Valentines Day to me is a Hallmark holiday created by men and for men who are dummies. I mean let’s face it man, if you need a day to be reminded to be thoughtful, you my friend are a moron and need to read, “Valentines Day for Dummies”
I am 47, I got married at 20 and she was 19. I have some helpful tips for men/boys who are clueless and making the same mistakes I once made. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, women are confusing creatures, (especially during menopause) but I have learned a thing or two about marriage that might help you. I know it rescued mine from certain doom.
You can fix stupid
The first thing you need to know is that 364 days thoughtlessness will not be repaired on Valentines Day. Secondly, a box of chocolates, a hokey card, sexy lingerie and a dying rose purchased at your local gas station on the 14th are a bad idea, this is what dummies do.
Here are some pointers for dummies who are unaware that they are dummies. I speak from experience, I too was formerly a narcissistic thoughtless moron. I too once thought that the occasional holiday and plastic romance would fix all my thoughtless behavior of the prior 12 months. I was wrong and so are you if you behave that way.
My wife Stacey’s least favorite holidays are the sappy sentimental ones. She’s a no nonsense gal, very feminine, very controlled emotionally and not one for drippy cards and fluffy junior high sentimentalism. Her least favorite holiday is Mothers Day and Valentine’s Day runs a close second. So needless to say February 14th never helped me in the least but I wisely never overlooked it either.
I think Stacey is a unique and rare woman but she does share a common desire with most woman. Women generally desire men to be thoughtful and hate to be just an afterthought. This is the main area that I observe men being dummies and it is fixable. Being a dummy just might kill your marriage, I know it almost cost me mine.
Narcissism, selfishness and thoughtlessness kills relationships
Year 7 of our marriage was rough and a pivotal turning point. We were faithful, we had 3 kids, she was a stay at home mom and I worked 2 jobs to support my family. When I wasn’t busy working for my family I was very busy doing me things. My fishing, my hunting, my sports, my interests were a priority and everything else was an afterthought. I was a selfish moron, I didn’t see it coming but a separation and a potential divorce were nearer than I knew.
In December 1995 she said to me these unforgettable words. “If it weren’t for Christmas and the kids you would be out the door.” That statement opened my eyes and ears, I was shocked and was clueless to her desperate condition. That warning shot got my attention and I started to look inward, not outward to solve the problem. There was nobody to blame but me, I was the problem! Narcissism, selfishness and thoughtlessness was destroying my marriage and I was to blame. I looked at myself and I hated what I saw, so I sought help and help was graciously provided in God.
That February God opened my eyes to see Jesus for the first time. I look back now and see that I did not fully love my wife because love involves self denial and sacrifice, two virtues which I did not possess. I learned that, “God shows his love for us in that we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) He sacrificed all for me and began teaching me to sacrifice all for him and to love my wife in the very same way he loved me- Sacrificially.
I realize now how enslaved I was to my own selfish ambitions, passions and desires. The apostle Paul defines mankind to a T in second Timothy 3. He warned ” In the last days will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” Self love is the mouth of a sewer pipe that leads to a disgusting cesspool of crap in our lives. The only way out is if God pulls you out.
What dummies need to do differently
I work around grade school kids. When I want them to understand me I say to them, “Look at me! Now, listen to what I am saying” Things changed in my life when God got my attention and in essence said. “Hey, turn your eyes on me and hear what I am saying to you.” These days I am much better at keeping my eyes and ears open and life is much better because of it. Listening to God has taught me how to listen to my wife.
I have learned to do things a lot differently in the last 20 years. I have trained my ears to listen closely to the words my wife is saying. I dial into and listen for what she likes and dislikes all year long. I even listen in on conversations she has with other women. She might remark on a favorite candle scent. Make a mental note Mike, write that down. She may talk of a place she has always wanted to visit, keep that stored away also Mike. I recently learned that my wife prefers secondary colors over primary colors. I made a mental note and wrote it down for future use. This is how you make your girl a forethought and not an afterthought.
How do you use the information?
Be impulsive, sacrifice your time and take her to the place she always wanted to go. Do it on a meaningless Thursday and not Valentines Day. Buy her that candle she likes and have it lit when she comes home from work, but do these things randomly and not on your anniversary. Thoughtfulness demands our attentive ears and hearing requires that our head not be buried up our…..you know what! Don’t wait for special days to use the information, be thoughtful. When a birthday comes you will know what to do.
Open your eyes! What do you see her looking at in Bed Bath and Beyond? Or are you checked out until you get into the Cabala’s store at the other end of the mall? Pay attention dummy! The reason you don’t know what to buy her for Christmas or your anniversary is because you don’t watch her. Don’t be a blind and deaf moron.
Give her your time and attention to her. Kill your narcissism and turn off the game, cancel the Saturday fishing trip and forget about the monster buck your obsessed with more than her. I have found that women really don’t want much, they just want us. This costs us nothing and pays huge dividends in the end.
Love is selfless and does not seek its own things. Take it from a guy who knows the dangers of narcissism, selfishness and thoughtlessness. I wrote the book on Valentines Day for dummies, listen to what I say, it just might save your life and your marriage. I know it did for me and for that I am truly thankful to God.