Common Relationship Problems

Common relationship problems.

No two people are exactly alike in their psychological make-up and their behavior. Similarly, no two relationships experience an identical set of circumstances or pressures that may create difficulties for the individuals within them.

Nonetheless, there are some challenges that seem common across many relationships and which we have experienced as issues for many of the couples that we have counselled. These challenges may seem unsurmountable at close range, but we experience them in counselling with sufficient frequency that we might simply call them 'normal problems'.


The addictive or compulsive behaviour of one half of a relationship can be very debilitating to the other half. Alcoholism or problem drinking (and the aggression or violence that is sometimes associated with this) can drive a wedge between two people. Drug addictions or 'behavioural addictions' like gambling may also be problems at the root of a wider relationship breakdown. Therapy can be provided within the overall framework of relationship counselling for addictions. For many forms of drug addiction, a combination of professional medical and professional counselling support is recommended.


Maintaining open channels of communication is vital to the health of a relationship. "He/She doesn't understand me", is a statement commonly given to explain the collapse of a relationship. The questions that should be asked in this circumstance, is "Have you really tried to explain yourself?", and "Have you really tried to understand him/her?". Techniques for re-enabling communication can be explored in the context of a structured counselling programme.


We are reminded that the love of money is the root of evil, but frequently a perceived lack of it, or an imbalance in its distribution within a relationship seems to be the root of unease. Power games in a relationship, or modes of behaviour not condusive to a productive lifestyle are often played-out in the context of 'the money'. Bringing a greater sense of openness and acceptance into the shared financial details of a relationship can help resolve these divides.


Sexual intimacy can be the shared experience that binds a couple together. But what happens when (for a multitude of reasons, including ill-health, infidelity, old age, trauma) the sex in a relationship stops or becomes difficult? It can have a range of impacts on those involved, ranging from a gradual drifting apart, to a sudden loss of trust. In many cases, approaches to improving sexual health can be gained from shared counselling.


When one person in a relationship starts to doubt the value placed on that relationship by the other half, a loss of trust may result. Trust is such an important component of a healthy relationship that we often discover that a lack of it is at the very core of relationship problems. Loss of trust may manifest itself in many ways, through many modes of behaviour. It's important to make every effort to restore the levels of trust in a failing relationship.


We spend a big percentage of our lives at work. We consciously include the stay-at-home spouse, and the parent doing domestic work and child-care in that statistic. Our work effects our lives, either overtly or subtley. Work issues can be difficult to explain or communicate to a partner who doesn't share that experience. Learning to better handle and to share the stresses and challenges of our working lives can be approached through structured counselling.

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