Relationship problems are the main source of discomfort for many people around the world, and that is why psychologists are used to dealing with this kind of crisis frequently.
This is because it is common to experience difficulties in love relationships: to the problems in private life that affect the way we relate to our loved one, we add the setbacks that arise within the relationship itself.
In this article we will see what aspects of our lives influence the way we live couple problems, and what can be done from psychological intervention to solve them.
How do relationship problems arise? Main factors
There are an infinite number of reasons why relationship problems may arise , given that each person is unique. However, in general it is possible to identify a series of factors that especially influence the probabilities of experiencing this kind of conflict. They are the following.
1. Personality style
In general terms, it is not true that having very different personalities is beneficial for the couple . In fact, if this factor has an impact on the health of the relationship, it is negative (at least, statistically). It is easier to reach a point where there is an incompatibility of priorities and motivations if both members of the relationship are too different.
In addition, regardless of the degree of similarity between the two people, those who adopt a pattern of behaviour that corresponds to a personality of strong neuroticism , also tend to experience more problems in their relationships and marriage. This does not mean that they are predestined to fail in their love life or that they cannot learn to regulate their actions in order to be with someone, of course. It simply means that they usually have it a little more difficult.
2. Values and beliefs
Talking about values and beliefs may seem very abstract, but they really do have an effect on the health of relationships. Seeing how the person we love behaves in a way that clashes with our value system, in the long run, can generate resentments, reproaches and arguments , especially if those values have to do with the love relationship in a very direct way.
3. Lack of time together
We must not forget that love does not appear in nothing: it needs to be constantly nourished by time spent in the company of the groom, bride, husband or wife.
This is sometimes complicated, especially if there are family reconciliation problems due to poor working conditions. However, on other occasions it is the quantity, if not the quality of time spent under the same roof that is at fault . Boredom and monotony may mean that the only kind of meaningful interaction between the members of a relationship is discussion.
4. Communication problems
Failure to communicate is also one of the common reasons for problems in a couple. These cause misunderstandings and moments of ambiguity that eventually lead to frustration and irritability , and even serious coordination errors.
5. Sexual difficulties
Many problems in intimate and sexual life have a psychological origin. For example, it is very common for insecurity to cause not only dissatisfaction in this aspect of life, but even self-esteem problems and taboos.
Infidelity is another common problem for couples to go to the psychologist’s office. That is why, on many occasions, what we psychology professionals do is investigate the past of the relationship, to see if there have been episodes of infidelity and if there may be old grudges, something that is not always communicated directly during the first phases of psychological intervention.
Another problematic factor that we see more often in psychology sessions with patients is conflict due to excessive jealousy. Insecurity and the feeling that the courtship or marriage may break up at any moment due to the interference of a third person can cause a lot of anguish both in the person who is jealous in the flesh, and in the other member of the couple, who feels controlled.
Anxiety and stress do not necessarily originate from what happens when you relate to the person you love (in fact, they often have to do with what happens at work, or with health problems), but it is clear that it affects the emotional development of the couple. That is why it is one of the aspects to which we psychologists attach most importance in consultation.
How does a psychologist work to help couples in crisis?
We have already seen the most common types of origin of couple’s problems; now, let’s see how we work from psychology to solve these cases . The good news is that the probabilities of obtaining significant improvements in the degree of solidity and satisfaction are high, around 80% of the cases.
Psychology professionals work both with each member of the relationship individually, and with the couple as a whole globally, to detect contexts and situations that are maintaining and feeding the crisis of the couple.
Then, based on this information, we intervene both on the ideas and beliefs of the patients, and on their habits, so that they are able to interpret what happens to them in a more constructive way and at the same time have ways of embracing healthier ways of relating. All this, having identified the personality styles of each patient, the objectives and motivations of each one, their problematic or potentially beneficial behaviour patterns, etc.
In short, solving couple problems involves internalizing new habits both on a cognitive level (ideas and beliefs) and on a behavioral level (ways of interacting with the environment and with others); in this way, both dimensions of the psychological are reinforced in oneself and in the person one loves, and the passage from a love crisis to a new phase of mutual discovery is possible.