I think I know what your wife wants for Valentine’s Day. I offer my opinion and welcome yours as well (in the comments). What I say won’t apply to all women, but it will apply to most.
Very simply, she wants you. That’s it. You.
She would like your undistracted attention. She wants you to be with her in the full sense, meaning that you will lend her your time, your ears, your eyes and your heart. That also means that when you are home on Valentine’s, she would appreciate it if your cell phone, laptop, video games and TV were off.
She wants you to patiently listen to her, without your eyes or attention wandering elsewhere. She doesn’t want you to solve her problems and difficulties for her. All she needs is for you to listen to her explain those problems, and not to jump in with solutions. The solutions will be evident after she has had a chance to express her feelings; and if the solutions are not immediately evident, even so, she will feel a lot better.
She wants you to romance her the way she wants to be romanced. This means you have to ask her a question soon, before the big day is here. You need to give a her a chance to be perfectly honest. Ask “What would make you feel special on Valentine’s Day?” Then be open to the answer. Don’t mold her answer to your own. Listen carefully and then thank her for telling you.
Some like dinner out, others love flowers and chocolates, while yet others want acts of service or a gift card with your encouragement to buy clothes. Some want you to help her solve a puzzle at home, often with the kids. Some will want time alone to just think or read or even sleep.
She would like some real affection from you. Hugs and kisses with real meaning behind them. She would like you to hold her hand, in public, in front of other people. She wants you to not only tell her that you love her, but to show it with an outward display of affection.
She wants you to forgive her for her weaknesses and to see past them to who she really is.
She wants to know that she is the most special, most important person in the world to you. Nothing takes the grumpies away like knowing that.
Romance is wonderful, but there is something better. I love this quote from President Hinckley that was mentioned in an article in last month’s Ensign, but was originally from a conference talk he gave in 1991:
I am satisfied that a happy marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion.
If you will give her these things, her trust will grow and trust is the most important foundation for love.
I conclude with this quote, a recent message from Music and the Spoken Word:
Recently, a team of researchers surveyed thousands of married men and women and discovered something that most couples already know: spouses who are emotionally generous with each other are happier. That common-sense finding gets at the heart of marital happiness—what changes hearts and homes and families is generosity of spirit, which the researchers define as “the virtue of giving good things to [one’s spouse] freely and abundantly.” And what does that look like in a marriage? It includes small acts of service, hugs and kisses, forgiveness, patience, and a willingness to give each other the benefit of the doubt, to look past annoyances and into each other’s heart.
If you do these things, you will find that the tension and negativity that has arisen in your relationship will be lessened, maybe even erased, if you patiently listen, try to understand, give affection backed by genuine love, forgive her and willingly give her the time, attention and respect she deserves from you.
Don’t wait for her to change or be perfect to give her fully of yourself. God doesn’t wait for that from you.