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Health and relationships
The quality of your relationship with your partner (and with friends, colleagues and family members) affects both your mental and physical wellbeing. Similarly, how good you feel emotionally and physically can affect how you get on with your partner - perhaps even more than you realise. |[profileDataBundle id=1]| Improving your relationship quality can have a positive effect on your health, affecting related behaviours like exercising and drinking that can, in turn, affect how you get on. Of course, relationships go through ups and downs. But when we are unhappy or frustrated it’s easy to ignore what we know is good for us. Risky behaviours can provide an escape but sometimes we can fall into habits that are bad for both our health and our relationship. The good news is that, by taking stock and taking a good look at our patterns of behaviour, we can start making a few changes and things can start feeling very different. Have a look at the following questions and then share your answers with your partner. This can help you to assess the bigger picture and start changing some of the behaviours that could be affecting your relationship. Overall, how well do you feel on a day-to-day basis? Where would you score your physical health on a scale of one to 10, with ten being best it can be? Do you smoke? If so, how much, and at what times of day? What are your triggers for smoking? How often do you drink? Do you drink to unwind, to be social, or to shut things out? How well do you eat? Do you and your partner eat together – are cooking and eating well important parts of your relationship? Are you over or underweight? How do you feel about your body? How well do you sleep? –What, if anything keeps you awake? Can you see any patterns? Do you exercise regularly? How do you feel after exercising? How often do you have sex? Do you enjoy sex with your partner? Are you currently working? How does your work affect how you feel? If you have a bad day at work, what impact does it have on your home life? How do you know you are overstressed? What are the signs? What makes you feel good physically? What makes you feel good emotionally?   What next? Have a look at your answers. How does the overall picture look? Does it look good or feel a bit overwhelming? Are there any patterns you’d like to change? If you have any habits or recurring behaviours that aren’t serving you, look at the underlying reasons. Take it slowly – recognising the need for change is a crucial first step. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you are a smoker, that’s a good place to start. Consider cutting down, or just keeping a log of when you smoke and how you feel before and after. Start to notice what need you are trying to fulfil by smoking, and whether it’s working for you. If you want to eat better, start by introducing some small changes to your diet. Get a new cookbook or look up some recipes online. Experimenting with new dishes can be fun. Set aside some time to plan and cook a healthy meal with your partner – this one positive shared experience could be the first step towards getting out of a mealtime rut. Poor sleep, drinking too much and work stress are all issues that can contribute to how you get on with your partner, often leading to arguments. It can feel overwhelming to address these issues at once – a good place to start might be taking some regular exercise. It doesn’t matter what, so long as it is something you can enjoy that fits in with your work and family demands. Exercise can also have a positive impact on other areas of your life, releasing natural chemicals that improve your mood and make you feel happier. Adopting a more active lifestyle can improve your mental health, giving you a positive reminder you that the choices you make affect how you feel. Leading a more active life can give you a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and help you sleep better. It can improve your self-esteem and confidence, helping you feel more valued, and more attractive. Exercise and physical activity can give you something positive to strive for and commit to. It can help you to stop dwelling on problems and, in time, you may even start to enjoy it!   A word of warning! If this exercise has brought up any issues you find difficult to talk about, you may find it helpful to use some of the communication exercises and articles elsewhere on the site. If you have identified that you or your partner are drinking too much, you may need to seek professional help – looking at the articles on addiction on the site can be a positive first step.
Article | Health
5 min read
“Breaking up will break him”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   I have been with my boyfriend for almost 4 years, when we met we weren’t in great places. And since then things have gotten better for both of us, but my boyfriend still struggles with a lot of things like alcoholism and is continually having lapses and promising not to do it again. Where we were living we both had jobs but they were 'nowhere' jobs. And we lived with his mum, struggling week to week. I reached the stage where I was ready for more, I didn’t want to keep living like that. So I found a a good government job in the capital, one that sets you up for life. I talked it over with my boyfriend he wasn’t keen at first, but agreed that it was a good idea and that I should go and he would follow in a few months. It’s been a few months and after a huge argument over the phone it’s come out that he wants to be with me but doesn’t want to move using the excuse there is no work there for him. He then confessed that he doesn’t actually want to stop drinking and wants to stay home and live with his mum. We love each other but I have realised that we want different lives, I know the right thing would be to break up but I love him so much and I don’t want to see him waste his life which I know he will if he stays there. And I am scared if I do break up with him, he will really go off the rails.
