Working with couples is intriguing, satisfying and can be fun. A good relationship includes the formation of a deep, enduring friendship, based on give-and-take, humor, openness and honesty. There are compromises and sometimes there are winners and losers, but hopefully the wins and losses balance out over time. Arguments and fighting are often the part of the process to be discussed and brought into mutually agreed upon parameters. Usually this process takes time and willingness to do some changing. Sometimes family of origin issues get in the way, as the past lives in the present, so discussing past hurts or pains, understanding why something is felt so deeply, can be an important part of couple counseling.
My advice to couples is to begin relationship counseling as soon as possible when problems arise that don't find mutual resolution. It is important not to wait if damaging things are being said, because hurtful behaviors cannot be undone.