Sometimes unexpected events have a big impact on a relationship.

Nobody knows what the future holds. Many couples find themselves faced with unexpected changes in their lives that present a challenge or threat to their relationship.

Common examples are migration, an inheritance or business failure that has a big impact on the financial situation or a serious illness or death, perhaps of a child.

Whatever the event, the couple needs to adjust to it, and come to terms with their feelings. If they don't, the issue may become one that simmers beneath the surface of the relationship, and eventually leads to them growing apart instead of becoming closer.

All relationships change over time

Couples who can talk about how their relationship is changing will be more in control of the direction it is taking. They are less likely to be caught out by change, and will find it easier to adapt to each new stage of their relationship as it comes along.

Sometimes the issues are too complex, or the feelings too painful or confusing, for talking together to be successful. Counselling can, at these times, be of great value.

A relationship counsellor acts as an independent guide to help the couple talk things through. The presence of the counsellor makes it possible to say the things that are otherwise too hard to put into words.

If you feel your relationship has changed and you are concerned, consider talking to a counsellor.

It makes good sense to spend a little time talking to someone about your concerns instead of waiting until things get worse.

Ending relationships without using violence or abuse

Ending a relationship can be a traumatic experience for all people involved, and it can also be a dangerous time when conflict can escalate. Sometimes the use of violence or abuse can become worse around separation, as one partner takes out their anger and frustration on the other, or tries to use violence, threats or coercion to get the partner to stay.

Relationships Australia offers assistance to victims of family violence and can advise perpetrators on how to eliminate aggressive and violent behaviour.