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Health and relationships
The quality of your relationship with your partner (and with friends, colleagues and family members) affects both your mental and physical wellbeing. Similarly, how good you feel emotionally and physically can affect how you get on with your partner - perhaps even more than you realise. |[profileDataBundle id=1]| Improving your relationship quality can have a positive effect on your health, affecting related behaviours like exercising and drinking that can, in turn, affect how you get on. Of course, relationships go through ups and downs. But when we are unhappy or frustrated it’s easy to ignore what we know is good for us. Risky behaviours can provide an escape but sometimes we can fall into habits that are bad for both our health and our relationship. The good news is that, by taking stock and taking a good look at our patterns of behaviour, we can start making a few changes and things can start feeling very different. Have a look at the following questions and then share your answers with your partner. This can help you to assess the bigger picture and start changing some of the behaviours that could be affecting your relationship. Overall, how well do you feel on a day-to-day basis? Where would you score your physical health on a scale of one to 10, with ten being best it can be? Do you smoke? If so, how much, and at what times of day? What are your triggers for smoking? How often do you drink? Do you drink to unwind, to be social, or to shut things out? How well do you eat? Do you and your partner eat together – are cooking and eating well important parts of your relationship? Are you over or underweight? How do you feel about your body? How well do you sleep? –What, if anything keeps you awake? Can you see any patterns? Do you exercise regularly? How do you feel after exercising? How often do you have sex? Do you enjoy sex with your partner? Are you currently working? How does your work affect how you feel? If you have a bad day at work, what impact does it have on your home life? How do you know you are overstressed? What are the signs? What makes you feel good physically? What makes you feel good emotionally?   What next? Have a look at your answers. How does the overall picture look? Does it look good or feel a bit overwhelming? Are there any patterns you’d like to change? If you have any habits or recurring behaviours that aren’t serving you, look at the underlying reasons. Take it slowly – recognising the need for change is a crucial first step. Don’t try to change everything at once. If you are a smoker, that’s a good place to start. Consider cutting down, or just keeping a log of when you smoke and how you feel before and after. Start to notice what need you are trying to fulfil by smoking, and whether it’s working for you. If you want to eat better, start by introducing some small changes to your diet. Get a new cookbook or look up some recipes online. Experimenting with new dishes can be fun. Set aside some time to plan and cook a healthy meal with your partner – this one positive shared experience could be the first step towards getting out of a mealtime rut. Poor sleep, drinking too much and work stress are all issues that can contribute to how you get on with your partner, often leading to arguments. It can feel overwhelming to address these issues at once – a good place to start might be taking some regular exercise. It doesn’t matter what, so long as it is something you can enjoy that fits in with your work and family demands. Exercise can also have a positive impact on other areas of your life, releasing natural chemicals that improve your mood and make you feel happier. Adopting a more active lifestyle can improve your mental health, giving you a positive reminder you that the choices you make affect how you feel. Leading a more active life can give you a break from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and help you sleep better. It can improve your self-esteem and confidence, helping you feel more valued, and more attractive. Exercise and physical activity can give you something positive to strive for and commit to. It can help you to stop dwelling on problems and, in time, you may even start to enjoy it!   A word of warning! If this exercise has brought up any issues you find difficult to talk about, you may find it helpful to use some of the communication exercises and articles elsewhere on the site. If you have identified that you or your partner are drinking too much, you may need to seek professional help – looking at the articles on addiction on the site can be a positive first step.
Article | Health
6 5 min read
Feeling unwanted, what do I do?
