Valentine's Day: Curse or charm?

  • Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dear Liz,

What can you give for Valentines Day to your (wonderful) 48-year-old husband, in a 21-year marriage, a guy who,has everything - hard to buy for? He has done so many nice things for me, so I want to treat him this time. My budget is about $250.


Dear “Puzzled,”

You are a fortunate wife, indeed - and it is awesome that you are looking to do something special for him. There is usually pressure on the man to come up with something special for the woman. (I think Valentine's Day puts undo pressure on everyone to somehow “come through” and can be a sad time for those who don't have a special someone.) Here's my suggestion: I'd arrange for the children to spend the night out. Cater or cook his favorite meal. Take time off to have a mani pedi and a luxurious bath, so you are rested, relaxed and can be at your best. Buy something he would enjoy for you to wear for the occasion - put on your favorite couple music - and just hang out, eat, dance, cuddle. It isn't about the money. It is about giving one another your undivided attention, with lots of eye contact and smiles. Beyond that, is up to you. Enjoy.

Dear Liz,

Valentine's Day. bah humbug. Been divorced 10 years.

Am I bitter?

Dear “ am I,”

Holding on to bitter is a choice, as you know. You can go on from here with resentment, regret and anger - or you can rework your life to become the best yet. I look at February as “love month” - a time to take a moment here and there to let those you care about, know that you do. It can be a text, e mail, card, baked treat, service. If you have children and especially grandchildren, I like to find something cute and meaningful to send them (such as a special photograph framed) - but not expensive. We are all recovering from the holiday money drain. This can be an act of love, where you put some energy to do something nice. Service is the best way to heal a broken heart. You may not feel like it, but if you push yourself, you'll be glad you did.

(Contact Liz via asksharpliz@gmail.com. Liz Brisacher Sharp is a Master degree level Licensed Professional Counselor in private practice with 35 years experience in mental health.)

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