Love is in the Air


Dear Dharma,

I am almost not sure if I want to send this because I am pretty sure my husband will recognize himself from the description, though he probably doesn’t read your blog so why not right?

He is a lovely man, very caring and supportive, and I love him very much.  The problem is that every year in early to mid-February, I start to wonder if he was dropped on his head as a baby.  He goes stupid over Valentines!  He sends me cards (yes, cards plural) puts up decorations, always has a big night out planned, chocolates, flowers, it just doesn’t stop!

It used to be charming, in an over the top kind of way, but honestly at the best of times I am pretty much the Valentines Grinch.  To me it is a “Hallmark”-ified holiday that is just an excuse to hype up more consumerism.  I have been grinning and bearing it for several years, but if I get another Purdy’s sweetheart selection box, I am going to freaking lose it!

I don’t want to hurt his feelings, but how can I let hubby know that enough is enough, and that we passed that marker a couple years back?


Dear Heartbreaker,

There are a million women staring at you right now, thinking, “Really? This is your big complaint? Really?”  Okay, maybe not a million, cuz Dharma’s not quite there yet… but a lot.  A lot of women are staring at you.

I’m sure you can see that the fact you’ve not mentioned this sooner, combined with grinning and bearing it for years, has contributed to the problem.  He thinks you like it, you fool!  He thinks he’s a superstar, and that he’s the envy of all your girlfriends! It would be different if you’d been telling him for years that you really don’t dig this type of thing, and he kept on doing it, but that’s not the case.  The only thing he’s doing wrong here is being overly romantic. First world problem, non?

I don’t know if you are too late for this year… he may already be in the throes of Valentines Fever and to make him pull out half way, I don’t know, it seems cruel… you may just have to grin and bear being spoiled to death one more time.

But if not, if he hasn’t geared up, then the window of opportunity is still open to make some suggestions to turn this thing around.

So whether it’s this year or next, you could say something like, “You know, honey, I was thinking this year for Valentine’s we could do something different.  How about we (fill in the blank with something low key)!”  Explain how you know he loves it, but you hate to see him go through so much effort for something that might mean more to him than it does to you.

To be clear, I don’t think you are going to get away with Valentine’s disappearing into the mist.  And to be fair, if this is something important to him, which… clearly… then he shouldn’t have to go completely without it.  I think it would make him sad if it all became a non-deal and you’d end up feeling totally like the Grinch.  There’s no win for anyone in that scenario, right?

However, if it’s a respectful relationship, you should be able to accomplish having the whole thing dialed down a notch or ten.  If not though, I’m sure I know a few women who would be more than happy to take the flowers and chocolates off your hands.


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  • Anonymous says:

    If he continues doing the same thing after she tells him she would prefer he didn’t go so over the top, that would be a problem because hes not respecting her request, but as long as he thinks she likes it, she holds some of the blame. so either suck it up or tell him to cool it!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ferrero says:

    Totally agree! If she has pretended she likes all the gifts etc, then why wouldn’t he keep doing it? Hell, some might say he’s just trying to do something really nice for her and show her how much he cares.

    If she has told him, or if he’s blowing money they don’t have, then he just didn’t get the message somehow.

    Maybe tell him again, and give him some options of things she would like?

    He sounds like a caring guy, so perhaps he just needs to be told that his delivery is wrong.

  • […] feel like I should put you in touch with the husband from Love is in the Air – I bet he’d have a few […]

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