Couple crisis, characteristics and how to overcome them.

Today we are talking about couple crises, characteristic and how to overcome them, because as we have already realized, recently our lives have changed a lot as a result of the pandemic and confinement, due to different stressful situations, anxiety that have affected our health . mentally , many areas of our daily life have been affected and, as it could not be otherwise, one of the most exposed in recent years has been our relationships , since this unusual and Unexpected situation has put the balance of many couples to the test, causing an increase in the number of couples therapy consultationsbecause of a couple crisis that has forced them to review the state of their relationships.

The reality of many couples is that, for a long time, living within the dynamics of children, work, friends, home; It has introduced them into a world of routines in which they can take refuge, thus avoiding recognizing their crisis situation. So many couples adapt to a life cycle or situation that somehow works for them, and with which, the couple becomes roommates who half pay the bills… Until suddenly, with the arrival of the pandemic, many couples found themselves with all their problems head-on and in the face of a couple crisis.

And it is that when they come to me in search of couples therapy and we start to analyze what is causing these couples crises, I observe that one of the main causes is that, due to the confinement, that box has been opened of Pandora and all those situations that previously did not want to assume or that have not been addressed due to fear have been revealed, so it may be that unresolved conflicts have been accumulating, but that have now reached a point that It has meant a couple crisis and this can lead to the relationship faltering a little or quite a bit, depending on the case.

But don’t worry if this is your current situation, because despite the fact that when we hear the words couple crisis we usually get worse, even thinking or assuming that the end of the relationship may have come and we can do nothing else. , but this does not have to be so, since this moment of crisis, more than a problem, you can also see it as an opportunity.

The most important thing in this situation is knowing that the relationship is not right, talking about it and wanting to solve it together, so that if that happens it is time to get down to work. That is why in this post I talk about what a couple crisis is, its characteristics and how to overcome it, through some advice or the importance of going to therapy to achieve it .

Crises are not avoided by denying “ nothing is wrong here ”, by avoiding “ I don’t want to talk about it”, “there is nothing to talk about ”, by using reproach or even using attack as a form of defense. Instead you have to face them.

Content of this topic

  • What is a couple crisis?
  • Signs to identify if you are going through a couple crisis
  • Causes of couple crises
  • How to solve a couple crisis
  • When is it time to do couples therapy?
  • Don’t miss my tips!

What is a couple crisis?

The first thing to keep in mind to know what we are not facing is that the meaning of the word crisis is “inevitable change”, so a couple crisis is when we refer to an inevitable and necessary change in the relationship , but that, as we have commented previously, and although this is usually how it is usually perceived, you do not have to see it as something negative that you have to avoid, since a relationship is something that is constantly evolving, it grows with us, it happens crisis, matures, ages and changes, because if it doesn’t, it will disappear.

So that crises can have a positive connotation depending on the point of view that we see it, that is, a crisis means a change, and the changes can be for the better, but it is true that when you perceive the moment of change you can let yourself lead by fear and negativity, but if you put a bit of perspective and reality into it, you will realize that a couple crisis does not have to mean the end of a relationship, quite the contrary, it can be a new beginning of a more consolidated relationship.

The important thing is to know that, when you find yourself in a crisis, continuing to do things as they were doing until then is unsustainable, so it is necessary to adapt and decide what is the solution to that change, or if each member of the couple You want to grow on your own or do it together with the other person.

On the other hand, you also have to be clear that crises cannot be avoided by denying ” nothing happens here “, by avoiding ” I don’t want to talk about it”, “there is nothing to talk about “, by using reproach or even using attack as a form of defense. Instead you have to face them.

Every couple goes through their little crises, since a relationship of several years faces different significant changes in its evolution. These crises can make the couple consider reassessing the relationship and decide if it is best to keep it by making some changes or to put an end to it.

Signs to identify if you are going through a couple crisis

As we have mentioned, you have to be clear that every couple goes through their little crises, since a relationship of several years faces different significant changes in its evolution, but the moment may come when these crises can make the couple consider reevaluating the relationship. and decide if it is best to keep it making some changes or put an end to it. And how can you know that you are going through a couple crisis?

To help you know if you are going through a relationship crisis, in this section I list some signs that you are experiencing a relationship crisis, so that you can identify them and know if you are going through one, so that you can later find out the cause and so on. be able to overcome it or find the best solution.

