Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a romantic holiday. Quite often, it’s the day couples break up. A large percentage of break-ups happen on holidays, birthdays, any number of special days for a couple. Here’s why I think that happens.
To begin with, most couples struggle with being completely honest with themselves and each other about what bothers them. Haven’t we all said to ourselves things like, “It’s not that big of a deal. Nobody’s perfect. I don’t want to say anything and hurt their feelings. I’ll wait until (the special occasion) is over with before I talk about this. I’d hate to ruin the day – or night – or holiday.” You get the idea.
So in other words, we think we can avoid trouble by not talking about what’s irritating us. In general, anytime we try to avoid trouble emotionally, we cause more trouble. The things we don’t talk about build anger, resentment and apathy and we don’t want to share that either. Now there are the irritations plus the the feelings caused by not sharing those irritations.
So the pressure builds. More rationalizations occur to put off talking and finally a part of us can’t stand it anymore. And to add to the problem, we don’t want to talk about all the mess for very long so we bring it up at the worst possible time and usually in the worst possible way. Think Bill Clinton here. 🙂
This putting off difficult conversations and not giving them much time happens a good bit. Saying something about a tense situation just as your partner is leaving for work, or about to go to sleep, or just before they are fully awake is like a hit and run, except the person who gets hurt knows where you live.
The one seasonal spike in my business is in January. Folks have finally had enough after the holiday season. They can’t be nice one more day and want to make changes.
So the takeaway here is do all you can to say what needs to be said when you first notice yourself not liking something about your partner or the relationship. Don’t let the “little things” turn into big things. Actually, in a relationship, anything that continues to bother you is a big thing.
And don’t forget to say the nice things too like I love you and Happy Valentine’s Day.