All Woman

Coping with Valentine's Day when your relationship is rocky

BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE All Woman Writer

Monday, February 10, 2014    

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IF you're currently caught between a rock and a hard place in your relationship, unsure of the status of the union; if you're no longer in love with your partner or yearn for someone else; or if things have been rocky for a while, Valentine's Day can be bothersome.

For those who have been living together but living separate lives so to speak, counselling psychologist Marlene Pottinger Gyles said empathy plays a major role even if you're just living together out of convenience.

"One has to always be mindful of the other persons feelings so this is where empathy comes in," Pottinger Gyles said. "You really do not want to do to the person what you wouldn't want them to do to you. So. for example, if your partner does not know that someone else is in the picture, you really should not wait until Valentine's Day to drop the bombshell. It is a time when persons hope that you would probably do something for them to make them feel good."

Therefore, she said, even it might not be that you are going to have a great night in bed, you can still say happy Valentine's Day and still give a rose or share something so that the person can feel good.

"But if they already know you have someone else then they would have already had an understanding that you are here together because of the kids, or because of the financial situation or whatever it is, but you are free to go your way and I'm free to go mine," the counselling psychologist explained. "So if there is that understanding then you are free to do what you want to do and the person should not really be hurt by that."

For those who find themselves in these situations, Pottinger Gyles said to avoid becoming depressed, persons have to focus on loving themselves first and foremost.

"What you really need to do is just love yourself, appreciate yourself, pamper yourself," she said. "So what it is that you would have really wanted from the other person you can actually give to yourself and nobody can actually take that away from you. If you place some value on yourself and you appreciate yourself for who you are and just love and accept yourself for who you are, then you are actually doing for yourself what the other person is not doing. And you would always have that at your disposal."

She said those persons should refocus their energy on becoming better persons and on making their lives more of what they want it to be. This she said will prevent persons from feeling unloved or unaccepted.

So:

1. Go out and pamper yourself

Take yourself out, give yourself a mani-pedi, treat yourself to a massage, get a hair-do.

2. Give yourself a gift

You can buy yourself that gift that you have always wanted. Buy yourself the roses; buy yourself chocolate if you are a chocolate person, buy yourself that new dress.

3. Dress up in your red and white.

"Dress up in your red and white if that is what makes you feel good," Pottinger Gyles said. "Just do things that make you feel happy."

4. Focus on what you do have.

If you keep focusing on what you don't have then you are likely to become sad and depressed. But if you can, focus on better times that you have had, and better times that you are anticipating that you can have in your own life. It might be with the same person or it might not be. But just focus on the positive aspects of life.

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