Chronic illness of one person, for example, can impact the well-being of both partners.Many couples struggle with communicating effectively and feeling that they are heard by their partners, as well as differences in parenting, political views, or expectations.As long as each partner is willing to address the issue at hand and participate in developing a solution, most relationship problems are manageable, but when challenges are left unaddressed, tension mounts, poor habits develop, and the health and longevity of the relationship are in jeopardy.Strain can be placed on a relationship when stressful circumstances affect the couple as a whole, or even just one of the partners.Inquiry reveals the fights are verbal and very emotional, but not physical.In sessions, the two are affectionate but anxious, and they make little eye contact with one another. They report fighting about “everything” and “stupid things.” Both profess a desire to “make it work.” The therapist approaches the work in several ways.Relationship problems can also affect one’s self-esteem and physical health or lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or anger.
Simple, everyday stressors can strain an intimate relationship, and major sources of stress may threaten the stability of the relationship.
Couples often approach counseling with the expectation that a therapist can help in some way—though they may not know just how they expect the therapist to help.
Some couples may want to develop better communication skills, enhance intimacy, or learn to navigate new terrain in their lives.
Severe stressors include infidelity, terminal illness of one partner, and serious mental health issues.
Resentment, contempt, and an increase in the frequency of arguments tend to be signs of underlying problems that have been left unaddressed.