Joe-Lize's comment: Valentine’s Day could give you a second chance

Greater flamingos are seen on Valentine's Day in a zoo. Photo EPA, Abir Sultan

Valentine’s Day is sweet. February 14 is the day of chocolate, flowers, and romantic feelings. But the day is more important than that.

There are 365 days in a year. Except for a few special days, most are filled with work, chores and social obligations. People seem to be busier than ever. Daily obligations devour our sparse amount of time. The few hours left can be quickly spent on our phones. “You-and-me time” with your spouse may drop to the bottom of your priority list. Unfortunately.

Marriage is under pressure. The number of divorces is increasing steadily – some statistics show that half of the marriages end in divorce. More people choose cohabitation over marriage. Why? People do not want to be tied down to one person forever. Or they are afraid that settling with a family will endanger their career, their finances or their freedom. By opting out of marriage or keeping divorce in the back of their minds, they do not devote themselves fully to their partners.


And that is a highly problematic. Because all academic research clearly points out that divorces are deeply invasive for those involved. The Journal of Preventive Counselling even calls divorce a “threatening issue that causes personal harm and the disintegration of society.” The list of negative effects of the end of a relationship is endless.

For example, the divorce of parents leads to a higher risk of mental disorders of their children, such as anxiety, depression, and aggression. Furthermore, children may start to worry that the love of their parents can disappear for them as well if it could for mum or dad. Others believe that they are the cause of the divorce and develop feelings of guilt and of negative self-image.

American research also shows that children who grow up in families where the father left are more likely to leave the church. Almost 60 per cent of those who left their faith come from a family where the father left after marriage problems. According to research leader J.P. De Gance, fathers play a more prominent role in the transmission of their faith to the children than their mother. For this, fathers need to be present in their families.


The question remains how do we make sure that we stay far away from the point of no return in our marriage? I think Valentine's Day could be part of the key to the answer.

Don't get me wrong. I know that Valentine's Day is super commercialised. Businesses earn big money by hyping up people to buy presents for their lovers.

Yet, I do believe that it is important to celebrate more Valentine's Days in a year. You can buy flowers all days of the year. Investments in relationships are crucial in the time where faithfulness is no longer seen as a virtue.

As Christians, we believe that God Himself instituted marriage so that husband and wife support each other in the high and low tides of life. That means that it is crucial for them to stay connected to each other, not only at a physical level, but also in a mental and spiritual sense. And to stay connected, more is needed than sitting next to each other on the couch while looking at a smartphone.

Instead, real investment into the relationship is necessary. Just think back of the good olden days when you just started dating. What did you do then to win her attention? How did you attempt to keep his affections? Maybe it is time to reflect on why you, as a couple, stopped doing these little things. Where did you lose each other in the daily grind of life?

Sweet note

Valentine's Day serves as a good reminder of how we can break the tedious routines many couples are stuck in. Because, men, be honest, how difficult is it to buy flowers for your wife if she loves presents? Or to arrange a babysitter so you and your wife can enjoy a nice evening together? And women, how hard is it to leave a sweet note for your husband for when he leaves for work?

And maybe this will be the first step on the way to a more fulfilling, happy marriage. And when you think that your agenda is too full to do these things for your spouse, just remember what is at stake. Maybe the time when you feel the least romantic feelings for your spouse is when you need a Valentine's Day the most.



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