Relationships at Christmas
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Lorraine Balfe MA MBACP (Accred.) UKRCP Reg.Ind. Counsellor/Psychotherapist
11th December, 20150 Comments
Christmas can be a stressful time for relationships. There is often the pressure to spend time with relatives that you find challenging, couples are together longer than usual if on holiday, children's demands, dependent relatives and everyone's expectations of what they would like it to be like.
There are crowds at the shops and traffic jams. Then you have to remember everything and everyone, work demands and home demands... Phew!
Relationships can feel strained and if there are already ongoing issues, either known or unknown, the relationship may have extra pressure from the stressful changes.
Many relationship problems stem from a need that isn't being met on a regular enough basis. There is valuable information to be found in the book, 'The 5 Love Languages' by Gary Chapman. He describes our individual needs and wants as five love languages we need to communicate to our partner. We each put them in different orders of importance and in a relationship; we need our partner to understand what is really important to us and vice versa. These include physical touch, acts of service, and words of affirmation, gifts and quality time. If any of these is missing for a length of time, a need appears unmet and we can become dissatisfied. Communication and self-awareness of one's own needs is key in a relationship.
If you are finding it tough this festive season, or feel you would benefit from some support and advice, relationship counselling can be useful. Counselling can act as a way forward, helping to identify the couple's languages and explore how the relationship has been damaged. The counsellor will aim to find a way to get the relationship working successfully again or to help the couple that cannot do so, to face the breakup.
About the author
Lorraine Balfe has a Masters Degree in Counselling and works in private practice in central Stockport.
I have worked in primary care, hospitals, youth agency, colleges and private practice for over 15 years.
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