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Is your relationship with a partner problematic? The details count

Is your relationship with a partner problematic? The details count

June 23, 2022

The concept of "happy couple" is significantly controversial . We can not speak of the existence of couples with a happy or problematic character in and of themselves. Instead, we could refer to members of a couple whose personal characteristics might be more similar or disparate.

Regarding the latter, we usually experience two erroneous thoughts; either we believe that the opposite poles are attracted, or, we insist on looking for a soul mate.

In both cases, we would tend to overlook that the key to success would focus on the learning acceptance and adaptation skills of those characteristics of our partner that we had not considered that could be presented, but that are also part of everyday life, such as: do not squeeze the bottle of toothpaste for the place we do, or wake up in a bad mood in the morning.


So, what ingredients is the happy couple composed of?

  • Related article: "The 14 types of couple: how is your relationship?"

The logic of the problematic relationship

When the first conflicts or differences appear , some people believe they are not in front of their better half, or that love is over. It is at this moment when it is essential to stop to analyze what is happening, avoiding making decisions driven by a high level of emotional activation.

At this critical point for the couple's relationship, two fundamental factors will determine their destiny:

  • Problem coping resources : a deficit could lead to conflicting couple situations.
  • Communication skills and problem solving : that they will maintain or not in time, situations of conflict.

Operation of non-problematic couples

The functioning of "happy" or non-problematic couples is a circular process that develops as follows:


  1. You manifest a nice behavior towards your partner .
  2. Your partner perceives this behavior and feels motivated to behave nicely towards you .
  3. As you receive pleasant behaviors from your partner, you are rewarded with their pleasant behaviors, and also feel more motivation to return to behave pleasantly with your partner.
  • Related article: "How to know when to go to couple therapy? 5 reasons of weight"

Operation of problematic couples

On the other hand, the functioning of conflicting couples it constitutes a process in the form of a negative vicious circle:

  1. You manifest unpleasant behavior towards your partner.
  2. Your partner perceives this behavior and feels motivated to behave unpleasantly as well.
  3. As you receive unpleasant behavior from your partner, you feel hurt, and more motivated to return to behave unpleasantly with your partner, and respond in the same way you have done.

In this case, a vicious circle would develop in which you avoid doing nice things that your partner likes, because your partner does not do the things that you like and vice versa.


Both processes of functioning, both that of happy couples and that of conflicting couples constitute a whiting that bites its tail.

However, once the vicious circle of conflict or negativity has begun, the level of emotional activation prevents couples from stopping to analyze what is happening to identify what are the factors that maintain the problem at the present time and that cause it to be prolonged over time. In this way, the focus of attention would not be on the origin of the problem, but on the continuation of the problem at present.

At this point, we will probably detect a deficit of skills for analysis, coping or problem solving, and / or communication problems in pairs. In most cases, the origin is situated in subtle conflicts, irrelevant problems , anecdotal details, to which we have given great significance, and on which we have developed a whole series of negative emotions and dysfunctional thoughts. It is those insignificant details that, many times, keep us away from that happy couple ideal.

Communicate more to resolve conflicts

From what we have seen, we can conclude that empathy and communication are elements that, in minimum doses, are capable of resolving many conflicts. It's worth taking into account the value of dialogue, mutual understanding and reasoned analysis of the situation.

  • You may be interested: "The high psychological cost of giving too much for a relationship"

Why We Pick Difficult Partners (June 2022).


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