archive

What do I do when my partner doesn't want to change?

Many people come to relationship counselling with the idea that they can use the expertise of a professional to get their partner to listen to their needs for change, that perhaps hearing it from a third party will have a different impact. 

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Respect as an orienting framework for thinking about post-separation parenting

Managing the demands of shared parenting after separation can be complex - juggling competing schedules of children and families, communicating and negotiating arrangements with the person who you maybe would prefer to have nothing more to do with it it weren't for the fact you have children together. In the face of these challenges, it can be tempting to cope by simplifiying your thinking -your 'ex' is the one with the problem - s/he isn't parenting in the way I'd like, s/he is hopeless or defective in some way.

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How well do you and your partner understand and accept each other's coping style?

Picture this - you and your partner have both been deeply affected by the loss of a dear friend. You've talked to friends about how you feel, reached out for support. You've tried to reach out to your partner too - not just to receive nurturance and comfort, but to offer it too. But your partner has turned away from you, and seems to be spending every waking moment keeping busy - working long hours, bringing work home, and using his down-time to zone out rather than connect with you.

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Is your lack of confidence or low self-esteem causing problems in your relationship?

Do you suffer from problems with low self-esteem, or lack of confidence? Are you someone who struggles to keep your own needs and wants in mind when your partner is strongly asserting what s/he needs or wants from you? Or conversely, do you lose sight of what your partner needs or wants when your own strong emotions take hold? Perhaps you experience both of these at different times?

If so, it's likely that your lack of confidence in knowing what you want and how to articulate this to your partner is negatively affecting your relationship.

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Maintaining the dependence/independence balance in your relationship

In any healthy relationship, it can be difficult to get the balance right between our need for independence and our need to lean on each other and know we can count on each other for nurturance and support. Relationships can feel unbalanced when they are skewed too far one way or the other. A few examples of this may be:-

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