Ask the community | decline
“Devastated and feeling lost”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hey All, I'm new on here. Feeling pretty low at the moment. My husband and I have been together for 23 yrs, married for 13 years this yr. In November 2016 (yes 14 months ago!!) he started talking to me differently, really short, came across as quite rude actually - treated me like I was a piece crap on the bottom of his shoe. At first I let it go. I thought maybe he was having a bad week in work. Then I noticed things getting worse, I'd walk into a room, he'd walk out. He'd slope of to bed without telling me he was going to bed, he started sleeping in the spare room. Then we had to spend the weekend with friends we hadn't seen in a year. This I thought was going to be very bloody painful - pretending that we're all good and everything was fine. We got away with the whole weekend, our friends didn't suspect a thing (sadly). I was dying to talk to my friend, but at the same time didn't want to spoil her weekend. When we went home, he was a little more civil to me, at least he would stay in the room when I walked in, and I noticed his tone of voice was a little nicer than the short horrible tone he'd be using before the weekend away. He spent pretty much the whole weekend on the sofa with my friends hubby - this was very normal for them two though... have too many beers and they pass out! I had to now get through Christmas and New Year for the sake of our children. In fact, the 'events' just didn't stop there. We had a family wedding to go to in the Jan and several 'big' birthday's to get through - all close family. So we got pretty good at faking it. No-one ever suspected there was anything wrong. Hubby's mother hadn't been well - she got pretty bad in the new year actually around the time of the wedding - and this is another reason why we continued to fake it. I say "we continued.." as usual this was an unspoken thing. In fact - it had been 3 months and I hadn't said a single word to him about what was happening to us or asked him why. I just couldn't bring myself to ask him, because it would then be an airborne thing... and I genuinely convinced myself... today might be the day that I get my old hubby back and this nightmare will be over. I told myself this everyday for 6 months. I couldn't take anymore. I looked stressed and had broken down in tears to two close friends. I hadn't told anyone anything about our relationship. Just kept it to myself until one day I turned up for my nail appt and my beautician asked me what was wrong. "You've got to talk to him to find out what's wrong" she told me. I knew this, I knew I had to do this but just could never bring myself to ask him. He no-longer wanted to 'go-out' with me, so date night had long gone, he was letting the kids stay up past 10pm on weekends just so that we wouldn't have 'that' conversation. It got to May 2017 before I finally plucked up the courage to ask him, what was wrong. He claimed a few tangible things... kids have got too many toys/there's too many clothes in this house/why is the cupboard in the kitchen a mess and he felt that he never saw any of his money and was upset some months we went over drawn by around £200-£300. This was it!!!! The next day I started a clothes amnesty in the house - 5 bags went! I sorted the kids toys - even did an early morning car boot sale to sell them. I sorted out the kitchen cupboard, sorted the finances so we didn't go overdrawn anymore... and then I realised... why hadn't he addressed any of these issues? Why did it have to be me that did the clothes/toy amnesty/sort the kitchen cupboard? By Christmas 2017 (13 months now passed) I realised it was never about those things, he clearly doesn't love me anymore and hasn't got the balls to tell me. So, we're now 15 months into this "co-existing" relationship. Its made me ill, I've been off work all this week with what I first thought was flu, but I feel physically drained, and I've been sleeping for approx 3 hrs in the day and getting a full night. This situation is now making me ill - perhaps stressed induced, or depression is seeping in. I'm not sure. I've not spoken to him about the situation since last May! I know I need to raise it again, but why is it always me. I've read blogs where wives have been devastated their husbands have told them 'I don't love you anymore" but you know what... at least you know where you stand. We're sleeping in separate beds still... "because I'm ill and he doesn't want to catch it!" I'm sure several of you have thought he must have a little thing on the side - trust me, my husband does not have a single minute spare... every minute every day is taken up with work or kids. He goes to the gym couple of times a week but I'm pretty sure theres nothing there. He goes there when his class is about to start and come straight home. It's not in his nature to cheat. He hates cheaters. I've never cheated on his either. I'm lost. I feel empty. I don't know what to do, I don't want to break up the family, but likewise, how can you love someone that does this to you FOR 15 MONTHS with no real explanation! I don't want to cause his mother any undue stress that would make her illness worsen, but I can't continue living like this. Any helps/ideas/tips would be greatly appreciated. As a final thing to note, we never argue, we both hate confrontation. He was my first proper boyfriend - so I've never split up from anyone!