Hello everyone, my boyfriend and I have known each other for a very long time and all this while it's been a long distance relationship. Regardless of that, we still made it work. We used to be giving each other everything we could and through that we've developed such a deep bond and a great love for one another. However, I feel like the effort and expression of love on his part is lacking. And I don't think I'm right for telling him this especially because if he does start showing it I'd feel like it's not really coming from him but because of something I asked and he's just doing it to calm me down. Ironically, he just isn't the type of person that I've ever known to do something for me if I ask. For example, if I say can I see you tomorrow at 9am? The chances of that happening are close to zero and I'm so prepared to hear an excuse like 'sorry I was up all night playing games and I fell asleep late' or 'i just wanted to sleep in' or 'i'm just not motivated to wake up that early' but when it comes to his family, God or himself he makes a way when there is none. He even told me today he was up since 2am and he's been with his family and at 5am he messaged me and when he did, I didn't even have his full atttention. I don't know if I'm being needy or what but it really breaks my heart to know that I don't matter enough to the point where he's willing to make the time out for me when it's not convenient to him. I've been sacrificing so much and I don't think he rememebers how much I do but sometimes I feel like telling him I just want you to treat me the way you used too is going to make him think that I'm asking way too much of him. Usually he always makes me feel like I need to be more understanding but I just don't know what to do. I can't tell him and I can't keep it inside, but I just don't know what to do. Something else I would just like to emphasise on is the fact that I'm having trouble when it comes to God. I make sure to put God first in my life but I still make time for him and make sure that he doesn't feel left out or anything regardless of my tiredness but when he puts God first it's like I can't go to him for anything. I usually hear that if I have a problem, take it to God and not him. For God he'd sleep early the night before just to make sure he's early in church the next day and find the time to pray and read the Bible etc. But for me I just don't see it. I feel like I'm in competiton with God and everything else in his life and it just has me in an emotional mess. Do I need to do something or do I just need to get over it or what?
Ask the community | communication, arguments
Boyfriend hides me from friends and family
My boyfriend and I have been going out for 3 years (we are both 20). 80% of the time my friends and I hang out, he is always invited, either by me or my friends. We've gone out to countless dinners, concerts, parties, games and shopping trips and all with my friends. He's even been invited to my friend's house for dinner. However, till this day, his friends have never asked me to hang out with them and my boyfriend has only invited me to one party on his own. My friends are a mixed group of individuals, guys and girls. His excuse is his friends are all guys, but he knows for a fact I get along fine with guys and that is not an issue. He also says it's because they don't do things I can be invited to. But I think inviting me to dinner or bowling or the beach (which is all things has has blatantly said I can't come to) just once in a while won't hurt. I have also never met his family and they don't know we are dating and he says it's because they won't approve of him dating however he has been over to my house for dinner, thanksgiving and he has even come to New York with us. I wouldn't necessarily say he's "hiding" me from his friends because they know we are dating. It just feels like I put in a lot more effort to try to include him in my life and he tries to keep me away by using excuses. I've noticed all my girlfriends have great relationships with their boyfriend's friends, and they enjoy having her around too (obviously not all the time) and they're the ones who ask if she'd want to come along whenever things are planned. My friends do the same with my boyfriend.I want to get to know them better and I also don't want to be labeled as just "the girlfriend" but rather someone who they wouldn't mind making plans with. I just feel like I'm never given the chance. Am I asking for too much? Is it wrong to ask to be able to hang out with his guy friends once in a while?
Ask the community | arguments, emotional abuse
Everything I say he takes personally!
Ive been having this issue since we first started becoming serious. I will say a little comment in conversation, not meaning it to be offensive, and he takes it that way and gets enraged. For instance, I was slightly insulted he didn't invite me to meet his daughter on the trip he is planning for her birthday. He didn't invite me or include me in the planning at all. We've been dating for over a year and I've never met her because she is a few states away. We live together and have even talked about marriage at some point. His daughter is a huge part of his life and I was hoping to become close to her eventually. I mentioned to him that I was insulted he didn't invite me on his trip to see her and he told me I would just be in the way and that this visit is a short one and not really my business. We argued. She is coming for Christmas and we can be introduced then. He is very defensive when it comes to her I've guessed. He was saying how much he missed her today and I casually said that I would've liked to become close with her, but that cant happen right now. He took it as a continuation of our previous argument and assumed I was dealing an underhanded comment. I didn't understand why he got so angry. I was stating a fact. I understand he doesn't want me to be involved, it's insulting and hurtful to me but I understand. Should I have said nothing? I feel like I have to watch myself because he takes everything as an attack. What should I Do?
