Relationship issues – APL Health
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Relationship issues

relationships header

Common issues

Facing the fact you have a problem is the first step to finding some form of solution.

Not talking anymore, feeling your relationship is one sided, finding it difficult to discuss money, dealing with affairs, fitting work into your relationship, facing criticism and arguments – these are just some of the common issues that charity ‘Relate’ have found in their years of experience helping people with relationship issues.

It can be beneficial to outline some key points you wish to raise in a conversation before you actually have it. That will discourage you from saying something that you may regret and will keep the conversation focussed.

  • Think about your needs and wants moving forward
  • Listen to your partners needs and wants
  • Talk to each other with respect, listening and discussing potential solutions openly to any problems

Sometimes you may need some more help with your relationship issues. In these instances it’s worth seeking the advice of a trained relationship counsellor. These professionals can help you communicate your issues in a constructive and forward thinking way to improve the overall health of your relationship.


Sex and intimacy

There are lots of issues that can get in the way of a normal sex life in our modern world, such as poor health, weight gain, pregnancy and new-borns. Sex is important to all of us, it’s an expression of love and intimacy and a valuable place where we can be vulnerable and express our needs, wants and desires. What’s going on in our day-to-day lives and the way we think about ourselves hugely impacts our sex drive and sex lives.

Sex and sexuality is very different to each of us, and can vary with things like gender, culture or age. It’s important to remember that there’s no set standard on sex. What you and your partner mutually enjoy together is important to you. This may change and fluctuate throughout your relationship.

The best thing to do is keep talking, if one person is not feeling sexual but the other is, this can lead to feelings of rejection or confusion. So be open and honest, this can lead to other ways of enjoying loving intimacy, without intercourse, which you both can enjoy just as much.


Trust and technology


Trust is the vital foundation for any healthy relationship. Without trust relationships can be surface level and a deeper level of intimacy can be hard to achieve.

Having a good level of open communication is a great place to start. Here you can discuss your personal boundaries, how you expect to be treated both emotionally and physically and be able to more easily analyse issues during difficult times in your relationship.


Technology has hugely changed the way we communicate in our relationships with things like Skype, texting and social media we can easily talk to people on the other side of the world. This can be great for some relationships as it makes keeping in touch so much easier.

But technology can be a distraction for communicating with each other when you’re face-to-face. It can also be tempting to constantly check up on each other and can cause trust issues between you.

Whether you like it or not technology is here to stay, so it’s time to adapt and put it in its right place in our relationships. Making simple rules like no phones at the dinner table can help you focus better on your partner and adopt better communication strategies. Talk to your partner about how your technology usage affects your communication and work together to find the right level for you.


Separation and divorce


Disagreements are inevitable in a relationship but they don’t always have to be shouting and aggression. Here are some top tips to better communication in a disagreement:

  1. Talk amicably, don’t start aggressively
  2. Be sensitive to your partner’s reactions and respect their views
  3. Think about how you are reacting, why and is it an appropriate response
  4. The physical feelings during an argument such as shortness of breath are a good indicator it might be time to have a break and calm down in another room
  5. Compromise or be prepared to, you might have to give a little ground to reach an amicable decision for both of you.


You can divorce in the UK if you can show there are good reasons for ending your marriage such as adultery or unreasonable behaviour.

Divorcing happens in three steps:

  1. File for a divorce petition – applying to a court for permission to divorce and reasons why
  2. Apply for a decree nisi – If you both agree on divorcing the court will give a document stating there is no reason why you can’t divorce
  3. Apply for a decree absolute – This legally ends your marriage and can be applied for six weeks after the decree nisi


Mediation is a confidential service offered to help separating or separated couples sort out important issues such as children, money and property. They will help make arrangements and settle disputes regarding child maintenance and living arrangements without having to go to court.

Mediators are non-judgmental and confidential.

You don’t always have to go to court or involve solicitors to get a divorce. If you agree on the reasons for divorcing, how you will split up your money and possessions and how you will care for any children. If you agree on these main areas divorce proceedings and paperwork will be quite straightforward.

Telling your children

Telling your children about a divorce can be one of the hardest parts. Here are some tips to telling your children about your separation or divorce:

  1. Sit down and tell them together.
  2. Try to do this when you’ve decided the practicalities of what’s happening next e.g. if someone is moving out and where they are going to live.
  3. Give them time to speak and ask questions. Some older children might just want to be alone, allow them this space.
  4. Try and be as honest and open as possible without bad mouthing or blaming each other.
  5. It’s important to tell your children that you both still love them and you’re both still their parents.

Parenting when you’re no longer a couple can be very challenging. Using a tool such as a ‘parenting plan’ which is an agreement between both parents on important parenting issues such as schooling, can help keep you on the same page when it comes to your children’s needs.


Family life and parenting

Having problems

Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal to have problems with parenting.

Whether it’s coping with a new-born or step-children, trying to connect to a troubled teenager or struggling to communicate with your children using too much technology. Most families at some point have difficulties, this is normal and you haven’t failed as a parent.

Relationship breakdown with your children

A suffering relationship with a child can be deeply distressing. People feel a range of emotions like anger, deep sadness or even grief.

If you find you can’t talk to children anymore without extreme arguments, trying a family counselling session may help air some difficulties on both sides in a controlled environment.

Remember you don’t have to feel bad that you’re grieving over the breakdown of a relationship. Acknowledge your feelings, allow yourself the time and space to work through how this is making you feel and if necessary talk to someone. Talking to a trusted family member, friend, religious figure or a trained counsellor can help you work through your feelings accept the situation and move forward positively.


Thinking of having children

According to the family planning association for some couples getting pregnant can take some time, but this is normal.

In every 100 couples trying for a baby:

  • Around 30 will conceive within one month
  • Around 75 will conceive within six months
  • Around 80–90 will conceive within one year
  • The remaining 10–20 will take longer or may need help to get pregnant.

Starting a family for some can be very easy and issues of infertility may not even come into question. For others this can be an extremely trying time in their relationship. Whether you have an issue with fertility or are anxious and unsure about starting your family there is help out there for you. Ask your GP for more in depth information on pregnancy and family planning. Don’t suffer with questions, find the answers you need to make the right decision.

People adopt for many reasons not just infertility. Adoption may be the right choice for starting your family. If you want to find out more about adoption visit an information evening in your local area. Evenings are held regularly and you can search via postcode through First 4 Adoption.