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Valentine’s Day – a time to talk…and listen

February 14, 2011 Speech Box

It’s bad enough at any time of year when you do not receive the romance you either crave or expect. Worse still at this time of year.

The TV is awash with it. Travel companies are relentless in offering ‘romantic getaways’. Shops won’t let you hide from it.  There is no doubt that Valentine’s Day is a sentimental marker which pulls on the heart strings.

Trying to make Valentine’s Day a special time of romance and affection can be stressful. Sometimes it can be the trigger to assess the state of your relationship – and sometimes that can be unnerving.

What do you do if your other half shows no outward signs of affection? Should you fear the worst? Is it a sign that the two of you are over? Does it mean that a third party has made their way into the relationship? Lots of searching questions, and no easy answers.

But it needn’t mark the end of everything. Although thinking about love, happiness and life choices may reveal gaps in your relationship, divorce is not inevitable.

So what should you do?

The first thing to do is to make yourself feel better. Cast your mind back to the first flushes of your relationship. If your other half was shy of romantic gestures even then, it’s unlikely that that, as time and life pressures have marched on, they will be inclined that way now. It’s important to remember that each person is different, holding different ideas of how love and affection should be expressed – even as a couple.

That makes it no less frustrating – and that’s why it’s important to tell your partner. Issues can only be worked on if everyone is aware of them. Communicating your frustration is the key to developing an understanding that will make everyone feel better about themselves.

My advice would be to talk, talk and then talk some more. Then listen to your other half.

Do it today. Make Valentine’s Day your marker.

And if you think that it’s a little odd that a divorce lawyer should be encouraging couples to stick together, you’re probably right. It’s just that I’ve seen many couples saved from that heartache just by talking through their differences – and too many who have divorced, when engaging in meaningful dialogue would have saved them.

Oh, and also it’s because I’m a bit of a romantic at heart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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