Relationship coach on how to have a tension free Christmas
- Credit: courtesy of Maya Vaughan
Hampstead born, now living in Highgate, relationship coach Maya Vaughan works both online and at Triyoga in Camden.
She advises clients on how to manage conflict in their relationships and communicate in a way that unites instead of pulling them apart. With a "transformational" approach that uses mindset shifts and psychotherapeutic interventions to help them repair relationships, "melt conflict into love" and have a tension-free Christmas.
"We all long for joy and harmony in our intimate relationship.
When it is missing and there is tension and struggle in its place, we feel demoralised, short-changed and hard done by, especially at this time of year. We might even find ourselves fantasising about what our relationship could be like, if our partner wasn’t in it!
So, how do we make room for joy when we are feeling less than enamoured with our partners? Firstly, we need to recognise that we can’t make our partners into something they are not. In fact, the more we try, the more joy will elude us and the more the tension will build.
No one changes because they are told to. Whenever we indicate to our loved ones that they are letting us down or doing something wrong, unless we communicate it truly lovingly and take full responsibility for how we feel, they rarely agree.
Instead they tend to feel criticised and defensive. Whether they show it openly or keep it to themselves, it is felt. There is a tightness in the air and no-one is listening. So, if we can’t change our partner and tell them where they are going wrong, what can we do?
As a first step, we can let go of the myth that our partners are there to make us happy and that conflict and tension is unhealthy instead of being a natural and inevitable feature of any love relationship. Once we have freed ourselves from these myths (yes, I know it’s not simple but we have to start somewhere) we can set about cutting our relationship and our partner some slack. Instead of blaming our partner, we can get creative about what WE CAN DO TO FEEL MERRY OURSELVES.
Instead of waiting for our partner to make the right move and bring all that festive joy to the table, why not try something that makes you feel warm inside.
Take time to focus on what genuinely makes you happy and make space for it. Give that gift to yourself and when you feel a little bit of joy bubble up inside you as a result of that autumnal walk in the woods, that cycle ride, that beer with your best mate or that funny comedy that you made time to watch, get playful about what you can do to bring some of those good vibes to the table yourself. Take a little of that warmth you feel inside and share the love. Give your partner a kiss or cuddle, make them a cup of tea just the way they like it or cook them their favourite meal and, most importantly, do it with NO EXPECTATION OF GETTING SOMETHING IN RETURN.
Do it because you want to share some of that festive joy inside of you and watch how your partner responds. You never know, they may give you a little piece of joy back in the shape of a smile or they might simply feel more relaxed and open because they are not under the microscope for a change.
They may even be more willing than usual to play a game of cards, laugh at your jokes and or even jump in the sack (not Santa’s!). Aside from what they might do for you, simply watching them unwind and let go may bring more joy to your table that you thought.
One thing is for certain, when we move towards our partner with love, whatever the challenges, something melts, tension dissipates and the door creaks open for a bit of joy to find its way in."