Graham Prince, BA, MA, PgDip.

Sex, Relationships and Growth

Relationships are people making machines. They force us to change and grow. How successful your relationship is depends, not on how close you are to your partner, but on how you differentiate yourself from them. We grow by looking after ourselves, accepting the differences in our partners and being honest about wanting to change as we mature. This is a skill that happy and successful people and couples have. But sometimes we are ready for growth when our partners are not. That's when relationships experience gridlock.

To work out where you are with yourself and your relationship, think about these questions:

  • Am I confident in myself, or do I look for my partner to "bring out the best in me"?
  • Do I put a higher priority on what my partner wants than what I want?
  • Can I control my anxiety and soothe myself in difficult situations without my partner's involvement?
  • Can I tolerate the difficulties of a relationship without losing control of who I am and over-reacting?

Being confident in yourself, not depending totally on another for approval, making your own choices and being able to manage your emotions and anxieties is the secret to being a good partner. But many people are too enmeshed with their partners. They each need the other's support and approval to function, but then feel overwhelmed, controlled or dominated by them. The anxiety, anger and confusion of these couples makes good sex impossible and sexual problems more likely. If these couples break up, they tend to go on to have the same problems next time.

If you feel your relationship is gridlocked, then you or your partner may need help to make change happen. Or perhaps you are exploring why your relationships always seem to follow a similar pattern.

Working with a therapist can enable you to grow: to make you a happier, more successful, more attractive person; a better partner and a better lover. Seeking help can mean the difference between staying together and learning to grow or splitting up and repeating the patterns all over again.

I am always happy to discuss without obligation how I work and how I might be able to help. You might also find the following pages helpful:

Whatever the issue that you want to address, the most important step is to call a therapist to talk about it.


"When we were recommended Graham we were really stuck. We had had great sex at the start of our relationship, but I was feeling less comfortable being intimate. My partner was fed up with me refusing sex and we were both really angry and scared about what was going on. We now recognise that we were both contributing to this problem by being too close and too dependent on one another. As we began to work at sorting out ourselves and not changing each other, things got a lot better both between us and in the bedroom."

M - Exeter


Whatever issues a couple brings, my experience is that they are going to be able to deal with it better by each standing on their own two feet rather than trying to work as one. Getting each partner to work from the best in themselves is the key to overcoming their difficulties and rediscovering that they are two different people rather than Siamese twins. I have yet to find a couple for whom this didn't bring change and growth.


"Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, and the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

The Prophet,
Kahlil Gibran.