So here we are. At the end of Valentine’s Day weekend. Another day of LOVE that is supposed to include cards, flowers, chocolates. I like Valentines’ Day. I think it’s sweet. But I think we make too much of it in this country. It’s EVERYWHERE. The marketing. The stuff.
I think it puts pressure on individuals in relationships and I think it puts a lot of expectation on couples. If you screw this day up, you may pay the price.
Here’s my thought: I think that a day that revolves around the expectation of some sort of gift or card that says “I love you” ought to be something that we’re doing throughout the year. My husband likes to say that Valentine’s Day is a “Hallmark Holiday”.
Don’t get me wrong. I love a card with a note written from the heart. Who doesn’t? Or flowers. I love flowers. Would have them all over my house, in every room, every day, if I could afford it.
Why not have a little of the Valentine’s Day spirit in everyday life? You know: the day in/day out of our relationships? A little bit of that “lovin’ feeling” on a daily basis?
And what might that look like?
Well, it’s loving your partner when they are driving. you. nuts!!
I know you know what I’m talking about.
On any given day they’re driving you nuts. You are completely annoyed. Irritated. And you would just like them to change; just a little bit. To your way. MY way of thinking. Because it is the right way, after all.
If there is one thing I’ve learned from marriage and relationships, it’s that I am often wrong. And for those who know me well – that’s a huge admittance.
But getting to a place in my life where I can admit that I don’t have to be right all the time, has been hugely liberating.
I have seen many couples over the years who come to therapy with the “It’s My Way Or The Highway” attitude or “You Are The Problem In This Marriage. You Need To Change.”
There’s finger-pointing and blame. Lots of anger, resentment, and hurt. And each person in the couple has really valid points and arguments.
Getting past the blame and resentment, I see that we, as individuals in a relationships, just want to be heard. We want our needs met. We want to be SEEN. Like back when we first started to date.
This post is about looking at yourself. You have things you want to see change. You have really valid points. You might be right. In fact, you probably are.
But I’m here to tell you-being RIGHT is exhausting.
Now I get it. There are many out there right now saying, “But….but……he/she really IS the one who is wrong in this situation….in that situation……. THEY DO NEED TO CHANGE!”
Yes. You’re right. And guess what? YOU need to change, too. That’s right. You do, too.
We say in counseling with couples that no one is 100% wrong. The person might be 95% wrong, but never 100%. So I’m asking you: take a look at yourself. What do you bring to the relationship that might need some tweaking? Some fixing?
Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Try… try to see the situation from someone else’s perspective other than your own. We get so busy digging in our heels and holding on to our position that we so often “cut off our nose to spite our face”.
And yes, maybe your spouse does need to change. I’m not saying they don’t. They probably do.
The question I’m asking you is: What do you need to change? What do you need to work on? How can you communicate better? How can you listen better?
Next time you get into a tizzy over how annoyed you are. Take a step back. Think about your role in what is driving you nuts. I know it’s hard to do.
Believe me, I do.
Start a conversation with the word I rather than you.
This year for Valentine’s Day we didn’t even celebrate. We’ll get around to it this week. I still have to fill out the last minute card I bought. But it’s ok. We agreed. It’s about the love; the give and take. Every. Single. Day. It’s a choice we both made to love each other-knowing that our partner is probably not going to change that much. That the annoying everyday things will remain. And that we, er, I, am still having a fulfilled life with a partner that is imperfect.
Just. Like. Me.