Being in a relationship can be one of the most fulfilling experiences a human being can have – if it’s a healthy, balanced, and supportive relationship. However, sometimes it’s easy to forget that relationships are consistently growing and changing, as are the people in them. Each partner in the relationship brings their personalities and experiences, their feelings and thoughts, and their goals and needs and as we go through these things as individuals, they impact our relationships too.
All relationships go through cycles. Many start with the thrilling stage of discovering the other person, then the development of agreeing a commitment, and then perhaps ‘settling down’ or even building a family together. Eventually, many find that as their relationship matures some of the early enthusiasm is lost, but it is replaced with a different level of comfort and intimacy. It’s normal for relationships to change over time, just as it’s normal to experience some disagreements and difficulties in relationships too, especially when one or both members of the relationship are experiencing stress or struggles with their mental health.
There are many things that can impact on your relationship, but the physical and emotional health of both of the individuals will make a big difference. That’s why it’s important to consider how you’re both feeling personally, and how this is impacting you as a unit.
Wellbeing Matters offers 1.5 hour Relationship Support Workshops on a range of topics, including some major themes we know impact on relationships. Exploring how we relate to others can help us forge healthier relationships with everyone around us, whether at home or professionally.
Whether you’re considering your romantic partner, or your relationships with your colleagues in the office, the themes that impact our relationships with those around us are often similar.
Conflict, arguments and differences of opinion are a natural and unavoidable part of life. Conflict can help us to grow and help us to understand, clarify and explore different challenging situations in our relationships. While the outcome of conflict can be a deeper understanding and strengthened relationship, it can also lead to difficulties in the relationship.
When you’re in conflict with someone, it is most often based on different perceptions of the facts or situation when the people involved are feeling emotionally heightened. Learning to deal with conflict in a calm way, whether personally or professionally, requires listening, acknowledging, accepting, and communicating assertively and with compassion.
Here are some resources about conflict resolution you may find helpful.
Boundaries are limits we set for ourselves and other people, that decide how we’re willing to be treated in relationships and how we’re comfortable treating others. Boundaries can be physical, like how or when we want to be touched. Or emotional, like how emotionally intimate we’re willing to be with someone.
Boundaries dictate how much we’re willing to give and take, of ourselves physically and emotionally, or of our financial or physical resources. We use boundaries in relationships all the time, for example, whether your relationship is monogamous. Consider how much you give and take in relationships. Is what you give reasonably balanced with what you get back? If not, it may be time to explore your boundaries.
Here are some videos looking at boundaries.
Tea and Consent - YouTube (2:49)
Trying to find a work-life balance is a common struggle. After living through years of a global pandemic, the restrictions around this, constant distressing news stories and the cost of living crisis, stress for many of us is at an all time high. Working in the health and social care system and the innate pressures of this sector mean that many staff are finding themselves tired and stressed.
Working in a challenging environment can reduce your ability to manage stress and to cope with the demands of your work as you normally would. This can be on a spectrum of severity, ranging from difficulty motivating yourself, to more serious burn out or compassion fatigue. Work related stress doesn’t stay at work. It follows us home and impacts our mood and relationships there, too.
Feeling lonely isn’t always about feeling alone. Most often, it’s about feeling misunderstood, unheard, unimportant, or abandoned. Loneliness is often accompanied by periods of low mood and anxiety too, and it can feel especially difficult to experience loneliness while in a relationship with someone. This can also be difficult for partners to hear or understand.
Often when we’re feeling lonely, what we’re really recognising is that one of our emotional needs isn’t being met. Is there something you need to talk about, something you’re worried about, or someone in particular you’re thinking of that’s bringing up that feeling? Consider which need you may actually want to be soothed by someone else.
Here are some resources about loneliness.
Compassion in relationships
From a psychological point of view, compassion is the process of feeling or showing sympathy and concern for others. It involves understanding the suffering of another and wanting to make it better, something which requires emotional intimacy.
While many of us are able to feel compassion for those we love, it can be much harder to find compassion for ourselves and our own experiences. However, this can be an important part of the path towards building strong and authentic relationships with ourselves and those around us.
Watch these clips to get a new way of looking at why compassion matters.
If you want to find out more, book a place on our online relationship support workshop. Latest course dates are shown in the booking form.
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