Fair Fighting Valentine's Day

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While Valentine’s Day is a time to show your partner how much you care for them, we should be showing that some kind of attention year-round. One of the best ways we can do that is to practice ‘fair fighting’ when we argue. People sometimes think “arguing” is a bad thing – but it really should not be looked at in such a way. We all have different experiences in our lives, and it is those experiences that help create our beliefs and values – what you must remember is your partner does not always share the same beliefs and values. An argument, when done right, helps you better understand what your spouse is thinking and feeling.

By following the “Fair Fighting” rules, couples can ensure that disagreements and conflicts are handled effectively, in ways both parties feel listened to and respected. Couples that fight fairly tend to have happier, healthier relationships. It is even more important to fight fairly when you have children, because they learn from you and your spouse – so from you they will learn how to effectively handle any conflicts they may have with others. These are the basic ground rules for “Fair Fighting

Stay calm – if you raise your voice or yell, chances are the other person will too. Soon you are both yelling, and neither is listening. If you find yourself getting angry about every little thing, consider seeking counseling to help you learn effective anger management techniques.

Be specific – if something is bothering you, be specific about what it is, and how it is bothering you

Own your feelings – explain how you feel. If you are angry because your partner said or did something hurtful, do not just tell them you are angry – tell them about that hurt feeling too and why you are feeling that way.

Consider your words– when angry, a person may swear, insult, or say things that they know will hurt and anger the other person (for example, you may insult your spouse’s family). This only makes an argument more heated. If you avoid doing this, chances are your spouse will avoid doing it too.

Stick to one subject – many other issues may come up, but those can wait for another day. If you try to deal with every issue that comes up, the argument will never end. Stay focused on the main issue.

valentineIt’s not about winning –this is not a competition. You are trying to understand your spouse’s perspective, not trying to win.

Listen and try to understand– always try to see the issue from your spouse’s perspective – you may not agree with what he or she is saying, but you should respect their right to think that way.

Don’t give up – if you are being respectful toward each other, most if not all arguments can be resolved. If there are certain arguments that keep coming up, consider couples counseling.

It’s not the end of the world if you or your partner miss one these rules the next time you argue. It may take time, and the hope is over time there will be less of these ‘violations’.

And don’t forget -understanding, flexibility and respect are the foundations on which healthy relationships are built.

Valentine’s Day is named after Christian martyrs named Valentine and was established in the year 500. Saint Valentine is the patron saint of lovers. While there were several Saint Valentines, there are two that seem most closely connected to the holiday. One was a priest who went against unjust laws to help couples in love. In Rome, a cruel emperor named Claudius outlawed marriages in Rome because he believed married men would not want to leave their brides and join his army. A priest named Valentine defied the law by secretly marrying couples that were in love. The priest was caught and killed. The second was a man named Valentine who was martyred for refusing to give up his Christian faith. He died on February 14th, and left behind a farewell note to a friend that he signed “From Your Valentine.” February 14th was also the day a “love lottery” was held – when females’ names were placed in a jar, and males would select one name, and the two would be matched up.

The February 14th date has been considered a special day since ancient times – it was observed in Ancient Rome as a holiday to honour the Queen of the Gods, Juno. However, the celebrating of love – the way we celebrate it today – first started around the Middle Ages, when poets of that time – namely poet and author Geoffrey Chaucer – began equating the day with romance. It was a custom during the Middle Ages for men and women to select names from a jar to determine one’s Valentine – and you were supposed to wear the name of the person you chose on your sleeve. This is where the term “wearing your heart on your sleeve.”

Around the 15th century, people began sending handwritten Valentine’s Day Card to each other. By the late 19th century, these cards began to be mass produced by machines. In the early 20th century, the Hallmark company became a major manufacturer of Valentine’s Day cards.

On Valentine’s Day, a person may take someone they love out for dinner, and give that special someone cards, sweets, flowers or jewellery as a token of their love. The symbol for this date is typically Cupid, the winged Roman God of Love, who stands ready with bow and arrow to strike couples so they fall in love.

Many feel the holiday, like other major holidays, has become too commercialized – but it doesn’t have to be. Chances are your loved one will appreciate whatever you do for them on this day, as long as your full effort into it. If you generally don’t cook, try doing it for your special someone on this day – who knows, it may turn out well and no doubt that person will appreciate the work you put into it. There are other special things you can do, at relatively little cost. You can give your sweetheart a ‘coupon book,’ which they can use whenever they feel like it – it may include items like ‘one free dinner,’ or ‘put the kids to bed’ or ‘mop the floor’ – things they can have you to do when they’re too tired. You don’t have to spend a lot – you just need to be creative.

And Valentine’s Day doesn’t just have to be a day for lovers – it can be for anyone you love – whether it’s your parents, your friends or your children. The most important thing is to enjoy it!

-G.S.Thandi