... when you ARE home, you're loving and attentive.
... you give me a head's up that you're coming home so I can welcome you properly.
... you trust that I'm not fooling around while you're away.
... you text/email/skype/fone several times a day to keep in touch while you're gone.
Who cares about Christmas and birthdays and what not? What's important is our time together. If I've made reservations and you cancel them at the last minute, I'll be peaved for sure. But if I know you aren't going to be home for Christmas, then that's a win for me because I've so many other relatives and freinds to visit you've actually just made my life easier.
A couple who've been together since high school will have a close knit circle of freinds and family where everybody knows each other and going to such special occasions without your man looks funny. But at our age, do your ex-wife and ex-in-laws really want to meet me? And I really can't imagine you'd want to go to the parties I go to - these are my high school chums, it's all in-jokes and what's so-and-so up to.