My husband and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense. After 20 years of marriage, I don’t expect gifts and flowers. Instead we express our love for each other in different ways.
Let me explain. For years we struggled with love: the meaning of love, how to love each other, how to express our love, and how to love ourselves. We both grew up in abusive homes with broken marriages. By the time we were adults, we had no clue how to create a successful marriage. All we knew is we were attracted to each other and wanted to be together.
Our marriage has always been a work-in-progress. These days we’re in a very good place. All our hard work has paid off. But we couldn’t have done it without LOTS of help. While I was healing from childhood trauma, we invested in couples counseling to learn how to communicate in healthy ways with each other. It was an incredibly empowering experience.
Love and trust develop when we take responsibility for ourselves and know how to ask for what we need when we need it. There is such freedom in that! I love my husband for making it safe for me to be who I am. If I need anything from him, I know I can ask directly, and he won’t dismiss me or shut me out.
If you’re not looking forward to Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to do something loving and nurturing for yourself. Get in the habit of demonstrating to yourself just how much you love and appreciate who you are.
That’s self-care at its best. The more I learned about loving myself, the more love I was able to give and receive. A person with low self-esteem and no healthy sense of self-care tries to make other people responsible for her/his happiness. We all know what an impossible task that is.
So if Valentine’s Day usually stresses you out, don’t let that happen this year. Create a new tradition for it by finding a way to love and pamper yourself on this special day. Healthy self-care is a win/win for everyone. Best of all, it feels really good. Go for it!!
Were you sexually abused as a child? Is your life stuck as an adult, and you can’t seem to move forward? I offer private coaching sessions by phone or skype ($55.00 per hour) for child sexual abuse survivors just like you. To set up an appointment, call 619-889-6366 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Take the time to invest in yourself. You’re worth it!
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