7 mistakes dangerous for two


Is every unhappy family unhappy in its own way? Experts are sure that relationships in a couple in crisis develop according to one of seven typical scenarios. How to recognize danger?

An established fact: we are getting married less and less, preferring free partnership to marriage. At least half of our friends have already gone through a divorce, and many of us are the children of divorced parents. Stability is desirable but increasingly rare for a modern couple, and it seems that even a minor conflict can undo an already fragile relationship.

We asked family therapists to describe the most common scenarios that lead couples into crisis. All of them, without saying a word, named the same typical situations. There are seven of them, and they almost do not depend on how many years the partners have lived together and for what reason the conflict began.

Complete merger

Paradoxically, the most fragile are the couples in which the partners quickly and very strongly become attached to each other, completely dissolving one into the other. Each of them plays all the roles at once: a lover, a friend, a parent, and a child. Absorbed by themselves, far from everything that happens around them, they do not notice anyone or anything. As if they live on a desert island of their love … however, only as long as something does not violate their solitude.

The birth of a child can become such an event (how can the three of us exist if we lived only for each other?), And a new job offered to one of the “hermits”. But more often, one of the partners has a feeling of fatigue – fatigue from the other, from the closed life on the “island”. The outside world, so distant for the time being, suddenly reveals all its charms and temptations to him.

This is how the crisis begins. One is confused, the other notices his detachment, and both do not know what to do. Most often, such couples diverge, causing each other a lot of pain and suffering.

Two in One

It would seem obvious: a loved one cannot be our exact copy. But in practice, serious conflicts often arise precisely because many of us refuse to accept this fact: the person with whom we live perceives and understands the world differently, evaluates the behavior of a neighbor or a film that we just watched together differently.

We are surprised at his way of life, logic, manners and habits – we are disappointed in him. Psychoanalysts say that we condemn in others exactly what we cannot recognize in ourselves. This is how the projection defense mechanism works: a person unconsciously attributes to another those of his desires or expectations that are unacceptable to his own consciousness.

We forget that every couple consists of two personalities. In most couples, partners are people of the opposite sex. Needless to say, there are countless differences between a man and a woman. Women express their emotions much more freely, but their sexual desires are not so open compared to men.

“He doesn’t talk to me much”, “She never notices my efforts”, “We never manage to reach an orgasm at the same time”, “When I want to make love, she doesn’t want to” … Such reproaches are often heard at the reception specialists. And these words confirm how difficult it is to accept the obvious: we are different people. Such a misunderstanding ends sadly: either a battle or a trial begins.

two plus one

The birth of a child can sometimes “launch” long overdue conflicts. If a couple has problems, they can escalate. Due to the lack of communication, disagreements about education or housekeeping will appear. The child can become a threat to the “duet”, and one of the two will feel left out.

If the partners did not make joint plans before, the child will be the only object of interest of one or both parents, and feelings for each other will cool down … Many couples still believe that the appearance of a baby can miraculously put everything in its place. But the child should not be “the last hope.” People are not born to solve the problems of others.

Communication deficit

Many lovers say: we do not need words, because we are made for each other. Believing in the ideal feeling, they forget that communication is necessary, because there is no other way to get to know each other. Having little communication, they risk making mistakes in their relationship, or one day they will find that the partner is not at all what they seemed.

The two, who have been living together for a long time, are sure that the dialogue will not change much in their relationship: “Why should I tell him this if I already know what he will answer me?” And as a result, each of them lives next to a loved one, instead of living with him. Such couples lose a lot, because the brightness and depth of relationships can be preserved only by discovering a loved one day after day. Which, in turn, helps you to know yourself. It’s a no-brainer in any case.


Relationships in such couples are initially very strong: they are often cemented by unconscious mutual expectations of partners. One thinks that for the sake of a loved one, for example, he will stop drinking, recover from depression, or cope with professional failure. It is important for another to constantly feel that someone needs him.

Relationships are based simultaneously on the desire for dominance and on the search for spiritual intimacy. But over time, partners become entangled in their conflicting desires, and the relationship comes to a standstill. Then events develop, as a rule, according to one of two scenarios.

