Couples and Relationships

Being in a relationship can be exhilarating, exciting and fun. Spending time with another person that you share a special bond with can be very rewarding. However being in a relationship with another person takes effort and commitment from both sides.
Sometimes we can let other things in our lives take priority, for example work or family. This may result in you not talking to each other or working longer hours or even avoiding each other. Stress, depression and anxiety can all contribute to us feeling not good about ourselves and possibly not feeling we can talk to our partner.
When stressful life events occur or we notice that we are not having as much fun with our partners that we used to have, it may be time to think about what we want from our relationship or marriage.

Some ideas that may help?

Don’t blame me?
When things are not going right in a relationship, it can often be too easy to blame your partner and think you aren’t doing anything wrong. Using blame in a relationship or marriage is not always helpful; it may be more beneficial to acknowledge what is not right in your relationship or marriage and look at ways which may help or improve things.

We need to talk!
The most important part of any relationship or marriage is communication. When times are stressful or you are tired, it can be really easy to come in from work and either bicker or not talk. Most couples get out of the habit of talking with each other and this can be an important first step in getting your relationship back on track.
A good way of starting could be agreeing to spend 20 minutes talking with your partner. Take turns in talking to each other for 10 minutes. It is important that your partner does not interrupt, but listens carefully and attentively.

Let’s Listen to Each Other
This is another biggie and something that is really easy to fix. When we are tired or our relationship or marriage feels stale, we can often not listen or feel interested in our partner. Take extra time to really listen to what your partner is saying.
Empathy (really feeling what another person is going through) is a good way to show to your partner that you are listening to them and what they are saying is important.

Are We Leading Separate Lives?
Are you spending more and more time apart?
Think back to when you first met your partner and how you would spend your days or evenings. Sometimes rekindling old interests or doing activities or interests that you both share or enjoy can be a good way of spending time together again.
If you don’t have a shared interest, think of something you could both do together? Maybe dancing, walking or going to the cinema?
You may want to surprise your partner with a lovely meal at home – adapt it to your circumstances or what your partner likes.
Spending quality time together is important even if you are leading busy lives. The experience can be very special and something you can both look forward to.

Say or Do something nice?
If you have got out of the habit of complimenting your partner, try to say something nice to them each day or text them a message – we all like compliments or people saying positive and lovely things to us – it makes us feel good.
Or you could buy your partner a small gift, it does not have to be expensive, it could be a bar of chocolate or a cuddly toy, but it shows to your partner that you are thinking about them.

Talking to someone may help?
Many couples have counselling or therapy for a variety of reasons. It is not always when in a crisis. You may be spending more time apart; you could be feeling stressed and this could be impacting on your relationship. Alternatively, you may feel unhappy or that your relationship is stale or going nowhere.
Counselling can help and support you identify some of the difficulties. It allows for the couple to explore these difficulties and identify more helpful ways of communicating and being with each other. It will give you the opportunity to talk in a safe and secure environment.

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