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are not what we do, it is part of who we are.

When our loving relationship is dysfunctional,  every other area of life can become dysfunctional 

“A true relationship is two imperfect people refusing to give up on each other.”


Relationship problems are not limited to infidelity, or control, or falling out of love; relationships can struggle due to past experiences, personal differences, deep-rooted trust issues, high stress, financial difficulties or trauma and more.

Nothing wrong with an occasional argument, but if your relationship has become a regular burden and there is no joy in talking about it, it is worthwhile making an effort to find the problem beneath what you are experiencing.  True love doesn't die easily, but we can let it be taken over by anger and hurt. 

Not all relationships can be saved, but It is worthwhile making efforts to find the real cause before blaming each other or making drastic decisions. Research shows we make decisions too quickly, and most relationships can be saved through understanding and commitment. Certainly, one of the most difficult areas in life is to know if we are making the right decision about relationships. Its impact goes beyond just two people. It takes some thinking, the right help and support to get through it. 

  • Do you remember the days when your relationship was fun and exciting?

  • Do you know the real cause of your struggle today?  

  • Are you absolutely certain you know exactly what your partner is feeling or thinking?

  • Is your relationship worth saving?








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Six useful tips to maintain your peace at home and improve your relationship.


Stressful times can add strain to our relationships. Follow these useful tips to reduce conflicts and deepen your understanding of each other. 

1. Listen.

Listening is the number one element of good communication.  Everyone wants to feel heard. Only when the other person feels acknowledged does the communication process begin.  The impact of what you will say, will depend on how well you listen. So, while you're listening, really focus on what the other person is saying and not what you want to say next.

2. Determine the need.

By paraphrasing and asking “did I hear you right”, you will be able to look for the need that they are trying to communicate. They may be worried, disappointed or anxious about something.

3. Don’t act defensively.

It is natural to feel defensive when we feel the other person is being unreasonable. But the other person’s actions are based on what they are feeling, or going through, at the time. Remembering it is NOT all about us that prevents us from taking it personally. Once the other person feels heard and acknowledged, then their emotions will change and you will find it is much easier to get your own point across. Also you will have a better understanding of where they are coming from.


4. Breath.

While you feel emotionally charged (stressed or angry), you are more likely to react than respond. Take a deep breath and prevent yourself from saying anything that you will regret later, or from making matters worse.

5. Respect.

Try your best to show respect rather than contempt. Condescending remarks will derail communication and the respect will be lost.

6. Determine the need (clarify)

If the person seems unreasonable, or just doesn’t seems to make any sense about why they are upset, they may be worried, disappointed or anxious about something. By paraphrasing and asking “did I hear you right”, you will be able to learn what they are trying to communicate, what are they trying to avoid, or to gain.

Seeking help is an indication of commitment.


Seeking help with relationship conflict is not something to be ashamed of. Relationships can be complicated due to multiple reasons. When we are overwhelmed by emotions, we are less likely to be able to make rational decisions. Seeking help is an indication of commitment and willingness to resolve conflicts fairly. The degree of help needed can vary. Investing in relationships that matter, is a vital process for a meaningful and happier life. So in some cases, you might need occasional help in clarifying an issue, or with emotions you are struggling with which are affecting your relationship. There may be unanswered questions that bother you, or you may notice your communication seems to have become stressful.

Minor issues such as this, can be dealt with by applying effective communication skills and working together. However, in some cases, you may not see an improvement. Misunderstandings can cause fighting and communication to get worse. 
When there is no joy and only a sense of stress and hard work, or you feel things could be better than they are and can’t get any worse, it indicates that you should change the way you have been dealing with conflicts. The best indicator is your heart.

Ask yourself; What is my relationship worth to me? Is this is how I want my relationship to be? What am I able to do to change things for the better? Can I do this without help? Do I have support available to me? 

When to seek relationship support?


It is recommended that you seek help in an event where you experience a major change in circumstances. It can be that one or both of you suffering from grief and not coping. Trust has been broken, or one is feeling neglected. Talking to a third party is important. Talk to a trusted friend without violating the respect or the trust of your partner. You may be able to talk to your church leader or your mentor in this way. Sharing with a friend and family may help you feel better in the short term, but to resolve the situation you may need professional help. Please don’t let it go on for too long. Relationships matter as they are part of who we are. When our relationships are dysfunctional, it can impact our ability to function socially, professionally and ultimately it can take over your life.  The good thing is early intervention as that can reduce or prevent common issues from becoming debilitating conflicts.  

Why are relationships important?


Relationships are part of who we are.  It is not just about social interaction, it’s about belonging, sharing life and having a purpose. Relationships not only play a vital part during child development, but they are also part of our functioning throughout our lifetime. We all come alive in the company of a person we can relate to. Regardless of the nature of it, each relationship has its own purpose in life whether it’s romantic, professional or social. Meaningful relationships can bring fulfilment, happiness, build confidence and provide a sense of purpose and self-worth. Close connections with our loved ones, friends and work colleagues can help us to be at our best. And for many, these relationships offer an important source of advice, guidance, love, and support. We are born with the need for meaningful connection. Just as we need healthy food and water to live well, we need healthy relationships to function well mentally and spiritually. Our true identity comes from not what we do, but from who we are. Whom we become is often connected to whom we are related. 


What does a good relationship look like?

