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Happy St. Patrick's Day ...and Relationship Outcomes

Is it simply an excuse to drink green beer, wear green clothing, and have a lot of fun?

For many people St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the arrival of Saint Patrick, and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland, which is marked by the celebration of Irish heritage and culture. For others, it is simply an excuse to drink green beer, wear green clothing, and have a lot of fun. And for the rest of us, it is simply a day to engage in outlandish alcohol consumption.

But what does this all this have to do with relationships?

Well, for the month of March we will dedicate the next blog series to building stronger relationships through highlighting some of the greatest aggravating factors towards relationship outcomes, and protective factors.

As I have often said before, and no doubt will often say again, relationships, like everything else, do better when they are in balance. As we often say: Everything in Moderation. If you want to have a couple of drinks on a Friday night, enjoy it; if you watch some TV, enjoy it; if you want to eat some fast food, enjoy it. Once in a while, these behaviours, in and of themselves, are not necessarily a problem. But what happens when things start getting out of hand? What happens if we start drinking too much, or watching too much TV, or eating too much fast food?

When life is in balance, it automatically starts creating boundaries, and the opposite is true as well. The better boundaries we have, the better balance we will have as well.

When couples come to counselling, many ask what the chances are for their relationship to succeed. One of the biggest aggravating factors for therapeutic outcome is addictions and substance use. The reason is because addiction becomes a wildcard, which inherently destabilizes the environment and therefore the relationship. For example, if I am with someone that struggles with gambling, every time I go to the grocery store, I may be unsure whether or not my card will be declined. This will cause feelings of apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, frustration, irritability, insecurity, and increase an overall sense of ambiguity. These feelings in turn will become resentment and animosity towards my partner. If my partner struggles with alcohol, I may never know if I am coming home to an individual that is sober or intoxicated, or how intoxicated they might be, on any given day, resulting in the same feelings listed above.

Relationships, like everything else, do better when they are in balance.

I am not saying that you can’t go out and have fun every now and then, but the fun has to be in balance with responsibility and accountability which are 2 essential boundaries for providing environmental stability. So, this St. Patrick’s Day, have fun, throw moderation out the window if you feel you must do so, but then ensure that the rest of the days before and after are practising balance and stability.

As we said on the farm, Everything in Moderation, even Moderation!!

Come heal, grow and create together


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