I have seen many couples over the last five years who have come to see me to sort out issues in their relationship. More often than not, their problem is a common one. I’ve complied a list of the most common issues that I have come across:
“I’m more tired than you are. I do more than you”..this is a common statement. Many couples get fed up with the monotony of life and start to take it out on each other. Expectations grow as you get to know each other and one partner often ends up feeling hard done by in the housework/chores stakes.
Clear boundaries need to be set about who does what and if possible, hire someone to do the chores that you argue over.
2) Step Family Issues:
When there have been previous relationships/wives/husbands and children, the situation can be a little more complicated. Resentment can exist over perceived favoritism and differences in ideas about child rearing and discipline can cause havoc. It is often best for the non-biological parent to stay out of the disciplining of children as much as possible. When step parents try to become too involved it causes a lot of damage.
Some couples are just incompatible and just don’t see eye to eye. I can tell fairly early on if this is the case because both parties will have completely different versions of their relationship experience. Thus shows that communication is off and that they perceive reality completely differently. This makes is very difficult to understand each other and feel in tune.
I have been astounded at some couples who stay together and/or get married. Infidelity, domestic violence and emotional abuse have been a feature of some relationships and these couples have still chosen to go ahead and tie the knot. it is not for me to judge but if you are incompatible to start with, the chances of longevity are poor.
4) Infidelity/Lack of trust
Once a partner has been unfaithful and has been caught out, trust is damaged. It can be regained to a certain extent but it can never go back to the way it was before the indiscretion. Infidelity suggests that there are issues with the relationship and these need to be dealt with. It could be due to a less than satisfactory sex life, it could be that two people have grown apart and instead of addressing it, partners just look elsewhere not wanting to ruin the stability they have. This is short sighted though.
5) Financial Issues
Money problems can cause a lot of stress. Many couples don;t communicate well about their finances and some partners spend secretively which causes endless trouble. Clear, open and honest communication as well as clear boundaries up front are essential to avoid financial trouble later on.
I believe the healthiest system is to have a joint account as well as a personal account for each partner as this creates a good balance.
There area myriad of reasons as to why couples come to see me but the above ones are the most common. the types of problems are as complex as people are…there are always exceptions to the rule!
More on Mandy: https://www.mandyjane-lifedesign.com
The author of this blog lives in Surrey, UK and offers counselling to couples and individuals. All names have been changed to protect the identity of clients. Personal client stories shared in this blog have been published with prior permission from the relevant clients.