I am going to paraphrase a story Dean Nixon tells to draw out the importance of clear communication between couples and seeing that Valentine’s Day is just about upon us, I figured what better subject!
Imagine a young couple, with 2 children, the ages 5 and 1. On February 2nd, Wifey says to the Hubster,
“Honey, let’s have a good Valentine’s Day this year. Things have been busy. You have been working hard on that new project for work. And I have been putting in the hours part time at the coffee shop, while filling the rest of my day with the duties around the house and with the kids. So I think it would be a nice treat for us to have a GOOD Valentine’s Day this year.”
Hubster responds with a nod, “Great idea baby, I agree, things have been quite demanding. A GOOD Valentine’s Day just might be restorative evening we could really benefit from and enjoy.”
The days rush by, each of them looking forward to the GOOD Valentine ’s Day. Wifey was giddy with anticipation of what restaurant her hubby was making reservations to go to. Oh, perhaps there would be dancing, she really loved dancing. And Hubster, he could almost taste that juicy steak he couldn’t wait to order. They were really gonna enjoy Valentine’s Day this year.
Date night arrived. Wifey wore her fancy red dress with a set of high heels that were sure to make her feel like a dancing queen. When she emerged from the bathroom she noticed Hubster was in blue jeans and an old t-shirt.
“Honey, you better hurry, I thought you said we needed to leave by 5.”
“I am ready and we do need to leave by 5. The big game starts at 6 and I want to be sure we get a table in the room with the big screen. I hear this restaurant project the game on an entire wall.” He replied.
“I’m sorry.” She said in a state of confusion. “Did you say GAME?”
“Yeah” he responded with excitement. “My rival teams are playing. Remember, I mentioned it last week.”
“Um, yeah, I remember you mentioning that. I just don’t remember it revolving around date night. Especially since we both talked a few weeks ago how we really wanted to have a GOOD Valentine’s Day”
“Um, GOOD Valentine’s Day. Yeah, I just thought I would up it to a GREAT Valentine’s Day. Did you hear me say, the game will be viewed on an entire wall !!”
“Uh yeah, did you hear me say the words GOOD Valentine ’s Day!” She snapped with a hand on her hip and a good head swivel. “I was thinking dinner and dancing. I have been waiting on people at the coffee shop, taking care of the kids, cleaning up after them, feeding them, oh and of course changing the baby’s diapers. I was looking to feel like a beautiful woman again, on a romantic candle light dinner followed by dancing in your arms.”
“Wow, I was just looking for a night that I could NOT be in dress pants, chill out with a good steak, and let my mind decompress while being entertained by one of my favorite pass times with you by side laughing at my dumb jokes.” He said with a wink.
I always love it when Dean tells this story, or rather a version of it(i changed it for valentines day, but the idea is the same), in a workshop or seminar. It is just so true. How often do we end up in a disagreement because of 2 different perspectives followed by a lack of effective communication? So many times we feel so wronged and hurt because we take it personally when the other side doesn’t have the same idea as we do. But if we can accept that there are different stokes for different folks, and follow it up with communication to find an experience that works for both, how much better would that be. Now granted, this situation is cliche’, and not all women would prefer dancing over a game. Lol But I am sure you see my point.
So, as you head into Valentine’s day here are 3 steps to help you…
1- Seek to understand and VALUE the other’s perspective
2- Talk about details- what is important to each side
3- Search for the Win/Win
Hope you enjoy…
And Don’t forget the “Confident Couples” Series that is on sale this month. Regularly $120, on sale for $75 through the month of February. This series increases communication and connection.