The Gift that Keeps on Giving

priceslessToday we celebrate Valentine’s Day, a day in which we express our love for our significant others.  What did you get your sweetheart?

  • A card .…$2.49
  • A stuffed animal ….$4.97
  • A box of chocolates .…$10.99
  • A dozen roses….$25.00
  • A diamond pendant ….$450.00
  • A healthy, nonviolent relationship ….Priceless

Too often, we succumb to the traditions of the holiday by racing frantically to the store to pick up a heart-shaped box filled with candy or an over-sized gorilla that sings “Wild Thing” in order to present it to our significant other over a romantic dinner at a local restaurant.  This year, did you think outside that heart-shaped box?  There is always time to give your significant other something that is more meaningful and lasting – a relationship based on equality.  Try exercising these practices:

  • Economic Partnership: Making money decisions together, ensuring that both partners benefit from financial agreements.
  • Shared Responsibility: Mutually agreeing on a fair distribution of work, making family decisions together.
  • Responsible Parenting: Sharing parental responsibilities, being a positive nonviolent role model for your children.
  • Honesty & Accountability: Accepting responsibility for self, acknowledging use of violence, admitting being wrong, communicating openly and truthfully.
  • Trust & Support: Supporting your partner’s goals in life, respecting one another’s rights to personal feelings, friends, activities, and opinions.
  • Respect: Listening without judgment, being emotionally affirming, understanding, and valuing your partner’s opinions.
  • Non-threatening Behavior: Talking and acting so that your partner feels safe.
  • Negotiation & Fairness: Seeking mutually satisfying resolutions to conflicts, accepting change, and being willing to compromise.

You might already be doing these things in your own relationship; however, there is always room for improvement.  An important aspect of having a healthy, nonviolent relationship is our willingness and commitment to live by these practices on a daily basis.  In this way, we can consistently give the gift of equality and celebrate our love for our partner beyond February 14th, which is truly a priceless gift that will keep on giving.


One thought on “The Gift that Keeps on Giving

  1. The biggest challenge for me early in my marriage relationship with Olivia was admitting when I was wrong, and I was wrong quite often. We live in a world that says men have to be “tough” and that somehow admitting that we are wrong is a show of weakness. I personally think there is strength that comes from admitting a fault or two. In fact, my wife has commented how impressed she by the “strength” I showed by getting humble when I was wrong. There’s strength in humility.

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