Relationships

  Well Valentine’s Day has come and gone. All the chocolates are now on sale; and for someof us, it is time to stock up on the discounted chocolates.  Valentine’s Day has got me thinking though.  It’s got me thinking about all the other days of the year.  Yes, it is wonderful that we have one specific day to demonstrate to our loved ones, just how much we love them. We get to shower them with jewels, flowers, notes of love and chocolate. That day is done but the opportunity to show our love is not gone. We have 364 other days in a year that we can show our love to our partner, children, family, and friends.  Here are some ideas how to spread your love throughout the year.

There is an important message here and it is “Let’s Talk”.  All too often people who are dealing with mental health issues keep it to themselves, struggling, hiding and not getting help. Some people feel that mental health issues are something that they cannot talk aboutbecause of the negative stigma that has historically been associated with it. However, you should never be ashamed to talk about the issues that you are dealing with.  Everyone is dealing with their own set of issues, and some of us deal with mental health, and that's okay.  You do not need to struggle alone. “ Mental illness affects people of all ages, educational and income levels, and cultures” states the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Well it’s that time of year when you see all those relatives that you haven’t seen since last year at this same time.  Why is that?  Hmmm, I’ll let you speculate on that.  Maybe for you it also brings a feeling of dread, especially when Aunt Sally never listens to you about your life threatening food allergy.  After all it’s just “in your head”! Why is it every time she sees you she tells you that you have crazy food preferences and it’s really just a bother to have to make something different for you?  Makes you feel kind of special, doesn’t it?

With the holiday season fast approaching, I thought I would raise a topic that many families struggle with, particularly if there is a family member who struggles with an alcohol addiction.  Gathering for a family meal together has become iconic over the Christmas season, whether that’s Christmas day itself or another day specified for a family gathering.  But, time and again the topic arises “what to do about ________’s drinking”?  This can be an all too often struggle for the family; however, the family is often not alone in that struggle.  For the individual with the issue, facing “another family meal” can be stressful, especially if they have not yet made the choice to stop using.

Perhaps your marriage is going pretty well. Things are fine, no big disagreements, and all is well. Good! Whatever worked to getting your relationship “pretty good” we encourage you to keep doing it. Sometimes it is just as important to know what works and why it works as it is to know what doesn’t work and why. Now, you know and we know that sometimes things change, a child goes to university (and that is a difficult adjustment), communication is not working as well as it once did, conflicts appear more frequent, your partner is communicating with their smart phone more often than communicating with you, or one or both of you would rather be at work than at home. Well these things can become barriers, but they need not destroy the relationship.