Have Christmas and new year been a testing time for your relationship?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Stuart Watson Personal,Couples,ASD Counselling MBACP G.DipCouns.Cert.CBT
2nd January, 20140 Comments
As you may of seen in the media, this time of year is when a great deal of people separate or apply for a divorce. Often couples, having got through Christmas, are now faced with new year, a time for reflecting on both life and relationships - and sometimes this can mean deciding enough is enough, causing some couples to split-up.
Was Christmas the last straw for your relationship?
There are many expectations of the ideal Christmas and it's often portrayed as a family time when couples and children feel happy, close, loved - a time of light-heartedness and laughter. Quite often this doesn’t live up to the reality of some people's Christmas experience. The stresses of finding money for food and presents, then getting the right presents, suddenly spending a lot of time together (when perhaps you usually work) and of course coping with those well-meaning but annoying relatives. Throw into this mix all those little niggles that have happened throughout the year and Christmas and its stressors are not necessarily a recipe for happiness.
On reflection, has new year not meant a new start for your relationship?
When new year comes people often reflect on the last year and where they were a year ago; if you have been struggling for a long time then, new year can be a reminder of just how unhappy you may feel after yet another year of trying. It’s a fact that sometimes relationships get stuck and no matter what you try you can’t move forward. The new year comes round and you realise that, no matter how hard you’ve tried, thing really haven’t changed.You still have the same problems - or sometimes feel that things are actually getting worse. That’s when you need some intervention, some help and understanding from someone trained to help you make sense of your situation. It's important to understand that, just because your relationship isn’t working now, doesn’t mean it never will. One thing that is for certain, however, is that if you keep doing the same things and behaving the same way then nothing will change and you will no doubt be in the same position next year.
Relationship Counselling, Divorce or both?
By seeking help for your relationship through counselling you are giving yourselves a realistic chance. There are no guarantees and some relationships just don’t work anymore, meaning divorce will be the only way for both of you to move forward. However, by talking things through and behaving in new ways, you could repair your relationship and fall in love again. There is always hope, but it takes effort and understanding from both partners. Sometimes this could be that, through counselling you are able to leave your bitterness and anger behind and understand each other's needs but still accept that your relationship is over. If you put the work in first you can at least find mutual respect; then, you can stop the divorce becoming a long-running continuation of that dysfunctional relationship, let go and put your energy into living a new life instead.
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