Therapy for Relationships in Sydney

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Therapy for Relationships in Sydney
The Big '6'
: The Most Common Characteristics of Couples in Distress

The following six features characterize many relationships that are dysfunctional. How many of these features characterize your relationship?

  1. Unpleasant Interactions

    Most distressed couples complain about the regularity of difficult, unpleasant interactions. If your conversations with your partner regularly involve criticism, anger, arguing, negative emotion, or continual correction, your relationship is not functioning as well as it might.


  2. Lack of Shared Positive Activities

    Do you have shared interests or activities? That is, do you spend time together on mutually pleasing hobbies or projects? Individuals in difficult relationships often complain that they donít do anything positive with their partner.


  3. Inadequate Sex Life

    Are you satisfied with the quality of your sexual relationship? Couples in distress often report inadequate sexual relationships with infrequent and boring sexual interactions.


  4. Lack of Intimacy

    Intimacy does not only mean sex. Intimacy refers to close emotional connections that are demonstrated through expressions of caring and love. It is shown through private moments, through the self-disclosure of feelings, and through the sharing of positive experiences.


  5. Poor Conflict Resolution

    Are you able to resolve conflicts in an effective and positive manner? Individuals in difficult relationships report a high number of pointless conflicts in which nothing is resolved. The relationship fails to move forward and bitterness and resentment continue to develop.


  6. Lack of Mutual Support

    Have you and your partner adequately divided the labours of the relationship? A common complaint of couples in distress is a feeling of inadequate support for the day-to-day activities that one partner is doing for the relationship. Difficult relationships are often characterized by two individuals feeling disgruntled by the burdens that they undertake on behalf of the relationship.


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Copyright © 2004 Associate Professor Ross G. Menzies
Last modified: Friday, 14. May 2004
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