I know I mentioned in my last post that it was my new year's goal to blog at least once a month, and to be fair, this post was written weeks ago, but for some reason had yet to make it onto my page.  So here's a little (belated) post on Valentine's Day.


Now that we are living in the same space again, we are, in a sense, re-learning how to do life together.  I am re-learning how to meal plan for two people, and how to find a better balance between work, life, hobbies and relationships.  We are re-learning how to share a space and how to make decisions together.  And though we both LOVE it, (like really really love it) being married can have its challenges.

By the end of our first month living here, in Pennsylvania and together, I noticed I had built some walls between my dear husband and I.  I was used to having my own time and my own things and only had to be responsible for myself.  I had unlearned how to be vulnerable in everyday life and I knew that I needed to make sure that those walls were demolished before they got too high and too firm.

About a year ago I read a blog that encouraged spouses to think through how they honored one another during, specifically during the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.  This challenge came to my mind when processing ways to knock down those walls and I decided to choose to intentionally pursue my spouse by planning out ways I could appreciate and honor him.

As person with a "Type A" personality, I did what I always do, and I started with a list.  I listed out February 1st - 14th and assigned myself a task each day.  I had to get a bit creative for a few days because I knew I would be in San Diego on a business trip, but knew there were still significant ways I could love on Dillon while out of town.

Here’s what I came up with:

  • February 1 – Hand-write a Letter
  • February 2 – Get Tickets to a Play
  • February 3 – Go to a Free Concert
  • February 4 – Do the Laundry
  • February 5 – Get Favorite Coffee 
  • February 6 – Make Dinner
  • February 7 – Put a Favorite Snack in Lunch
  • February 8 – Leave Money on the Counter to Order Pizza
  • February 9 – Bring a Special Gift from San Diego
  • February 10 – 30 Minute Back Massage
  • February 11 – Make Breakfast in Bed
  • February 12 – Let Dillon Pick the Movie
  • February 13 – 30-Minute Head Massage
  • February 14 – Make Reservations at Favorite Restaurant

I didn’t tell Dillon that I was doing those things intentionally, so he might not have noticed any major changes during this time, but what I noticed during those two weeks were the ways my heart began to change and follow my actions.  I didn’t seek for the ways Dillon “failed” to meet my expectations, but rather saw additional opportunities where I could serve him.  Dirty dishes?  No problem!  Laundry needs folded?  Leave it to me!  Can’t decide what movie we should watch?  You can choose!

To be completely honest, some of these days didn't go as planned and I had to think of other ways to serve my hubs.  I was challenged to apologize first, and take responsibility for my role in arguments rather than trying to place the blame on the other.  Rather than seeking to get "my way", I was challenged to do whatever was needed to dismantle any potential conflicts.

Sometimes I, unintentionally, forget that being married is an honor, not a right.  I don’t deserve a person to spend my life with, nor does the fact that we have committed to a lifetime together, give either one of us the right to neglect nurturing our relationship.  

Being married is an honor, not a right.

Maybe you aren’t married so you feel this doesn’t apply to you, but I’d be willing to bet that in your life there is a relationship that could use a little attention.  Maybe it’s with a parent, or sibling, or relative or friend.  Someone out there needs reminded how much you are honored by their presence in your life, and in the midst of showing them your appreciation, your heart might gain a new compassion and empathy towards them that it had forgotten about.

Relationships are an honor, not a right.  

Ashley Sider