User article | drifting apart, decline
If your relationship isn't working, but can't end it
Despite our best efforts, we sometimes find ourselves in relationships that aren’t working. We’ve made compromises, tried new things, and even changed other areas of our lives to accommodate the relationship, but it still doesn’t seem to fix things. When you absolutely know that a relationship isn’t working, it might seem like the obvious solution is to end things and move on. However, if the idea of not being in a relationship feels scarier than being in a bad relationship, you may find yourself clinging onto something that isn’t good for you. Committing to a relationship is a big decision, and one that has to be made several times over the course of the relationship. As things progress, you reassess – if it’s still making you happy, you carry on; if it’s not, you make adjustments, or you end the relationship. Making a commitment involves a range of factors. As well as thinking about how good the relationship is, you also have to consider the rest of your life. Think about your opportunities and your obligations, such as whether you are planning to move away or if you have work or study commitments that require a lot of your time. Consider also how well supported you feel in the relationship, and how much support you have available to offer in return [1]. Remaining in a relationship isn’t always the right decision. The quality of your relationship affects every other area of your life so, while a good relationship is almost always worth fighting for, a relationship that hurts you could be doing more damage than you’re aware of. Many people remain in unsatisfying relationships because of a fear of being alone. This is known as attachment anxiety [2]. For someone with attachment anxiety, the need to have a partner can feel more important than the quality of the relationship itself. There’s a sense of security, often misplaced, that comes from simply being in a relationship, even if that relationship causes you more pain than it’s worth [1]. People with attachment anxiety are more likely to settle for an unhappy relationship. If you’re afraid of being alone, you’re more likely to ignore the more negative aspects of a relationship and put your energy into something that’s not working [2]. This might seem like optimism but it could leave you stuck in an unhealthy situation for longer than necessary. One sign that you might have attachment anxiety is if you tend to make more of the relationship status than the relationship quality [2]. Think about the early stages of relationships you’ve been in. After a few dates, do you find yourself anxious to start using words like ‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’? This phase can be exciting but when the labels start to outweigh the quality, it might be a clue that being in a relationship at all is more important to you than being in a good relationship. If you’ve found yourself in a relationship that you’re no longer enjoying, take a look at the other aspects of your life and see how things are going [1]. Are you doing well with your work or study? Are you seeing your friends and family as often as you’d like to? Are you keeping up with your hobbies and whatever else is important to you? A fulfilling relationship should enhance the other areas of your life, not replace them. There are always compromises to be made, but if you know that your relationship is getting in the way of other important areas of your life, and you’ve done everything you can to try and make it work, you might want to give some serious thought as to why it’s important for you to stay in it. If it’s just because you’re afraid of being alone, it could be time to take the plunge back into single life and reconnect with yourself before you look for something new.   References [1] Joel, S., MacDonald, G., & Shimotomai, A. (2011). Conflicting Pressures on Romantic Relationship Commitment for Anxiously Attached Individuals. (Report). Journal of Personality, 79(1), 51-74. [2] Spielmann, S., MacDonald, G., Maxwell, J., Joel, S., Peragine, D., Muise, A., . . . King, Laura. (2013). Settling for Less Out of Fear of Being Single. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 105(6), 1049-1073.
