Counselling in Wokingham – The Games Begin

Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 –
This blog is intended to give you a flavour of how I work as a counsellor. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links above

The opening ceremony of the Olympic Games reminded me somewhat of a big wedding. It was a fantastic celebration, marking the start of something highly significant for the participants. It was also comic and surreal, and although few weddings can boast the queen jumping out of a helicopter, they do tend to deliver a few surprises that make us laugh for years to come. The guests, too – familiar faces whom you haven’t been seen for years….”Hasn’t she aged well!”…. “Hasn’t he changed!”. And then the honeymoon, three weeks of sport or two weeks in Barbados, before (in the case of the Olympics) the closing ceremony.

There, of course, the parallel breaks down for (except in Hollywood, perhaps) most marriages tend to last longer than three weeks. But once the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon is over, there can be anti-climax, there can be a return to the daily grind, there can be the realisation that, after the party’s over, real life is not nearly so much fun.

The more I counsel people about their relationships the more I realise that they are hard work, and will continue to be so. However much you and your partner are on the same wavelength, there will be times when your needs conflict, times when your beliefs clash, times when your values are incompatible.

Very often couples deal with these situations without really talking about them. It can happen that one of the couple will not really express their point of view, and concede to the other: “I don’t mind, let’s do it your way”. This may seem inconsequential at the time (and indeed may genuinely be so) but sometimes these little concessions can build up into a simmering resentment “I never get my way” and the lack of communication about this can become a habit that is hard to break. The simmering resentment can reach boiling point, and result in an angry outburst or an impulsive reaction of some sort.

When you’re busy at work, or have young kids who rule your life, or for other reasons, it’s very easy to lapse into bad habits in your relationship. Where once you were besotted with each other, you can start to take each other for granted. Where once you looked out for each other, cared for each other and took joy from each other, emotions can subside and the “wow!” factor can disappear.

The Olympics come round every four years, and every time they do, it feels a bit special and different; the flame is reignited, we anticipate the games to come. I wonder whether, if you were to celebrate your marriage every four years, would that would have a similar effect? In reality, for most couples, it would be too expensive to re-run the wedding, too difficult to reassemble the guests. But maybe there is something to think about here – about what you and your partner can do to remind yourselves of where it all started and what it’s about for you both; to think about what you are taking for granted, about where you have become lazy. What’s the next goal? What would you like to be different? How can you help each other right now?

Light the flame again!

About Paul Cockayne

Counsellor, musician, iPhone developer, games-player, cheese-lover....
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