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.

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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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