Although each relationship is different, the main elements which build strong bonds are common and stay the same. The relationship is built around trust, empathy, and self-awareness. A healthy relationship consists of a degree of understanding and therefore has a strong bond. The ability and willingness to understand the other person’s needs and feelings is a significant attribute of a healthy relationship and has a collaboratively established plan of action to attack negative emotions from external pressures. They are tuned to each other's needs and communicate them clearly. 

Respect and encourage one another, and be collaborative in decision making.  Both parties have an understanding and respect for each other's needs as an individual, as well as the collective needs as a unit/couple.


Once negative emotions filter through to relationships, problems can arise and grow very quickly. The ability to identify the issue and act immediately, helps to attack the issue rather than the person. Increasing self-awareness is a path to respect, integrity and understanding emotions of the other party. Finally, good communication helps people to form a bond and focus on what is the other person needs from the relationship, it lets them know what you need to enhance the connection, which in turn, leads to relationships that can survive stormy seasons.


The benefits of meaningful relationships:


  • Contentment

  • Good health

  • Self-esteem

  • Effective parenting

  • Become good communicators

  • Good conflict resolution skills

  • Happy and productive at the workplace

  • Ability to understand others

  • Encouragement to others

  • Lower stress levels

  • Improve ability to learn

  • Contribute to the community 


Research studies show that those who have healthy relationships experience a reduced number of health problems and actually live a longer life. Those who do not, display symptoms of depression and a decline in their cognitive abilities. The benefits of meaningful personal relationships will flow into other areas of our lives, such as our work life. Managing healthy relationships with colleagues and others in the workplace, increases productivity and we are more likely to have better conflict resolution skills and to build on our networking. Good relationship management skills will help you better respond to management and other stakeholders, and in return, create a happier working environment and reduce stress. I cannot explain enough about the vitality of investing in building good relationships and restoring existing ones. We don’t need to spend all our energy resolving conflicts, if we invest in learning good healthy relationship skills.


Some of the common relationship issues that benefit from counselling and coaching.


  • Feeling under-appreciated

  • Lack of trust and disrespect

  • Not spending quality time together

  • Lack of empathy or not helping around the home

  • Having different parenting styles

  • Fighting over the same issue over a long period of time

  • Never having any personal time

  • Issues with intimacy

  • Managing finances

  • Insecure about future

  • Difficulty relating to partner’s  family

  • Not growing together

  • Depending too much on the other

  • Feeling misunderstood

  • Difficulty relating to each other’s needs

  • Having a different set of values and beliefs

  • Disliking the other person’s choice of friends

  • The feeling of giving and not receiving. 

What happens when relationships are dysfunctional:







looks like
common issues

When a relationship is dysfunctional, it distresses the person’s mental health, which leads to physical health issues and impacts their professional performance, potentially resulting in dysfunction in every area of their life. I have experienced this personally and worked with many who struggled with self-worth, the ability to make rational decisions and motivation, due to dysfunctional relationships. Some find their personality has changed. and they have formed unwanted habits to cope with the deep emotions they are feeling.

Regardless of the nature of the connection, one relationship conflict can lead to conflicts in other existing relationships in
a person’s life.  Often times, they are unaware that the secondary problems are a result of unresolved relationship issues.  In most cases these can be resolved with the right help. To maintain meaningful relationships requires ongoing maintenance and care, just as if caring for a plant; it requires different care at particular stages throughout the life of the relationship. No one is perfect; we learn and grow stronger together as get to know each other. However, without care and maintenance, a relationship can become dysfunctional. As we can see above, relationship issues are various. Some are deep-rooted, others can be circumstantial. Once we are in a conflict, it is difficult to see where it started. We are accustomed to noticing the impact on our feelings. As a result, dysfunctionality becomes stronger and the strength of the relationship becomes weaker. Relationship conflicts are a natural part of life,  but the understanding and the skills to resolve them doesn't come naturally. 

Talking to a trained professional who is a non-subjective third party, can help to highlight unmet needs and deep-rooted issues that are difficult to see when we are experiencing negative emotions. Some issues can go back as far as one’s childhood. Patterns can be learned and carried into your own relationship. Counselling will help you see things in a new and helpful perspective. Coaching will help you equip yourself with skills and strategies. You will feel supported and understood, and you don’t have to do it alone.

A myriad of everyday tasks and responsibilities alone can be overwhelming. Relationship counsellors are trained and skilled in identifying the unseen causes of conflicts and impart resolution skills, and they are able to help both parties in the relationship equally.   


How can a counsellor help?


  • Provide you with a safe space to share your concerns and hear the other person also, in a nonjudgmental environment without blaming or shaming.

  • The counsellor is able to help you identify the root cause through skilful effective communication.

  • The coach will support you through guided conversation to help you separate the problems from the actual relationship itself. 

  • A trained counsellor can help you to identify unmet needs in each other's lives, and within your relationship as a couple, and help prevent sabotaging the relationship which you have invested your life in.

  • A relationship coach is trained and skilled in communication, relating skills and developing strategies best suited for you.

  • Both counsellors and coaches will provide you with useful tools and strategies to manage existing issues and prevent future misunderstanding.  

  • A coach is there to encourage, support and empower you, and champion you through tough times.

  • A coach can help you with strategies and skills to manage your relationships, and champion you and support you along the way.

  • They work through understanding each person and their relationship is unique and mindful of identifying an approach that fits you. With this in mind, the sessions are tailored to the needs of the individual, identifying what is right for you.

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