A recent poll of 5000 divorcees found the main reason for relationship breakdown was they’d “simply grown apart”. Let’s see this as a warning for this New Year to tend our relationships. This means investing time and effort to improve how we speak and communicate with each other.

Many couples coming for counselling blame the other partner for all their shortcomings and do not look at themselves to change. Did you know that the only person in life that we can change is ourselves?

There are four bad habits that we need to watch if we are to grow together rather than grow apart.

  1. Scoring points -many of us do this without thinking and compete over all sorts of things, even the affection of others.
  2. Thinking the worse of others- give them a break and expect good not bad!
  3. Opting out at the first sign of conflict- next time an argument happens don’t do this but calmly think through together the real issue
  4. Putting others down- this can be when we are sarcastic or pick on another’s faults. It can seem funny when a comedian does it on TV but when you are on the receiving end it can feel horrible. Instead say something positive and encouraging about them, how they look or something you like about their character. If you can’t think of anything then your relationship really is in need of some TLC!

Where is the spiritual angle? Well a relationship with God shares many of the similarities of a couple relationship and needs nurturing with time and honest communication. Have you ever tried to talk to God or perhaps you once did but have you drifted away from him? One of the biggest communication issues we have with God is that he can seem so distant and unknowable. I once thought that till I learned that God became Jesus so we could understand him and communicate with him. Why not try this new year to get to know God and see how a relationship with your maker gives reason and purpose to life?