Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone! ♥♥♥
I thought I would share some non material Valentine’s Day gifts I have been reflecting on that can strengthen a relationship. Matt and I have been working on our marriage preparation course and I have been reflecting on ways that Matt and I have strengthened our relationship and also ways we can improve. I am by no means an expert but I will share some advice I have found helpful.
- Be quick to sincerely forgive. Forgive AND forget. If you choose to continue your relationship after a bad fight or argument than you have to let it go, and never bring it up again. Too many relationships are ruined by keeping score and holding grudges. Don’t let a mistake they made a year ago be used in a fight you’re having today. If you accepted their apology, then let it go. If your partner asks for an apology, apologize, your relationship is worth more than proving you were right.
- Pray for your partner, pray for their health, their safety, their success, their happiness. Too many couples are in competition with each other. When you love someone their success becomes your success, their happiness is yours. If good things are happening for them, and not you, be happy for them, don’t be jealous or resentful.
- Respect and honour your partner. Speak highly of your partner to other people and defend them in their absence. Don’t make it a habit of telling your friend what an idiot your partner is or how much they nag or disappoint you. We are all guilty of gossiping or venting frustration, but try your best to speak kindly of your partner to other people and talk about their successes not their failures.
- Humble yourself to admit when you’re wrong. Too many people let their pride ruin their relationship. If you know you messed up, admit it, don’t talk in circles or deflect by bringing up your partner’s mistakes instead, just admit you’re wrong. Don’t expect your partner to be perfect, or expect them to be able to read your mind, too often we have unrealistic expectations of our partner.
- Focus on your partner’s strengths and not their weaknesses. Don’t spend more time complaining and nagging about your partner’s mistakes and flaws then you do complimenting and praising your partner. Show gratitude for the little things they do, let them know you appreciate them.
One thing I have learned is that loving someone is not just a feeling, it’s a choice you make daily. Love your partner for who they are, not for who you wish they were. I have been with Matt since I was just seventeen and we are still learning and growing, relationships that last require effort from both people. Never stop pursuing your partner, make them feel as wanted, cherished, and loved as you did in the beginning. It’s really the little stuff that can make a big difference. There will always be things in life that are going to test the strength of your relationship, whether it’s having children, financial struggles, hectic work schedules, school, etc. but your partner should never have to question your commitment to making your relationship work! Not every couple can afford to spend money on extravagant gifts, but everyone is able to work on improving themselves and their relationship.