With spring in the air and the days getting longer, many will be taking the opportunity to tidy cupboards, scrub skirting boards and take old clothes to the charity shop. The concept of the spring clean is well and truly established in the British psyche but it’s more than just our homes that could probably do with a regular spruce up.
According to Relate, 1 in 5 people in the UK are now living in what would be described in the counselling room as a “distressed relationship.” But, things don’t usually go from bliss to distress overnight, according to Gwilym Roberts, Relate Cymru’s National Director. He said: “There’s a real tendency to think that if you’re with the right person, a brilliant relationship will just happen, but that isn’t the case. Relationships are like houses – if you upkeep and maintain them, they will probably serve you well for many years. On the other hand, if you neglect them and leave the dust to build up and the cracks to appear, the chances are you’ll have a much bigger problem to deal with later down the line.”
Relate has a relationship spring clean action plan that will help you dust off those relationship cobwebs and leave you and your partner feeling as fresh as daisies.
Relate Cymru’s tips for spring cleaning your relationship
1) Assess what needs to be done
Think about your relationship. Do you feel content or are there things that need working on? Be honest with yourself. Put yourself in your partner’s shoes and consider what they may be feeling about the relationship. Talk to them and get their take on it.
2) Dust away the cobwebs
Relationship cobwebs are issues that have probably been around for a while but that you’ve been avoiding addressing. Maybe you find it difficult to talk about money or perhaps you’re secretly resenting your partner because you feel you spend more time caring for the children. Get things out in the open and let your partner know how you feel so you can tackle any issues together.
3) Ditch bad relationship habits
Have some bad habits crept in that aren’t serving your relationship well? Much like clutter, habits can be hard to let go of. Whether it’s taking more interest in your smart phone than your partner or giving them the silent treatment when there’s something bothering you, make a conscious effort to ditch those bad habits.
Now it’s time to make your relationship feel shiny and new again. You can do this by making sure you compliment your partner at least once a day and by expressing gratitude for everything they do for you. Spending quality time together or taking up a new hobby that you both enjoy is another great way of refreshing your relationship.
5) Deep clean
If there are any issues that are really impacting on your relationship, consider coming to Relate for a “deep clean”. A counsellor can help you get under the surface of your relationship to tackle any underlying issues.
Relate Cymru’s non-judgmental services support individuals, couples, families, children, young people and friends to strengthen their relationships. Please contact 0300 0032340 to find out more or to book an appointment.