Relationships – love them or loathe them, we all need them. It is very hard to live your life without engaging with others at some level.
But right now many relationships could be struggling. We have pressures in our lives that many people will not have faced on this scale before. These pressures include:
- Trying to work from home whilst home schooling your kids. This can be even more challenging when both of you need to work from home.
- Some people will have lost their jobs or their businesses, so there will be financial pressures that you may not have been expecting.
- For some people you will be stuck inside with the same person 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I am not sure relationships are really meant to be that way – I think they work much better when you can have some time and space to yourself. For some this may mean that you are trapped with someone who is abusive. If this is you please try to find a way out. You can call 999 and if you can’t talk you can press 55 to alert the police that you need help – this only works from a mobile. If you can leave your house you can go to Boots Pharmacies – who offer a safe space and support.
- For others, you won’t be able to see the person you are in a relationship with because you are not currently living with them. This can also present challenges as it can be harder to maintain a relationship when you can’t see that person.
- I am also aware that some people will not be in a relationship, but even friendships can be tested at this time. Why has your friend read your message and not yet responded? Why do they never call you? I have found myself making arrangements to speak to friends – it does feel strange to “book a time to talk” but it works for me and my friends and it ensures that I have contact with different people each week.
These are just some of the challenges that come to my mind. In my work as a counsellor I help couples who have problems in their relationships and now more than ever I suspect that if there are any cracks this is when they will show. Counselling can help you by allowing you the space to talk through the situation with someone who is not involved in your lives in any other way. I can help you to find better ways of communicating with each other. So many problems are caused because people don’t really listen to each other. You either hear what you want to hear or you are too busy thinking about your response to really listen to the other person.
If you feel that your relationship is under strain here are some things that you can do which may help:
- If you are living together make sure that you communicate daily – what is your work load like for today? How can you work together to ensure that you can both get your work done as well as support your kids whilst home schooling? If you can share these duties it will help relieve the pressure on your relationship.
- Find a way to have fun time together – now is the time to dig out the board games or a pack of cards. Or to have a film night where you can relax and forget about the world for a while.
- But it is also important to find time when you can both be on your own. It is OK to want your own space at times. Your relationship will be in better health if you have time to yourself as well as time together.
- If you are not living together find a way to have quality time together via the various online platforms that are available. I have seen couples cooking the same meal in each of their houses and then eating together. As I write this the lockdown rules have just been relaxed and you can now meet one other person who is not in your household in a public place – so long as you maintain social distancing. I hope that this will help couples – but I appreciate for some it will be hard to see each other but not be able to hug or kiss.
- Above all show patience and keep your lines of communication open. Don’t allow a disagreement to fester and take hold. Talk it through, and deal with it so that it doesn’t become an ongoing issue. If necessary have to some space in separate rooms to calm down and then come together to talk things through.
If you feel that your relationship is in trouble and needs some help then please contact me. I offer sessions online or via the telephone at the moment as face to face sessions are not currently possible. When working with a couple I can offer individual sessions as well as joint sessions – this will depend on your needs and preferences and can discussed before booking sessions. Support is out there so please don’t delay – book your session and start to resolve your differences today.