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Dear CW: My lazy husband forgets special days

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Dear CW:

So today makes 5 years that we've been married and it didn't even cross my husband's mind. I'm disappointed... Now before you jump to his defense, this is not the first time, and he has forgotten my birthday on many occasions. How would you feel if your lazy husband can't even be romantic one day out of the year?

Signed, Angry and disappointed wife

Dear Angry and disappointed wife:

First, happy anniversary! Your issue is one that many share. You are not alone in your hurt feelings. Missed anniversaries, Mother's Days, Birthdays, holidays, etc., are commonplace stimuli for arguments in relationships. Honestly, men are more often more forgetful of these days than women, but is that really their fault?

Little girls grow up mimicking and celebrating special days. All the fanfare and even commercializing are not typically a guy's cup of whiskey. Think of all the men who crowd malls and shopping centers on Christmas Eve, scurrying to buy gifts. Christmas is on the December 25, every year!

Ask yourself if celebrating special days was ever something important to him. If he has never been big on anniversaries, birthdays, or even holidays...you're getting mad at him for staying the same. You cannot really get mad at him for not changing. This is the version of him to whom you said "I do". Now all of a sudden, you're angry because he hasn't shifted into the romantic guy you really wanted. That's your fault, not his.

Men typically do things in order of importance to them. The cure in this situation, is to slowly integrate the importance level to him in a way that it becomes routine. If you go flying off the handle, he's just going to shut down and "fake listen" to your rant, then forget again anyway.

There are men who are uber romantic, and then there are men who are just dudes. Apparently, you married a dude. Dudes generally do not go all out ,or even out at all over stuff like this; unless not doing so causes a problem in their relationships. Men are geared toward problem fixing. If this is a problem for you, explain it to him in ways that he will absorb it.

Then do things to help him remember. You can set up reminders, or just tell him. If your husband is fantastic to you every other day during the year, then he appreciates being married to you. Your anniversary is just a designated day to show more of that appreciation. That's all. He does not love you any less just because he forgets an anniversary or a birthday. Think about all the wonderful things in your life that happen because of him throughout every other day.

Too often we put extreme emphases on things that are so huge in our heads but minor in our lives. Appreciate him and help him understand how you will feel more appreciated.

For more on knowing, loving and understanding men, check out this columnist's latest book here.

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