A holiday this summer seemed the kind of luxury that was out of reach for many but to be able to take a break from the normal routine and mix things up a bit can be hugely beneficial.

If life is feeling mundane, any perceived loss of freedom can add extra pressure to relationships and people may look to distractions in the form of excessive alcohol use, gambling, porn addiction and over eating which are all common coping mechanisms for feelings of unhappiness.

Achieving ‘down time’ at home is not always easy and if there is seemingly nothing to look forward to feelings of boredom, loss of excitement, loss of motivation and zest for life can dominate.

There is no doubt that the Covid 19 pandemic has created a move towards life online but a less ‘connected’ life. Others lives can appear easier, more interesting and more exciting when processed through a filter. This is of no help at all if we are feeling unsatisfied with our own life.

So it can be of no surprise that there has been a rise in relationship breakdown. Unfortunately our throwaway society feeds us messages that tell us we ‘should’ be happy, we deserve to have what other people have and that happiness can be achieved externally. Often the grass appears greener and it’s easier to point the finger of blame at the people in our lives. It takes self-awareness to look inside at our own negative feelings, take responsibility for them and explore ways to change them.

To truly connect with others takes an investment of energy, time and patience. We need to be present. Relationships require us to commit to considering the needs of others, not to the detriment of our own needs, but as a priority. Giving your time to listen and understand someone’s perspective is a valuable thing and this is the kind of work that is rewarding, feels positive and fosters a feeling of connectedness and strength within a relationship. Disagreements and constructive arguments can all be beneficial if greater understanding is gleaned afterwards.

It’s always good to talk things through. Even when it’s tempting to clam up, sulk or brush things under the carpet. Couples counselling can help provide the safe environment to work through difficult to talk about issues.

A relationship requires maintenance much like a car needs servicing and counselling provides couples with the space to air any unspoken feelings. It keeps the relationship on track and ensures both partners needs are openly communicated, considered and empathised with. Giving adequate time to the functionality of a relationship and nurturing love is critical if a relationship is to survive long term. It’s also a very proactive step in committing to the happy continuation of a couple’s lives together.

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