Nurturing Better Relationships in 2017

Debbi Carberry Adults, Couples, Parenting, Women

As another year comes to an end I spend my New Year’s Eve doing some serious reflection.

I take time out to look back at what 2016 had in store for me. The good, bad and the not so great. For so many of my clients, this year has been a real struggle. I experienced my fair share too.
Through all of the difficulties and sadness, the one thing that has kept me going is my beautiful, caring partner.
It took me 37 years to finally find someone to spend my life with who was truly there for me. Who supports me and encourages me every single day.

For many this time of year is about making New Year’s resolutions about many things but often relationships.  I’m not too keen on a big flurry at the beginning of the year but more creating daily practices to see real change in our life.

So to help you get ready for this year in your relationship here are some research-based and tried and tested tips for you as you move into 2017. And don’t forget that this is for ALL of our relationships not just with our partners, but our kids, our siblings, our families of origin and our colleagues and friends. Oh, yeah and don’t forget the relationship you have with YOURSELF.


Connection is at the cornerstone of all relationships. However, today connection often happens through the lens of a mobile phone or tablet. Put down the technology on a regular basis. Slow life down and spend a little time on ‘nose to nose’ connection. Really listening, really hearing one another. Life can feel so busy and for most of us the need to be seen and heard is so strong. We feel happier, more loved and connected when we are able to be with those people that we love.

Learn how to give love to your partner in their love language

The 5 Love Languages are a revolutionary way of understanding how you and those around you give and receive love. There are quizzes online to find out what yours is.  I am always surprised when talking with couples that one of the biggest complaints is that they don’t show their love for one another. A little time with me and I explain that they are not using the love language of their partner. Learning your partner’s love language really can make a huge difference to their lives. If we cannot ‘see’ our partners bids for connection it can lead to one or both partners feeling lonely and rejected.

Why did you get together in the first place?

So many couples I speak with talk about how their partner has changed. But of course, they change! Both of you do. When the first flush of love comes along life is simple and you both are highly motivated to make one another happy. Once we get more comfortable things cool down (and to be honest they need to who could keep that high level of excitement going for years?). We may bring more responsibilities to the relationship, a home, jobs, kids and the day to day things that just have to get done. It’s okay if things change. But don’t forget to make time for each other. Small bids every single day to remind each other that you are there for them.

Values matter

We all have values – for many of us trying to articulate those is really difficult. When we spend some time working out what we value as individuals, as a couple, and as a family life can get heaps easier. When we move toward our values we feel happier and more contented. When we move away from them things can really become very difficult. Spend a little time discussing what your values are and see how they show up for you and your family every day.

Healing our historic wounds

We all bring ‘baggage’ from our history. From our childhood and through our earlier adulthood. Maybe your parents couldn’t give you what you needed? Maybe there was trauma in your childhood? Perhaps you have been hurt in relationships?  These historic wounds need to heal and they don’t general heal themselves. You need to do a little work to clear some of the hurts so that in your relationships and parenting today you can be all that you want to be. So make a plan to do some personal work, there are tons of books and online courses that can help you and of course you can also work one on one with a relationship specialist like myself. You are worth every cent!

It’s all about SELF!

Self-care, self-acceptance and self-compassion that is

We need to start with ourselves. It’s not selfish, it’s not indulgent. If we are not in a good place. If our basic needs are not met, if we are running on empty. We CANNOT be there for others. So this year set up a self-care routine, not special treats but daily practices that fill you and gives you what you need so that you can be there for those you love.

Self-acceptance is important too. Loving who we are – as we are, is easier said than done. BUT being kind to ourselves is so important. We only have this moment. Love your body, love your mind and your heart. You are imperfect (as we all are) but be your perfectly imperfect self.

And finally, self-compassion. This is a new concept for so many people. But we are incredibly critical of ourselves. Try being kind. Try treating yourself like you would a small child who has made a mistake or a loving friend who needs support. Science shows that self-compassion can make a huge difference to our general feelings of wellbeing.

I am excited about 2017. I feel it will the best year ever for me. I will be working on my six-week online relationship program and I hope to take hundreds of women through the program and help them to reconnect with themselves, heal old wounds and have the loving connected relationships they long for. I want to help them rewrite their relationship stories.

I wish you and your family a wonderful 2017. If you want to contact me – you can do so via email, make an appointment on this website to visit me in my Brisbane clinic or go to the work with me page of my website to see how I might be able to assist you in your relationships and parenting in 2017.

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Until next time ..