relationships

This Valentine’s Day I Am Treating My Husband To The Same Love He Gives Me Year-Round

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My husband and I had our first date on Valentine’s day — cheesy, I know. We didn’t intend on having some romantic time on that specific day, but it turned out that was the only day we could actually meet. So we agreed to go out on that day knowing full-well that first dates on Valentine’s Day are not only loaded with so much pressure but also super corny. However, we didn’t let that baggage stop us from meeting up. Thankfully it turned out to be one of the best dates I’ve ever had — and two years later we got married.

While he acknowledges our wedding date as our real anniversary, I cannot help but still think about our first date five years ago. One of the biggest reasons why I fell in love with him was because of his romantic sensibility.

I love romantic comedies and those over-the-top mushy love stories. However, when it comes to me embracing love, or allowing someone to love me is another story. Despite my drawbacks, I genuinely try to let my husband be romantic even though I am always suspicious of it, or worse become distant simply because how much mush can someone take? When I get like this — bitchy and annoying toward my husband when he wants to be loving — I try to remember how my life would be if he weren’t in it. That’s when I take control of anxiety (as best as I can) and give him the love that he deserves.

This year, for our first-date anniversary on Valentine’s Day, I’m making a conscious effort to do something very different.

CREDIT: Unsplash

I am taking charge of the day he came into my life by showering him with all the love he gives me year-round. I think it’s ridiculous how much social pressure it is for a man to be the one that makes all of the grand gestures. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s nice to get special gifts like flowers and be taken out on romantic dinners, but it’s rare that that kind of pressure or obligation is placed on me, the woman. Relationships take work from both parties, so it’s only fair that I should put in as much work as he does. Also, Valentine’s Day is already loaded with so much anticipation that includes wondering “what will he get me this year” or “he better not forget today is Valentine’s Day because if he does…” No one has time for that kind of stress. So my advice to you is not to take the love that you share for granted because that is only a problem waiting to happen.

Take control of your Valentine’s Day and show him how much he truly means to you with no strings attached.

CREDIT: Unsplash

Do not treat him like your king only to get something in return. That is just cruel and insincere. (Again, my advice is for women, who like me, get moody a lot and have a difficult time being loved.) Let your guard down and be there for him. It doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day, but try to show him love as much as he loves you at least once a day. Here are some easy things you can do.

Make him his favorite meal.

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Who doesn’t love good food? So if he’s into gooey casseroles, make it (or buy premade), or if he desires Arby’s, then go through the drive-thru and surprise him with his favorite meal. Just pair a nice glass of bourbon, or whatever he’s into. He will be floored with just that.

Give him a day at the spa or relaxing beach time.

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This is probably a gift for you more than it is for him. There are a ton of men’s grooming salons that will greet him with a complimentary glass of wine and make him feel like he just won the lottery.

Let him compliment you and don’t question it.

CREDIT: Unsplash

Now, this gift is free, but hard to do for some of us (at least for me). When my husband is all cutesy or loving, it’s super easy for me to roll my eyes. Instead of being jaded, let the love take over.

If he’s into sports, get him tickets to a game of his choice.

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If you’re not into sports, tell him he can take his friend. But really, try and bear one game, it won’t kill you.

Get him a box of chocolates.

CREDIT: Unsplash

If you’re not the lovey-dovey type, fake it for just one day at least. Your boo will adore you for putting in some real effort.

My point is, don’t expect him to treat you like a queen when you treat him like a peasant. Now, if your husband isn’t as romantic as mine…perhaps you should let him read this essay to clue him in on things he should be doing for you.


READ: I Started Yearly Trips To Mexico With My White Husband So We Could Better Understand Each Other

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How I Learned to Forgive My Cuñada and Why You Should Too

Culture

How I Learned to Forgive My Cuñada and Why You Should Too

I suppose it’s not that uncommon, but my cuñada didn’t like me much for many years.

“Nice to meet you,” she said, in clipped and heavily accented English the first time we met. She shook my hand taking it away quickly and barely made eye-contact, but I knew she didn’t approve of my short hair, my tattoos, or the fact that I was third-generation Mexican-American. If I had been someone else entirely, she probably would have found other things to hate about her too. My cuñada had left Mexico by herself. From what I know now, there were some dark reasons that she had to leave. It took her two tries to cross in Tijuana, but she made it all on her own, knowing that her brother would pick her up in Los Angeles, show her the way in the Bay Area, and support her financially for as long as was necessary.

She must have felt that my relationship with her brother was a threat.

When we first met, I was visiting the apartment that they shared then. We hadn’t been dating long, but things had gotten serious fast on account of our ages and his immigration status. I was 28 and he was 33.

“She’s just one of those women who doesn’t like other women very much,” my marido explained.

I hated those kinds of women. He squeezed my hand on our way down the stairs of his apartment on our way to eat. We always went out to eat those days. I could see the spring light shining through the large glass-front apartment door. Everything was shiny, new, and bright then, except for this one thing; this relationship with my cuñada.

I was pretty much the opposite of my cuñada. I was American-born, raised by women, had been in a band with women, and was about to start attending Mills College, a private women’s college in Oakland. I defaulted to hating or distrusting men and liking women, feeling a kinship through our shared inequality in a male-dominated world. But for months and months, maybe years, when I’d see her, my cuñada would attempt a smile and say, “Hola, Morena,” her lip sneering as it rolled over the ‘r’ in my family nickname, Morena. 

