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Introduction to Relationship Problems

Mark Dombeck, Ph.D.

coupleimage by Harsh Patel (lic)This topic center concerns marriage and marriage-like relationship problems. Our goal is to share information about the nature of such problems and to talk about what can be done to solve them when that is possible. We're going to use the term 'marriage' here for the most part, but it should be understood that what we have to say applies to any committed 'romantic' relationships, whether homosexual or heterosexual. Your state, territory or province may define marriage rather narrowly, but we take it as a given that relationship problems do not discriminate.

Most people enter into marriage with the best of intentions, assuming that they will remain in a permanent and happy relationship. Unfortunately, it is not always the case that relationships work out as planned. Many marriages change in quality over time and end up with partners being in conflict with each other. In recent years in many countries around 50% of formal marriages have ended in divorce. This figure does not include the breakdown of other non-married but otherwise committed partnerships. Many people discover that it is, in fact, difficult to keep a marriage relationship alive and well. It takes work and mental flexibility that not everyone is willing or able to offer.