Upset couple on couch

Affairs

Few things are as painful and potentially destructive to a relationship as an affair. For many people, the hurt can be overwhelming and can mean a long-lasting rupture in the relationship, sometimes permanent separation. Well-meaning friends and relatives often reinforce the belief that separation is the only course of action. ‘Kick him out!’ Leave her!’ However they say it, many people want us to take action. Not surprisingly, so do we. When we are in pain, it is natural to take action. When the pain is great enough, doing something can relieve the pain and make us feel more powerful. when our partner has been unfaithful, it is we will… Read More

Continue Reading
Couple arguing

Does Counselling Help Relationships?

Clients often ask if relationship counselling can really help a relationship. Because most of us are taught to believe that relationship is supposed to be easy, we have an unrealistic view of marriage and long-term relationships. When problems arise we can become disheartened and believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with the relationship. Fortunately this is not the case. Relationship counselling can help couples to resolve their fighting, even if this involves anger and hurt. Relationship counselling gives couples a safe place to express what is difficult in the relationship. Counselling gives each person the experience of being heard – often for the first time. When couples are able… Read More

Continue Reading
Angry couple

We Fight So Much – Is There Any Hope For Us?

Couples who argue often ask if there is any hope for their relationship. In most cases couples who argue can learn to change these patterns and have a satisfying, intimate relationship. The key word here is ‘patterns’. Usually we see arguments as being about something: one of you doesn’t do their ‘share’ of the housework you disagree on how the children are disciplined you don’t like the way your partner drives The list is endless! However, although there are issues which need to be discussed and resolved, arguments are more often not about the issue, but part of a pattern that arises automatically between the couple. How to tell if you… Read More

Continue Reading

Appreciating Your Partner

It’s easy to believe that creating a successful relationship requires special skills. We seem to live in an age where experts are required to help us with all aspects of our life. However, many of the skills for building relationship are not at all complicated. One of the most powerful is simple acts of appreciation. Appreciating our partner can take many forms. We can give gifts, give our time, or use words. Appreciation doesn’t have to be complicated. Whatever form it takes, all that is needed is sincerity. When we maintain a habit of appreciation, it builds a stock of goodwill in the relationship. It creates an atmosphere that feels… Read More

Continue Reading
Couple communication

Communication Strategies for Difficult Topics

For some couples, problems in communication are the toughest issues they face. The simple act of communication becomes a minefield, with couples either in full battle or treading on eggshells. Communication becomes a problem when what is said or how it is said triggers our emotions in a negative way. When you and your partner have an important issue to discuss which you feel may raise the emotional temperature, there are some simple strategies you can use to make the chance of success greater. Agree to talk when the time is right – rather than when you are doing something (such as watching television). Make an appointment. This avoids ‘ambushing’… Read More

Continue Reading
Upset couple

Are You My Type?

A partner who misunderstands us or who seems to do things in a way which doesn’t make sense to us can drive us crazy. Counselling clients often express enormous frustration with the way their partner does or says things. These kinds of differences can lead to real problems in the relationship. People often feel their partner is making things deliberately hard for them by their behaviour or words. Often people feel quite hurt by what comes out of their partner’s mouth. One example is the person who ‘says things as they are’. This can feel rude or blunt to their partner. Sometimes it feels intentionally hurtful. So what is going… Read More

Continue Reading
Senior couple communicating

Communication 101

Sitting down to write this post is a reminder that good communication in a relationship is an absolute essential. The problem for most of us is that the simple word ‘communication’ covers such broad territory. At its simplest, communication is about choosing words which the listener will understand. Even at this level, we can still get into trouble. I often work with couples where the listener doesn’t understand exactly what their partner is saying – even in the therapy room. The next level of challenge in communication is to do with the way we process and give information. Personality Type (Are You My Type),  has a lot to do with this, since it… Read More

Continue Reading