Still, I had vowed to not default to hate her just because she was a woman who didn’t get along with women, or because she was my sister-in-law.

I wasn’t going to compete with her or play into the catty-woman stereotype, and I was going to be kind and compassionate to her no matter what.

She made this very difficult.

When we first met, my cuñada had been living in the US for three years already, but she spoke very little English. I was surprised by how little English she spoke. She was surprised that I spoke very little Spanish.

“Hay muchos Mexicanos que no pueden hablar español.”

She said it a few months after my marido and I were married. She said it not to me, but to a friend who was bilingual, perhaps thinking that I wouldn’t understand her.  Then she said it again to another friend. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I promised not to participate in the catty-woman stuff or be passive-aggressive or hate a family member. I made myself another promise – to be kind and compassionate no matter what, but not to take her shit either.

I knew, though, that this one slight was so personal that it was going to be hard to forgive.

My marido got into bed first that night. I put on my nightgown, and sat down on my side.

“Hey, you need to have a talk with her sister ‘cause if you don’t do it. I’m going to have to do it.”

He looked up. “About what?”

“About what she said.”

“What did she say?”

I put my hand on my hip and did my best imitation, “Hay muchos Mexicanos que no pueden hablar español.”

“Oh, that.” He made a face.

“You better talk to her because if I have to do it, by the time I’m finished with her, she will be so embarrassed that she has been in the US for three years and doesn’t speak English that she will never want to speak it. That’s what’s going to happen.”

It wasn’t my finest moment.

“Okay,” he said, “I’ll talk to her.”

He never told me how the talk went, and I never asked because I didn’t need the argüende and because she never said it again. Within a year, she made us the padrinos of her first born, but I knew that I was only the madrina because I was la esposa de su hermano.

Photo provided by Michelle Cruz Gonzales

I still get a flash of anger when I think about her “hay muchos Mexicanos” comment, or the time she wouldn’t get out of the car to come and see our new house, or all the times I saw her roll her eyes and sneer at me, but I’m older than she is, and committed to supporting women, so I just waited her out. I took my ajihada on weekends to give my cuñados a break, made sure to remember my cuñadas birthday, participated in their extended family’s parties, even when I didn’t want to, and tried to forgive and not hold it against her when they had to miss our son’s birthday parties, prioritizing her marido’s large family’s numerous gatherings over ours.

Slowly but surely over the years, the ice began to thaw between us. My warmth, no matter how awkward and forced, combined with time and maturity, on all our parts, has allowed something new to develop, something real. And it’s good that I worked hard not to hold grudges and forgave what I perceived as slights because learning to forgive is good for our health. It can lower blood pressure, risk of heart attacks, cholesterol, and forgiveness can help improve sleep.

“Hi, Morena,” she smiles when she sees me now (which seems like all the time), and hugs me tight, and dumps a pile of food she brought, leftovers from the Philipino restaurant where she works, or un bote de frijoles that she made at her place and brought with her, a whole packet of corn tortillas, the family-size packet, and cans of soda in any flavor anyone in the house might drink. The other night she brought me a bottle of my favorite wine, and I shared it with her because that’s what cuñadas do. That’s what we’re supposed to do.

All Of Twitter Is Trying To Figure Out When Natti Natasha And Rob Kardashian Became An Item, And Same

Fierce

All Of Twitter Is Trying To Figure Out When Natti Natasha And Rob Kardashian Became An Item, And Same

In the game of love, it’s all about who DMs first. Now if you’re a baller, or at least trying to come off as one, you put your feelings out there in the open. No need to slip into the DMs, a simple tweet will do. At least that’s how it is for some people on Twitter.

On June 4, what we thought was some mindless flirting by two public figures is turning out to be a lot more than we anticipated.

It looks like Rob Kardashian’s tweet to singer Natti Natasha worked.

That shameless gawk tweet that he tweeted at the Dominican artist in which he basically put it all out there actually got a response from her, even though fans were clearly trying to prevent that from happening.

On Sunday, Natti wished the only male Kardashian a Happy Father’s Day and implied that she knows him a lot better than any of us assumed.

“I know.”

????

Really, Natti?

We’re not doubting his parenting skills at all, but we are doubting this unabashedly understanding between these two people. Are they really that tight?

But wait, the convo got way more heated.

Kardashian then tweeted, “see u soon.”

We’re about to start cursing in Spanish.

People on social media tried to stop these two from starting anything last week, and now it’s intervention time.

People are begging at this point.

Run, Natti, run!

There’s no running away on social media, only blocking.

Some are seriously entertained by what’s going on.

We are too, to be honest.

Listen to reason.

Where will this relationship go?

To be fair, Rob may be a cool guy. He may be the best boyfriend ever. But the Kardashians just don’t have the best track record when it comes to relationships.

Now big sis Khloe is getting involved.

Khloe, if you don’t know who Natti is please leave the room.

Dear Natti, if you’re looking for a hookup and more exposure in the tabloids then, by all means, keep doing you. You are playing this one right. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

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