An affair leaves a trail of pain, hurt and guilt in its wake. There’s no escaping that.
Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal. Whether you stay together or not, an affair marks an ending in the relationship. All of a sudden, the spell of the romantic phase is well and truly broken.
Betrayal threatens your emotional safety. It shakes any sense of a secure attachment. The anger and hurt emotionally split you apart.
Inevitably, things won’t be the same again. How you relate to each other, communicate, how you trust each other and how intimate you are all change.
Last time I wrote about How Playfulness Can Help Improve Your Relationship. If you missed part one of the series of click here to read that now.
Two of the main reasons why couples in long-term relationships separate are boredom and lack of intimacy. So it follows that play, enjoyment and fun are vital to keeping a sense of connection between you and your partner.
Here are 24 simple things you can do to bring back playfulness in your relationship.
We’ve just had one of the hottest summer days here in the UK since 1979. It brought back memories of childhood. The chimes of the ice cream van, Fab ice lollies, getting soaking wet in the paddling pool at the local park and eating chicken on the beach with family.
Glorious summer; it’s a time for play!
Brexit is not only shaping politics; it’s influencing romantic relationships too!
It’s a little under a year ago since that historic vote for the UK to leave the European Union. And as the negotiations get underway, it’s a time of change. We find ourselves in challenging and uncertain times.
For some, this feels liberating and exciting. At last, it’s possible to imagine the end of an unhealthy relationship and look forward to starting over.
Then again for others, nothing could further from the truth. A security blanket has been pulled from under their feet. And what was familiar for such a long time, together with their sense identity and belonging are now all at risk.
And there it is; difference.
What was the first thought you had about your partner this morning? For instance, was it
I so feel happy?
Wow, I can’t’ wait to spend the rest of the day with him?
I feel safe and secure in this relationship?
On the other hand, was it annoyance with the snoring, fed up because they haven’t brought you your morning cup of tea…again, cross about his messy pile of clothes on the floor or perhaps irritable following an argument the night before?
Have you ever found yourself in a relationship thinking that you are always cast in the role of the ‘bad one’? Or perhaps you feel that your partner doesn’t take responsibility, waits for something to happen and then complains when it does.
As I sit here trying to figure out what to say, coming to mind are the complicated feelings connected with doing something new for the first time; beginnings.
For many, it’s half way through the school summer holidays which leads me to think about the new beginnings that will follow. Children embarking into adolescence at secondary school, adolescents exploring newfound independence at university or in the workplace. And similarly, but in a different way, parents releasing their five-year-olds into the world for the first time to begin primary school.
There is excitement, anticipation, hope and pleasure. But what lies not too far away, on the opposite side of the coin is fear, anxiety, disappointment, sadness, confusion and muddle.
What did you dream about last night? Can you remember? Somehow the incredibly vivid images that we remember when we first wake seem to disappear by the time we have eaten breakfast.
Ever since I was a small child I have always been fascinated with my dreams. I can remember sharing the stories with classmates in the playground who actually weren’t that interested as they just wanted to play. And actually, like play, dreams are just another way that we engage with the imagination.
Tragically, the subject of loss has been very present in the collective consciousness this week. When we think of loss we usually do think of death and the loss of a loved one. It can have an overwhelming and painful effect on our lives. But, loss is an inevitable and recurring part of life and it happens in so many different ways. Loss is not just about death and separation.
Sometimes love is difficult to understand. You only know it when you feel it and then you recognise it. When you fall in love you feel bewitched, excited and you see the world differently, it feels full of new possibilities. When you fall out of love you feel abandoned, hurt, and miserable; your heart aches.
This is often the point when you find yourself in couples or marriage counselling.
Whether you call if The Dark Night of the Soul, The Wild Moods or The Black Dog, depression is something that casts a dark shadow over life.
A shadow that maddeningly conceals a vibrancy and aliveness that now alludes you. There’s are sense that you’re a shadow of your former self; the good times have all past, there’s nothing left for the present and you can’t envision a future.
And you’re not alone.
When I work with couples many want to know what they can do in between sessions to deepen the impact of counselling. For others, because things feel so strained, it’s difficult to even contemplate doing that. Sometimes, only the counselling room with the support of counsellor feels safe.
So, I usually see clients for 60 minutes a week; but then what?