‘Feeling sad’ in a relationship may verge on ‘giving up’

When we start out in a relationship, we might have lots of ideas about what it will be like and how it will make us feel.

We might imagine it will give us a sense of fulfilment and make us feel happy and safe. We might imagine it taking an important place at the centre of our life. The promise of a relationship can be a big part of what makes it such a joyful thing. (more…)

Trust: important to any relationship

Trust is an important factor in any relationship. Trust helps us to feel secure in our relationship – that, even if there are challenges further down the line, there’s still a strong foundation to fall back on.

Of course, it’s not always easy to express trust constructively. Things can get in the way – insecurities about the relationship, fears about things that might go wrong, weak points in communication – and it can be easy to fall into common ‘trust pitfalls’.

If any of the following sound familiar, it may be worth having a think about the ways in which you approach trust in your relationship. (more…)

When it feels like a one-sided relationship…

Feeling like your relationship is one-sided can be painful and upsetting. It can make you feel like a spare part in someone else’s life – as if you aren’t as important to your partner as they are to you.

There are a variety of things that can make a relationship feel as if it’s one- sided. Perhaps you find you’re always making the plans while your partner is ambivalent or apathetic. Perhaps you feel like it’s always up to you to maintain contact when you’re apart. Or perhaps it’s just a general feeling that you’re putting the relationship first in ways your partner isn’t – as if it’s one of the most important things in your life, but just ‘something’ in theirs.

What does it mean? (more…)

Loneliness: how we feel about it

Loneliness can be a frightening prospect, and one that can cause us to act in irrational ways.

Staying in an unfulfilling relationship because you’re frightened of being alone is a relatively common situation, and one that many people come to individual counselling with for help.

It can be tricky to address because the fear of loneliness may be based in deeply entrenched patterns of behaviour or issues related to self-esteem.

Why do we feel like this? (more…)

Take your time

You’ve probably read that January is notoriously the most popular month for divorce.

Tensions over the holiday period – or the final straw in a relationship breakdown that’s been coming all year – may leave us emotionally drained: we don’t want another relationship, ever.

For others, the stress of dumping someone, or being dumped, leaves us needing to fill the void, and quickly – just to prove to ourselves that, even if our ex-partner doesn’t value us any longer, others will.

We’re tempted to hook up with the first person who gives us a second glance. (more…)

Do unto others…

We wish you a happy Christmas.

The Relate Bedfordshire and Luton counselling centres are closed from close of play on December 22 till January 2 2018.

We do wish you well but know that for many people it can be a difficult time of year.

Deciding who to spend Christmas with is often a major source of tension in relationships – especially for stepfamilies or blended families where there may be competing agendas.

At Relate, we see people who feel enraged by an ex-partner having somehow “manipulated” offspring into spending the big day with them. (more…)

Do you ever feel unattractive?

Feeling you aren’t attractive enough to be with your partner can be demoralising and isolating.

It can happen for various reasons.

Your self-esteem may have taken a knock – and with it, your sense of how desirable you are. Perhaps it’s something that you’ve begun to feel after going through physical changes; after an injury, following pregnancy or during menopause. Or, perhaps it’s something you’ve felt for a long time – you may have grown up believing that you’re unattractive, or have been told this in a previous relationship.

What do we mean by ‘attractiveness’? (more…)

Christmas tensions trigger huge rise in New Year calls

We’re expecting a peak in calls in the New Year after relationship tensions come to a head over the Christmas holidays.

In January 2017, we received more than double the number of calls from local people compared with an average month – the total uplift was 108%.

That figure was four times the uplift in Relate calls nationally.

Visits to our website at www.relatebedsandluton.org are also expected to outstrip the national uplift of 47%.

“This rise in people getting in touch is a pattern we see each year,” says local Relate counsellor Diane Whitmore, “but by the time many couples get in touch, their relationship is already at crisis point. For some couples, it is already too late by then. January is also notoriously the most popular month for divorce. (more…)

Help for YOU if you’re in debt

One in seven people in debt has hidden the problem from their partner.

And, according to latest figures from the Money Advice Service, 15.8% of adults (aged 18+) in the Bedford borough area and 14% of adults in Central Bedfordshire have a debt problem – that’s 51,630 people. In Luton, 18% of adults are in serious debt, equating to 29,395 people.

Relate’s report, In too deep: an investigation into debt and relationships, sponsored by Provident Financial, reveals strong links between debt and relationship issues. (more…)