Uncovered

‘Naked Marriage’ is your opportunity as a couple to focus on the essential elements of your relationship. 

During Marriage Week (and beyond), we encourage you and your partner to take a look at your relationship and hone in on what really counts when it comes to a healthy marriage.

We’ve asked a number of experts to offer up some simple advice and tips to help you ‘uncover’ these elements in the ‘Uncovered’ series. 

And if you’re not yet married, these topics are also here for you as you reflect on your relationship and consider whether you’re ready to make a commitment to each other and consider a ‘Naked Wedding’!

Uncovered… Patience

There’s an old piece of humour – “They say that patience is a skill that can be acquired.  But how can I learn it faster!” That joke always makes me smile but perhaps it is an excellent reflection on today’s world.  Covid-19 has trained us, or should I say forced us, to be a little more patient – waiting for restrictions to be lifted, waiting for vaccines to be produced, …

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Uncovered… Work

Somebody far wiser than me, I think it was Rob Parsons, said that life is like juggling a set of balls; there’s a ball called ‘family’, one called ‘health’, one called ‘marriage’, one is ‘faith’ and, I think, one might be called ‘self-esteem’. There is definitely one called ‘work’. This wiser person says that, as we go along, we discover that most of these balls are made of glass – and only one is made of rubber. The rubber ball is work. Even …

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Uncovered… Love

What is love anyway? We have been watching the most recent series of The Crown (yes, I know we’re late to the party!).  It’s portrayal of Charles & Diana’s relationship is mesmerising and ultimately desperately sad.  At their engagement, on being told by a reporter that they looked very ‘much in love’, Charles famously said “Whatever ‘in love’ means” and this got us thinking – what is love and what …

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Uncovered… Communication

In our work with couples Marriage Care is acutely aware of the value of good communication in relationships. Whether it be in enjoying and nurturing a relationship that is in its element, or in aiding broken relationships that need rebuilding and healing, we know that good communication is essential.   The support Marriage Care offers couples is provided by a nationwide network of professionally trained and dedicated volunteers. They hold a wealth …

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Uncovered… Fun

There’s never been a more important time to have fun.  But when I was asked if I would like to write about fun for Marriage Week 2021’s Naked Marriage campaign, I wondered if I could have been set a more challenging task in the middle of the third lockdown of the covid-19 pandemic.  Having fun with your spouse or partner is undoubtedly incredibly important.  It has huge benefits for our mental and physical health and is hugely …

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Uncovered… Dealing with the Past

Matt and Sue* cautiously sip their coffee and sit slightly apart from each other on the sofa in front of us. They’re here for their first couple coaching session and their body language and words are telling us a story of disconnection, hurt and conflict. Married 23 years, with three teenage children, they regularly find themselves caught in the same circular arguments. They know their dance well and are able …

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Uncovered… Sex

“Are We Normal?” As a sex and relationship therapist I regularly get asked -what is normal, is this normal, am I normal? In sexual medicine, we rarely use the word ‘normal’ unless we are using this to classify what ‘typically’ happens in sexual functioning as opposed to what is considered ‘acceptable’ practice because there is a huge range of personal preference. Everyone is different, sexual intimacy is subjective and it …

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Uncovered… Commitment

A recently married couple wrote to an older married couple to thank them for the encouragement to get married: ‘We had been engaged for ages but weren’t planning our wedding. We remembered how important that you thought getting married was and in July we had a fantastic wedding. We are so happily married. Neither of us thought that getting married would change anything, but it has, hugely. We are so …

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Uncovered… Friendship

Marriage is built on many things. Friendship, I believe, is just the tip of the iceberg. Before we get into the top tips for cultivating a thriving friendship, the best piece of marriage advice I can give you is to love and accept yourself for exactly who you are. Identify the areas that you need to work on as an individual rather than wanting your partner to fix you or …

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Uncovered… Parenting

Parenting is a massive endeavour that we strike out on as a couple.  It is an adventure that can test and strain a marriage and build it and strengthen it.  Here are a few ideas to think about as we figure out how to parent together. Give yourself permission to prioritise each other. A strong marriage is vital to our own mental health, to the sense of safety and peace …

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Uncovered… Money

Money can cause a lot of stress in a relationship; one of you might enjoy spending spontaneously on whatever you fancy, happy to use cards to pay for things; whereas the other might prefer to be more cautious, saving every penny.   It’s likely that a couple’s different approaches will cause friction and arguments at some point.   But it is possible to manage your finances with confidence together, so you can …

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Uncovered… Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a daily choice Our own story shows how vital forgiveness is in the crisis moments of our relationships. Steve When Claire walked away from our marriage with another man, I made the choice early on to fight for her. But that meant each day I had to come face to face with the pain their actions had caused, so had to forgive over and over again. I also …

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Uncovered… Mental Health

I’m going to say it from the outset, marriage is hard work. Patrick and I have been married for over 25 years now and I love him dearly, but I can honestly say that I feel like I’m still getting to know him.  We’ve both very different people from when got married. For a start we were very young (21 and 22) but we had been together 6 years before …

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Uncovered… Annoying habits

If you’re anything like us, our partner’s annoying habits have started to grate after a year at home in each other’s space!  From coffee cups left lying around and talking too loudly on the phone, to ‘attacking’ keyboards and hogging the remote, we find ourselves ‘zeroing in’ on our other half’s annoying habits and running out of patience.   By default, we assume our annoying habits are never as bad as theirs – and can always be justified by the circumstances.  So, when I leave a cupboard door open its because I was rushing around with so much to do that I …

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Uncovered… Kindness

After nearly 35 years of marriage, I’ve finally realised I’m a slow learner. Kate’s been telling me for years what she needed from me as her husband. ‘I need you to be my friend, Harry’. That took the first eight years to realise. ‘I need you to be kind’. That took rather longer. I wish I’d had the word ‘kindness’ tattooed into my brain from the day we got married. …

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Uncovered… Conflict

Some of the things you may have spotted over the last year as governments have grappled with the issues brought on by the pandemic are the behaviours that come out when people are under pressure. I’ve noticed these reactions: – The key thing is – who’s to blame? – You are pointing out our issues, but what about yours? – If I can’t have it, then I’ll make sure you …

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Uncovered… Looking to the future

When we’re planning our wedding or first married, looking to the future can feel like the most natural and obvious thing in the world. We’re excited about the days to come and are dreaming of what the future holds for us. But what happens as life gets busy and the years start to pass? Are we still as quick to dream together and to look to the future in those …

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Marriage Week 2020

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