In times of wider stress in the community, relationships are so important. And I'm meaning all of those relationships that feature in our lives. They provide so many important resources that can help people's individual resilience.
For today, I'm focusing in on couple relationships. A good relationship is literally our Port in the Storm. Yet here in Christchurch New Zealand, recent reports indicate we are doing some strange things in our couple relationships. For instance, we have the highest rates of infidelity in the country right now. Wow- at a time when the city is in some sort of post-chaotic phase, and uncertainty about so many things is the only thing that is certain, people are making their lives even more fraught, and more unstable than they need to be, by having affairs. Go figure....
And if you are thinking about having a clandestine affair, but can't quite be bothered getting off the couch to find someone to be doing the sneaking around with, there has been a bunch of new websites coming on line, to help folks with the very purpose. And no, I won't be posting links to those sites here today.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe that lives are much less chaotic, much more satisfying, if people actually work on the relationships that they are already in. Because if a relationship is developing problems, and one of the partners is (not) addressing this by having an affair, then sure as eggs, they may finish their current relationship, but there will be issues in their next relationship. So it makes sense to roll the sleeves up, take a deep breath and do the work to fix the current relationship. And yes, they do all require work- whether you have been together four days or forty years.
I've mentioned here before, some of the things we need to stay focused on, to keep relationships healthy, alive, and rewarding. And I know too, in reality that relationships in all their complexity, cannot always be turned around with a few simple bullet points in a blog posting. If your relationship is really in trouble, you owe it to yourself and your partner to do something about it. Contact me here, if you have any queries about how to kick that process off.
In the meantime however, there are some things that can and and will help your relationship- and even though relationships can be complex beasts, they are usually quite fixable- and what it takes to fix them is not rocket science. So keep in mind that what follows are just a few of the things that are important in healthy and rewarding relationships. You will have seen some of these before- I've written about them in earlier posts, plus theses and similar ideas are present in varying forms on a squillion other websites, and in thousand of books. Might just mean they are important!
Of course, there are going to be a whole bunch of other factors, but these are some that are especially important.
If you are OK with lists and bullet points (yep, I'm still annoyed by them- yep, I know I've used them yet again....) take a look at some ideas from Michele Weiner-Davis. I've always enjoyed her straight-forward common sense approach and these relationship resolutions are excellent.
And if you are a man who has just come out of a relationship- you need to look at this.
RESILIENCE - THE STUFF THAT MAKES YOU A REAL SURVIVOR.....
Happy New Year, welcome to 2012.... I hope your year is off to a good start. Thanks for coming back here for another visit, and for keeping the readership numbers on this newsletter humming along. The numbers continue to increase each month, and they have been quite high over the holiday period, which I guess is the time we are more likely to relax and read things. The holiday period too, is the time that family stress levels can increase, due to a whole range of factors.
Here in Christchurch New Zealand, stress levels for many people have increased for another reason over the holiday period, namely the return of some quite nasty earthquakes, just when we were all beginning to relax and enjoy their apparent departure. The experts are now telling us that we can expect earthquakes to come and go for the next 3-4 years. (Bruce groans loudly.....). With the latest round of quakes, the true gems of humanity, (who no doubt have high levels of resilience- an important topic for today) have yet again been out and about helping folks. I wrote about them once before.
An important task for us all during the year ahead will be to reflect on how we will handle our own stress levels, which are in turn likely to be influenced for many of us here, by the earthquake factor. So I'm talking today about resilience, not only in the face of earthquakes, but all the other stressful events that life on this planet can throw at us. Part of being a living breathing human being, is remembering that with life, comes stress. Not just human-relationship type stress, but from time to time, stress comes from disasters of epic proportions. I for one, had gotten in to a long-standing and misguided belief that hard things dished out by Mother Earth (eg., fires, floods and other disasters) really only happen in other countries, and not in our cosy little corner of the world. Boy oh boy- how naive.
Our individual ability to deal with such external stress factors are in turn shaped by our own levels of resilience. Some of us are likely to be more resilient than others, because pure and simply, that's the way we have been built, (though there is of course much more to individual resilience than pure biology). However, there are always things we can do, that will enhance our resilience, which in turn will equip us better to deal with the stressful stuff of life, be that earthquakes or whatever else that life launches in our direction.
Some things to think about which will enhance resilience levels include the following:
Get an understanding of your own resilience levels by doing this quick quizz over at the psychology.com site.
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."