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Solving Relationship Problems
Better Relationships Martyn Carruthers

Online Relationship Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Are you entangled in difficult relationships or painful emotions?
Do you want help for solving relationship problems?

There are no limits to the happiness of healthy relationships ...
... nor to the suffering inherent within relationship problems.

Relationship Self-Coaching

Friendship - teamwork - partnership - parenthood - neighborhood ... no relationship runs smoothly all the time. Different experiences, expectations, values and skills underlie most relationship problems. And too much similarity can cause relationship problems. We help people solve relationship problems.

Your relationships with family, friends, colleagues or a partner can bring love, pleasure, support and happiness into your life. Relationships can also bring suffering, guilt and depression. You are not alone - we coach people to solve many relationship problems, difficulties and challenges.

Some basic skills for solving relationship problems are:

  1. You know your wishes, dreams and your needs
  2. You know what people want during relationships with you
  3. You understand and accept the wants and needs of other people
  4. You choose which wants and needs you can fulfill in which relationships
  5. You explore what your partner wants and needs - be prepared for change
  6. You discuss what you each hope for ... define your relationship goals together

Relationship Problems

If you have a relationship problem, and solutions seem difficult, our systemic coaching can help you. Systemic relationship coaching can help you turn difficult relationships around. Effective coaching can clarify poor or average relationships, and some become wonderful experiences.

We do not try to persuade people to start or stay in relationships. We coach people to understand each other's perspectives, and to resolve many blocks to happiness. We coach people to build good feelings as a basis for emotional freedom and healthy relationships.

Money Problems

How do you decide about money? How do you decide how money should be earned and spent? Who pays the bills? How much goes to expenses, to savings, and to charity? How do you decide expensive decisions (tuition, childcare, mortgage, car purchase)? Does everybody control their own money or is it pooled? Must each person bring an income? If not, how do you decide who will work?

Family Problems

Expect problems if you demand that your partner like your family, or if you try make yourself like people you don't respect. You can discuss your family and your partner's family. Who is more important? Are you or your partner overly bonded or compliant to a parent? You can continue your intimate relationship even if your parents disagree - and you may greatly benefit from our relationship coaching.

My husband never really left his parents, and was still his mother's boy.
When I tried to assert our independence, my husband supported his mother.
I thought we would divorce but you helped us both grow up and become a couple.
Those first years are like bad dreams now.

Friend Problems

Do you feel you have to abandon friends to be with your partner? Giving up good friends to please a partner is asking for trouble. But don't assume that your partner will like your friends as much as you do. You might each ask: "Which of my friends do you enjoy and which would you rather I meet without you?"

If you try to use your opposite-sex partner as a substitute for a same-sex friend - expect problems! He probably doesn't want to talk about emotions over a cup of tea, and she probably doesn't want to drink beer and watch football!

Time Problems

Hopefully, you enjoy time with your family, friends, colleagues partner and children. Hopefully they enjoy time with you. And sometimes they - and you - want time alone. If you interpret this as, "they don't care for me" or "they do not accept, or like or love me" you will make problems. Talk to them about what you and they need. Childish demands for attention drive healthy people away.

Emotional Problems

If you or an important person becomes emotional in a crisis, talk gently and listen carefully. If you can, talk about feelings and goals. Emotions that might be simple for you, may be expressed intensely by other people. Knowing that you and your partner agree on emotional problems will help relieve stress.

  1. If something bothers you, say it and find solutions.
  2. If you feel you will never forgive your partner for something, get coaching.
  3. Assume positive intentions - and then check if your assumptions are true.
  4. Punishing your partner may make things worse. Discuss what you want.

Sexual Problems

  1. Let sex be the icing on your cake - not the whole cake!
  2. Teach your partner how to bring you to orgasm. If you don't know how, find out!
  3. A sexual affair need not mean the end of a partnership, but it indicates problems
  4. Sexual dysfunction is common - we offer sexual solutions

Going APE: Assimilate Problematic Experiences

The APES model (WB Stiles, 1990) describes how people deal with relationship crises. Effective coaching can accelerate progress through these stages. Here is my summary of this model:

Solving Relationship Problems

0 Dissociated: People bury or repress their relationship problems; unpleasant thoughts and feelings are silent or are rapidly silenced. They may whine and complain endlessly.
1 Avoidance: People avoid thinking about relationship problems. Thoughts and feelings can be very unpleasant but are scattered, diffuse, unfocused and unclear. They may criticize and condemn people who are not suffering as they are.
2 Emergence: People cannot describe relationship problems clearly but feel emotional suffering or panic. They may attack and abuse people whom they blame for their feelings.
3 Clarification: People can consider possible solutions and can manage unpleasant thoughts, feelings and inner conflicts without panic. They may finally seek help.
4 Understanding: People can describe problematic relationships, their unpleasant feelings and their pleasant surprises. They may explore realistic relationship solutions.
5 Application: People can plan solutions to relationship problems and other life issues. They may be more optimistic about possible outcomes.
6 Resourceful: People use their problematic experiences as life resources. They may become generally optimistic about life.
7 Integration: People generalize solutions using the problematic relationships as resources for resolving other relationship or life problems. (If I can solve THAT, I can also ...)

Solve Relationship Problems

If a relationship is good - there's not much to talk about.
If a relationship is bad, there's nothing to talk about.
Common male belief

  1. Be interested in and discuss how you can support each others goals.
  2. Some people may feel overwhelmed - give them space to talk about it.
  3. Avoid criticism - discuss how you can tell uncomfortable truths to each other.
  4. Money issues can cause huge conflicts. Discuss finances and make a budget.

Solving relationship problems is an investment. Our coaching can turn relationships and lives around. Good coaching can rescue bad relationships and turn average relationships into wonderful experiences. Dissolve conflicts before they explode!

Contact us to manage your emotions and solve relationship problems

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018
All rights reserved.

If you like our work, please link to us. If you know someone who might benefit,
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For online help, email us at:

Soulwork systemic coaching in America & Hawaii


Soulwork systemic coaching in England, Wales & Scotland

Soulwork systemic coaching in Croatia & Serbia

Soulwork systemic coaching in Poland



Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email