All couples have some difficulties within their relationship. Most of these can be resolved by them as part of the stuff we have to do in all aspects of our lives. However, there are occasions when things move up a level (or two) and it's not a DIY fix.
Couple therapy (often referred to as Relationship Counselling) can really help with the big and important things such as a wife being frustrated by her need for emotional closeness and finds satisfaction in an online relationship or a man feels that his sexual needs aren't being met within the relationship and he ends up having an affair. These are blockbuster problems that can and do destroy relationships.
Just how fundamental are your difficulties
Most often the problems in the relationship are much less severe. However, if one partner believes they are fundamental to the relationship then they must be treated by both partners as very serious and vital to the quality or even the existence of the relationship.
The complex set of emotions experienced on discovering any bad behavior can overwhelm any hope of rekindling the love you and your partner once had for each other. Couples therapy can often be the only way to help rebuild the vital foundation of trust and intimacy without which there may be no hope for the survival of the relationship.
What you need to begin to solve your problems
A prerequisite of repairing a relationship is the ability to know yourself emotionally, so that you can clearly communicate your feelings to your partner. Being able to talk about difficult issues and obstacles in your relationship can only happen when both individuals let go of their need to blame the other for all their relationship difficulties.
Forgiveness is often part of the process of moving forward
It's not a case of saying what you did is OK. It doesn't mean that you deny the other person's responsibility for hurting you and it doesn't minimise or justify the wrong. You can forgive the person without excusing the act. Forgiveness can bring a kind of peace that helps you move on with life.
Many couples find going for counseling a daunting prospect. That's a big hurdle to clear but if one does and the other doesn't then that's much bigger problem. Just take a deep breath and say "Yes, OK, let's do it."
Defending yourself will only push away your partner
If you constantly defend what you have done and all your discussions revolve around your need to be right then this will only alienate your partner. If you really need to be right all the time, then you might want to look at how emotionally close you really want to be.
Is the way to feeling closer and more connected through more separation?
Many couples believe that they have to be, think and feel like their partner. This leaves no space for your own unique feelings and experience. This can lead to feelings of suffocation, and even the urge to disconnect and run away. Each partner needs a bit of their own space and their partner needs to have the trust and respect to be comfortable with this. This is not threatening but can add strength and depth to their relationship.
A significant element of a healthy relationship is the ability to honor your partner's feelings (even if you disagree with them) without the need to take responsibility for them.
Couples are often too intensely involved to see the forest for the trees
All problems are complex and relationship problems are often way above average. They involve the past as well as the present and of course, the future. There are complex emotions driven by the fear of abandonment, the need to be in charge and a host of other interconnected hopes and fears. An understanding of the shape and size of the forest is completely lost and only the encircling trees remain to threaten.
We learn from our past experience
We learn how to conduct many aspects of our lives from the examples set by others in our past. If you have never experienced a good example of a healthy and successful relationship, then it may well be more difficult for you to develop the basic skills you need to conduct your own adult relationships. It is easy to subconsciously adopt the behaviours of our parents and other family members. If their relationships were unsuccessful then there is a higher chance ours will too. The quality of your relationship can, therefore, be influenced those in the past that you have experienced around you.
Relationships are the most complex things we are likely to experience in our lives so if yours is in serious trouble then get help. You can make it better for both of you.