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Relationships, Mothering Sunday and Still Alice

I hope everyone had a happy Mothering Sunday whether as mother or as a child. Having recently seen the film STILL ALICE – which I highly recommend – it makes for some in depth thoughts about all our various relationship roles and especially that of a mother. We are all sons and daughters, some are siblings, parents, step-parents, aunts, uncles – the list goes on. The film highlights just how willing or able we are to sacrifice the way we want our lives to be, in order to look after someone we love. This is especially true today with an ageing population and increasing numbers of people finding themselves as carers. Previous generations lived close to one another, often in the same house. These days we tend to live more independently and with both partners working. Caring for someone else, can put a strain on the individual, no matter how loving they are, and on their other relationships. Hats off to all those of us who have a caring role – and don’t forget to spare a little time for caring for yourself.

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Thank you Okehampton Town Council

March 3rd: Our Okehampton Counsellor Karen, accepted a cheque from Mayor Paul Vachon at the Town Hall, Okehampton. We are extremely grateful to Okehampton Town Council for giving us a grant despite the current climate of cutbacks and thereby acknowledging the valuable work that we do. It helps us to maintain our service in the town and surrounding  areas. It’s easy to forget what a huge county Devon is and how difficult it can be for those in rural areas to access help that they need. Thank you Okehampton.

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Breaking news – North Devon

Relate North Devon is taking part in an open day at THE TARKA CLINIC Barnstaple on Saturday, February 28th between 11 am and 2pm. You can talk to a Relate counsellor about any relationship concerns you may have or simply to find out more about us. The Tarka clinic can be found in Paige’s Lane, Barnstaple, EX31 1EF COME AND MEET US

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Mediation

Mediation

Most things in life can be sorted out by direct negotiation, but what happens if you get stuck arguing about an issue or it becomes too difficult to even talk about? That is where Mediation comes in. What is Mediation? “Most people come for Mediation when their relationship has broken down and they are struggling to talk to their partner about making arrangements for their children. When a relationship ends there are lots of emotions to deal with and often couples are at different stages so just talking about what happens next can be really difficult. The role of the Relate Mediator is to help get a conversation going about what each person needs and work with them to make the best plans for the future.” Is mediation just for separating couples? “Not at all. Mediation is particularly useful when people involved in a dispute need to have some sort of ongoing relationship. Often this will be parents who no longer want to be together but need to make decisions about their children but we also work with other family members, friends, and even neighbours who find themselves unable to resolve a disagreement. The good thing is Mediation allows people to keep control over the outcome rather than handing over that responsibility to someone else like a court Judge.” What kind of…

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Step family problems

“I don’t love my stepchildren”

“At 5.30pm, three evenings a week, a dramatic performance takes place in my house, with me centre stage. I’m in the kitchen chatting with my four-year-old daughter and two teenage sons. I relish these moments together, just the four of us. The windows steaming with the boiling pans, the smell of home cooking, the banter and anecdotes about their days. I feel bathed in warmth and love. Then I hear a key in the door and my heart sinks. It’s my stepchildren, and I must appear pleased to see them. I live with not only my own three children but my stepchildren as well What would they like to eat? Are they cold? Would they like me to run them a hot bath? A mug of cocoa, even? It’s pathetic and I know they can see through my saccharine platitudes as they dump their school blazers and rucksacks in the hall, and stomp to their room. Quite often my partner’s eldest child, will pop in unannounced, too, and I start all over again — gushing, cooking, fussing and smiling through gritted teeth. It’s a performance that leaves me exhausted (understandably, as often I will cook six separate meals from scratch to meet…

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Unemployed youth emotions

Unemployed young people falling apart emotionally

Unemployment is damaging the emotional well-being of young people, research released today has found. One in three Neets (young people “not in education, employment, or training”) between the ages of 16 and 25 regularly “fall apart” emotionally, a study by youth charity the Prince’s Trust showed. More than a third of the 2,265 people polled said they often feel anxious about everyday situations and avoided meeting new people; the figure rose to 56 per cent for Neets. Almost half of those who were unemployed said they feel down or depressed often or always. And the younger generation is at risk of becoming cut off from society, with more than one in ten feeling anxious to leave their house. Moreover, those who are unemployed are twice as likely to feel this way, while 43 per cent of Neets said they often feel isolated. Prince’s Trust have a lot of support available but a good first step might be to contact Relate and talk to one of their highly experienced counsellors. More here from The Independent

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Just the two of us

Wife makes man’s life hell

“Dear Bel, My situation has been deteriorating for a number of years, until now it’s intolerable. My wife and I (in our 60s) had both been married before. We met 18 years ago and married three years after that. She seemed a very caring person but could be short-tempered with her family, though not particularly antagonistic with me. That is, until we got married — when it all changed.” This poor man was desperate. The Femail advisor suggests a visit to Relate Read more: Daily Mail Femail

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Lonely christmas

Many expect to spend Christmas alone, BBC poll suggests

BBC Breakfast discussed loneliness and a survey carried out for 5 Live. Loneliness isn’t just something that affects older people. As in our own survey it was found many 18-24 year olds also feel lonely with 30% as likely to feel lonely as those over 65 (31%) 28% of adults say that they feel lonely at least some of the time. 33% say they feel left behind by new ways of communicating and 85% prefer speaking to friends and family face to face. More here from the BBC

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