One of the first things I try to do when working with a couple is to understand their expectations of themselves and each other.
When the defenses open, the ears close
Avoiding possible conflict provides some immediate relief, but it doesn't make the issues disappear. Understanding and acknowledging that there will be many issues that will never get resolved, but can always be worked on is a big step. It's not a failure or a step back if you have a good discussion about a given issue one week and then get into a fight about it the next week. It's normal.
Click here to read more about healthy communication.
Work on the issues versus in your relationship
Relationships are living, dynamic organisms. They are constantly changing because we are constantly changing. Avoiding the change does not mean that it's not happening.
If you haven’t already read the book, it’s a great place to start - Relationship Reboot: Break free from the bad habits in your relationship.
David B. Younger, Ph.D. is the creator of Love After Kids, for couples that have grown apart since having children. He is a clinical psychologist and couples therapist with a web-based private practice and lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, 13-year-old son, 4-year-old daughter and 5-year-old toy poodle.