Valentine’s Day. If an outsider were to observe our behaviors surrounding this day, would they know it had something to do with love? Guilt? You bet. Selfishness? Yep. Love? Hard to say….especially when it comes to wives showing love to their husbands.

The store shelves are lined with tacky stuffed animals and questionable chocolates. The cards are trite and cheesy. And we demand these things? If our husband comes home on Valentine’s Day without a bouquet of flowers, a small velvet box, or heart shaped box of candy, he’s in for the death glare, the silent treatment, and the infamous guilt trip. In our mind, we envision a magical evening atop the Empire State Building or a beautiful and emotionally charged heart-felt declaration of their undying love for us. Hollywood has built up our expectations in such a way that we are setting our husbands up for failure. We get so busy waiting for Prince Charming to show up with his grand gesture, that we stop recognizing the million ways our husbands “show up” each day.

But, we make Valentine’s Day all about us. We demand that they plan the evening. “I deserve a special night!” we declare with gusto. But….what about HIM? Are we comfortable saying we’re more important than our spouse? I can already hear the protesting comments (that I won’t post)….”Oh please. I do EVERYTHING around the house. I should get one day that’s all about me.” If that is your line of thinking, I challenge you to consider that he could make the same argument.

I urge you this Valentine’s Day to put aside your expectations and concentrate on celebrating the love that you and your partner share. Your relationship wouldn’t work without him, so why should the day set aside to celebrate love exclude him? Is he not deserving of “special” attention and extra thought? Of course he is.

So, how can we show love to our husbands on Valentine’s Day? Contrary to some popular blogs I follow, your husband (at least 97% of them) do NOT want cheeseball printables, or silly “dates for him” that in all honesty, are still all about us. Before you start planning an activity for “him”, stop to consider if it is something he’ll actually enjoy. Would your husband genuinely enjoy (not just put up with to be nice or because he thinks it will lead to something) reading poetry to you at your local bookstore? Does he want to lay on a blanket in a meadow and read Shakespeare to you? Would he truly like playing a cutesie-pie “Love Memory” game? Does he want to decorate heart-shaped cookies? Does he want to play “hotel” at your house? I’m guessing no. You might like these things, but a man….not so much.

Want to know what most men want? (Aside from the obvious…) A perfect Valentine’s Day for my husband would involve no nagging, no to-do lists, and no drama. (His actual answer was “Um…chocolate pie?”) Most men are really just hoping that you’ll be in a good mood when they come home, and that you won’t get mad at them. They’d like a nice meal, and dessert doesn’t hurt either. But the silly poetry and games…that’s not really about them. Those things are just as much about us as the demanded teddy bears and roses….we just mask those things as “for him.” He’s a MAN. He probably doesn’t want to go paint pottery or watch “The Notebook.” A lot of incredible men do those things because they love us…want to please us…want to keep us happy. Can we make an effort to do something genuinely for HIM this year?

I’m challenging you to show up for your guy this Valentine’s Day. Evaluate what you have planned. Is it really for him, or is it just labeled that way? Have you set him up to fail by building up your expectations? OR, are you willing to choose to celebrate the REAL love you share, and honor your husband by showing him love through your behavior, attitude and actions?

I’m not saying you need to go hang out at the sports bar or put on your own version of a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Men are easy to please. Be happy. Be loving. Feed him. With those three simple things, you’re sure to show your husband that you love him this year.