With only one week left before Valentine’s Day, enjoy this guest post from Lisa Moore. Communicate about your desires and expectations for this holiday so it can bring you closer together, rather than bringing disappointment or conflict.
Valentine’s Day, a day reserved for love and affection, often brings out opposite emotions in lovers. The case is especially true when the two people are married. Spousal conflict has been directly linked to eating disorders, alcohol abuse, depressive symptoms and other psychological disorders. These symptoms can be compounded when Valentine’s Day and all of its expectation-raising traditions come into play. If you’re concerned about the upcoming holiday and the effect it may have on your marriage, here are a few tips.
What Does Valentine’s Day Mean to You?
The beginning of a good Valentine’s Day actually starts a few days or a week before Feb. 14. Simply taking the time to talk to your spouse about what Valentine’s Day means to them can cut down on the tension when the day arrives. If you find out that your spouse has always wanted to have the traditional romantic Valentine’s Day experience, this year might be the year to make their dreams come true. If they really express disdain for the holiday, don’t expect a day punctuated by dozens of roses, boxes of chocolates and other romantic gestures.
Write Your Spouse a Love Letter
This might seem a bit antiquated but there is nothing like having a handwritten note from your spouse that explains (perhaps in poetic terms) just how much they mean to you. If you go this route, be sure and handwrite it. This added personal touch will mean a lot to your spouse.
Make a Date “Bucket List” For the Year
Make plans for what you want to do together in the next 12 months. Go to the opera? Go to a football game? A bed and breakfast? Write down a few ideas each and make it a point to try to cross everything off the list throughout the next year. Most couples go on dates 1-2 times per month. If you’re not even close to that number, or you just feel like you could use even more time together, this might be the perfect option for you. This is a great way to extend Valentine’s Day throughout the rest of the year.
Don’t be afraid to get physical on Valentine’s Day. Sure, the bedroom is a great place for that, but physical affection can take the form of everything from a good morning kiss to a shoulder rub to a cuddle session. Physical contact releases a drug called oxytocin into the brain. This chemical has been called the “Love Hormone” and increases feelings of intimacy.
Lisa is a guest blogger who specializes in every aspect of family issues, from marital counseling to throwing your child the perfect birthday using Super Mario party supplies.
Photo courtesty of stockvault.