Welcome to the first post of my new series on couples and relationships.
I have at least 4 months of topics so far, and I’m sure it will extend further, so look out for weekly posts every Monday at 12pm.
Do let me know if there’s anything in particular you are curious about or want to work on in your relationship.
If you feel you want to discuss this in a session, feel free to book by emailing me or contacting me via this blog’s contact form.
I believe this series will help both couples looking for support with their relationships, but also individuals looking for ideas to improve their relationships.
I say this because I’ve seen both couples and individuals in therapy, and the materials and information I use for couples also applies for individuals that come to therapy for reasons that are sometimes related to relationship issues in one way or another.
Humans are relational beings after all, and at one point or another we will encounter issues in our romantic relationships, as well as in our friendships and family relationships.
Although this blog series will focus on romantic relationships, some of the things I talk about here will also apply to friendships and other relationships you might be struggling with or curious about improving.
For support with your other relationships (non-romantic ones) do have a look at my new book, where I give you tips and advice on how to improve your life and relationships by following 20 self-care habits, with an underlying theme of setting clear and healthy boundaries and learning to meet your own needs. Of course, there’s more to it than that, so pick up the book and find out how your life and relationships can improve!
Now, back to the series at hand…
I have many reasons for wanting to write this blog series.
I like to write about things I’m familiar with and speak from personal or professional experience.
Raising awareness and encouraging reflection and thinking about your romantic relationship in a way that will make it more fulfilling and happier is one main reason for writing about this now.
Having said that, this blog should not be a substitute for couples’ therapy.
It is a conversation starter, a way of starting the journey of finding new ways of improving – or in some cases rescuing – your relationship, and all of the things I will talk about are topics I work on in therapy with my clients.
In my practice, I’ve seen how, after one or two sessions (it varies, it might take more!), the awareness of what each individual does in the relationship is raised and this alone brings effective and amazing change to the relationship.
Sometimes, I will ask a question that will trigger a whole lot of memories or issues.
Although it might feel awful to be opening these issues up, it’s important to look at them for long enough to get an understanding of what’s going on for the couple – and each member of the couple – in order to provide solutions, plans to move forward rather than stay stuck in fight mode.
Talking about the same thing in the same way is not going to provide a different solution. Arguing in sessions is not something I encourage. A glimpse is enough to know how to help the couple move forward.
It‘s important to raise awareness of communication “glitches” and room for improvement through practising new ways of communicating about the same things.
Understanding each other is a major learning item in couples’ therapies, in my opinion.
This understanding might have dwindled or faded away through each argument, which has brought the couple to this point in their lives.
Learning how to communicate and clarify these misunderstandings is important to regain the feeling of love, compassion, wanting to talk and spend time with your partner.
Sometimes there needs to be someone else in the room with the couple, to break the cycle they’ve got themselves into. A therapist might be key in this regard.
As you can see, there’s going to be a thread to these posts and it is all about clear communication and becoming aware of your own and your partner’s ways of communicating, understanding and possibly also their expectations of the relationship.
Once these are clear – or clearer – the relationship can move forward. An in fact with every step the couple takes towards improving their communication with each other, and their understanding of each other, there will be changes and improvements in their everyday lives.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this first post in the Relationship Success series.
I welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions.
In the next blog post I’ll talk a bit more about communication, as well as a couple of other pillars that are important in a relationship – compromise, acceptance and taking responsibility.