Xmas is the time of year that tests relationships more than any other, and relationship problems start to become more obvious. Without the usual routine of work to dilute and mask the cracks that have appeared, things can start to feel really strained. When you’re at the point when just the sound of them breathing is starting to irritate, it’s time to do something.
So, what can you do?
Most relationship problems can be helped with better communication. Arrange some uninterrupted time together to clear the air. Don’t be afraid to say it as it is. It’s important that you’re honest about the way you’re feeling. Remember, this could be the conversation that gets the relationship back on track, so honesty is the key.
Remind yourselves why you’re together. Go back to the beginning and talk about special times and moments that have happened. Remember what it was that you saw in each other before relationship problems became apparent. Do this separately and also share it together.
Plan to spend some time together doing something you both really enjoy. It’s often easier if you do something so the conversation flows easily. One of the hardest things is when couples try and reconnect by staring at each other across a table, trying to find conversation may make your problems seem worse.
One of the main stressors in a relationship is around boundaries. We all have limits about things we consider to be acceptable and unacceptable. Try being more explicit around where your boundary is. If your partner knows your boundary and continues to step over it, you may have a respect issue.
If things continue to be difficult, it may be worth booking in to see a professional to talk about your relationship problems. It’s always cheaper than a divorce.
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Retired ex-professional football who played for Bury, Wigan, Stoke, Preston, Norwich, Leicester and Brighton during a 14 year career. After leaving professional football, Jason battled depression and recovered with the help of therapy and family support.