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The Referendum result last month came as something of a shock to a lot of people – even those who voted to leave! It certainly stirred a lot of debate and emotion. The main concern was, and still is, the potential for division and even hatred.

It got me reflecting on how things can be for couples. There can be real division in relationships – I often see it manifested in the counselling room. It’s inevitable that there will be differences of opinion between two people. You are not perfect and neither is your partner. It’s how you live with those differences which marks out the couples who survive the storms and those who don’t. And splits can be acrimonious.

It’s vital for couples to communicate – I think most couples understand that, though it still surprises me that couples have poor communication as an underlying issue. If we don’t relate with our partner or spouse the relationship is more prone to division.The point though is to be able to communicate effectively. This includes listening carefully, attentively and empathically. It also means having compassion for the other person and compassion for the relationship. 

So if there was a referendum in your relationship, would you vote Leave or Remain? If Leave, is that a protest vote because you feel something isn’t right? Like some who voted Leave in the UK Referendum, you might be in danger of not seeing the bigger picture. If you would vote Remain, is that because it’s better the devil you know, or because you really love your partner and you want your relationship to grow and develop? 

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