DEC 14 2009 / Relate’s relationship Christmas GIFT
To help couples who find their relationships coming under strain over the Christmas period Relate counsellor, Paula Hall, suggests four essential ingredients every relationship needs: GIFT: Gratitude, Intimacy, Forgiveness and Time to ensure a peaceful Christmas and a very, very happy New Year.
G = Gratitude. The ‘attitude of gratitude’ may be a cliché, but Relate advise that when couples remember and demonstrate how much they value their relationships, not only do they make themselves happier, but also their partners. Saying ‘Thank you’, whether that’s thank you for doing a chore, being thoughtful or just being there shows both appreciation and respect.
I = Intimacy. Intimacy is an integral part of a successful couple relationship. Being able to share your thoughts, feelings and physical affection keeps couples close when the struggles of life may seem to be dragging them apart. Making a conscious effort to talk more and touch more strengthens relationships.
F = Forgiveness. All relationships go through difficult times and unfortunately we can all make mistakes that hurt our partner. To help couples move on from painful events, Relate counsellors often talk about the role of forgiveness. By offering and receiving the gift of forgiveness, couples can begin to leave negative times in the past and rebuild a positive future.
T = Time. Many busy couples let their relationship slip to the bottom of their list of priorities but recent research from Relate has shown that when a relationship works well it has a positive impact not just on couple happiness, but also on other essential areas of life such as health, parenting and work. Giving more time to your relationship, say Relate, is an investment which reaps multiple dividends.
Paula Hall, a counsellor with Relate, says “Although Christmas is an exciting time for most families, it also brings with it a lot of stress which can challenge even the strongest couple relationship. But by giving each other gratitude, intimacy, forgiveness and time, couples can pull together and make their relationship stronger and happier than ever”,
The GIFT advice from Relate comes at a time of year when many people are wondering how to help their relationship through the stressful Christmas period. With so many extra responsibilities to juggle, such as the excited expectations of children, visiting in-laws, budgeting for additional expenditure and the possibility of too much alcohol and hours cooped up together in an overcrowded environment, many couples find their conflict levels increase. Relate hope that helping couples to focus on the GIFT needs of their relationship, as well as providing practical advice on coping with the festivities will help couples to positively manage any relationship stress.
For those interested in relationship counselling, see the Relationship Counselling section of our website, and find out other ways we can help you with your relationship in the Help with your relationship section. Find out your nearest Relate service with our Find Your Nearest Service, or call 0300 100 1234 for more information.
For further press information contact Mel Merritt Press Officer Relate 020 7554 2892 /07971 869735 / firstname.lastname@example.org