We all see the world from unique perspectives; we run mind models & assumptions which may be neither shared nor understood by others.
If we have not developed awareness & skills to tolerate and handle differences mis-communication can become a minefield.
Those with relatively good communication skills are more likely to appreciate constructive and objective input. Many wisely seek help from a therapist when crises or difficult misunderstandings arise.
Generally - in successful relationships - at least one partner has an intuitive grasp of tricky patterns at work. Mutual tolerance and occasional honest confrontation can move things toward negotiation and necessary compromise. One can readily observe gracious subtleties of language and approach in frequent operation with older couples. Often it has taken them decades to learn how to do this.
Where awareness is low and negotiation skills are poor - even moderate difficulties generate a bumpy ride or seed disaster. With the right input from an Experienced Relationship Counsellor these things can be learned relatively easily………… So.... why wait to be old to be good ??
Bad Patterns - Mending or Leaving :-
Maladaptive patterns are more widespread than might be imagined. They are not necessarily disastrous but they ‘lock people in’ and become very frustrating. Better understanding and strategies to restrict and modify their expression within the relationship enables couples to cope and find an escape.
A Psychotherapist skilled in Relationship Counselling can demonstrate the kinds of behaviour required to affect a pattern - how skilful or robust these might need to be - and can assess the likelihood of success in a particular partnership.
In very dysfunctional relationships partners frequently have complementary disorders. These are common in various kinds of co-dependency. As an extreme example - a man is a wife-beater - the woman forgives and defends his ‘weakness’. In serious cases solutions cannot be found within the relationship - nor is there any prospect of improvement until individuals seek personal therapy for their personal & co-dependent difficulties. Sometimes partners need help to let go.
What is Normal ?
Modern research makes us increasingly aware of the role of neurological and personality differences in lives. They have a central role in relationship difficulties.
Most of us register at least in the lower spectrum for one or more neurological or personality conditions ! Many of these traits are useful and can help us to success.
More pronounced forms are neurological or personality disorders - which can be hard to change & seriously problematic if not recognised or understood.
For example, those with Asperger Syndrome or Mild Autism may be considered moody, uncaring or intentionally nasty - when really they ‘ just don’t get it ’. Without help, the perceptions required to act differently may be about as accessible to them as the subtle hues of woodland in winter landscape are to the colour blind ! But they can be helped to learn skills which compensate for much of this.