Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?
A recent post on social media struck a chord. A lady posted that she was convinced that her husband thought of her as an inconvenience and that if she sent him a text when he wasn’t with her, she could picture him sighing or feeling irritated when he saw her name come up on his phone. Many women had replied, saying that they could understand where she was coming from, but some told her she should tackle him about it as she may be getting it wrong. Later in the comments, she reported that she had plucked up the courage to discuss it with him, and it couldn’t have been further from the truth, thus giving their relationship a mini reset.
Now with Valentine’s Day – the day when we all must profess our love – looming quickly upon us, it may be an excellent time to take a little look at our relationships.
Remember the first flush of love and romance?
Most of us were young, childless, and had very few commitments when we met our partners. Fast forward 20-30 years, and we may have children, business and work commitments, financial worries, ageing parents, plus the added health and mental strains from menopause. Have we got time for romance? Do we know our partners as well as we used to when we had time for just being a couple?
Should we be rushing to book Valentine’s meal at the most expensive restaurant to prove we are as loved up as all the other couples in the place, or are there more practical and realistic ways of assessing the relationship?
We are all guilty at some point of making invalid assumptions or jumping to the wrong conclusion, particularly when we are battling the anxieties of menopause, a time when we can be super sensitive about everything. Sometimes we could benefit from just stopping and looking at what our significant other does. That cup of tea bought to you in bed. Is it done out of habit or love? The slight smile at a private joke when in the company, knowing that you can laugh about it alone. They “drive carefully” when they know you don’t like driving at night.
Communication is key
How many times have you snapped at someone unnecessarily? It could be that they happen to be in the right place at the wrong time. It is so easy to hurt their feelings but be left not knowing how to make it right. Picking a time when there are no disturbances to discuss what went wrong and why you were so stressed is an excellent way to start. It isn’t always necessary to say sorry, as that word can become meaningless if used too much, but letting them know how you deal with what went wrong can help heal a rift.
How about trying something new if you feel you aren’t connecting as you should?
It doesn’t have to be anything outrageous or expensive. Something as simple as a walk in the crisp winter sun, taking a different route to the one you always take, can be refreshing and give you something new to look at and chat about. Also, something as simple as looking at your finances and making a rough plan for the future can help you realise you are working towards the same goal and get you back on track.
Walk a mile in my shoes
– it’s easy to forget each other’s commitments or worries, take a little time to think about how they feel and try to understand it. Of course, this has to work both ways, and most men aren’t great with talking about feelings. Maybe getting them talking about what causes them stress can lead to you voicing your anxieties afterwards.
Long-term relationships go through natural peaks and troughs, and we all change as we age, but think of the years you have spent battling whatever life throws at you. The foundations take a long time to cement in place, and this strength is so worth retaining, providing you can communicate your needs effectively. Life will hopefully then feel a bit easier, and you can remember just what you saw in each other in the first place.
And if after all this, you do feel like joining the other dining couples on Valentine’s day – have the chocolate pudding.
If you are findng it difficult to make new friends or you just need some extra support, we have a dedicated community group website for this reason. Next year we will be organising lots of fund events and we would love to see you there x
Article written by Nikki Blackwell