The conflicts in the couple generate health problems in the members of the couple and the children. the situation of the couple is analyzed as an institution in today’s society, how the couple is internally and externally structured,
They also review the most common areas of conflict, what and how they are unleashed, the form they take and how they are resolved. The advances that have occurred in cognitive behavioral therapy of couples in recent times are also mentioned.
Conflicts in the couple, Importance of the conflict in the couple.
The statistics say that married people live longer and with a better quality of life, … if there are no conflicts. But conflicts: mental illness (depression, bipolar disorder, drinking, violence, ..) and physically (heart, cancer, immunological diseases, chronic pain …). They even increase the probability of traffic accidents, including fatal ones.
Conflicts in the couple also generate problems in the children (behavioral problems, depression and problems to achieve intimacy in the future).
Social situation of couple relationships
The media transmits a message that seems to indicate that the best way to live is not the couple and in fact that is how it is shaped in society. While in the 70s 70% of American homes were occupied by a marriage currently only 50%.
But many other figures are not so true. They tell us, for example, that more people who get married divorce, which is false, in our country at least. In 2000, 30% of the number of couples who were married were separated.
There are couples of fact and very long relationship forms, being «boyfriends» and living each one at home, sharing only free time, are ways that allow relationships with less commitment.
We might be tempted to attribute these processes exclusively to the lack of psychological preparation to face the problems and conflicts that are inherent in living as a couple at the present time. But surely social phenomena have explanations and social origins.
Society marks the couple that wants or needs. We have only to consider the influence of positive factors such as the advances of women towards social equality with men and their integration in the productive process;
And others not as positive as the hedonist ideology, established to maintain a high level of consumption, or the lack of social support for the development of the family, which places great labor difficulties for the care of the children, and which leads to consider having offspring as an unbearable burden, together with other elements such as precarious working conditions, which on the one hand discourage the establishment of long-term commitments,
like having children or buying a flat, and on the other they establish endless days that contribute in a decisive way to increase communication barriers in the couple. They are all social factors that shape the form of the couple that can occur in our society.
Structure of the couple
Currently the basis on which almost all couples are formed is falling in love. Falling in love is an emotion and has a strong component of passion, affection, tenderness, sex. That is why one of the main objectives of the couple today is to make life enjoyable.
But an emotion is temporary, because it is subject to the law of habituation. We all know that falling in love happens and many couples, based only on that emotion dissolve, «the illusion is lost»; «It does not feel the same.» However, the passionate love of the beginnings is an unbeatable way to keep the couple.
This requires developing intimacy and validation. Intimacy involves opening up and telling things that, in other circumstances, could be used against us and receive acceptance by the other. When we are in love we put ourselves completely in the hands of our partner and in this way we build intimacy.
We also decided to share more things with the other and we are committed to society, fidelity is kept, time is shared, the body is given, material goods are shared as a floor, etc. finally,
a commitment to a common life is acquired, which may or may not be socially endorsed. Thus, the commitment that is the decision to remain in the relationship despite the problems that arise is created, fighting with all possible forces to resolve them.
As more elements are shared, a method to make decisions is being built and a power structure is established, which may be more or less democratic, but always accepted by both. Decision making is one of the sources of major conflict in the couple.
To be intimate, to make decisions, and to live together, you must know how to communicate, listen and respect yourself. To solve the problems too. The ability to communicate and resolve conflicts is essential for the continuity of the couple.
Another very important aspect is mutual support. It is reflected in the formula of being together in health and illness, in joys and sorrows. The other is the main support to the difficulties and threats of life and support in personal and social development.
Our learning of how that mutual support is in the couple occurs within the family in which we were born. One of the first behaviors that we develop in her is that of attachment. Defined as the search for protection from external threats and, in the child, it is mainly aimed at seeking the protection of the mother.
Areas of conflict in the couple.
The conflict areas affect all the components that have been listed in the structure of the couple.
Taking into account the responsibilities: who is responsible for doing things and who decides what needs to be done. These decisions cover such fundamental aspects as: Finances, care of children, social relations, etc.
Intimacy is built with a separation of the family of origin, giving priority to the other in self-disclosure and decision-making. That’s why one of the most conflictive issues is in relationships with the family of origin,
Passion, affection, sexuality
Love is replacing falling in love, the initial passion is giving way to intimacy and affection, but that does not mean you can lose the attraction that you feel for the other as an object and sexual subject.
When conflicts occur and encyst, communication patterns are produced that perpetuate the problem and ultimately lead to separation.