The main signs of a couple crisis are:

  • you argue frequently

Arguments are one of the main characteristics of your relationship, being present at all times, but what is even more important, agreements cannot be reached, you never agree with each other, and any reason is a good reason to argue. That is, you live in a state of constant irascibility, where you feel bad all the time, any little detail makes you jump with anger and you release that contained anger for days. Everything your partner says annoys you, you feel like you can’t stand it anymore and you start to focus only on their flaws.

  • It seems that you no longer have anything in common

It is as if you were a mere spectator and not the protagonist of the relationship, you let yourself go, you stop doing, you do not act. You and your partner feel that you no longer enjoy the time you spend together, you don’t like the things you shared before, you have even come to abandon projects in common that used to generate special enthusiasm for you. You do not get involved at all in the couple, you let the days go by and that in this way it is time and routine that dictate the final success or failure of the relationship.

  • decreased sexual activity

Although the sexual life of a couple can be affected at many vital moments and for different reasons, such as experiencing a stage of strong stress , the diagnosis of a serious illness, the arrival of a baby in the family…

But the alarms go off when there is nothing concrete and understandable that can explain this, so we can think that perhaps it is a symptom of a couple crisis. In crises, sexual desire falls asleep because there is a lot of tension and stress in the relationship, generating major episodes of anxiety and this in turn makes you not want an intimate encounter with your partner, since you don’t feel comfortable with them.

  • Communication problems in the couple

Communication is one of the fundamental pillars in any relationship. If it works, you will find respect and a space for both members of the couple to express everything they think and feel in a healthy way. In these cases, communication becomes a protection tool against any situation that may have to be faced in the present or in the future.

On the contrary, if the communication fails, the result can lead to continuous discussions and confrontations or also to the lack of it, that is to say, to non-communication, to living as strangers. You can get to the point where you don’t communicate or if you do, it’s through sarcasm and contempt, being on the defensive so that when the other makes a mistake, you can point it out to them.

  • Loss of trust

When distrust appears in the couple, it can manifest itself in various ways: feeling afraid of being abandoned, anxiety appears when thinking about the future of the couple, trying to control everything your partner does, feeling jealous or constantly arguing. If this type of behavior is not solved in time, they end up damaging the relationship.

A couple is also your partner or friend, so you need to feel that closeness in your relationship, be able to tell each other secrets, have deep conversations and trust. But you are at a point where you have not had a deep and intimate conversation with your partner for a long time, you only talk about superficial things, about work, the children, the distribution of housework… You feel that it is becoming more and more difficult for you open up to your partner and when you look back you can find moments when this did happen, spend hours talking about feelings and sharing secrets.

These are some of the signs of a couple crisis, so if you see that there are several points in which your relationship is reflected, maybe you should consider if you are entering a crisis or if you are even already immersed in it. it, so it is time to start analyzing what may be causing it or what may be the causes.

A key step is to identify the reason for the crisis in order to address it. That is why you are first going to review where the problem comes from in order to address it.

Causes of couple crises

The different stages of crisis throughout the relationship can be caused by various causes that are causing the relationship to be damaged and enter into crisis, so that a key step is to identify the reason for the crisis in order to address it. And although there can be as many as there are people, for me the main causes of a couple crisis can be:

  • Bad management of emotions

When a couple lacks emotional intelligence, it is very likely that they get angry easily, that every time an argument occurs it is taken to extremes without reaching a consensus and causing permanent tension in the relationship. And it is that in every relationship, the emotions of both members of the couple have an essential function, for this reason it is important that they understand and manage both their own and those of others. The inability to understand and manage emotions leads us to be controlled by them and not know how to manage them.

  • Changes in desires, needs and/or aspirations.

Over time, people can change in terms of our desires, needs and the expectations we have with our relationship. On many occasions this happens without us realizing it, so that if the relationship has not been able to adapt to these individual transformations, it is no longer experienced as a satisfactory relationship.

This is the moment when doubts arise, especially when looking to the future and realizing that the direction the relationship is taking is not the most satisfactory. At this point, we may question whether the relationship makes sense or is it worth saving.

