ON Valentine's Day, many couples turn a blind eye to the chaos that exists in their relationship the remaining 364 days of the year. They make an effort to celebrate their partners and relationships, whether it's getting them the perfect roses, their favourite chocolate, dinner at their favourite restaurant, or sexy lingerie. And while this may seem appropriate in keeping with the season, relationship counsellor Wayne Powell said slapping a band-aid over a festering wound is a waste of energy. Instead, he suggests taking stock of your relationship and tackling the root of your unhappiness so that you can enjoy your partner and relationship well beyond February 14.
“Valentine's Day is only one day of the year and people must dispel the notion that in those 24 hours with a snap of the fingers something magical will happen and all the negativity that engulfs the relationship will disappear, and that a big teddy bear, roses, and a card containing some mushy words about love that were never said or expressed will blanket all the verbal and emotional abuse. This is really making a mockery of the true meaning of Valentine's Day,” Powell reasoned.
With this established, Powell said that with the nagging problems discussed before V-Day arrives, you'll know that you are guaranteed that your partner is not just faking or being a mere follower on the train of romantics, but is genuinely expressing love and affection that were present long before the day.
In order to get through the challenges, especially if reaching a compromise is particularly challenging for you as a couple, Powell said that couples should be willing to consider reaching out to a counsellor.
“The best thing that you can do for your relationship is dropping the façade. Spare yourself the expenses and the extravagance and invest in the relationship in a productive and meaningful way by going to a couples' counselling session,” Powell recommended.
He reasons that this investment will outlive the excitement of a 24-hour spectacle.
What nagging relationship problem are you struggling with? All Woman readers share what problems they hope to fix in time for Valentine's Day.
Dave, IT specialist, 28:
There are a couple things that are a little hot in my relationship that I hope we can fix so we can really enjoy Valentine's Day. I want to talk to my girlfriend about whether or not she has forgiven me because it is annoying that every time I stay out a little late, can't answer my phone because of work or simply because I didn't hear it, or want to go out with my friends, she is going to accuse me of cheating. It is really touching a nerve now. I apologised and I am truly sorry and I keep trying to do everything to make her see that I am changed. Also, I hate that my fiancée always wants to give instructions — do this, do that — and if I don't get at it immediately she gets angry and it makes me feel like she is my mother, not my partner, and I often resent her and this is something that happens every day. So yes, we really do need to do this.
Stacy-Ann, sales agent, 32:
My husband does not listen and I keep having to repeat myself and I feel like a scratched record. Oh, and then he tries to convince me that I never said it like I am a crazy person which is what actually pisses me off. Then there is another issue where he has to go and run important things that I believe we should manage as a couple by his mother. So I can always expect that when we are discussing business, the kids, or any other matter, he will tell me that “mama was saying”. I am annoyed by it. I really am beginning to think his ears work only when he is around her.
Charmin, marketing strategist, 41:
I have to ask for help even when the house is a pile of mess. He will just sit there in front of the TV even when he knows that people are coming over and that really bothers me. He has a job that takes him away a lot and to think that when he is home he would spend more time with me and the kids! But that's just wishful thinking. I tell him over and over that his expensive gifts do not make up for the time that he does not spend with us.
Tami, teacher, 34:
I hate that we have to be fighting about the same things over and over; it really bugs me because I feel like we are not growing because of it. I also hate that he is so insecure and I am insulted every time he passes the remark, “mi nuh trust nobody, not even myself”. It really gets to me knowing that I have never done anything questionable, and the worst part is he will say it in the presence of just about anyone. Thirdly, I hate that my partner uses our joint account without talking to me about it and it's not for the house bills or anything like that. Then when I talk about it, he will say he is going to put it back, but he either only deposits some or none at all.