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Robin KahlerRobin Kahler
A blog about Living with Bipolar Disorder and Chronic Pain

A Forgotten Valentine - Why Our Partners Have Grown Lazy

Robin Kahler Updated: Feb 17th 2011

Ladies; it's time for us to unite over this growing situation concerning husband's (or similar partner's) who neglect us on holiday's; especially, Valentine's Day. I know I'm not the only one who failed to receive a card or a trinket. I heard on the news that 2 out of every 10 men failed to purchase a card or a gift.

two heartsI read some recent articles on the subject, interestingly they were all written by men, and they all basically rambled the same excuses: "We should show our love every day, and it really isn't necessary to go to a fancy restaurant or send a bunch of flowers for Valentine's Day."

To that I say, "Boulder-dash!"

I for one, am tired of emailed cards with dancing cats. I want a real one that I can set on my desk. And after nearly 40 years of marriage, I still want to be treated as though we were courting.

On Valentine's Day I had a great many thoughts in my head about this romantic holiday. I remembered one year when my mother phoned and she said to me, "Please don't spend money on Valentine's cards this year, I took out some of the dozens you've sent me in the past and I set those all on my piano."

Of course I still sent her a card. She passed away with cancer 13 years ago, at the young age of 61. After her funeral I found a box under her bed that sat filled to the brim with cards my brother and I had sent her throughout the years: Mother's Day, Valentine's, Easter, Birthday, Anniversary and many more. Yesterday I thought, "She wouldn't have saved them, if they didn't mean anything to her. I'm glad I sent them every year. I wish I could still send them." And then I cried.

Monday was a roller coaster of emotions for me. At first I thought it is because I'm bipolar and menopausal, but I believe there may be other women, who are more "normal" who may have had a roller coaster ride, too. I felt a bit sorry for myself. My son's forgot to phone, my husband forgot it was THE DAY. I felt embarrassed when I went to my Facebook page and read all of the glowing accounts of the wonderful Valentine's days other women had. Romantic husband's, candlelight dinner's and tender moments.

At first I thought there must be something wrong with me. (Am I that insecure?) I ALMOST went into depression. And just before I sank into the depths I thought, "Wait a minute, it isn't me! It's men who have become lazy, men who are stuck in the daily grind!" As I thought of the articles I'd read, I decided that some men have become caught up in a circle of excuses, each telling the other that they don't have to do anything special for the day, because they love their wives and (maybe they think) because they show it every day, they don't need to set aside anything for a special event. Well, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I disagree.

I thought about the reasons WHY I always sent my mother something in the way of recognition and I realized that it wasn't just my love for her, it was my respect. I respected her for all that she was and did for me as a child and as an adult. I respected her because she was my mother and she deserved to be acknowledged on a special day. (Am I THAT old-fashioned?)

When I cried to my husband just before midnight on February 14, that he hadn't said a word about Valentine's Day all day long, he looked surprised and said, "But you know that I love you! Didn't I just buy you that pretty pin 2 weeks ago?"

You know ladies, they just don't get it, do they? It's more than just an, "I Love You." I happen to think that we deserved to be acknowledged on these set-apart days. It occurred to me that there may be other women who may be depressed today, because of this (lazy?) trend our partners are taking. If it happened to you, it isn't your fault, unless you're Lucrezia Borgia, it's NOT your fault. So if you're in depression, shake it off and don't be embarrassed. I went to my Facebook page and told the world that my husband and son's forgot me. You should see the attention I got on Tuesday! :-) My husband even pulled out my chair for me as I sat down to type this! Of course I know it's only because he feels guilty, but I really don't care. I want him to know how I feel and I want him to do something about it.

I told them all, "This Easter while I'm over a hot oven basting the ham, I better see a card, a lily, and a fancy coconut cream chocolate covered Easter egg!"

I wanted to write this, so that you may know that if it happened to you, you are not alone. I hope you will take affirmative action and tell your partner how you feel and not allow depression to take over. I think it's time that we tell our partner's that yes, we should know that we are loved every day, and no, it doesn't take a fancy restaurant or a diamond bracelet. But that doesn't mean they can ignore the day.

 

Robin Kahler

Robin Kahler is a patient who was diagnosed with affective bipolar disorder in 1988. She works from her home in Tucson, Arizona, as an antiques appraiser and dealer. She enjoys a full-time hobby as a freelance writer. Her articles are written to offer her personal experiences (successes and failures) with her own clinical depression. She was raised in an inner-city ghetto, with a parent who was also bipolar, and her stories reflect those situations as well. She and her husband enjoy running a home-based business. They have two adult children, six grandchildren, and several pets.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    Dear "Just think about it"... - - Feb 21st 2011

    After reading Robin's blog, and your comment, I have thought about "it" and wish your words would have ended after "I am so sorry that you felt forgotten on Valentine's day..."

    A little empathy seems more welcome than "constructive criticism" in such a personal scenario that many women will relate to. Thirty years ago I could've solved lots (and did!) with your suggestion, but time and health issues have changed all that...so the one-size-fits-all approach to marital bliss doesn't necessarily work for all.

    Thanks for sharing Robin. I enjoy your writing.

    Sex is a verb - Regina - Feb 21st 2011

    I so agree. Sex is not a thing (a noun) that you can buy or trade with anyone at any time.  It's a verb that we share.  I loved this article. I've been married to the same man for 49 years and he gets lazy on holidays too

    Shift the Balme - Robin Kahler - Feb 21st 2011

    A friend sent me an email today about a comment left on my blog concerning what I gave my husband for Valentine's Day, she said she was sure it was written by "a man". I read it and will respond simply by saying that I did not forget my husband on Valentine's day. We have a great 40 yr old relationship. (and we are together 24x7 for the past 40 years.) Sometimes on holidays he gets into a rut, because he works from home and each day becomes the same business as usual. I wrote what I wrote so that other women who may have been forgotten might know that it just didn't happen to them. And that it happens to "good" wives, too and don't take it as a personal offense and perhaps become depressed.  You in your comment proved what I was getting at, shifting the blame back on the wife instead of admitting that you forgot the special day. PS. Sex is not a gift.

    LOVE IT! - - Feb 18th 2011

    I LOVE THIS!! amazing! chages my point of view!! :)

    Just think about it - - Feb 18th 2011

    Dear Robin,

     

    I am so sorry that you felt forgotten on Valentine's day...I am also sorry that you forgot to look at yourself as the reason your husband and son casually forgot to remember you.  I for one, do not want I gift I have to "tell" my men to get me "or else".  Will that really make you happy on Easter to have those things you commanded them to buy you?  How could it?  I'm just saying that between now and Easter, take a look at your own behavior.  Perhaps on paper you are a great wife, but if we could peek into your husband's heart, what would we see?  Afterall, you do not mention what you got him for Valentine's day.....So my suggestion,start doing the little things your husband wants and be quiet  about it.  Do it because you want HIS heart to be filled with love.  Give him what you know he wants (and yes, I mean sex) and be quiet about it.  Do it because you love him, make HIM feel loved and see what you get in return.  His behavior was passive aggressive and he has issues with you he is not telling you about, but heed my advice and all will be forgiven,...and you must just recieve a dozen roses,...for no reason at all.  NOW THAT'S LOVE!

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