Author Archive for Clare Ireland

The electronic companion and the unseen intruder

Referring to the blog posted on Monday February 17th 2014, Pitfalls and Minefields, the last point could be expanded.

The smart phone is a wonderful tool, full of clever Apts, convenience, speed, life saving uses and creator of feeling part of a group rather than alone. Its ever expanding possibilities are exciting, yet at times addictive.
Relationships between couples, friends, parents and children, strangers and work colleagues can be enhanced by instant communication but endangered if used without empathy towards the excluded, present real person. The mobile user in one half or both of a couple, a parent with a child hoping for attention in the playground or at an important school play or match can seem disinterested and unimpressed by the disappointed loved one or colleague by their side.

The sense of rejection from the other side of any duo or group, if the mobile user seems more engaged or animated by the invisible ‘other’ can be uncomfortable and humiliating. The electronic companion turns into a more interesting, amusing and distracting intruder, lover, other child, more interesting work colleague or permission to be rude to the ticket operator, the cash out assistant, the check out attendant in departures and even the cat or dog hoping for personal attention.

Daniel Craig (James Bond) put his toe in the hot water by suggesting to his new wife that they leave the mobile facility out of the bedroom. This could be a starting point for some similar ground rules within human interaction.

Clare Ireland

Negotiating couple pitfalls and minefields.

Pressed buttons can ignite into hurt feelings and painful arguments even with couples that feel in harmony.  Talking about things they know are liable to ‘set them off’, and how they would like to negotiate when this happens can help to avoid instant defensiveness and lack of understanding.

· Where to live and in what type of accommodation?
· Money management.
· Sexual desire, preferences and respect.
· Allowing and respecting difference in taste whether cultural or social.
· Household and daily chores.  Who does what and when?  Does it feel fair?
· Driving and directions.  Who does which or are the roles swapped?
· Time management.  Late/early.  How to negotiate somewhere in the middle to lower the anxiety and stress.
· Going out.  How much or little?
· Sharing friends.  Mutually enjoying some.  Separating out for others without a sense of rejection or threat.
· What does each mean about trust?
· Children.  Different expectations and hopes.  How to deal with the conflicting ideas.
· Pets.  To have or have not?  How to share the care.
· Tidy/Untidy.  Can a point be reached somewhere in the middle to satisfy both.
· Perhaps one of the most difficult to negotiate because it is a relatively new pitfall is Internet and mobile phone usage.  The sense of rejection when friends in cyberspace seem more amusing, interesting and sexy than each other in real time.

These are all areas of possible conflict and misunderstanding which can be conciliated and mediated, bringing the couple closer through a feeling of respect and being borne in mind.

Clare Ireland

Lies, economical with the truth, (white lies), and lies.

Couples hope for truth from each other but is this always the best solution whenever questions are asked?  Some will wonder how anyone can trust anyone else unless there is total honesty within an adult partnership.

Truth and lying are rooted in family history, example, teaching and culture.  Therefore in a couple there are different influences and standards being acted out which are often unknown to each person.

Perhaps couples need to be honest with each other about when they consider, ‘economical with the truth’ to be acceptable.

Doctors and other public service personnel have to search their inner selves to find a guideline.  Does a Doctor give the terminal patient some hope when there is no hope there?

Does a political leader carrying information about an attack on a city the next day, announce this, knowing that mass panic will follow?

When does a parent tell their child the truth about something, which will feel unbearable to a young mind?

Does the guilty partner when confronted about a long over affair, confess and cause further damage to a couple getting back on track?

Everyone will have different views on these difficult questions.

Is there a straight answer or does each individual within a couple have to share their feelings about where their boundaries lie and try to keep to the negotiated ground rules they have agreed on when faced with a Yes or No answer?

Clare Ireland

Adult trust

Trust is often aligned to unease about a possible affair.  But there are many other areas of trust which also cause disappointment, hurt, anger and a sense of unfairness and let down.

How much can you really trust yourself in any unforeseen circumstance however adamant you feel about how you would react to the test.

Rescuing the child in the burning house.

Never tell a lie.

Never flirt outside the couple.

Never steal anything or be economical with the truth.

Never put your partner down in a group.

Never talk down to a child. Never under any circumstance have an affair.The degree you can trust your partner is only equal to the degree you can trust yourself.

Some tips on how to understand each other’s idea of trust in order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding and the build up of resentment.If you are expecting something from your partner, ask yourself first, ‘Could I or would I do that for them’?

Try to think about the truth in this mindset: ‘I want you to love me unreservedly, care for me, understand me, never put me down, never humiliate me in company, always tolerate my difficult side, make love to me when I feel like it, etc.  But, I am not sure I could do the same for you’.

Talk to each other about what you need from your partner and tell them what you can do for them and what you would find difficult.  Then negotiate.

Sharing these concepts between you during good moments can boost your feelings of safety and trust together and this will aid the resolution following an affair or other serious breaking of trust issues and make way for less feelings of abandonment and loss.

Clare Ireland