January 30, 2009

Seven Valentine's Day Tips for Spouses in "Less-Than-Perfect" Marriages(perfect valentine gifts)

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Valentine's Day can be a depressing day when you're in an unhappy or shaky marriage. In every store or advertisement you see romantic cards, heart-shaped boxes of candy, or select jewelry for the special lover's day.

Restaurants publish their special menus in advance and give food items names such as "lover's delight chocolate dessert." Radio stations sponsor contests focused around the theme of Valentine's Day, and newspapers run pictures and stories about spouses with long marriages.Everywhere you turn, you are bombarded with pictures and stories of happy lovers.

What can you do to survive Valentine's Day when you are worried sick that your marriage is on the rocks? How do you deal with all the love hoopla when your spouse doesn't know if he or she really loves you or wants to stay married?

The following seven tips will help you to keep your perspective and sanity:

1. Be your own valentine this year and celebrate the wonderful person that you are. Make an appointment to have a massage or pedicure on Valentine's Day as a present to yourself. Or make plans with a friend to dine at a gourmet restaurant either on Valentine's Day or the day before. Buy yourself a new CD or book that you've been wanting. Leave work early, if possible, and do something fun such as going to a movie in the middle of the work afternoon.

2. Make a commitment to love yourself and to treat yourself with care and respect. Resolve to take good care of yourself by exercising, eating right, taking time to relax and see friends, and getting enough rest. Throw any martyr tendencies out the window and make your health and wellbeing a top priority. This is not being selfish. If you don't nurture yourself first, you won't be in any shape to give quality energy and time to your marriage.

3. Commit to being okay no matter what happens in your marriage. It's essential that you make yourself a promise that you'll have a quality life with or without your spouse. By showing respect for yourself and belief in your ability to thrive whether married or not, you'll be coming from a place of empowerment and strength. The attributes of personal strength and confidence attract others and engender respect, making you a more desirable partner.

4. Accept uncertainty and see it as an opportunity to flex your faith muscles, build resiliency, and develop the discipline to live in the present moment as much as possible. With practice, you can learn to curb your tendency to worry about the future and can expand more of your energy into making the most of the time you have now. Everyone has periods of time when everything is up in the air and how things will turn out is unknown. And as poet Walt Whitman reminds us, "The future is no more uncertain than the present."

5. Practice having fun, even when you're feeling miserable! Don't wait until your life is perfect to plan fun activities. Do something that you've wanted to do but have put off. You might have said to yourself, "One day I'm going to take piano lessons." Now is the time to get started. Make a list of things that you'd enjoy doing and pick one to put on your schedule. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to wait and see what happens in your marriage before you take steps to create a more satisfying life. The time to start enjoying life is now.

6. Expand your support circle. Stay in touch with your friends, even though your first impulse may be to withdraw when you're feeling blue. Look for ways to increase your contact with others such as taking a night class, going hiking with a local hiking group, or attending services at your church, synagogue, or mosque. Don't let fear of questions keep you at home. You can be discrete and give a response such as, "I can't get into it, but I appreciate your caring and concern so very much. Thank you."

7. Find your strong woman or strong man warrior energy. Go rappelling, learn to scuba dive, ride in a hot air balloon, try para-sailing, plan a backpacking trip, go horseback riding, lift weights, explore river rafting, dance around a campfire, sing powerful songs, or sign up for a martial arts class. Do whatever empowers you and make you feel strong and energetic. Stretch out of your comfort zone and surprise yourself by doing something different. Then congratulate yourself for your spunk.

Tips adapted from the book Keep Your Marriage: What To Do When Your Spouse Says "I don't love you anymore!" by Nancy J. Wasson, Ph.D. and Lee Hefner. Available only at http://www.KeepYourMarriage.com , where you can also sign up for the free Keep Your Marriage Internet Magazine. Contact Nancy at Nancy@KeepYourMarriage.com.

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1 comment:

  1. Even if you marriage is on the rocks you can use Valentines day as a way to try to reconcile some of your differences. Here are some recession friendly tips that can make you relationship stronger. http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/five-ways-to-celebrate-valentines-day-without-bling-or-booty/