Relationship challenges

What is it? 

Relationship challenges refer to the difficulties and conflicts that occur in a relationship. These challenges can arise from differences in ideas, beliefs, and perspectives, and can cause significant stress and conflict. They are a normal part of any partnership but can become serious issues if they lead to chronic conflict and stress.  

Symptoms 

Symptoms of relationship challenges may include: 

  • Spending less time together 
  • Minimal communication 
  • Being critical of each other 
  • Indicating that the relationship is not going well 
  • Differences of opinions are criticised rather than worked upon 
  • Always being defensive in front of each other 
  • Stopped discussing long-term plans 
  • Setting other priorities over the relationship 

Causes 

The causes of relationship challenges can vary greatly. They can be caused by differences in ideas, beliefs, and perspectives. Additionally, infidelity, loss of intimacy, communication difficulties, coping with stress challenges, financial pressures, boundary violations, difficulty balancing individual and couple expectations can also lead to relationship challenges. Relationship challenges can include issues such as fading enthusiasm, long work hours, and lack of personal time and space. 

Interventions 

Interventions for relationship challenges can include employing effective communication, managing conflict, nurturing trust, and prioritising individual and relationship well-being. Couples counselling or therapy provides a safe space for open communication, facilitates problem-solving, and offers expert guidance tailored to the specific needs of the relationship. Other interventions include cognitive-behavioural interventions, which aim to change cognitions and reinforce active coping skills, and relaxation techniques, which involve physical and mental relaxation techniques to help cope with the consequences of stress.