Has lockdown made you head to the divorce courts or brought you closer together? Recent statistics from ONS¹ show that one in four people during the pandemic want to change either their relationship, job, or home. These are all major changes, but could true happiness come from making smaller adjustments to your lifestyle?
Leading Essex-based author and psychotherapist, Mark Newey, believes lockdown has been the ‘reset button nobody dared press’! Here he explains how to build strong relationships that last the test of time and provide long-term contentment.
Can you tell your partner anything?
Do you walk down the road and look at couples in their 90s and just see they’re still in love? Do you wonder what’s their secret, how do they do that? I think the answer is simple. You just need to be able to tell your partner anything. Sounds easy enough, but you must be able to tell them anything without the fear of being judged, mocked, or making your partner angry. Think about it, a marriage or partnership should be somewhere you feel completely safe and comfortable, somewhere you can be open, be yourself and share everything as one. If that’s not the case, then you have to look at the reasons why?
To be able to achieve this relationship goal, you and your partner need to have high levels of self-esteem. Having self-esteem is simply being comfortable in your own skin, that shouldn’t be hard, but due to the pressures of modern life can be tricky. But, everyone should feel confident to be who they are with a partner, but if you can’t, then think about this issue and work on your levels of self-esteem together.
If you’re looking to repair or improve a relationship, a good starting point is to look at your personal values. These are the intangibles in life, such as love, honesty, friendship, freedom, security etc. Try sitting down and writing down your top ten values and get your partner to do the same. Once you’ve finished, score the values out of ten and see how well you’re doing. If you’re feeling unhappy or depressed your scores may be low, which means that there’s work to be done, but once you can see where the problems are, you’ll know what areas you need to be working on. Share your results with your other half and see whether you share values, look at what the similarities and differences are and consider how you can understand each other better. Always respect each other’s viewpoints, be proactive and think about how you can make a positive change: the small changes add to the biggest changes of all.
To discover more about how to look after your own mental wellbeing visit www.headucate.me. The site also offers free online advice to help people with their mental wellbeing, including a session on relationships, to sign-up, simply visit www.headucate.me/cv19-free-self-help-resources.