Have you reached a point where you are questioning where your relationship might be going, or have things changed and you aren’t sure how to get your relationship back on track? It is natural for relationships to change over time, but it can very easy to slip into complacency and to start taking each other for granted.
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Do you still want to be together?
The added pressure of finances and running a home can all take their toll on a relationship, but what if things have reached a point where you are questioning whether you still want to be together. Relationships do break down and if you might feel that it is impossible to save your relationship then it might be worth thinking about some professional support. Exploring avenues such as counselling or workshops might help, of if you have both decided to end the relationship and you have children it is worth sitting down together and trying to decide how best you can support your children together.
Many parents recognise the impact their adult relationships have on the children. It seems that for some people, seeking help about children and parenting is more acceptable than seeking help about couple relationships. It is common for children’s behaviour to deteriorate when they feel insecure because they see or feel that things between their parents are not going well, and younger children in particular are likely to feel responsible. Offering them reassurance of how much they are loved and that they are in no way to blame for this can be really reassuring.
Couple conflict can have a huge impact on individuals and relationships. When disagreements arise, they can lead to heightened stress levels, emotional distress, and a sense of instability within the partnership. The manner in which conflicts are managed greatly influences the overall health of the relationship. Constructive resolution can strengthen the bond between partners and encourage understanding and unity. However, unresolved conflicts may result in resentment, communication breakdowns, and a gradual erosion of trust. The impact of couple conflict extends beyond the individuals involved, affecting family dynamics, children, and even social networks. Recognising and addressing issues in a healthy and respectful manner is crucial for the long-term wellbeing of the relationship.
The importance of communication
Communication is key in any relationship – if you are feeling neglected or just simply need a hug talk to your partner. Try and make some time to spend together. If this means being a little more organised and getting the kids to bed early one night then go ahead and do it. Having a nice meal with candles can set the ambience for a special evening together.
Having children can pile on even more pressure a relationship especially when there might be limited time for you to spend with your partner. It might be that you have to be a little more organised to ensure that you do make this happen. It is easy in any relationship for things to become a little too comfortable but it is really important that you do still make time for your partner to try and keep your relationship alive.
It can be hard as a parent to take off your “mummy” or “daddy” head but it is important to do this from time to time. It can be so easy to get caught up in your parenting role that you forget your own identity. If it’s an option and you can get a babysitter why not dress up, put some heels on and feel girly and go out and enjoy each other’s company.
Keeping your relationship healthy
Communication is imperative - Talking to each other about how you feel, making plans and decisions together that you are both happy with is important. Effective communication is the cornerstone of a thriving relationship, as it enables couples to understand each other's needs, share emotions openly, and navigate challenges collaboratively.
Don't second guess – Life can be very challenging and if you are coping with things well, you may assume your partner is too. Avoid making assumptions about how they may be feeling. Keep the dialogue going and check in with your partner daily.
Managing stress - It is very easy to have conflict when there is stress. This could be trying to manage everything all at once with added extra life pressures. Be clear with each other about your feelings and frustrations. Try to work out a plan with each other to help ease the stress and anxiety.
Arguing - If you and your partner do get into a bicker or a row, try to deescalate this by walking away and saying that you will talk later when things calm down. We understand that this is easier said than done but it will add to your plate if you are arguing over things that can be resolve through a calm conversation. Choose your battles and weigh up if they are worth it at this time.
Plan a date night – It might not always be possible to get out of the house, but you can still get creative a have a few at home date nights. When the kids have gone to bed, have a meal or watch a movie together. Go for a walk in the garden or perhaps even make something together. The aim of this is to ensure that your relationship stays strong to help you both lean on each other.
Take time out - It is natural to want to have some time to yourself. Plan some space from each other to do things you like and something that helps your wellbeing. It may be a meet up with friends, a hobby, or a trip to the gym.
Be kind - Every relationship needs kindness and care. It not only helps others feel happy and secure but can help you as a family get through challenging times. Thank each other for being there for one another and build in kind gestures through the day.