I made a huge mistake last year. In honor of Alison's birthday, I coordinated among our family to give her an awesome present: her own coffee bar. She was getting ready to begin practicing medicine and I knew two things: Alison loves coffee and physicians need coffee. We got her an espresso machine, a wall-mounted coffee bar, coffee, and everything else that she'd need to have her very own, very fun coffee bar. Then I made a bonehead move. The excitement and anticipation overwhelmed me and I had her open all of her presents before her birthday. Her big day came, and there was nothing left. Whomp.
Each day is a new opportunity to show your wife your love and affection. While Valentine's Day has long since past, it's anything but over.
There are two types of opportunity in our life: given and created. Given opportunities are ones that her actions or needs make known. She has a sore throat, so you make a special trip out to get her throat lozenges. She always likes to have water on her nightstand, so you get it for her each night. There are also given opportunities when you can change the outcome of a situation, like not escalating a fight. Created opportunities are ones that you yourself make into reality. These are quick wins and are often small acts of love. Cleaning the house, putting the kids to bed, serving her at dinner. All of these created opportunities are ones that aren't needs, per se, but are still chances to show love and affection.
Your marriage is a delicate garden that needs constant supervision and love in order to avoid becoming overgrown. Your wife needs romance daily, not just one day per year. I'm talking about real romance, not sexual romance. Women put a premium on connectedness and daily romance is highly prized in your wife’s mind. It could take the form of a sit-down dinner, a nice hug, or even cuddling. These things do take time, and as men, we can always find new ways to maximize our time. Time spent on romance isn't about value, it's about investment. We invest time in our marriage and then mutually reap the benefits.
Signs of love renew our wedding vows. Of course, sex renews our vows most completely, but other, lesser acts, still achieve some small part. Time, acts of service, physical contact, and quality communication all bring a breath of fresh air into your marriage and with it, happiness and fidelity.
Valentine's Day is a great starting point, and it's impossible to live every day with that level of intensity. However, every day we should be in the mindset of Valentine's Day. We love, we serve, and we demonstrate our affection. Through daily opportunities, both given and created, you can have the quality marriage that both you and your wife deserve.