With today being Valentine's Day, people all across the country go out of their way to show their significant other that they love them. For a lot of people, while their expression is genuine, it comes off as hollow and feeding into a commercial holiday.

The emotions and expressions of love that are shown on Valentine's Day are important to show every day of the year. Taking the time to continually show your spouse that you love them will take the hollowness out of any expression, regardless of what date it is.

For me, I try to take time every couple of weeks to do something for my wife just to show her I love her. Here are just a few things you can do year round.

Surprise Her with a Hug

I know this sounds weird, but we fall into routines with our shows of affection. The kiss when you leave for work, the hug when you get home, the "I love you's" when she does something for you... we build up these routines of when and how we show our affection. Break these routines and give your spouse a hug when they don't expect it. These little unexpected shows of affection will stand out as a reminder to her that you still love her.

Flowers aren't only for an occasion

We all do it. We only think to buy flowers because it's an occasion to do so. While your spouse still appreciates them, she's almost expecting them before you do it. Drop into the local florist and grab a bouquet of something other than roses every now and again. When she asks what they are for, say something like, "Just to brighten your day like you brighten mine." She's more likely to tell everyone about that than the $2k in jewelry you bought on Valentines Day.

Think of ways to help her

This is the biggest piece of advice I can give. When you think of ways to show your spouse you care for her, look beyond stuff and words. Sometimes the actions you take that you may not associate with a show of affection are the ones that show her you care. For example, my wife always gets up with the kids in the morning. I'm usually up late working, so she likes to let me get as much sleep in the morning as I can. So on the mornings where I know she isn't feeling well, I make sure to get up before the kids and keep them out of our room so she can sleep in. While that may seem almost intuitive to a parent, it shows your spouse that you are thinking about her and want to do what you can to help her feel better. Do this with everything. Is there a chore she normally does but isn't feeling up to doing? Do it for her!

Above all: LISTEN!!!

I know every advice columnist tells you this. My advice on this is a bit different though. While sitting down and listening to her talk about her day and what's bothering her is important... you have to learn to listen to everything beyond that. Everybody gives off verbal and physical cues that tell you how they are feeling and what they want. Learn to pick up on these. Listen for the sigh that tells you she's unhappy about something, or the giggle that tells you she's feeling playful. Is she tapping her fingers, twirling her hair, giving you "the eyes..." really take the time to pick up on these verbal and non verbal cues, and you'll be able to predict what she wants before she has a chance to tell you.

8 1/2 years ago, I met my wife while we were working at a retail store in Seattle. After a couple months of flirting with each other at work, we finally went out on our first date. Since that day, we've barely ever spent more than a week away from each other.

Honey, I hope I never give you a reason to ever doubt that I love you. In 8 1/2 years, we really have lived out our vows together. For better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health. I love you, and I will never stop showing you just how much you mean to me.