Article | drifting apart, decline
3 min read
“Girlfriend gave oral sex to her colleague”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Hi everyone, This is my first time posting a question. I have been going out with my girlfriend for just under 6 years now and we have had a very stable relationship minus a few rough patches due to stress from everyday lives such as work and money. Over the last year or so we haven't really been spending that much time in the bedroom, sometimes this was due to me being preoccupied and other times her. We decided on having certain intimate nights at weekends and one in the middle of the week which I thought had brought us back to our once comfortable sexual lives. The last 2 months I've been changing jobs and have been extremely stressed after work and sometimes spent the majority of weekends applying for different roles and spending a lot of time on the phone, this is where I think the problems may have started to begin. Due to me being very busy my partner had decided to work some overtime too for extra money and to give me more time to myself (or so she had said) this was usually 1-2 nights mon-friday anywhere from 2-3 hours per evening. To cut a long story short she recently left her skype open on my laptop and she had been talking to a good girlfriend of her's about us and how she wasn't happy and how she'd been going to a colleagues place for an hour or two after work and had really gotten to like him and had developed sexual feelings for him.. without going into the details of the full conversation she had been visiting him at least once a week at his flat and performing oral sex on him after watching a movie or after he cooked her dinner. Part of the conversation was how she didn't want to pursue relations with him but really enjoyed his company and pleasing him in such a way for cooking her dinner and keeping her company and how it made her feel really good pleasuring such a nice guy and how it made her feel very powerful and attractive. Her friend was actually very shocked and didn't really condone it but the part that really hurt was that I know she was coming home to me after seeing him and I feel very betrayed knowing I've been kissing her and such without knowing. Needless to say we've now broken up and she seems truly sorry and is even willing to leave the job she works at in order to distance herself from him but I am truly lost as to what to do. Any advice would be great! Thanks
Ask the community | sex, cheating
“How do I forgive my girlfriend for cheating?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Me and my girlfriend have been together for 10 years, living together for almost 4 years now. I am 32 she is 29. I have recently found out (from her friend) that she has cheated on me with an older man who lives down the street. They had sex in his van, a friends car and our bed, of all places (while I was in work). I dont know what to do. She has apologised etc and said it was a mistake and it went too far, she said she enjoyed the attention but not really the sex. This guy is pretty ugly etc I dont understand. I had my suspicions as I found a pack of condoms in her bag, one missing but she lied saying they were her friends, since realised they were hers and one was used with him. I am devastated as I thought we were happy, she lied to my face when I accused her with no evidence, it wasn't until i told her someone had told me about the affair that she admitted it. She has told me it finished after the last time and there has been no contact and deleted his number. We are still together trying to rebuild our relationship. We have decided to move but will take well over a year to sell our house etc. I see this other guy almost on a daily basis, he has no idea that I know about their affair, i see his van and knowing they had sex in it is a constant reminder, I struggle to sleep in our bed knowing she has been with him in there. I really dont know what to do, I have so many questions. Should I ask all these questions, even ones relating to the sex they had, or should i try to forgive her etc. It is so difficult with all these constant reminders and the fact I know the other guy. We have so much history together and this is the only time any of us have cheated but how can I deal with the lies she told me and the constant reminders of him living down the street while we still live in this house? Thanks
Ask the community | sex, cheating