  • Task distribution asymmetry

When work and family responsibilities grow without being able to face and manage them as a team, the burden and disappointment caused by these and by the feeling of working alone, each pulling the family in their own way, end up undermining the common project of the couple. . Rearranging tasks and responsibilities is a reason to worry and worry, so you have to know very well how to have equal responsibility.

  • Jealousy

Jealousy can end relationships because the jealous person loses control of their behavior, is plagued by toxic thoughts , and spends their time and energy investigating and monitoring the other person, preventing them from leading a normal life. Jealousy becomes the center of life together, determining their hobbies and their social relationships.

And although there is a false belief that jealousy is a sign of love, in reality, it is nothing more than a significant lack of self-esteem , or social skills, or distorted learning about the couple. And it is that behind the typical phrase “Without you I am nothing”, there is a “I need you to make me feel a unique person, that you only want me, to be able to feel that I am worth it”.

  • Infidelity

The appearance of a love triangle or infidelity can break even the strongest relationship, leaving behind feelings of betrayal, sadness , guilt, uncertainty and anger. For couples dealing with infidelity in their relationship, it can be extremely difficult to forgive and move on. Even so, it is possible to overcome this couple crisis. Couples who are able to move past hurt and betrayal can emerge as a stronger and more united couple.

Once you know what are the signs that characterize couple crises and what can be the main causes that can cause them, it’s time to start looking for a way to deal with it and solve it.

The main problem is that couples do not go for help at that first moment when they become aware that they have problems, but rather take the step once they have already tried to solve them themselves and have not been able to, so they go later than they should, reaching the point that most couples already arrive at a time when separation is being considered as the only solution.

How to solve a couple crisis

Once you have detected the signs that your relationship as a couple may be immersed in a crisis and you have also identified the cause or causes that may be causing it, I congratulate you because at this point you may want to find a solution. For this, the general recommendations that you can put into practice to try to save a relationship that is in crisis are:

  • Improve communication as a couple.

Try to say things when they bother you so you can express them with your best words and never when you feel fed up, that you can’t take it anymore and express them with your worst offenses. If something is important enough, pass it on, tell your partner at the moment or the next time you find yourself in a similar situation. If you don’t think it’s important enough, just let it go.

  • Understand and accept differences and disagreements.

Being a couple does not imply being the same and agreeing on everything, on the contrary, loving someone requires respecting differences, sharing the same values ​​and also different ones, and learning from disagreements.

Maintaining the balance between similarities and differences, since similarities consolidate the unity of the couple while differences enrich it, motivating us to continue getting to know each other and ourselves, evolving together. Both the similarities and the differences demand from the couple shared time and time without the other, both equally enriching and necessary.

  • Do not focus only on the negative things

You look with a magnifying glass at all the things that your partner does not do well or that you do not like, instead try to see beyond and see your partner as a complete whole with positive and negative points. Stay tuned when you get angry because that’s when you tend to filter reality to focus on what you don’t like. Try to do the opposite exercise and try to catch your partner doing something right, it will help you see them with different eyes.

  • Reflect before acting and be more prudent.

When the situation is tense and emotions overwhelm you, the best option is to give yourself some time. Get away, breathe, calm down, think more than once about what has happened, breathe again, this is reflecting before acting. If you let yourself be carried away by immediate impulses, you will surely do or say things that you may regret and they will do a lot of damage to the relationship, so it is better to act cold.

  • Carry out activities in common.

Relationships are a set of shared moments in which we express affection and intimacy. That shared time has to be present throughout the entire relationship, without letting the routine take over you, causing you to enter a dynamic in which you hardly meet as a couple.

Share more time together and take the opportunity to recover those activities that you liked to do together and also organize new ones such as a surprise trip, a night at the theater, an afternoon at the spa… Once the plan is organized, let yourself go enjoying the experience.

  • Work trust.

Freedom is the seed of true love, trust is the key to any authentic bond, to any bond that we wish to care for and preserve. You cannot live as a couple or have a healthy relationship without freedom. Trusting your partner means not burdening them with calls or messages continuously, respecting their personal space.

  • Seek professional help

Life as a couple is going through crises in which sometimes it is necessary to resort to a third party to help move forward, together or separately, and although it is difficult to set an appropriate moment to take the step, it is necessary that the fundamental pillars are not They have exceeded, including respect, but normally very worn-out couples come to therapy who have crossed those limits and that makes wounds more difficult to heal and they go to couples therapy as a last chance, after having had a serious problem.

