HOW TO ROW THE RIGHT WAY

Confrontation is something every couple experiences at some point in their relationship. Familiarity can breed contempt, and stress, tiredness, or simply a bad day can lead to cross words.

But just because things become heated, it doesn’t mean it has to end in a full blown confrontation. There is a right way to argue that can stop you crossing a point of no return.

Confrontation isn’t always a bad thing

Well, it’s not. It’s important to be able to have it out with your partner. Zero dialogue may seem like a solution. But in the long run it will build up to something bigger. So rather than avoiding a confrontation, approach the topic calmly. Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make you a peacekeeper. It makes you an ostrich.

Nice and Cool

confrontation

It’s easy for things to escalate in an argument. Especially when you go into it guns blazing. Have a cooling off period before you discuss the issue. If emotions are running high during an argument, take a time out.

Laying down ground rules in these situations can be really helpful. That way you both know what’s acceptable and no one oversteps their boundaries.

Listen

Everyone wants to be heard. This doesn’t mean nodding away, whist you mentally rehearse a closing argument, or figure out what time the game starts. Listening means you can respond and have a productive conversation. You can turn an argument into a learning opportunity and strengthen your relationship.

Don’t fight dirty

No confrontation was ever made better by fighting dirty. Emotions can run high when you’re talking about your feelings. But that’s no excuse for insults, name calling or being hurtful. As much as you may feel this is the right time to tell her that you despise her cooking, it’s not. Petty victories are short lived. So keep it clean and make sure you both take a time out if things are getting too heated.

It’s not about winning

Confrontation

You may be in the right. But is it worth carrying on an argument just to prove it? You can go round in circles trying to pin blame, but winning isn’t everything. It can also distract you from what’s actually happening. Saying sorry is the first step towards calming down and reaching a resolution.

Of course if you’re always the first one to apologise, or the only one listening that isn’t fair. Relationships shouldn’t be one- sided, and there may be more deeper issues than the current argument argument.

The Bigger Picture

At the end of the day, you’re a team.  Couples that remember this are mindful of what they say and carful not to cause lasting damage. You may not always see eye to eye, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t love and support each other. Remember there is no I in T-E-A-M.

MANTENATAL: DON’T PANIC! GET INVOLVED!

The idea of men being stressed out, or traumatised by ante-natal classes seems a bit foolish. I mean, it’s the women who have to actually push the tiny human out, so why the mantenatal stress? Surely being present and supportive can’t be that hard a task?

Mantenatal: Under Pressure

Ante-natal classes are unfamiliar territory which bring the female physiology into a whole new light. Though we’re all fully aware that our children don’t come from the stork, the reality of child birth may be a shock to the system. It’s one thing to know your partner has to push the baby out, it’s another to have to witness the act.

Watching midwives manoeuvring dolls through plastic pelvises really brings home the reality of childbirth. No one forgets their first viewing of a birthing video. This is what your partner will have to do. Only it will be a live show, with full audio, and you won’t be able to stop the tape when it gets a bit much.

The end of blissful ignorance is a mantenatal trauma in itself. The anxiety, empathy and worry over what is to come can be overwhelming.

Don’t Worry, Daddy’s Here

Mantenatal

Parenthood can be daunting for both mum and dad. Even though mum may have a direct line to baby, it doesn’t mean she’s 100% prepared. Ante-natal classes give both parents the chance to prepare for what’s to come.

Learning how to coach her through the birth can even be a fun, bonding process.

Be Prepared

Today’s dad is hands on and wants to be involved. Ante-natal classes are a wonder opportunity to learn some important basics that will help shoulder some of the responsibility of parenting. Learn how to put on a nappy, bathe your new born and swaddle them are valuable skills.

You’re Not Alone

With your partner doing all the heavy lifting (or pushing) on this job, dads may feel a bit isolated. This is when meeting other fathers to be and expanding your network can be helpful. Just as expectant mothers can benefit from having a friend in the same position, so can dads. Use this time to network, make friends and have someone to share your questions and worries with.

Baby Proof

Mantenatal

Preparing for the little one’s arrival isn’t just about supporting your partner with her changing body, diet and birth. Practical tasks like baby proofing the house, buying a carseat and preparing a hospital bag are things dad can shoulder the responsibility for.