“Having an affair but can't leave marriage”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ I really need someone to put my life back on track, to turn me back into the mother and wife I once was... a year ago, all that matters to me was my family whom I took pride in and would do a lot for them without expecting anything in return. After all, love is unconditional and as a mother, its my job to love, care and protect them. I didn't even ask a lot from my husband nor did he expect a lot from me. We were just in a good marriage, hardly any arguments between us and we took pride in our parenting and are proud of our beautiful, bright children. It all started when a single dad at school confessed to me that he finds me attractive and admitted fancying me for a while. It all came as a big surprise to me as I do not expect a mum like me to still have "admirers". Although I turned him down but since then my confidence grew and I started enjoying the fact that I can still attract male attention. Six months ago, I met William. I was very much attracted to him, physically and sexually. We started off texting back and forth, first with light and gentle flirting. We met up for a few drinks now and again and have a good time laughing and flirting. Then it soon developed into a bit more and more and then more. I am not one into casual flings or reckless, irresponsible behaviour but then suddenly before I realise, I found myself having an affair with William. A proper full blown affair. By the time I asked myself "what have I done?", it was too late. I have already slept with him. I know it was all principally and morally wrong. I know I have done something very bad and my husband would not forgive me if he knows what had happened. I asked myself what do I want from this relationship with William? Is it just purely for sex? Physically, we both look good together and we are both in lust with each other although William said its not just about that. He said he cares about me and wanted to see me every weekend. He kept telling me he misses me whenever he is not with me and he would send me daily texts messages which were all very sweet to read. I thought I was falling for William because I can't get him out of my mind and I really love being with him. I am so attracted to him that no one else can catch my attention because my heart and mind is just set on him alone. The problem is I can't seem to leave my marriage because I don't want to break my family apart and let my kids and husband down. What I have is beautiful and to destroy it could be the biggest mistake and regret in my life. Yet I can't stop contact with William no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up going back to him again and again. It is like an addiction. Maybe I am in love with him but I am just in self denial. Although William has told me he loves me but he doesnt convince me enough that our relationship has a future. Although I can see myself (on my own) with him but I can't see my children in the picture. William is a single guy, still living a bachelor life and there is no way he would swap his convertible two seater sports car into a family car. Everything in his life is that of a bachelor; even his bachelor pad is so unchild-friendly and immaculate that I can't even imagine my kids sitting on his leather creamy sofa. I can't even see him swapping his bachelor pad to a family home. All signs are telling me is I am a "current" girl he is currently seeing until he finds himself a single girl he is willing to settle down with. I have somehow raised that issue in a joking way with him and of course he denied it. I didn't press him more because I don't want to spoil the fun between us. Also I felt I have no right to press him for commitment when I myself am still married. He did say to me before that I should make my mind up on what I want in life or with my relationship and he is jealous to imagine sharing me. There is no sharing. I have become even more emotionally and physically detached from my husband. Thinking back over the years, we have grown apart emotionally and intimately. There is hardly any connection between us and I am no longer attracted to my husband in a sexual way. No matter how I want to try with him again but I just couldn't find myself interested in the whole idea. I think its because I am so distracted having William around. Sooner or later this is going to come out and my husband will find out what I have been doing. I really have to decide what I want in life but at the moment its nearly like saying wanting to have the cake and eat it. In my dream, if I can, I would just walk away from my marriage and start a new life with William but I cant leave my children behind and it pains me to imagine letting my husband down because it would be a blow to him. It would kill him if I leave. Also, is William the kind of guy who is worth sacrifising for? That question has been hanging on my head. If I leave my marriage for a guy who is worth every tear and pain and manage to have a good relationship and lead a happier life with.... that would be beautiful but William might not be worth the sacrifices. Should I confront William and ask him to be honest with me on what he wants? He got to give me some kind of commitment. Part of me thinks if he can't commit on a long term thing with me and include my kids in, then he is a waste of time and effort. He is just not worth it. But to raise all these with him mean potentially I am at risk of losing the fun I can have with him. And if he said yes he is ready to commit, do I really have the heart and courage to leave my marriage and tear all their world apart? Please please please have anyone been through similar experience or can someone wake me up?
