What can I say? I am a sucker for romance, I love a happy ending and I cannot resist the lure of Valentine’s day. It is the one holiday that I connect with the most, but, at the same time, it is the one that never fails to disappoint. It is fast approaching and reminds me to pause and reflect on my life and my marriage and where our relationship might be headed. Having been married for over 30 years, I have learned a thing or two about taking some time to re-consider your options. If you can easily outway the good with the bad then it is worth pursuing. January 2017, things are looking good.
Relationships are never easy, they take time, work and patience to build.
Our relationship is pretty solid and while we do have issues, they aren’t jealousy, finances or communication. We have those covered. Our issues tend to be more related to what I call the “fun” side of things.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband but like everyone else, he has his flaws. For one, he is not very romantic or sociable. His idea of a romantic date night is sitting in the living room watching online movies and chilling with some cider. That might actually be fun if he did not run into the other room to check the hockey score every few minutes.
While there is nothing wrong with online movie date nights, there are more romantic ways to do it.
For example, you can add a theme to the date. Have your partner dress in costume and play a character. Isn’t a Game of Thrones candle night movie and dinner sound a whole lot more romantic than just plain old online movies? In fact, throwing a little role playing into any situation can add a little spice to the date night. It does not have to be a movie night. You can even go out to a sporting event and do this if you and your partner are brave enough.
Do I have high expectations for my marriage? I used to think so. Truthfully, back then it seemed a bit more unbalanced. I was always giving into what my husband wanted to do. But, I have learned over the years that a strong marriage means knowing what you want and need. And, understand the behaviors you will and won’t accept. Clarity on this helps to keep the drama out. (Trust me on that one!) My husband has grown to accept the fact that I need him to be a little more “sociable” once in awhile. This does not come as naturally for him as it does for me. And, I do not want to have to ask for it. I expect him to do it. ( Expect may sound harsh, but in order to balance our situation, he must do this once in awhile.)
Know what you want and need, and then voice it to your partner.
Dealing with disappointment
Yes, I have been disappointed on many occasions. But I accept that because I put the expectation on it. What happens when I feel disappointed by my relationship? It makes me question if he feels like I am even worth the effort. And, I feel like I have failed. Sound familiar? It should. According to Randy Milne, an expert on kinichat.com, “Most of us have experienced disappointment at one time or another. It usually happens when we expect something that we shouldn’t.” He also mentioned, that as partners we are equally responsible for the disappointment. One partner failed to deliver and the other failed to send the right message.
Turning things around
The one other thing that I have learned during my 30-year marriage is that if you want something bad enough, you may have to make it happen. If you know your partner is not able to provide it, don’t get angry at him or her. Instead, help them deliver by steering them into making the right direction. A hint: a nudge or poke never hurt anyone.
I created a jar to give my husband ideas of things he could do or buy for me that would make me happy. Things that I wanted or expected without having to actually discuss it with him. He picks a few ideas out of the jar (on occasion) and makes the plans for me. This way, he succeeds and I do not get disappointed. It’s a win-win.
It is not a huge effort, but at least it is an effort. That is all I expect from him and I am content with that.
Setting limits on demands
If a little effort is all your partner can do, then you need to accept that. Do not expect too much too soon; they not be able to change as fast as you may like. But any attempt at change is a good sign. If your partner is showing an effort, you need to encourage them. Otherwise, they may not see the point in making an attempt. This is where most partners fail one another. They are not able to recognize how difficult it may be for the other partner that’s making the effort to do it. High expectations may lead to further disappointment. The best way to deal with this is to acknowledge every effort as a romantic and caring gesture. You will both feel good about it.
People give up too easily when things are not going exactly as they planned. It does not mean you have to throw in the towel. With a few adjustments, you can be more comfortable with the outcome. Even if it means listening to the radio while soaking in the spa in your own backyard. ow that is a great compromise. Maybe I will add that to our suggestion jar so my husband can plan that for our next Valentine’s date night.