In What Areas Do Couples Fight the Most?

In What Areas Do Couples Fight the Most?

Last update: 15 October, 2018

Many of the couples who go to therapy do so because they aren’t happy or satisfied with their relationship. However, couples sometimes go to counseling not knowing if they really have a problem or if they’re just experiencing a rough patch and should wait for the storm to pass.

Most couples who seek professional help do so because they’re experiencing significant problems. But, at the same time, they’re people who work well together in different areas of their relationship. This means that these couples have issues in some areas of their relationship but not in others. This brings about confusion and doubt to whether or not they’re having problems with their partner or with their individual life.

Due to all of this, this article will explain the five different areas that therapists use in couples therapy to identify a couple’s problems and which area their problems are in. Also, this way of analyzing couples’ relationships can help you to work things out with your partner.

The five diagnostic areas where therapists find relationship problems in couples

1. Friendship: Let your partner be one of your best friends

This area refers to seeing your partner as a friend. This means that you should share your feelings, day-to-day experiences, worries, and desires with your partner. Friendship is necessary for a couple to function well. In fact, many satisfied couples point to friendship as the glue that keeps their relationship together.

couple holding hands

Additionally, friendship in the relationship can exist before the relationship turns romantic or it can develop along with a romantic relationship. In order to develop a friendship, the two of you can do activities together and discover each other’s tastes, hobbies, and values at the same time. These are all ingredients that help the relationship work.

“First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.”

-George Bernard Shaw-

One of the first evaluations that the therapist does in couple’s therapy is seeing if the partners are friends since this area is closely related to trust. Remember that trust isn’t a feeling that’s limited to relationship. Rather, it should exist in a couple because the two are friends.

If the couple’s relationship isn’t good, there will be a few problems that are rooted in a lack of trust. This will manifest as a general feeling of distance. You may hear yourself saying that your partner is a stranger to you.

Thus, when there’s no friendship glue to keep the relationship together, it becomes much more likely for a relationship to fail. Why? Because the better friends the partners are, the more understanding, assertiveness, and complicity they’ll be in the relationship.

2. Intimacy: The art of sharing quality time together without distractions

There are times when a couple may be having problems with their friendship, but their level of intimacy is very strong. We understand intimacy as the quality time the couple spends alone where verbal expressions of affection and love are shared. Intimacy also involves moments where people are sincere and share their deepest ideas, emotions, and desires with their partner.

It’s very important for the couple to have alone time. However, this becomes difficult due to children, work, and family responsibilities. For these reasons, children and relationships with other family members (someone’s parents or extended family, etc.) can make one of the partners feel a lack of privacy. They also may feel like they’re not getting the attention they deserve.

Couple enjoying a romantic dinner.

In this sense, if one of the partners isn’t satisfied with the relationship’s current level of intimacy, problems between the two will arise. This will make the partner feel distant and unimportant. All of this will create a negative attitude in daily life and the partner will most likely become irritable and won’t feel valued. This will promote negative feelings that are hard to get rid of.

3. Be a team: Push the car in the same direction

Feeling that you and your partner work as a team is essential for the relationship. When one of the two parties feels that their partner doesn’t devote enough effort to their life as a couple, this creates problems. Both partners should value shared efforts. They should equally share daily tasks and family responsibilities that allow them to support each other.

However, it’s common for one partner to observe an inequality and feel like they’re the one who does all the work and puts in all the effort. This increases the probability of problems. The person who feels like they’re doing all the work will begin to feel as if the other is a weight or burden that causes stress and dissatisfaction.

Therefore, to diagnose if there are problems in this area, the therapist has to take a look at a few different aspects. They have to inspect the distribution of tasks at home and the efforts both partners make. The therapist also must inspect each person’s initiative and how often they offer to spend time with and support their partner.

“Love does not claim possession, but gives freedom .”

-Rabindranath Tagore-

A couple moving.

4. Passion and sexuality: The difference between being a couple or being best friends

There must be passion and sexuality in a relationship. Without these aspects, you just have a very good friendship. However, you’ll never have a perfect romantic relationship this way. It’s clear that the couple should give great importance to passion and sexuality.

In other words, passion and sexuality tend to fade away as the years pass by. This is a natural part of the couple’s evolution and is often an adaption to the first signs of physical limitations. However, as long as there’s interest in keeping the flame alive, having a good sexuality is possible even with some limitations.

A couple kissing

5. Commitment to a common future: Have shared projects and care for each other

Commitment in a couple, psychologically speaking, goes far beyond a verbal or formal commitment of fidelity and respect. In couples therapy, when we talk about commitment, we’re referring to each party’s involvement in the relationship’s future and shared projects.

So when we find a couple that breaks up every time they have a problem or discussion, we’re dealing with a couple with no commitment or a low level of commitment.

A low level of commitment in a couple shows that there are problems in this area. This is a delicate issue since long-term relationships usually demand a strong commitment to be able to evolve and overcome difficulties. 


In conclusion, one of the advantages of this diagnostic system is that it shows us where and how to intervene in the relationship. While the therapist makes the diagnosis, the partners can easily discover the areas they need to work on. S o, if you’re experiencing a hard time in your relationship, you should explore these five areas. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.