The Open University have studied how and why couples stay together in long-term relationships in, “Enduring Love: Couple Relationships in the 21st Century”.  It explores how relationships are surviving on an everyday level.  What they found is that there is no “typical couple” and that being part of a couple isn’t the be all and end all of their lives-there are friends, family, kids, colleagues and even pets.  The study demonstrated that although couples face many stresses- such as miscarriage, loss of work, moving house, illness etc-successful couples pulled together and didn’t look to their partner to provide the only source of support, support was also found outside of the couple.  Most importantly it was the seemingly insignificant acts of daily kindness that were most prized as nourishing and sustaining relationships long-term, such as saying “thank you”, recognition of the time and effort to complete tiresome household chores, and regular surprise treats such as chocolates, emptying the dishwasher and even a good cuppa.  These small acts are like glue, giving us security and safety as they remind us that the other person is committed.  Next time I shall look at other areas which relationship success.  If you and your partner would like to explore relationship counselling, contact Kim for further details.

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