A huge issue in a faltering romantic relationship is when one or both people stop communicating effectively. One aspect of this is when instead of coming out and asking for things they want, hold everything inside and then become angry and resentful toward the other person because they aren’t getting what they want/need. Asking for what you want in a relationship is the topic of this week’s Love Essentially, published in the Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press, and several other newspapers across the country.
Will You Be My Valentine?
by Jackie Pilossoph for Chicago Tribune Pioneer Press
Every year on Feb. 14, millions of men and women look at their spouse in a loving, fun, or cute way and ask, “Will you be my valentine?” The question can have lots of different interpretations, which include “Will you take me out for dinner?” “Will you buy me flowers?” “Will you have sex with me?” or “Will you continue to love and be faithful to me?”
Regardless of what specifically a person is seeking by asking a spouse if he or she will be their valentine, there is something really, really significant and healthy going on here: The person is actually asking their spouse for something. In other words, they are communicating their needs.
Think about it. This is therapy 101, and I can say that with authority based on my past experience in marriage therapy. Let me explain.
When a relationship is new, couples are usually blissful and everything seems perfect. But as time goes by, and the relationship settles into a long-term commitment or marriage and then the couple has kids, the potential for a communication breakdown arises. Couples can fall into a bad pattern of not expressing their needs by asking for what they want, and instead assuming the spouse knows. And, when a person doesn’t feel that his or her needs are being met by the spouse, that’s when resentment starts to build and fester.
Like this article? Check out, “14 Pieces of Great Relationship Advice”