Childbirth is messy and an expectant dad may feel out of his element. But this is exactly why you should man up and get yourself to an antenatal class.

IS IT CHEATING IF THERE’S NO SEX?

When we think of infidelity, we imagine a bunch of sordid sexual encounters. But what about emotional cheating? Sleeping with someone can be passed off as a mistake. But knowing they tuned on your partner’s heartstrings without sex. That’s a tough blow to be dealt. So why is it that people turn to emotional affairs?

Pulling at Those Heartstrings

An emotional affair is complicated. Your partner isn’t actually cheating on you. But they are having an emotional relationship, one which may tug at their heartstrings more than you’d be comfortable knowing. It’s the intimate conversations. Shared jokes. Pillow talk. A closeness that you would normally attribute to a couple in a relationship.

It’s more than just a friendship. We’re not talking about the work husband/wife who you pal around with at the office. But the friend you choose not to mention to your partner. Despite there being no sexual contact. This is because if they were to find out about it they wouldn’t be happy.

heartstrings

Owner of a Lonely Heart

So why is it that people have emotional affairs? One reason is a lack of attention from their regular partner or spouse. Familiarity can breed contempt, and all of a sudden the attention lavished upon the object of your affection has been replaced with family responsibilities, work and kids. This can leave a person feeling neglected, alone and they may look outside of their relationship for the attention.

Chemistry

A new person who is attractive, and with whom you can flirt can be a powerful thing. It’s potent to be desired. Especially when the sexual chemistry in your relationship has fizzled out, or has stopped because of children, childbirth or pregnancy.

heartstrings

It’s Easy

Communication is a thousand times easier with the internet. From clandestine messaging, flirtatious office emails and cheeky chat room banter. It’s easy to find people online, and there’s the added appeal of online anonymity. A relationship can develop quickly when the inhibitions that go hand in hand with face to face contact are removed.

It’s Not Really Cheating

Isn’t it? If your heart skips a beat when you think about seeing them and you talk about them non-stop to friends, it’s definitely more than your garden variety friendship. It may seem like ‘harmless fun’ because no rules have been broken. But if you’re confiding in someone else and saving your conversational wit and company for another, it sure isn’t just a friendship.

heartstrings

For many women, emotional intimacy is a bigger betrayal than if they’d been physically cheated on. The communication and intimacy that is needed to maintain a relationship has been shared with an outsider. It’s no surprise that emotional affairs can have a significant impact on a marriage or partnership. This is when counselling helps to fix the rift.

STOP ROMANTIC GETAWAYS GOING AWRY

Falling out on holiday isn’t uncommon. Travelling is an up-close and personal experience, that can be as stressful as it is fun. It’s that first window into what life would be like together as a couple. This can add an extra layer of pressure.

Avoid Falling Out

You can learn a lot about a person by going away with them, and that first holiday may shine a light on a few habits that drive you up the wall. Rather than rowing on the beach, find out how to get through the first holiday without falling out.

Plan Together

Plan your trip together so you have equal input. It’s a great opportunity to discuss the expectations you have for the trip. Don’t wait until you’re at the beach to find out one of you wants to spend all day at the pool, when the other wants to explore the old town. This way you can do something that makes you both happy.

Start Off Small

For a first couples holiday a trip around the world may not be the best of ideas. Keep it short. A long weekend break is perfect. You can build up to that epic trek.

Don’t Try Repeating History

Trying to recapture the magic of holidays spent with exes is a no no. No one wants to be in the shadow of great holidays past. Or have to listen to you reliving horrible holiday experiences from a past relationship. Start afresh. Pick somewhere new to both of you.

Stay off the Screens

People are always glued to their phones, tablets or laptops. Your first holiday should be about spending quality time together and getting to know each other better. Keep the screen to a minimum.

Falling OutHave Down Time

It’s good to have some time to yourself. You can read, take a swim or engage in an activity that your partner may not want to. A little breathing room will make you appreciate each other’s company more.

Treat Yourselves

Make that first holiday special. Treat yourselves to a lovely meal, a romantic walk, a glass of champagne or all three. Make it special and romantic experience.

Don’t let Falling Out Ruin Everything

Things can go wrong on holiday. If you do get into a quarrel and fall out, take a time out. Remember there is a right way to row. Don’t let it ruin the whole experience.