Conflict in couples

Problems within a couple are a part of any relationship, but it depends on the members of the same to either resolve them or leave them to become a crises difficult, or even impossible, to overcome. We live in a society in which the breakup of a couple is the norm rather than the exception. Eventhough the statistics affirm that married people live longer and have a better quality of life, Spain has become the second country in the European Union where the most divorces occur: about five divorces per five minutes, nearly 100,000 separations a year.
Terpaia de parejas, conflicto en la pareja


Problems in a couple can be solved with the framework of conflict resolution offered by couples therapy.

If couples therapy works or not is more in the hands of those involved, than those of the psychologist. In the process of couples therapy the timing of asking for help is fundamental. Sometimes years of problems pass,  with the accumulation of negative emotions, that are difficult to remedy. The percentage of  success is around 70% when the couple come to consultation on time.

Likewise it is essential that both members take responsibility for the problem, accepting that the couple is formed by both and that the responsibility for the problems is shared.

Of course, love has to exist, as well as the absence of physical violence, absence of psychiatric disorders in both spouses, and if an infidelity has occurred that is still existent and is secret, couples therapy cannot be carried out. In these cases individual therapy is recommended first, so that afterward the suitability for joint therapy can be assessed.


The causes of conflict are listed below:​

MANAGEMENT OF POWER AND CONTROL: The main reason that this situation occurs is the feeling of inferiority. People with low self-esteem channel their frustration through a compensatory feeling: superiority, beginning a dangerous fight with their spouse. They hold their partner responsible for their discomfort, instead of solving their feelings of insecurity and worthlessness.

PROBLEMS WITH IN-LAWS: The type of relationship had with the in-laws is usually seen as a litmus test for the union of the couple. In fact, it is one of the most common causes of crisis and subsequent separation.

MANAGEMENT OF PERSONAL SPACE: There must be space in the couple for oneself but it is pointed out as one of the clearest causes of a couple going through a crisis when they make more separate plans than joint plans.

COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS: 80% of couples who come to consultation manifest poor communication or absence of it. It is through communication that we get to know our partner, know what they think and how they feel. Furthermore, solid communication in the couple is a very effective tool to resolve day-to-day conflicts, which greatly helps to improve our quality of life.

TRUST ISSUES: Trust just as the absence of it is a feeling that is learnt, it is not innate. Therefore, situations such as discovering that the other lies, unfulfilled promises, insecurity on the part of the other person or lack of responsibility are very clear  causes of mistrust. Also, there are many cases of people where the mistrust has no real basis.

INTIMACY AND SEXUAL RELATIONS: One of the most frequent reasons for consultation is the lack of sexual satisfaction. We are sexual beings from birth, so from a primary point of view the care of our sexual health becomes essential. Keeping the flame of passion alive in a relationship is a challenge that requires a lot of attention and care from both members of the couple.

How can we help you?

The option of cognitive behavioural therapy has proven to be the most efficient treatment in the resolution of problems in a couple. CBT starts from the premise that each person  thinks, feels and acts differently. From this therapeutic vision the complex framework of thoughts, feelings and behaviours of each of the couple, which are interrelated to create the conflict, are clarified.

This process involves:

  • increasing the exchange of positive behaviours.
  • training in communication and problem solving skills.
  • changing the pattern of negative exchange introducing  positive behaviour.
  • changing irrational acknowledgements, expectations and ideas when necessary.
  • increasing attachment and support
  • Sexual Therapy



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