Ask the community | sex, cheating, marriage
“I have a boyfriend but can't stop thinking about someone else”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________  Hi there. I have been with my boyfriend on and off for almost 6 years. He is my first love and I care greatly for him. The problem is someone I've known for many years also, we have always had a spark between us and i cant help but think about him. I feel I am currently unhappy in my relationship, I'm not sure if we really have any future and as much i love the guy I'm beginning to wonder if it may be best to go our separate ways. The more unhappy i have become in my relationship the more me and this other guy have been talking. We talk online and text each other most days and i have heard through friends that he likes me and i think i like him too. The trouble is i don't know if i really should end things with my boyfriend, 6 years is a lot to give up on and i don't want to just assume something would happen with this other guy. But am i really staying with my partner for the right reasons? If i were to end things what would be the best way? And what do i do about this other guy? Please help any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm so sick of thinking about this.
Ask the community | someone else, compatibility
“Can this relationship be saved?”
This post was published by a Click user. Please feel free to respond in the comments below. We sometimes edit posts to ensure Click is a safe, respectful place to share stories and questions. _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Perhaps you've always thought it would be simple. Your partner has destroyed your trust and you should walk away. However, when faced with the cold hard reality – rather than what you might have imagined doing – it all seems more complicated. There's the children to consider, your already-stretched finances and, deep down, you still love your partner… but staying hurts so much. Alternatively, it's not one thing but years of disappointment and trying to make your relationship work on your own that has worn you down. You thought that you'd 'just know' when enough was enough but it's not that simple. Although you don't really want to leave, you're frightened of wasting even more time and emotional energy on a relationship that could be going nowhere. So how do you cut through the confusion and make a decision one way or the other? In my twenty-five years as a marital therapist, I find people get stuck in the ’should I stay or should I go?’ trap because they are looking at their relationship like a judge: guilty or not guilty. However, it is better to be like a doctor: how healthy is this relationship and can it still be saved? So how do you make a full diagnosis? Look at the following five questions: 1. Are you concentrating on what your partner has done rather than why? When a relationship is in crisis, it's easy to catalogue your partner's bad behaviour or many faults. However, it is much harder to stop and ask why he or she has done something. If you do, it's easy to come up with one damming reason: ‘he doesn't love me anymore’, or ‘she wants to hurt me’. But look at your own motivations for something. There are nearly always a multitude of interlocking reasons for doing anything – some positive, some defensive, and some angry. However, while we're prepared to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt – that basically we're good people doing good things - we can view our partner in very black or white terms. Could he or she be frightened (and like a cornered animal lashing out)? Could he or she be desperately unhappy (and doing things, however stupid, to feel better even though they make matters worse)? If the answer is yes – then there's still hope for your relationship. If when you look at why rather than what, the answer is your partner is a serial perpetrator of domestic violence, you should most probably leave.   2. Why do your arguments just go around in circles? Most relationships fail not because couples are wrong for each other but because they don't know how to argue properly. Fortunately, good communication skills can be learned. Start by solving small niggles – like how your partner loads the dishwasher – as solving them will give you confidence to tackle bigger ones. Stay with one topic at a time and resist the temptation to throw in, for example, ‘leaving dirty clothes on the floor’ and ‘dirty cups on the coffee table’. It will help if you deal with problems as they occur rather than allowing them to build up and letting everything come out as an angry torrent. Alternatively, the problem might be that you're convinced you're right and your partner is wrong. No wonder neither of you will back down! Instead, imagine –even for a second – that there are lots of ways of doing something, and discuss the alternatives.   3. Have you really tried everything? It might seem you've explored all the possibilities but most people have simply used the same failed strategy over and over again - just bigger and bigger. For example, shouting louder or sulking for longer. Sometimes, they throw in another strategy – ignoring the problem (hoping it will go away) or persuading themselves it doesn't matter (and becoming resentful). These might work in the short term but cause despair and relationship break-down. Instead try the flop flip technique. Take the 'flop' behaviour and 'flip' it over – i.e.: do the opposite. