The Best Valentine’s Gift Ever
Valentine’s Day approaches and couples everywhere busily search for the perfect gift. Perhaps you have considered jewelry, hotel getaways, singing cards, romantic dinners, or funny knick knacks to make your spouse laugh. Let me suggest that you give the best Valentine’s gift ever. (Don’t worry; no pressure.) Although this sounds like a bold statement, I believe you truly can give the best Valentine’s gift ever. It will not cost you much financially, but it will save you tens of thousands of dollars. More importantly, it will bring you more long-term joy than you can imagine. What is the best Valentine’s gift ever? A “3-step promise of commitment.” “What? Wait a second. My wife knows I’m committed. She will not thrill at the promise of commitment.” I think she will (and for you women, so will he). Read through the “3-step promise of commitment” and judge for yourself.
- Step One: Write a certificate of commitment to your spouse. You most likely made vows of commitment during your wedding ceremony. That’s OK. For Valentine’s Day, rewrite those vows (even add to them) based on the experience and knowledge you have gained during your time married. Recommit to “stick with your spouse” through thick and thin, health and sickness, aging bodies, aging minds, good times and bad, joyous occasions and times of deep sorrow, times of complete agreement and times of passionate disagreement, times of great gain and times of painful loss. Put it in writing—not long, no more than the front side of one page. Make it neat and official-looking. Laminate it and read it to your spouse over dinner…maybe even in front of your kids, extended family, or friends. Let everyone know that you remain committed to your spouse and are determined to maintain that commitment for the rest of your life.
- Step Two: Commit to build intimacy by having no less than 20-30 minutes of meaningful conversation a day with your spouse. The average married couple in the US only spends 4 minutes a day in meaningful conversation. Commit to change this in your marriage. Commit to build intimacy through meaningful conversation. You can meet over a cup of coffee, breakfast, or while taking a walk. Talk about the news, daily activities, movies, books, spiritual insights gained, or interactions you had with someone while away from your spouse. Go even deeper by discussing the emotions, good and bad, that these experiences aroused in you. Converse like you did while dating by 1-remaining curious about what your spouse is thinking and feeling and 2-accepting your spouse’s ideas and opinions as important and valid. This daily commitment will lead to deeper intimacy with your spouse.
- Step Three: Commit to meeting your spouse’s needs and desires on a daily basis. Make meeting your spouse’s needs and desire a top priority in your life. Remember what excites your spouse, the little things that interest her, the love language that speaks to her most profoundly, and the nuanced vulnerabilities that you can protect. Commit to keeping your spouse foremost in your heart and mind, number one in your life. This may mean doing little things like the dishes now and again or big things like coming home from work early on a regular basis.
“Wait a minute. This gift is not worth anything!” Actually, considering the average financial cost of divorce, this gift is worth at least $20,000. That figure does not even come close to the value of emotional intimacy you and your spouse will gain. It does not even touch the value of watching your children blossom in response to the “3-step promise of commitment” you share with their other parent. And, if you don’t mind me saying, the “3-step promise of commitment” will have a profound (and pleasurable) impact on the passion and physical intimacy in your marriage. After all, studies suggest that long-term married couples have the most satisfying sex life…they know one another, they know what makes the other person happy, and they are committed to satisfying and pleasing their spouse. Just imagine: dinner and a night in a hotel-$200; a 1/4 CT TW diamond necklace-$750, a “3-step promise of commitment”-priceless…and growing more valuable every day you practice it. Really, the “3-step promise of commitment” is the best Valentine’s gift ever!