We have been through a very tumultuous 2016. We have a new President and many changes coming in our lives. Will this affect our personal lives and relationships? Valentine’s Day is special. I have had many people who have proposed or gotten married on Valentine’s Day. I have also had people who wanted a divorce filed or served on Valentine’s Day. Sometimes people have unrealistic expectations and while this day can be special it can also be one where someone’s idea of love meets with a far different reality. It is a day where the price of flowers rises tremendously. It is also a day where restaurants, especially the romantic ones, are jammed, often with poor service and mediocre food. Let me share some thoughts with you:
1. We live in an era where social media dominates everything. People, including our new President, will tweet at the drop of a hat. Use this day to put away your devices. Don’t tweet or text but talk to your spouse or special person directly. Set aside time to be together to rekindle those sparks and make each other feel as special as possible.
2. Communication is critical. I see so many relationships that are destroyed by the lack of communication or miscommunication. Don’t be ships passing in the night. Share your thoughts and speak directly to each other.
3. If you love your significant other or spouse, tell them. Don’t make people read your mind. Feel free to speak of your love and feelings. Too many people are afraid to let it all hang out. Valentine’s Day is a good day to share your love.
4. We all argue. We all have feelings and emotions. If you argue, finish your argument. Do not let things fester for days. That is a good way to ruin a marriage or relationship. In other blogs I have mentioned that if you need to have the last word in an argument make it be “you are right dear.” That is a good way to end an argument on a positive note. Do not go to sleep angry.
5. Is a little white lie all right? Dangerous topics to stay away from: Do I look heavy? Are my clothes too tight? Why were you glancing at that other woman? Do I have wrinkles? Do I look old? These are areas where you must tread carefully or avoid if at all possible.
6. We all need space. Sometimes when you come home from work you want to decompress. This can be a time to talk about the day or it can be a time where you tell your significant other or spouse that you need a few minutes to unwind. Do not just attack or bombard your significant other with questions. Give that extra space and time to cool down as you get away from the work zone and enter the home zone.
7. All relationships need refreshing. Sharing special occasions are important. Make birthdays and anniversaries special. Some people say that Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day are there to sell cards and flowers. Perhaps that is true but there is nothing wrong with celebrating them.
8. Take time to date. I have couples in my family law practice who have forgotten the meaning of dating. Go out to a movie or dinner at least once a week. Do things as a couple. If you have children make sure that you have some alone time without them. Don’t always go out with other couples. Be alone at times.
9. Take breaks from the routine. Go on vacations – sometimes a weekend getaway or even a night at a hotel can do wonders for a relationship.
10. If you have a problem do not ignore it. Don’t allow things to fester. Sweeping issues under the rug does not help in the long run.
11. Be honest with each other. Lies tend to grow and undermine your relationship. It is better to tell the truth then to have an issue blow up in your face later.
12. Don’t try to change one another. I know too many people who come to me for a divorce because the relationship started out as a redo or reclamation project. We are human beings with all of our quirks and warts. We are not a home rehab project.
13. Do not be a workaholic. Your job will always be there. Your significant other, spouse and children will not. Lifetime events need to be savored. Your children grow up too quickly. Spend time with them on a daily basis. Your job and those problems will always be there.
14. I have seen so many horrible situations where one spouse or significant other will attack the other. Don’t. Abusive relationships are destructive to say the least. Emotional abuse can leave as many, if not more, scars then physical abuse. If there are issues in this area seek help before it is too late. There is nothing wrong with counseling.
15. Are you positive or negative? Look for the good in your spouse or significant other. You want your special person to be your best friend. Look at the glass as half full and not half empty.
16. Finances are often a bone of contention in a marriage or relationship. Don’t hide them from each other. Be open and honest.
17. Respect your spouse or companion and remember the golden rule. Treat your spouse or significant other as you would want to be treated.
Last but not least – number 18 perhaps – don’t carry a grudge. Learn from your mistakes and move on. Don’t repeat your mistakes but also don’t hold these issues for years letting your relationship suffer because of it.
We are all human, we all have our issues and we all need a hug. Don’t hesitate to share a hug on Valentine’s Day.
These are some of my thoughts. Please share yours with us.