Relationships Matter

Relationships are an important part of a healthy lifestyle for both our physical and mental health.

The relationships we have with those around us make a big difference to how happy we are, how our children thrive and how we get though the challenges in life we sometimes face.

We all have disagreements and fall out with people, it’s a natural part of relationships. Disagreements can be big and small, whether it’s how we want to bring up our children, to who spends the most money, to who last did the washing up! Not all disagreements are damaging, it’s how we deal with them that is important.

When disagreements are not resolved, happen frequently or there are long periods of the ‘silent treatment’ they can turn into conflict. Whether parents are together or separated, the way you and your partner communicate can impact on your children.

Parental conflict is not the same as domestic abuse – if you are afraid of your partner or feeling that they control your life then this is more likely to be domestic abuse and support is available for you. Please seek help by:

Parental Conflict

Do you recognise any of these signs?

  • Are you arguing, having rows, shouting all the time with each other about things like, money, how you parent or housework?
  • Are you worried about splitting up?
  • Is there sulking, silent treatment, slamming doors or walking away from each other?
  • Are you anxious or worried and is this getting in the way of managing everyday life?
  • Are you not able to say sorry after an argument and move on?
  • Are you using hurtful texts, emails or social media against each other?

See it differently

Take some time to watch these videos from which highlight how these issues affect children and their families.

Jag's family


Chloe's family


Mahmoud's family


Maddie's family

What can we do?

There are many things we can do to reduce the amount of conflict in our relationships. Here are a few ideas:

  • Try and spend more quality time together. This might be watching your favourite programme on TV, going for a walk together, or having a regular date night with your partner. 
  • Choose the right time to discuss things; waiting for a quiet time in the evening may be better than during a busy time like the school run or whilst getting the kids ready for bed.
  • Don’t bottle things up, calmly tell your partner what is bothering you.
  • Listen to each other’s views without interrupting each other; one voice at a time.
  • Consider and ask each other’s their thoughts; be willing and open to compromise. 
  • Communication really is key - celebrate things you agree on and use this in future discussions.

Little book of Relationship Tips

We’re really pleased to share with you "The Little Book of Relationship Tips"

The book has been put together to help you if you’re facing challenges that are affecting your relationship with your partner. Maybe you are arguing more often, or your arguments are getting worse? This guide will provide some practical support and tips to help you get through this stressful time, and support you to make your relationship stronger for the future.

(Click the image or on this text to download)

If required, the booklet can be read aloud using our accessibility function at the top of the page. If you need any further help to access the booklet or experience any issues, please do get in contact with us.

Online Support for you

Bradford Council have worked with one plus one to provide the following FREE online courses (click on the images or the highlighted text underneath them for more details and to access the courses - links open in a new tab/window)

Arguing better course image

Arguing Better - to help parents communicate better with each other

Getting it right for children course image

Getting it right for children - is for separated or separating parents to help manage conflict and minimise the impact on children.

Me you and baby too course image

Me, you and baby too - to help new and expectant parents.

Money troubles

Debt and relationships - due to the cost-of-living crisis and because around 55% of couples list debt and money troubles in their top 3 issues, we have added another online course to support you. Throughout the course you will hear real couples telling their stories of being in debt, the impact this had on their relationships, and the steps they took to get things back on track.

Local support available for you

Relate Bradford & Leeds are the UK’s largest provider of relationship counselling support, Relate offers a range of specialist systemic counselling, including with young people and families, across Bradford & Leeds, in schools or at the Bradford Centre.

There may be fully funded sessions available, dependent on funding being available.

You can call Relate on 01274 726096 or send them an email at 

Bradford Council offer FREE parenting Programmes both virtually and face to face. These include:

  • courses which focus on developing communication and social skills
  • teaching positive ways to resolve conflict
  • proven strategies to encourage cooperation
  • raising self esteem
  • specific courses for dads/male carers

You can request a place using our simple and secure online form - Click here to find out more


The Wellbeing Network provides an open door to anyone who needs help to overcome challenges they face. It is an ever-growing network of support for people. They have six Hubs with onsite access to a range of delivery providers:

Refugees and asylum seekers, physical health, welfare benefits, substance misuse, mental wellbeing, domestic abuse and carer support

They also have Out of Hours provision, please contact them to find out more about their offer.

People using the Wellbeing Network say they have regained their hope, rebuilt trust and through the sustained support found they are able to face life’s challenges again.

For additional information and to access one of their Hubs use this information and referral webpage for self-referral

Further Resources

Family Lives provide targeted early intervention and crisis support to families who are struggling.  The issues they support families with include family breakdown, challenging relationships and behaviour, debt, and emotional and mental well-being.

You can call Family Lives on freephone 0808 800 2222 (Open Mon–Fri 9.00am-9.00pm and 10.00am-3.00pm at weekends)

Gingerbread are a charity that help single parent families to live secure, happy and fulfilling lives. They give free and confidential support and expert advice on anything from dealing with a breakup to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues. If you plan to use the helpline, mornings tend to be busy, so sometimes calling in the afternoon can help.

You can call Gingerbread on freephone 0808 802 0925 (Open Mon: 10.00am-6.00pm, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 10.00am-4.00pm, Wed: 10.00-1.00pm and 5.00pm to 7.00pm)

Other online resources

Relationship Matters Website - a new partnership between 15 Councils across Yorkshire and the Humber Region helping families who may be having relationship difficulties

8 tips to communicate better with your ex - ideas and guidance on how to co-parent after separation 

Facing money issues as a couple - useful ideas on getting help, talking about money, making a budget and taking time for each other

Click Relationships website - share questions and stories with the community, try fun and helpful activities, or get private support from a Click listener.

Dad Info Website - Europe's largest advice and support website for fathers. Includes a free online course for separated parents

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