As promised, the following is a continuation of the post, "Priceless Gifts for Valentine's and Beyond - Part 1"
Gift #4: Laughter
The couple that laughs together, stays together.
Laughter exercise the muscles in your entire body, but especially those in your face, stomach and back.
It also releases endorphins - the "feel good hormones", throughout your body, making you feel relaxed and refreshed.
As such, laughter is one of the greatest gifts that you could give to your special valentine that will last beyond Valentine's Day.
[You can't take yourselves so seriously, that you don't laugh. :)].
Use the following tips to get your laughter ball 'a rollin':
a) Tickle each other, stick out your tongues, try to touch your tongues to your noses, chase after each other within and outside of the house and just laugh, laugh and laugh!
b) Find interesting stories to relate to each other re what happened during your day or during your week and just laugh...life is never that bad that you can't laugh!
Gift# 5: The Gift of Financial Honesty
Financial Honesty means being open about your income as a couple...meaning, being honest anout what you make and what you don't make.
It also means being honest about your spending habits...which range from being a spendthrift (where you're addicted to spending) to being a miser (where you're so frugal that you hate to spend money - even if you have a lot of it).
Trust in a marriage is reflected in how you treat money, as a couple.
If there is general trust, this should transfer to the financial aspects of your marriage.
Full disclosure means full disclosure and being willing to accept and work through your spouse's reaction to how much or how little money you actually make.
Full disclosure of your finances, opens windows and doors in your marriage for full disclosure in other areas in your lives, thus giving oxygen to your marriage - oxygen needed to make your relationship grow.
What this also does, is free yourselves to make plans to address:
a) The loss of income...if income is less, then appropriate plans can be made to address the shortfall
b) Increase in income... if income is more, then more effective plans can be made for investments (e.g. in real estate) and you can probably spend a little, if there is a surplus.
Help is readily available from certified financial advisers at reputable investment companies or banks, or trusted family friends with the requisite experience and/or qualifications.
A Special Note to Married Couples
When spouses have to keep separate and secret bank accounts, due to:
a) One being a spendthrift and the other being a miser
b) Additional expenditure to support a child/children from a previous marriage or relationship, who is/are not living with you...
...this will eventually lead to the build-up of mistrust in other areas of your marriage.
This however, can be turned around with proper counselling from a trained psychologist, along with financial planners.
So if you find yourselves in one or both of the above situations, it's best to go to counselling to work this through.
Don't try to work this through on your own..the need to hide spending (habits) has deep origins in how people were brought up and how secure they feel in the marriage...
...So it will take the knowledge of a specially-trained counsellor in this area and financial counselors to help you through this.
A Special Note to the Unmarried
If you can't trust your girlfriend or boyfriend with money before marriage or he/she has problems disclosing income..don't wast your time marrying/him her.
These problems will not go away when you are married, but will be magnified...thus putting severe strain on your marriage.
You can save yourselves the heartache, stress and money-trouble, by just suggesting that your girlfriend/boyfriend be with someone who won't have a problem with this kind of behaviour.
Well, this is the the end of our post and the end of the Series, Valentine's (Day) Surprises.
I hope that you have enjoyed the series and I do look forward to your feedback re the advice given.
[I would like to thank:
1) Carlos Lascano for the use of his inset video above
2) woohoo_megoo for the use of his Flickr photo of the couple playing, entitled, "Kemper and Emily"
3) nathangibbs for the use of his photo entitled, "Cash Money"].