Developing and maintaining relationships is a life-long commitment. After a time, we too easily assume that we know our partner, their thoughts and their intentions. Our knowledge of our partner is rarely complete. Allow yourself the honesty to accept this incompleteness.
Whatever your age or experience your relationships will present you with new and demanding challenges.
To help you meet these challenges, we have grouped information around several topic areas that people commonly ask us about.
Willing to work at it....
All couples experience problems in one form or another - it's part of sharing your life with another human being.
The difference between relationships which work, and relationships which don't, is how well couples deal with the challenges and problems they face in their life together.
The first step towards creating a happy, healthy relationship is your own willingness to work at it. Most couples leave it until their relationship has already started to fall apart before they consider doing anything about the difficulties they have.
The best time to learn relationships skills is at the start of the relationship. That way you can spend the rest of your relationship putting into practice what you've learnt - which means you'll probably avoid major relationship difficulties further down the track.
Good relationships are good for you
People in supportive, loving relationships are more likely to feel healthier, happier and satisfied with their lives and less likely to have mental or physical health problems or to do things that are bad for their health.
People in supportive, loving relationships help each other practically as well as emotionally. Supportive partners share the good times and help each other through the tough ones.
Breaking-up can be a health hazard
Based on figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics:
- Approximately one in three first marriages end in divorce
- Most people who separate have been married less than 10 years.
(Australian Bureau of Statistics (2205). Divorces, Australia. ABS Catalogue No.3307.0.55.001. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia).
It usually takes two to three years for a couple whose relationship has broken up to begin to put their lives back together again. It sometimes takes five years for individuals and families to get over the emotional pain and trauma. Many people can have serious health and emotional problems during this time. Financially, many men, women and their children are significantly worse off, following separation and divorce.