I’ve been married to Shalini for three years now, and we have a fairly good relationship. Except for the part where she thinks I don’t express my love enough.

My Wife Thinks I Am Not Romantic

I’ve been married to Shalini for three years now, and we have a fairly good relationship. Except for the part where she thinks I don’t express my love enough. If you ask me, I would say that’s not true, I have my own ways of expressing my love. They just don’t align with her ways and expectations. 

I remember how upset she got with me last Valentine’s Day. It was a working day so I woke up early, made us our morning tea and switched on the geyser. I watered the plants and walked our dog and by the time I returned, she had cooked the prettiest looking breakfast, with heart shaped fried eggs and a note wishing me ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’. 

We then got ready and left for work like we do every day. In the evening, I picked up groceries and Shalini’s clothes from the dry cleaner, got back home before her and cleaned the whole space up for her to come back to a clean and cozy home. When she returned, I welcomed her back with a big hug, made her a delicious cocktail that I had learnt how to make on YouTube. 

After a couple of glasses of the cocktail, Shalini asked me what I planned for dinner. I asked her what she felt like having. ‘Are you serious? You haven’t already made reservations for us? Have you planned nothing for me on Valentine’s Day? What’s wrong with you? Why are you always like this? Boring and unromantic!’ She charged at me as if she had been preparing the lines all day. 

‘That’s not true, Shalini, I am not unromantic. Haven’t you noticed all that I have been doing for you since morning?’ I asked her. ‘What’s new about that? You do these things for me every day!’ She retorted. ‘Exactly. Because I want to make you feel special every day. These labeled days mean nothing to me when it comes to expressing my love for you.’ I said to her. 

‘Don’t make excuses to get away with basic shit. Everyone plans for their partners, my friend’s husband has taken her out of town, and a colleague of mine received a bouquet at work today. I am the only one who is made to feel unimportant on all important days.’ Shalini continued to be pissed at me. She said she gave me a hint that morning when she made me the special breakfast but even then I did nothing. 

‘So should I assume that your expression of love this morning was conditional? You did it to get something out of me? I thought you did it to make me feel good.’ I argued. ‘Now imagine if your colleague or friend’s husbands did the same. Showing them conditional love so that they can do all the household chores for them for the rest of the year, you would call that regressive right?’ I asked her. She didn’t say anything after that. She went into the room and slept off. 

Two days later, when I returned home from work, Shalini had prepared a full meal and laid down the table beautifully as always. She gave me a big hug and said, ‘For the past two days, I have been thinking about all that you do for me. When I discussed it with my colleague she asked if I’d trade you for her husband, and I realized how blessed I am and how ungrateful I have been lately. So forgive but please try to plan romantic dinners too, because I really want those with you. Let’s start with this spread here tonight!’ 

I’ve tried my best to do all the extra things like send flowers, deliver cakes, plan dinners and getaways - but I still feel that my truest expression of love comes out in the little things that I do for her. I just hope she genuinely begins valuing them some day. Till then, I’ll keep getting better for her.  

There’s no such thing as a happy ending because good relationships never end. Temporary situations may pass, but as human beings we keep evolving. I still feel that my wife doesn’t understand my ways of expression of love, but that does not deter me from being me. Sooner or later she will, and even if she doesn’t, at least I know that I am doing my best and that is enough for me.

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Teesta Rajan
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