complain about what I am not getting and ask for more, the greater the distance increases. Now, instead, I reach.
I thank him for all that he is doing. I recognize his sacrifices. I ensure he knows how much he is needed and appreciated and in return, instinctually, he does the same.
Isn’t it ironic that during some of the more stressful times of our life, when we need each other most, we feel distant from the ones we love? Illnesses, death, child-rearing, job-changes, moves- it’s easy to ask our loved ones for more than they have to give and feel angry at them when they are unable to fill our void.
If instead, we can reach out to grasp one another’s hand- to verbally acknowledge all that the person is already doing to contribute- we then find ourselves stronger together.
We all want to be wanted. And the more we let others know just how much we need and appreciate them, the more they will want our love and recognition and return it. If only we can reach. ❤
Dee Akright Photography