~ The Romance Exchange

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An unfortunate habit some couples have come to rely on it what I like to call the ‘romance exchange’, which isn’t true romance.  What this refers to is when a couple has a argument, disagreement or conflict of any kind, one will often present the other with a gift or token as a sort of apology.  While this has the appearance of being ‘romance’, it really isn’t when you are using your gesture as an exchange for forgiveness.  It is also absolutely not romantic or just plain right to become ‘romantic’ in order to bargain for favors you want.  For example, bringing home flowers and takeout should not lead you to expect sex that night.  Bringing home flowers and dinner should be a gesture of love and because you want to show your appreciation for your spouse.  Expecting something in return is asking for a payoff for you actions. 

In addition to the ‘romance exchange’, there are a number of things that simply don’t qualify as romantic gestures.  These situations and gifts could easily be referred to as the ‘never exchange’ list!  Fist of all; never let anything distract you when you are having a conversation with your spouse.  Ignore the call waiting (let the voice mail pick it up), turn off the TV (don’t just mute it) or order the kids to leave you alone in your bedroom while you talk.  It doesn’t even have to be a serious or important discussion.  Every couple needs to have their own time to communicate in order to make each other feel respected and understood.

Other ‘nevers’ to be kept in mind include never do home improvement projects where tension is bound to be a factor (like wallpapering), don’t ever do anything that will embarrass the other person in public, never show a lack of respect for your partner and always keep each others secrets.  Respect is a huge part of any relationship and should always be honored in every way.  Never take the liberty of throwing something away that belongs to your spouse. Make sure you ask first and respect their response.  Never give your spouse a gift that most would consider ‘practical’ unless you are absolutely sure it will knock his or her socks off (some guys just can’t get enough power tools). 

When living with a spouse, there are a number of things that we can do that can hurt the other person without even realizing the pain we have caused.  Never use the old, “yes, dear” phrase in order to pacify him or her.  Let her have her PMS time during the month without having to deal with jokes or anger about the condition.  It is a real medical condition and during PMS is the worst time to even think about taking about it!  Never, ever withhold sex in order to get what you want or to punish your spouse.  Both husbands and wives have been known to participate in this practice and it is incredibly harmful to the trust and respect in any relationship.

The obvious ‘nevers’ in any relationship include never forgetting birthdays, anniversaries and Valentine’s Day.  Always remember to say “I love you” before moving on to more pressing matters like what’s for dinner.  Finally, never stop communication

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