How to build a close & lasting relationship

How to build a close & lasting relationship

Some years ago, a couple I was friendly with, split up in acrimonious circumstances. They both came to me separately & each told me their side of the story. To my surprise, as I listened to the second account, I slowly realised that their complaints about each other were almost identical! The husband’s main complaint about his wife was that she spent all her spare time on the computer & would not look up from it to talk to him. His wife’s main complaint about him was that he spent all his spare time watching television & would not look up from it, even to say “Hi” & ask how she was after her day at work.   This is a traditional rhyme that reminds me of possibly the most important truth about relationships: For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse was lost. For want of a horse the rider was lost. For want of a rider the battle was lost. For want of a battle the kingdom was lost. And all for the want of a horseshoe nail. That truth is this: that little daily things matter & some of those little things are crucial to the extent of being all important. Probably the most important of those “little things” is giving our partner the gift of our full attention. We under-estimate the importance of this at at our peril! The best research in this area has shown that it is the little things in a relationship that mount up over time & either destroy it – by undermining...
Trauma and relationships

Trauma and relationships

Trauma & its impact on relationships Is your ability to develop lasting relationships being affected by trauma? Is trauma interfering in your relationships? Unresolved trauma can have long-term effects, including having an ongoing impact on our ability to attract & retain positive, supportive relationships. Some types of trauma have particularly pernicious effects on relationships-such as experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, rape or abuse, especially if we have these experiences as a child: a life stage when we have limited experience of the world, are still developing & are likely to assume that our experiences, however traumatic, are “normal”. Growing up or living in a neglectful or dysfunctional environment can also, in itself, be traumatic & impact on our relationships. Three ways that trauma can harm relationships: 1) Stopping you from being able to form meaningful relationships 2) Leading you to become involved in abusive relationships 3) Making it difficult for you to sustain a healthy relationship long-term Common symptoms of trauma include: flashbacks, panic attacks and inappropriate anxiety. In the most extreme cases, untreated trauma develops into PTSD which can lead to a complete breakdown in normal functioning and the inability to hold down a job or maintain any sort of long-term relationship such as with relatives, friends or colleagues. Untreated trauma also sometimes results in addiction as the person “self-medicates” their pain away. Trauma & the brain The reason that trauma is so destructive can easily be understood when you understand what is happening at the level of the traumatised person’s brain. In essence part of our emotional brain (the Amygdala) acts as our security guard & has...

The most common myth about relationships

The most common myth about relationships is that good communication is the key to better relationships. Now don’t get me wrong, good communication is important, but good communication is actually a sign of more fundamental things being right whereas poor communication is actually a symptom of more fundamental things going wrong. In a relationship that is working, the communication is good because both people feel supported, cared for & loved. When a relationship is working it is easy to communicate well – as we all know, if we think back to when we first met, when communication seemed so easy! In the early days of a relationship, when both people have positive expectations & experiences of the relationship, most couples can communicate well. That creates a positive spiral effect were people are relaxed & happy talking to each other because they are confident that their partner will listen & engage with them positively about the things that are on their mind & that are important to them. This happens naturally at the beginning of relationships because people usually feel supported & appreciated,at that time, by the other person. In long-term relationships that work well, that continues to be the pattern & there continues to be a positive spiral of positivity with both people feeling supported and cared for & seeing & appreciating the good in each other. So when there is conflict, as there always is, at some level in relationships, it quickly fizzles out. It is as if, even in the midst of an argument, each partner, in the back of their mind has a little voice saying -hey-let’s...

Radio interview “How to improve your relationship”

http://www.annmarietaylor.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Relationships-radio-interview_2_1_2_1_1.mp3 This interview is of Ann Marie Taylor by Derry O’Malley for Limerick Community Radio. It wasbroadcast on 6th February 2015 on their regular Sunday “Headspace” programme.  ...