achieving balance

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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How can we inoculate our relationship against stress?

The effects of stress on individuals is well known to many of us - in the short-term, we can feel tired, more irritated and grumpy than usual, perhaps it becomes harder to eat and sleep well. We may become more vulnerable to indulging in activities that ease stress in the short-term but create other problems down the track - eating to excess, drinking alcohol, taking drugs. In the longer-term, prolonged stress can negatively affect our physical, emotional and mental health. We might become run down, our bodies may be less efficient at fighting off illness.

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Getting the balance back in intimate relationships

We all have a pretty clear picture of what it feels like to have the balance right in our relationships - when it's going well we feel connected, heard and understood by our partner. We use expressions like "we're able to work as a team", "we trust each other", "we're able to talk through issues and work things out" to capture our sense that things are as they should be.

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Do you know your relationship 'dance'? Negotiating closeness and distance with your partner

Every relationship has its own dance - one may reach toward the other, trying to get closer,  the other either comes close or pulls away. When we're dancing skilfully, tuned into each other, both steps are OK - part of the overall shape of the relationship. There's a balance - sometimes one or both move away, sometimes we move together. If it starts to feel too close, or too far away, we know the steps we need to take together to keep our dance fluid and connected.

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How do you and your partner achieve a balance through the Festive Season?

It's a challenge at the best of times to achieve an optimal state of balance - time for yourself, time as a couple, time to complete paid and unpaid work - and if you have kids, time as a family and ideally some 1:1 time between each child and parent. The festive season adds a few more challenges to maintaining a relational balance, the lead-up to Xmas particularly often feeling like a mad scramble to get everything done and honour commitments to catching up socially with friends, colleagues and extended family.

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