What are relationship difficulties?

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Throughout our lives, one of the greatest gifts can be our connection to other people. Be it a friend, our parents, or a partner, it is these close bonds with others that often bring us joy and greatly enhance our lives. Of course, when there is tension, misunderstanding or dispute, relationships can become a strain and require a little more effort and attention.


At Wise Institute, we assist individuals, couples, families, friends and colleagues at any stage of life to address challenges, resolve disputes and strengthen relationships. 

Strategies to try now

There are times in life when the assistance of a psychologist is helpful in order to arrive at the resolution of misunderstandings or disputes. Here are some immediate steps that can be made to start improving your relationships now:

Try speaking about any issues you are experiencing without placing any blame. Using statements starting with ‘I feel’ can assist to reduce misunderstanding and reduce in the possibility of anyone feeling criticised
When discussing challenging topics, resist using ‘never’ and ‘always’ statements, these words can lead to exaggeration and also put people on the defensive
Practice active listening by paying attention to all of the cues the other person is giving you and paraphrasing their statements to ensure you clearly understand what is being communicated
Try assuming a more objective perspective and putting yourself in the shoes of others as you discuss the issues that are causing tension within the relationship
Try not to let negativity overwhelm your entire relationship, still find time to enjoy the positive traits of the other person and see if the conflict can be eased by indulging in some positivity
Seek to turn conflict into an opportunity for more complete communication and growth within the relationship
Be open to allowing some space between yourself and the person you are experiencing a disagreement with. Sometimes room to enjoy the company of others can result in gaining perspective on the issues at hand and make way for a new understanding of each other and refreshed energy for effective communication

Relationship Resources


We recommend the following websites for support with relationship difficulties:


Digital Tools and Apps

We recommend the following digital tools and apps for support with relationship difficulties:

In the case of emergency call

We recommend the following emergency services for support with relationship difficulties:

The top five relationships that people wish to improve upon are those with their siblings, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters

Some of the signs of difficulties within a relationship include:

Consistently having heated discussion or arguments, rather than being able to discuss topics you may disagree on
Relying too heavily on one person intensifying the strain within a relationship and leading to emotional dependence
Jealousy, possessiveness and negativity
Poor control of behaviour leading to aggressive or impulsive behaviour
Strict or rigid thinking and an inability to adopt another point of view
Physical, mental or emotional abuse and hostility

Frequently Asked Questions

Some simple facts to help you understand Relationship Difficulties and how you can best manage them.

How common are relationship difficulties?

When polled, three out of every four Australians report they have had major difficulties in their relationships in recent years. These struggles are commonly thought of as occurring in a marriage or partnership. Equally testing problems can arise when any two or more people have a difference of opinion, are contending with a contentious lifestyle choice, managing financial circumstances or are faced with needing to share information they aren’t sure how to communicate — regardless of the reason for the challenge, we are here to assist. 

Life after developing skills to manage difficulties within relationships

When you can reach agreements, recognise similarities rather than dwelling on differences and really listen, while being heard, relationships can be extremely connecting and gratifying. 


In many cases, when people have the space and opportunity to truly explore a challenging topic and discover commonalities and strengths within their relationships they can come to agreements that foster closeness and inform how to better manage conflict into the future.

Getting Professional Help

Evidence based treatments make the biggest difference.

We are here to promote cooperative communication, assist to reduce stress, enhance the harmony between people and build stronger relationships. If you are currently part of the Wise community, we invite you to bring those you care about to sessions dedicated to group work, beyond your individual therapy. 


We can work with people to get to the crux of recurrent issues, develop goals and timelines for change within relationships and to expand your communication skill set for use in life beyond your sessions. Please contact us today with any questions relating to work in a couples or group format, we are happy to assist. 

Myths About Adjustment Difficulties and Adjustment Disorder

``A fantastic relationship should be no work at all``
Relationship Difficulties Myth 1
``Great relationships contain no disagreements``
Relationship Difficulties Myth 2
``Fights ruin relationships``
Relationship Difficulties Myth 3
``To seek assistance from a psychologist must mean the relationship has failed``
Relationship Difficulties Myth 4

We're here to help

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Phone: (02) 9906 5199
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