In some cases the relationship is a sinking ship — as soon as you plug one hole, another spews water. But Valentine’s Day is a geyser, as the ‘Valentine’s Day curse’ comes to fruition because of severe disappointment that a spouse doesn't live up to romantic expectations. Indeed, a study found that 53 percent of women said they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine’s Day!
So, here are some real women who did it and why.
Mary (all names are changed), 36, walked out on her husband of five years last Valentine’s Day. “Something clicked in me when we were sitting on the couch watching a Law & Order: SVU rerun and eating nachos," she said. "And this was more romantic than the previous year because he’d at least given me a card and a handful of chocolate kisses. Still, suddenly I couldn’t sit on that couch a moment longer.”
Considerately, she waited for a commercial break to announce her departure. Mary’s husband was shocked, tears appearing in his eyes as he asked, “Can we talk about it when the show is over?” Shockingly — not! — his wife was out the door before Mariska Hargitay and company were back on the air.
Mary doesn’t regret her impulsive decision, which really wasn’t impulsive. The sadness and fear had been building, unexpressed, for years. If she’d voiced her needs earlier, perhaps the relationship could have been saved. But by the time of her pronouncement, Mary's feelings had eroded to the point where she was mentally outta there.
For many women, Valentine’s Day is the romantic equivalent of New Year's — a time to set goals. Suzanne had told herself for years that she didn’t want to continue living with someone who had cheated on her. The 45-year-old, who was married a decade until she left her husband on Valentine’s Day 2010, says, “He wasn’t the monogamous type. I knew it and hated it but hated the idea of being alone more. So I stayed.”
Until the day for lovers, when Suzanne told herself this was the last Valentine’s Day she wanted to be trapped in a bad marriage. “I kicked him out of the house that night and filed for divorce the next day.” Now happily remarried, she says, “If Valentine’s Day and all it represents hadn’t given me the courage to go for true love, I’d still be there.”
The lesson here is not to remain in a marriage solely out of fear. Staying trapped in dysfunction means you will never open the door to happiness. Taking the leap is scary but can lead to positive change — healthy love.
Cindi walked out on her husband on their first anniversary — coincidentally Valentine’s Day. “Our wedding was the most amazing experience I’d ever had,” the 33-year-old recalled. “I was convinced nothing would ever live up to it.”
Her belief led to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Although her husband took her to an impossible-to-get-tickets-for concert and a lavish dinner on Valentine’s Day, she mulled all day that the flowers she’d received that morning weren’t "loving" enough. Her blood pressure boiling, she finally exploded: “If you really loved me, you would have wanted to make this anniversary as perfect as our wedding. I don’t see how we can work out.”
She made him stay at a hotel that night. But the next morning, she calmed down and begged him to come back. “I was throwing away a perfectly good man for a ridiculous fantasy,” she admits.
Marriage is between two imperfect beings. Your spouse is not there to be Prince (or Princess) Charming, a cartoonish being who will sweep you away and fulfill every desire for the rest of your life. Your life partner should do the best he/she can to make you happy, as you should do back. The best romantic stories involve two people giving to each other.
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