Our own sense of identity and worth often depends on the strength of our relationships and we can fall into despair if our closest relationship fails. Our closest relationship, to our partner, is based on intimacy and trust. If it isn’t there or if it deteriorates, our health and happiness can suffer. It’s normal for relationships to feel the pressure and stress of everyday life. However under pressure the love may disappear and be replaced by anger or resentment. A solid foundation is important in relationships. For example, two people with unresolved issues causing unhappiness rarely stay together. Sometimes we may feel our partner can compensate for an earlier pain but this hope often leads to yet more disappointment.
Some of the causes of problems in the relationship include stress, depression, disappointment with expectations, life changes, betrayal, illness, birth of a child, children leaving home, lack of communication or external pressures. The signs of relationship problems may include a breakdown of communication, ongoing arguments with never any resolution, lack of sex and intimacy, depression, lack of trust, or violence
Both people have their own values and beliefs and both must feel heard and understood in order to thrive in a relationship. This can mean developing new skills. Counselling can help explore and understand our beliefs, particularly about conflicts which we may have learned from our upbringing. It is unrealistic to think arguments can be avoided. Being able to manage arguments and differences is vital in a relationship. It is important to recognize differences otherwise one partner may dominate and the other is left feeling irrelevant and devalued.
Arguments are a healthy and essential part of any relationship and can energise it if carried out skilfully. Indirect anger and domestic violence are destructive. Counselling can help you argue in a skilled, healthy and less destructive way making your relationship honest and deeper.
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