As always, it is important to be aware and point out that these are some simple tips that can help you, but the most important would be to go in search of a professional as soon as possible in order to avoid greater evils. And it is that the best time to opt for this path is when you are still open to change things, although it does not mean that, in the most advanced cases, nothing can be done if you still want to save the relationship but, if it is true that the emotional cost and the wear and tear that is paid is higher than if they had gone before.

And it is that, from my own experience, in therapy I meet couples in which coexistence has reached an unbearable point because everything is problems and discussions, but in other cases couples simply arrive where coexistence is good, but they have many doubts , including not knowing what is wrong with them and because they do not feel satisfied in the relationship.

When is it time to do couples therapy?

Couples do not go for help at that first moment when they become aware that they have problems, but rather they take the step once they have already tried to solve them by themselves and have not been able to, so they come later than expected. they should, reaching the point that most couples are considering separation as the only solution.

And it is that, from my own experience, in therapy I meet couples in which coexistence has reached an unbearable point because everything is problems and discussions, but in other cases couples simply arrive where coexistence is good, but they have many doubts , including not knowing what is wrong with them and because they do not feel satisfied in the relationship.

So the first step would be to identify where we are in the crisis and if the reason for the crisis is internal or external in order to address it more quickly, so the first thing we are going to review is where the problem comes from so that to be able to face it, for this, in therapy we will seek to answer the following questions:

Is it a personal crisis that is influencing the common space ?

There are difficulties at the individual level that are influencing the way I relate to my partner. It can be stress , self-esteem problems , job and economic changes, difficulties for emotional management…

Does the conflict come from the relational?

That is, communication problems , sexual relations, expectations that are not met, a change in the way we relate to each other, not respecting vital spaces… Difficulties that have arisen throughout the relationship and have not been resolved, become obstacles that They prevent you from moving forward and enjoying yourself.

Once we have identified this and starting from this base, we continue working on the following aspects:

  1. Check how each member of the couple lives in the relationship.

Knowing from what model of love the relationship is lived, this is to see how each member of the couple understands that it should be a loving relationship and in what way that love is demonstrated. If it is a model of dysfunctional love of the type “I need you, I cancel myself and do everything to please you”, or of false security seeing that they already have a life set up and thinking about loneliness overwhelms them but at the same time they do not feel comfortable in that relationship.

Show that the way of living your relationship is not healthy and therefore it is necessary to replace it with a new one where the needs of both are given space, that is, what do you expect from each other so that later there are no false expectations and confirm that you is at the same point.

  1. Know yourself

You also have to know and listen to yourself. Throughout a relationship, needs change, and sometimes you have to assume that what used to make me happy is no longer the case. The needs you have at the beginning of a relationship are different as the years go by and situations change.

In many cases people fall into the routine and stop listening. This leads to the fact that in the face of a couple crisis, one tends to blame the other and it is really him who has changed his needs and that is why they no longer feel comfortable with his partner.

You have to do an exercise in self-knowledge and self-listening and ask yourself: Who am I now? Do I feel valued in my relationship? Do I feel like I’m still that person you fell in love with? By doing this listening, you will be able to recognize what part of the responsibility you have in that conflict and how you have participated in it, whether consciously or unconsciously.

  1. Accept what comes from gratitude

Some couples in crisis are clear that the end of their relationship has come and go directly to a lawyer; Others, on the other hand, feel that even though they have pending things to fix, the relationship can continue. But what do they mean by fix? On some occasions, ‘fixing’ means agreeing with them, which is why they look for a ‘judge’ in the psychology office who dictates ‘who is guilty, which is a serious mistake.

In couples therapy, there is no search for culprits, victims or innocents since the responsibility for the direction the relationship takes is always both of them. Accept the crisis and feel grateful because what it brings you are necessary changes to improve your life, whether as a couple or alone.

If you have reached this point and want to start a process of couples therapy , I can accompany you and guide you to improve the relationship and solve the couple’s crisis and that in a short time you begin to see the changes in your life and you can become again . happy as a couple So if you need to contact a psychologist, at  Paqui Blanco Psicología  we help you break the ice with a free first session. Receive the expert help you need, for this, you only have to request a free and  non-binding first informative interview , to find out how I work personally.


Leave a Comment