Paul Cockayne – 07791 970406 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to my counselling blog. You can find more information about me by clicking one of the links at the top of this page
New stuff is exciting! “A new broom sweeps clean”. New Year resolutions represent an opportunity for a fresh start – for life to be different. At the start of the month we say “white rabbits” to bring luck – a new month offers the chance for change.
Traditionally, the honeymoon marked a new start for married couples, the first month of marriage – at one time their first experience of being together unchaperoned – the first time they would have sex together. Of course, times have changed, but we still talk of “a honeymoon period” to represent that period of a relationship when everything is fresh, new and exciting.
Those early days of a relationship can be very heady – they occupy our head in an obsessive, infatuated way. We might think about our new partner constantly, we might look forward impatiently and eagerly to our next meeting, we might put them on a pedestal, seeing the relationship as the best thing that has ever happened to us.
As we get to know our partner better, we generally find out that they are not perfect – nobody is, after all. They may do things that annoy us, they may have baggage from the past, they may expect us to be someone we do not wish to be. And so the honeymoon period tends to come to an end and we will most likely need to work on the business aspects of a relationship – communication, negotiation and compromise being key elements of that.
These business aspects of relationship do not tend to be nearly as much fun as the honeymoon period – indeed, some couples really struggle with them – and sometimes people try to cling on to the honeymoon feelings, not wanting to burst the bubble, to ruin the romance, to destroy the “perfect” relationship.
What some people do is to hide things from their partner. There’s a worry that, if my partner finds out that I drink too much, or that I am in financial difficulty, or that I still have a very close relationship with my ex – if they find out about these things they will not want to be in a relationship with me – or they will demand that I change if I want the relationship to continue. We don’t, of course, know how a new partner will react to bad news until they get some – and so there’s a tendency to delay that moment, to hide the news, for fear that they will react badly to it. The honeymoon is prolonged by lies.
Other people hide things from themselves. The idea of having met the perfect partner, Mr. or Ms. Right, is an alluring one – and one that has been propagated in literature for centuries. And so we can kid ourselves that this new partner is that person – the handsome prince or fairy tale princess. We can ignore the signs, we put them on a pedestal, we worship them – and this can leave them feeling that they must try to be perfect, for fear of disappointing us. The honeymoon is prolonged by pretence.
Sometimes circumstances mean that couples don’t really get to know each other. It’s a process that takes time and if other things – work, kids, family – prevent them from exploring and find out about each other it can be months, years, or even decades before they stop, and look at their partner and wonder who they are. Do I know this person? Do I even like this person?
However long the relationship has been, it’s not necessarily too late to get to know each other properly, although sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. Communication can be a lost art (or a never-found art) for some couples but if there is a sense of partnership– if both of you want to make changes – it is always possible to make a new start. And new stuff is exciting!