1. Embrace your differences. Couples can become too similar, through sharing a communal life. Try to separate slightly, develop different interests, and be prepared to disagree.
2. Forget about “winning” an argument. Having the last word is a myth. You both win when you resolve the issue as swiftly and painlessly as possible.
3. Most blazing rows occur because we make the argument emblematic of whole relationship. Keep every disagreement to a single, specific issue.
4. Never counter-argue, i.e. following up a “You’re late home” with a “Well, why would I want to rush home to an untidy house?”
5. Remember that we hear what others say through our own filter. “You left your coffee cup out” isn’t the same as, “You’re untidy”, but that’s what we can hear, and then we go on the defensive. Often our own critical voice adds extra material.
6. Put a lock on the bedroom door. Otherwise it’s impossible to relax and be sexually intimate; psychologically a lock states that this relationship is important and needs to be protected from the demands of our children.
7. When having a disagreement, do the other person the honour of imagining that what they’re saying about us or our behaviour is 100 per cent true. Because, from their point of view, it is. Until we suspend judgement, stop looking for the failings in their argument, and really listen, we can’t resolve the issue.
8. Next time you find yourself having the “same old argument”, try a technique I call the “flip-flop” – do the opposite of what you normally do. If you normally storm off, stick around for an extra five minutes. If you normally go silent, try talking. Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.
9. Have “sideways” conversations, rather than face-to-face confrontations, which can be intimidating and ultimately frustrating. For example, rather than grilling a friend about work over coffee, walk around a gallery. Doing a shared activity takes the pressure off conversation and gives you something new to talk about.
10. Set clear boundaries. If someone at work has started relying on you and “treating you like their mother/father/child,” chances are you permitted this. It’s human nature to seek out familiar roles and put other people in them. ...
Mothers who regret parenthood. I doubt you'll read a more controversial article this year. I repost it for three reasons.... when you say the unsay-able, it becomes a little less scary and finally you can do something about it. Secondly, I have provided a quote for it and finally to add something (that isn't covered in this article). Although I've never counselled a woman brave enough to say she regretted having children but I've had plenty of clients who felt their mother didn't want them. Perhaps if it was less of a taboo and it is was possible to discuss the subject - like one of the mothers and children in this article - there would be less pain (for both mothers and children) and a lot less black and white thinking. Tough I know but I doubt keeping quiet works either. We can be hurt just as much by unexpressed secrets as by the truth. ...
Inside the mind of someone who has had an affair. If you want to know from your partner 'how could you have been so stupid?' This post on my website will give you an insight...
I had an affair. An emotional one at first where I abdicated most of my responsibility and sense to my affair partner. A damaged young woman much younger than me whom I told myself I was helping.
I didn’t realise how badly she wanted it to turn into a physical affair but still contrived to put myself into every situation with her where she could turn it physical, which it then became. I don’t think she knew whether she was coming or going, I was blowing so hot and cold and she was basically begging me not to reject her any more, in the end.
I lied, all the way through. I lied to myself by telling myself nothing I was doing was wrong and I was a good person doing my best and if you’re a good person doing your best things will be fine. A small voice inside me said that an affair is a pretty poor substitute for a happy marriage and that if my marriage was unhappy I should either fix it or ended, and I pretended the voice wasn’t there.
I lief to my wife by hiding everything from her “for her own good” and told myself this would make me a better husband and fix the gaping holes in our marriage that I was too scared to address.
I lied to my affair partner because I had umpteen opportunities to tell her that my family came first and were the biggest part of my life. But I didn’t. I would spend a whole day with them and then she’d message me and ask me what I’d done that day and I’d say “Oh nothing much.” like I was a single person, and switch the focus back to her until she thought I was the most devoted person in her life.
I was so unhappy, I thought I was doing the right thing. Then what happened happened I lost my senses and pressed the nuclear destruct button in between all of us. Not by telling my wife what had happened, that would have been something constructive at least, but by leaving such obvious clues around she started to find out. The more she found out that more I lied. The more I lied the worse and more blatant it got, until she had found out everything and I was literally looking at her and crying and saying “yes but you need to understand it’s not that serious a thing so just get over it.”
Everything has come apart. My relationship with my wife, and somewhat my child, and my relationship with my AP, who was vulnerable herself and whom I willingly and cruelly threw under a bus trying to save myself.
I have next to no contact with her and the times I have seen her I have just made things worse. What was at one point a genuinely sweet and nurturing friendship is in ruins.
My wife loves me and I love her, but I honestly don’t know if either of us will be able to move beyond this.
The one and only good thing to come from this is that I had an epiphany after a year of worrying about this nightmare constantly, and realised that I wasn’t a victim of anything other than myself and my own actions. No one manipulated me, I wasn’t forced into it by circumstance. I was in the driving seat the whole way. I had just chosen to close my eyes.
Just don’t do it. Don’t. You will be found out. If you aren’t found out it will change you so much that you would have been better off being found out. ...
The midlife crisis is not just for men. As I've always said, it's an equal opportunities phenomenon - that's why i wrote my book 'It's not a midlife crisis - it's an opportunity' with both men and women in mind. So I was interested to read this article in the Guardian ...