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  • Fe Robinson

The diversity of relationships

Not so long ago, the thought of 'living in sin' as a stable family unit, of same sex marriages, of gay couples raising children or of transgender identities and relationships were all pretty much unthinkable. The over-riding assumption was that we would meet someone of the opposite sex, court, marry, have children, and stay together for the rest of our lives. Thank goodness times have changed and diversity is so much better understood by many.

We live so much longer now, till death us do part can mean a relationship of many more decades than was ever the case in the past. Many more people find they now have two, three or perhaps more long term relationships in their life, each one seeing them through a different life stage. Our generally more liberal society thankfully enables people to express their sexuality with same sex relationships, and truth to their sexual and gender identities with transgender being a reality people are able to be honest about. We are more likely to be in a relationship but living apart, to have step-children, or no children, ideas of family are much more flexible.

This liberation comes with some confusion and tension. Social attitudes do not necessarily keep pace with what is happening, and the political and social discourse is quite polarised. This can create tensions, individuals and couples often come to psychotherapy struggling with the tensions between traditional ideas of relationship, and their lived reality.

Finding the space to reflect on what matters to you in relationship, how you choose to express your identity as individuals and as a couple, and how you manage ideas of intimacy, sexuality, gender, personal freedom, boundaries, divorce and even the purpose of relationships themselves can be important.

A couples or individual psychotherapist, depending on whether you want to dialogue together or alone can be useful to explore what is happening in your own relationship and personal process. It’s important to know the therapeutic relationship is one of open exploration, without judgement. It’s a relationship in which you can find and express who you are, just as you are, with dialogue and honesty enabling an authentic sincerity and spontaneity of relating that can be healing. In time this can be transferred into the relationships that matter to you in your life, enabling you to show up, valuing and trusting yourself, just as you are.

To talk about your relationship patterns, and your own ways of being, get in touch.


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