Married, or in a relationship with a life partner, parent, child or sibling can bring its challenges. We bring to all our adult relationships the patterns, values and beliefs we develop as children growing up. As we experience ourselves in relationship with others, we can find our expectations and those of others may differ hugely. We can find it hard to express our needs and have them met. Over time as life presents challenges, our needs and the needs of those we live with may change, and our old ways of relating and behaving may no longer serve us.
A life change, such as having a child, illness or bereavement, moving house, financial struggles or approaching new life stages are among the circumstances that may give rise to stresses in relationships.
It can be frightening for couples to discover that their old ways of communicating are no longer functional and they may feel that they may have lost what they once had. This can lead to repeated arguments, feelings of resentment and loss of the couple’s trust, intimacy and sex life.