Ask the community | arguments, emotional abuse
My wife will not speak to me
This is a real problem and I am at my wits end and I do not know what to do. I have been married for nearly three years and was with my wife nineteen years prior to that. We have had a fairly volatile relationship over the years and about six years ago the arguments had tipped over into unbelievable week, to six week silences with two episodes of physical abuse spread over a few years. My wife finally, out of desperation, was taken to the doctors by a friend and started taking mood stabilising pills. The results were astounding! The daily / weekly arguments stopped, when we did argue again it was fairly reasonable and things went back to normal fairly quickly so much so that after a few years we got married. A few months ago my wife decided to stop taking the pills without advice, and things started slipping. Last Sunday when my wife went to get sausages from the freezer and there weren't any she hit the roof! I was called a self centered man that only thought about myself, that she was sick of my inability to remember shopping we need and stormed off into her room and jammed the door shut. I was away the following day till this evening for work. I texted her three times and she did not reply, even when I said her friend was meeting me and she could talk to her. I got back home around an hour ago and she walked out of the bathroom, into her room and blocked her door shut without a word said to me. This is what she used to do in her really bad patch, before the pills, sometimes it would go on for, at the longest, six weeks. She has already told me she will not go back on the pills, so that's not a option. I promised myself years ago, before our relationship nearly ended, that I would never take the emotional and physical trauma again. Looking back I was self medicating with alcohol and food and was way up at nearly 17 stone and I was fast approaching type 2 diabetes. I managed to turn that around, started going to the gym and lost, and kept off, nearly four stone. I do not want to go back to that again, my body and mental health could not take it. I love my wife, but if she will not talk to me how can I sort this out? There has been over the last few months a slow slide toward unreasonable arguments and this is the worst it's got. I don't want my marriage to end and I'm desperately trying to think of how to sort this. Because I cannot take what I took years ago again. She will not talk to me, and when i suggested going to couple counselling she flat out refuses. Is my only option now separating and divorce?
User article | communication, arguments
Questioning everything I thought I knew about my wife
My wife recently drifted into an emotional semi-sexual relationship after 15 years of marriage. Out sex life has been nonexistent and even when it happens it want all that fun. We grew complacent (mostly my fault) and she has started spending more time with girlfriends. There is one woman (who is married) that she has grown very close with and a couple weeks ago my wife told me that her friend would send joking/playful texts to her. Nothing earth shattering about that until she revealed that she liked it and that it was turning her in. She has never indicated any fantasy about a woman so that was shocking to me. She asked me how I felt about it and I admitted that it turned me on. She asked me if she could respond to these joking/sexy messaging and I said ok as long as I am in it with her and it can be used to enhance our sex life (which it has immensely). The texting has continued and ramped up in terms of its sexual graphic nature. My wife says that it’s only fantasy and that she could never see herself doing it, but I am concerned she’s not being honest about what she might do if the right situation/circumstances present themselves. The biggest issue (if that wasn’t it) is that the other woman is married and she is not sharing any of the exchanges with her husband which makes me uncomfortable. I tried suggesting that we work together to try and find another woman who is not a close friend (or married) to bring in to our relationship and she hesitated saying that she wasn’t so much attracted to women but this particular woman. Is that a red flag? Struggling to try and figure this out...
User article | communication, cheating, trust
Travelling vs Settling down
My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years now. I have had my own house for 2 years, which he lives in and contributes a more than a fair share towards bills and food. We are both in our early 30’s. He wants to travel and I want to settle down. We have talked about selling my house and buying one together in 2019, as well as potentially starting a family. For years he has loosely talked about travel, but never seems to make any solid plans to achieve this goal. At one point (due to redundancy), I had said that I would consider travelling 1 month with him and then fly home, leaving him to complete his travels on his own or with whoever he pleases. This would be between being made redundant and starting a new job. I soon got cold feet and worried about paying my mortgage when he started changing his mind about which month to go. I thought this could turn into me being on hold waiting through his long decision making process and then the travel not actually happening. I also started to feel like travelling wasn’t for me and I was planning the month purely for him, and it was a big risk not lining up a job when there were no solid plans in place. A few months ago, he told me he was depressed and really unhappy in his job, so I encouraged him to do his travel alone and take a career break. He has considered taking his career in a different direction, so my opinion was that this would be the perfect time. He has spent the past 3 month researching travelling alone and put the feelers out to other companies he may wish to work for in future. He is now starting to get cold feet about going travelling in July and is considering holding off until January 19 as the weather is better in Vietnam. For me, I feel like this is another case of him being unable to commit to plans and actually make decisions. I feel as if my asks of him in a relationship are not important as moving out his travels overlaps with us buying a home together. My life feels like it is on hold for him, while he slowly ponders on how to go about his travels.
Ask the community | communication, cheating, trust