Problems in relationships are opportunities for growth. Let me say that again. Problems and conflict in relationships are opportunities for growth. So, what happens that stops that growth from happening. Our defenses do. We don't know how to respond to our partner when they complain about what is wrong. We either run away, shut down, or attack and criticise them. From here a fight cycle begins. It is not often would we here our partner say: "Lets sit down and get to the bottom of this. Something is clearly not working for you in our relationship and we need to have a look at it.....together" Why cant we do that? We haven't been taught how to do that, without feeling like we have 'lost' or are 'wrong.' If I am wrong, then you must be right, right? Wrong! We have not learnt to be cooperative in relationships, we have learnt to be competitive. Right/wrong, good/bad, black/white, debate, win/lose. These are aspects of competition, where there is only one winner and the other is well...the loser. This is diabolical in relationships. Competitiveness stops growth and connection from happening. Going to Relationship Counselling is an opportunity to step towards those difficulties and to learn and grow through them. It is possible to grow together, and relationships can provide a place to be heard, validated and be empathised with. That is a good functional relationship.