The birth of a first child and the process of becoming parents is a major turning point for most relationships. The birth of your first child will cause major changes to you and your partners' lives. You can prepare for this change in several ways, such as: learning about childbirth and about being the parent of a young baby making practical arrangements for when your baby comes home... Read more
Parenting is a challenging experience that can put a great deal of pressure on relationships Whilst bringing up children can be a wonderful experience, it can also be very trying at times. Parenting can place enormous pressure on your relationship with your partner. Yet a loving and supportive relationship is exactly what you and your partner need most when you are facing the challenges of... Read more
Building and maintaining positive relationships with children and with all family members is not always easy. Families have times when tempers flare, feelings get hurt and misunderstandings occur. It helps to have good communication, flexibility and creativity to manage these situations and maintain positive connections. Cultural background, family values and differences in family make-up (e.... Read more
All relationships have a series of turning points that couples must negotiate. Whilst couples are working out how to be together and yet still be two individuals, other changes will also be demanding their attention. All relationships have a series of turning points and hurdles they must get over. At each of these turning points practical changes in the couple's lifestyle will need to be made... Read more
Some relationships involve behaviour that is very damaging to the other partner and, in some cases, may be criminal. Any good relationship should be based on equality and respect between partners. When one partner uses tactics to control the other partner, it can be very damaging. This control or power imbalance can take many forms, including threats, 'stalking' behaviour, and physical... Read more
Stepfamilies are complex and it may take some time for family relationships to form. Stepfamilies have complicated sets of relationships to manage. For example, one of the parents will not be the natural parent of one or more of the children. There are likely to be grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings and a parent living outside the family with no links with other members of the... Read more
Second marriages and stepfamilies present challenges and new opportunities for couples. Contrary to their 'bad image', stepfamilies can provide a rich and rewarding environment for the adults and children involved. In second marriages, couples are often more aware of the difficulties in establishing a successful relationship and are more committed to making the marriage work. Both... Read more
Try to spend regular quality time together as a whole family and with each child, even if it is for a few minutes each day. Show affection (e.g., hugs, kisses, kind words or a pat on the back). Offer help and support to one another. Do fun things and laugh together. Share values and engage in family rituals (e.g., family dinners, weekend walks or movie nights) to build a sense of... Read more
Stepfamilies are different. Stepfamilies are in some ways like first-time-round families. They are also, in many other ways, vastly different. Most people who become a part of a stepfamily are unprepared for the differences. These differences can include: Stepfamilies are more complex. There are many more family relationships in stepfamilies. There are likely to be grandparents, aunts,... Read more
Practical questions to consider before forming a stepfamily You need to consider a number of practical issues when you re-marry or enter into another relationship, and form a stepfamily. For example: Legal - Are you clear about your legal position when you re-marry? For example the responsibilities of a step-parent towards his or her stepchildren? Or the effect of re-marriage on a... Read more
Any form of violence and abuse in a relationship is a serious statement that things are not all right. Do you ever have trouble keeping your cool? Do you ever lash out verbally or physically? Do you ever use violence or abuse towards people you love? Are you a victim of violence or abuse? Can you recognise and admit there is a problem? Do you want to change? Do you want to have... Read more