If the “sick” recovers, it often turns out that he no longer needs either a “doctor” or a witness to his “moral decline”. It may also happen that such a partner suddenly realizes that a life together that should free him, in fact, enslaves him more and more, and a loved one plays on his addiction.

When hopes for a “cure” are not justified, a second scenario develops: the “patient” becomes angry or constantly sad, and the “doctor” (“nurse”, “mother”) feels guilty and suffers from this. The result is a relationship crisis.

Money signs

Finances for many couples today are becoming a bone of contention. Why money is on a par with feelings?

The conventional wisdom “money itself is a dirty thing” is unlikely to explain anything. Political economy teaches that one of the functions of money is to serve as a universal equivalent in exchange. That is, we cannot directly exchange what we have for what we need, and then we have to agree on a conditional price for “goods”.

What if it’s about relationships? If we lack, for example, warmth, attention and sympathy, but we fail to get them through a “direct exchange”? It can be assumed that finances become a problem for a couple precisely at the moment when one of the partners begins to lack some of these vital “goods”, and the usual “universal equivalent” comes into play instead of them.

Faced with a real shortage of money, partners between whom a harmonious “non-material exchange” has been established will always agree on how to get out of a difficult situation. If not, the problem is most likely not the currency at all.

Personal plans

If we want to live together, we need to make common plans. But, intoxicated with each other, at the beginning of their acquaintance, some young couples defend their right to “live for today” and do not want to make plans for the future. When the sharpness of the relationship is dulled, their immediacy goes somewhere. The future life together seems vague, the thought of it brings boredom and involuntary fear.

At this moment, some begin to look for new sensations in relationships on the side, others change their place of residence, others have children. When one of these plans is realized, it turns out that life together still does not bring joy. But instead of thinking about their relationship, partners often close in on themselves and, continuing to live nearby, make plans – each his own.

Sooner or later, one of the two will realize that he can realize himself on his own – and put an end to the relationship. Another option: due to fear of loneliness or out of guilt, the partners will move away from each other and will live on their own, formally still remaining a couple.

No extra effort

“We love each other, so everything will be fine with us.” “If something doesn’t work out, it’s because our love isn’t strong enough.” “If we don’t fit together in bed, then we don’t fit together at all…”

Many couples, especially young ones, are convinced that everything should work out for them right away. And when they encounter difficulties in living together or problems in sex, they immediately feel that the relationship is doomed. That is why they do not even try to unravel the discrepancies that have arisen together.

Perhaps we are just used to lightness and simplicity: modern life, at least from a domestic point of view, has become much simpler and turned into a kind of store with a long counter, where you can find any product – from information (click on the Internet) to ready-made pizza (telephone call).

Therefore, it is sometimes difficult for us to cope with the “difficulties of translation” – from the language of one into the language of another. We are not ready to make efforts if the result is not immediately visible. But relationships – both universal and sexual – are built slowly.

When is a breakup inevitable?

The only way to know if a couple will survive the crisis that has arisen is to face it face to face and try to overcome it. Try – alone or with the help of a therapist – to change the situation, to make adjustments to your relationship. At the same time, you will be able to understand whether you are able to part with the illusory image of your pre-crisis couple. If this succeeds, you can start over. If not, parting will be the only real way out for you.

Here are the most obvious alarms: lack of real communication; frequent periods of hostile silence; a continuous series of petty quarrels and major conflicts; constant doubts about everything that the other does; a feeling of bitterness on both sides … If your couple has these symptoms, then each of you has already taken a defensive position and is set up aggressively. And the trust and simplicity of relationships necessary for a life together have completely disappeared.


The smooth course of life of a couple with some “experience” is often violated by two pitfalls: the first is conflicts not resolved in time, the second is “exhausted” sexual attraction, and sometimes a complete lack of sex.

Conflicts remain unresolved because it seems to both that it is too late to do anything. As a result, anger and despair are born. And because of the decline in sexual desire, partners move away, mutual aggressiveness arises, which poisons any relationship.

To find a way out of this situation and not bring it to a break, you need to make up your mind and start discussing the problem, possibly with the help of a psychotherapist.

Our difficulties and conflicts are just a stage that many couples go through and that can and should be overcome. We talked about the most dangerous traps and the most common mistakes. But traps are traps for that, so as not to fall into them. And mistakes are to be corrected.

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