How Counselling can help you create a Living Together Agreement – Victoria Sharman
Living together as a couple can be a momentous carefully thought-out life event – or something that just ‘evolves’. Either way, it is a sign that your relationship is at a stage where you are committing to sharing your lives on a daily basis.
So would it not be wise to be well prepared, and to discuss areas which could be difficult before they happen? Most relationships experience change and have highs and lows. But how many of us are equipped to tackle problems before they become a crisis?
• Cohabiting couple families grew by 29.7% between 2004 and 2014. This is the fastest growing type of family in the UK (ONS 2014)
If you’re about to make a major commitment and take that big step of moving in together, then it’s an exciting time – at this point, most people are just not thinking about the day-to-day issues of life as a couple: money, the impact of career choices, children and step-children, or even who does the shopping and the cleaning. But as your relationship develops, these kinds of issues can cause friction and can fuel discontent. If you have already been in a cohabiting relationship for some time, you will recognise this! But why not turn the tide and help make your relationship the strongest it can be?
Talking about what’s good in your relationship will help you to focus on what is good – on the strengths. Talking about potential pitfalls – ideally with the help of a trained therapist to ensure that both of you feel ‘safe’ to speak freely without feeling judged – would help prevent problems in the future and make your relationship even more resilient to what life throws at you.
Relationships are complex and we all need support at times. Sometimes we aren’t sure what support we need and where to find it. This is where a Relationship MOT can be of huge benefit.
The Relationship MOT is basically a health check that offers a snapshot of your relationship at this moment in time. It is not an in-depth analysis but is designed to help you to understand some of the issues you or you and your partner may be facing, and to help you to find your own sustainable solutions.
As you move forward towards better, even healthier relationships between each other and your children, and the wider family as a whole, the next natural step may be to create a Living Together Agreement.
Cohabitation Agreements – Unromantic?
It is not unromantic to be so good at communicating your needs that they can be committed to as a positive ‘life plan’ – and then also include a ‘what if’ scenario should your relationship change form in the future.
I believe it is very romantic to be able to have those conversations about finance and relationships and parenting, feeling safe and supported by someone like myself. We all want the people we love to feel secure, and since an unmarried parent has very few legal rights (no maintenance, no rights to their partner’s pension) then is it not a responsible and loving act to provide some protection through creating your own cohabitation agreement?
Why not contact me for a cost-free conversation about how a relationship MOT could benefit you and your relationship?
Access your complimentary discovery session by phone
with Victoria Sharman
tel: 0208 933 3040 mobile: 07936 88 11 50
Victoria Sharman is a qualified counsellor with over 20 years experience and is an accredited member of the Professional Standards Authority. She has worked within the mental heath field on projects for the elderly, and in child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in the South East of England whilst training as a systemic family psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and KCC Foundation.
Victoria trained as a supervisor with the Metanoia Institute and British Psychological Society, and has taught on counselling and psychotherapy courses in Further and Higher Education, which included student and staff counselling.
V2Recovery is Victoria’s own company where she supports individuals, couples and families who have a wide range of psychological and emotional needs, including separation and divorce, with an emphasis on helping couples to create peaceful outcomes.