Survivors' Forum – Until Women and Children are Safe
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We are more than happy to help researchers and students but only if they ask nicely first. If you can book a night away sometime together then do that, give each other a candlelit massage, spend time making your partner feel loved - not just with intimacy but also with lots of affection and hugs. If there are sexual frustrations in a relationship then sit down and talk about it - don't allow it to fester as one partner may be building up resentment against the other.
If there are problems then seek help but talk about it together - don't turn your back on your partner. Try not to go to sleep on an argument - life is too short to keep up resentment and grudges or stony silences - nobody knows what the future holds so always try to make up before you go to bed.
Say sorry - if you have treated your partner unfairly or taken your aggression out on your partner then say sorry - don't just act like nothing has happened but have the decency to treat your partner with respect and say sorry.
If you feel your relationship isn't as happy as it could be try and go back to when you first got together: Sometimes when you are too closely involved in a situation it is hard to stand back and look at it without all the emotion involved - a third party can sometimes see things more clearly and look at things more rationally. Mediation helps many thousands of parents stay out of the court system and also keeps the cost of separation and divorce manageable. Mediation can also help children to come to terms with the changes in their own lives if they see their parents moving on and coping with each other.
For further information of what mediation can offer see listing below for National Family Mediation. In some situations a person can feel so hurt, betrayed, that they feel they cannot go on living. The reality is that life does have to go on but it is important that you allow yourself time and space to grieve for the loss of your relationship.
Too many people rush into another relationship without having come to terms with the loss of the previous relationship. Often people may feel frightened of being alone but rushing into a relationship before you are ready may only lead to further heartache for you. A loss of a relationship can also mean a loss of confidence, especially if your partner has left you for someone else.
If your partner has recently left and it has dented your confidence then try and use the time to build your confidence and self esteem up.
Try not to look at it that it must have been something wrong about you, or you were not attractive enough or run yourself down as too many people do. Recognise that the reason for the breakdown may have been nothing to do with you but more to do with where your partner was at and maybe how they had changed. Try to take something positive from what you may see as a totally negative situation. If you had a number of happy years with your partner then tell yourself that that is something which you had which perhaps other people haven't had.
Some people go throughout their life never knowing what it feels like to be in a happy, loving relationship.
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If you are having difficulty in letting go of your ex partner it may help to write a letter about how you feel about the ending of the relationship. This can be therapeutic and prevent you from bottling things up inside which can lead to depression.
Some people may write a letter and then destroy it or some may choose to send it to their ex partner. You need to do whatever you feel will help you to let go of the previous relationship and move on with your life. Try to see it as a new beginning. Try not to constantly dwell on the past and what may or may not have happened if you had done things differently.
You did what you felt was right at the time - everyone can look back in hindsight and think how they may have acted differently - however, you cannot change the past, - but you can take that insight with you into future relationships and do things differently in future relationships.
Try not to feel bitter and vengeful against your ex partner - this will only end up destroying you and will not help you to move on.
You may feel isolated as sometimes when partners break up they may find that their friends tend to take sides and may not be so friendly towards you. Use this time to take stock of your life and how you can make a new life for yourself.
Many people take the opportunity to spend time on making themselves feel good, a new hairdo, new clothes, taking up new interests and hobbies where you can meet new people, make new friendships, boost your confidence. Life does have to go on and try to see it as a new beginning in your life with new challenges. It is natural you may find difficulty in trusting potential partners which is why it is so important not to rush into a new relationship when you are vulnerable. Take time to get to really know someone first and give the person time to really get to know you.
Often the child is constantly questioned about the other parent, if the other parent has a new partner, the child is often asked to repeat what is happening in the other household, one parent may try and turn the child against the other parent, etc.
If you are using your child in this way please stop it now as you are causing a lot of confusion, hurt, pain, damage to your child. It can lead to your child having depression, anxiety, it can affect their schoolwork, and it can lead to children harming themselves and feeling extremely unhappy.
If you are angry at your ex partner and hurt you need to find a way of dealing with that and trying to be civil and polite to each other for the sake of your children. It is not appropriate to run down your ex partner in front of your children or try and turn your child against your ex partner.
You do not have the right to try and destroy your child's relationship with your ex partner. There are unfortunately many parents who make access as difficult as possible for their ex partner and this is not fair on the children or the ex partner.
Nobody wants a relationship to breakdown - unfortunately it is part of life, people change, people fall in and out of love, and it is best to try and not cause additional distress and pain through bitterness or trying to seek some kind of revenge.
In the breakdown of a relationship it is important that both parents sit down with their children and explain that you have decided to live apart as sometimes adults are no longer able to live together for whatever reason. Reassure your child the breakdown is nothing to do with them as many children do feel they are the cause of the breakdown and it was their fault in some way. When a relationship breaks down it is best to be as honest and upfront as you can with your children.
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They notice and feel things more than you may realise and sometimes separating parents can be so wrapped up in argument and scoring points over each other that the children get forgotten. Just as it is a vulnerable time for you it is a vulnerable time for your child and they need a lot of loving and reassurance by both parents. Again from calls we have from children and young people we find that children are hurting but don't want to talk to their parents because they feel they may be upsetting the parent so they are suffering in silence.
A child should never be put in a situation where they feel they have to choose between their parents or take sides.