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you try. Anything is better than the same old rut and getting the same old response. 4. Are you confusing thoughts with feelings? Feelings are emotions like happy, sad, angry, frustrated and numb. They are often located somewhere in our body - like fear in the pit of our stomach. While thoughts are opinions, beliefs or expectations and are located in our heads. Feelings are often telling us something and should be listen to, whereas thoughts can be based on incomplete evidence or poor logic and should be challenged (rather than accepted as the gospel truth). Most importantly, feelings burn themselves out. It is impossible to be angry forever. Even in the worst times, another feeling will come along (if only for a few minutes). For example, we can still laugh in the middle of infidelity. However, thoughts can last to our dying day. For example: ‘He should have told me he was unhappy rather than seeking comfort from another woman’. Unfortunately, many people confuse their thoughts and feelings by putting ‘I feel’ before a statement. For example: ‘I feel you're in the wrong’. Not only does this increase the stakes but makes you feel even more stuck.   5. Do you have enough love to give without getting anything back – at least in the short-term? If you have children and they're arguing, you don't go into all the rights or wrongs but ask one of them to the ‘big one’ and make the first move towards reconciliation. In effect, this fifth question is the key one. If you still love your partner enough to be the ‘big one’, then your marriage can most probably be saved. If all you can think is ‘after what he's done’ or ‘what she's said’, then either it's too soon after a nasty discovery (and you're still in shock) or your marriage is truly over. However, I'd like to think that just the fact that you've searched for and found this article means that you do want to change your relationship and that means there's still hope.
User article | saving it, trust
6 min read
When relationships end (and what to do next)
After a breakup, it’s normal to experience a range of emotions as you come to terms with the fact you’re no longer a couple. There’s no right or wrong way to feel and feelings can fluctuate constantly. On any given day, you might feel sad, angry, exhausted, frustrated, anxious, or even relieved. When a relationship ends, many people experience a sense of loss and disappointment. It can be difficult to let go of the hopes and dreams you had for your relationship and look towards a new and uncertain future. Even if you were the one who ended the relationship, or you know it was unhealthy, the fear of the unknown can be harder to bear than the unhappiness you felt in the relationship. You might start to wonder if you have made the right decision. Both of you will miss things about each other, even when there’s a new partner involved. You may remember things you loved about your ex only when the relationship is over. No matter how happy your new partner makes you, it’s OK to miss some aspects of your previous relationship. But, while the leaver and the left may share a sense of loss, these feelings are likely to be more intense if you didn’t choose to end the relationship. You may feel out of control and, in the immediate aftermath,  it’s hard to minimise this feeling. Your routine has been disrupted and your life has changed. Psychologist and psychotherapist Dr Janet Reibstein explains: You haven’t planned for things so the chaos will be that much greater, the grief will be that much greater, and you’ll be going at a different pace.However, it’s often the emotional, rather than the practical, loss that feels most painful. Dr Reibstein recommends allowing yourself time to grieve your loss.It’s fair to say that, normally, as with a death, people go through the mourning process or readjustment and come out of it alive, and sometimes better off. Tips for dealing with a breakup: Take time out to grieve Recognise the intense and conflicting emotions you’re feeling and accept that you won’t be at your best for a while. It’s OK to give yourself a break. Remember that grief lessens with time It might seem easier said than done, but try to remind yourself that things will get easier after a while. Don’t go through it alone Isolating yourself can make the grief harder to cope with. Call on your support networks to help you get through this difficult time. If you don’t feel you can share your feelings with family or friends, head over to our listening room and speak to one of our Click Listeners.  Remind yourself of the future It may be hard to let go of the hopes and dreams you held for your past relationship, but it’s important to remember you have a new future to embark on. In time, you will have new hopes and dreams to replace the old ones. Find new interests Try to see the breakup as an opportunity for new beginnings. Take up a hobby that attracts like-minded people; get into sport and revamp your image; or use dating or social networking sites to make new friends – these things can help improve your confidence, take your mind off the breakup, and encourage you to have fun again.
Article | breakups
3 min read

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