Phil and I have been married for 22 years and it took us a few years to figure out that certain holidays were more stressful than they were enjoyable. Valentine's Day used to be one of those. We learned that expectations could cause a lot of conflict, thus overruling the whole point of the holiday. It became nothing more than him trying to figure out what I wanted, and me expecting him to just know what I wanted.
What we learned from too many years of expectations and let-downs is that gift-giving out of obligation dictated by the calendar isn't what has kept us together. What has held us together is that my husband treats me with the same genuine love every day of the year. Receiving his kindness and thoughtfulness 364 days of the year is far more valuable than a bouquet or a box of chocolates. Once in a while, we exchange cards, but if we don't, we're both okay with that.
In the end, the checkbook comes out a lot healthier too.