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:

  • calling the National Domestic Helpline on 0808 2000 247 (open 24 hours a day)
  • calling our local service Staying Put on 0808 2800 999 (open Mon-Fri 9.30-4.30)
  • in an emergency always call 999

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?


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. Sometimes they help in a few small steps:

  • 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.

Online Support for you

Bradford Council have worked with one plus one to provide the following FREE online courses (links open in a new tab/window)

Arguing Better - to help parents communicate better with each other

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 - to help new and expectant parents.

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.

To access the courses, you'll need:

  • a smartphone, tablet, or computer, and a good internet connection,
  • to create an account with a username and password. This is FREE.

Click here to start - or scan this QR code:

Local support available for you

Relate Bradford & Leeds

As 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.

Visit their website:

Call them on 01274 726096 or



Parenting Programmes

Bradford council have a range of FREE parenting programmes available 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

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.

Visit their website

Call them 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.

Visit Gingerbread online

Call them on freephone 0808 802 0925


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

8 tips to communicate better with your ex

Facing money issues as a couple

Click Relationships website

Dad Info Website