Search Our Blog
16 Oct 2020
Relationship: Stop a Split in its Tracks!
Recently I’ve noticed that every time I read online news, up crops another celebrity relationship break-up/divorce announcement. Sometimes it feels like no one stays together anymore!
If we are being honest, when we read some announcements, we may not be that surprised – perhaps the match seemed a little odd to begin with! But others genuinely are surprising and make us quite sad, especially when it has been a long-term union.
Kelly Clarkson (our cover star), has been married since 2013 to Brandon Blackstock and they have two children together. Complicating things further is the fact he is her career manager too…Who knows why a split like this happens, but rumours of work commitments and the recent lockdown exacerbating problems have been suggested.
Christina Ricci has filed for divorce from her husband (James Heerdegen) of seven years, citing irreconcilable differences. Dr. Dre & Nicole Young, Jaime King & Kyle Newman, Kristin Cavallari & Jay Cuttler and even Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) & Clark Gregg are joining the divorce statistics – all announced in recent months.
Sadly, married couples are not the only casualties Ryan Seacrest & Shayna Taylor on-again off-again relationship is in trouble once more and Scott Disick & Sofia Richie have split – only time will tell if its for good or not.
In the UK, Fern Britton and Phil Vickery announced that they are divorcing after they “just fell apart” following a twenty-year marriage.
So, we could all be forgiven for thinking what will become of our own relationships if with all the trappings of success celebrities can’t make their relationships work?
Well, the Covid-19 crisis has been an extraordinary set of circumstances, and as such it has brought about unique difficulties, putting many relationships under strain. But, try not to judge your relationship with the current perspective and look at how you can prevent a split before it happens…
So, if recent events have left your relationship on the brink…What can you do now?
First – Ask yourself a set of hard questions:
- At times of difficulty do you turn to your partner or someone else?
- Do you still have plenty to talk about, or is it all functional chat or worse yet – silence?
- Do you feel like you are still connecting, are you both interested and fully engaged with each other’s conversation, and hopes/dreams?
- Are you still tactile, and finding ways to communicate your feelings on a physical & emotional level?
Second – Identify the Root Cause:
This might be easier than it sounds, but getting to the root cause of frustrations is a great place to start. Are you arguing/worrying about money? Is one person taking on the bulk of child-care and housework? Or are you simply growing apart, with more friends and interests outside of the relationship than in?
Third – Take Action:
- Try to reverse any negative behaviours. For example – sulking, snapping at the smallest thing, treating your partner like one of your children etc. It won’t be easy at first, especially if you feel angry towards your other half. However, try starting with a small period of time, then build up to a day, a week and so on. It is so much easier to connect when you let go of the passive aggressive responses, and you may be surprised at how your partner then starts to respond in return.
- Alongside the above, try to let go of some of the things that you might usually pick at. This could not be loading the dishwasher how you like, not replacing the loo roll etc. Try to only express frustrations on important matters. This will allow both of you some breathing space, for more significant issues to come to the surface and not get confused with every-day grind frustrations.
- Scheduling time to talk can be helpful. At first it can feel forced, but picking a time when you are both able to relax and discuss anything that has been bothering you is better than just exploding at random times. This space, also gives you time to consider what is worth raising and what is not important after the moment has passed. Don’t be afraid to talk about the emotions driving the problem. For example, “I’m really concerned about money right now, so when you purchased all branded items at the supermarket, it made me feel even more anxious and wasteful. Maybe, we can find ways to buy some quality supermarket brands that don’t compromise on taste, but save us money each week.”
Fleshing out a response like this allows your partner to understand the problem, and why it was so emotive to you. The underlying issue was about money concerns – not about cereal brands! But in the height of an argument these messages can become confused.
Fourth – Reconnect:
When you are not so angry with each other, and day-to-day niggles have been put aside. It can be easier to reconnect with your partner.
- You cannot underestimate the power of listening. Give your other half the space they need to express themselves. Whether they are worried about their health, have work concerns etc. Listen to what they are saying, engage in the conversation and try not to be too opinionated or suggestive of what they should do. It’s just about creating a safe space, where the person wants to talk through things with you once more.
- On a physical level, try to rebuild intimacy. Holding hands, making really good eye contact, sitting together for meals or watching TV. Just being together with no agenda, will all help in the long-run.
Spending large quantities of time together, can dull the senses and send us into taking people for granted. So, really try and notice them. Complement them. Remember the things that brought you together in the first place.
Fifth – Feeling Loved:
There is no better time than now to appreciate that how each of us feel loved, is not the same for everyone. Perhaps you love a gift for no reason. Your favourite flowers being bought every once in a while. To others, there is nothing like someone who tidies the kitchen at the end of the evening, or makes a packed-lunch every day.
Discovering what makes your partner feel loved, might surprise you. Trying to please each other and talking the same ‘love language’, can be both life-enhancing and relationship building.Tweet