Today’s families are complex, and keeping family relationships on tract is not always easy. Events such as separation, divorce and re-marriage, financial problems, childcare issues, behavioural problems with family members, values dissonance and bad communication between family members are all potential sources of major familial conflict.
The journey to happiness is paved with obstacles, and even before progressing to co-habitation or marriage some couples find themselves experiencing difficulties. Alternatively, a couple may be considering taking their relationship to the next level, and wisely wish to be prepared.
Love, while of course vital, is not sufficient itself to ensure a happy marriage. Many couples who are unprepared for the realities of married life are disappointed, even when they have been together for many years: “But we love each other, why is it so hard?” In the worst cases, constant frustration can lead to alienation, and eventually to separation or divorce.
Positive relationships area, if not the key ingredient for a happy life, and it goes without saying that not all of our important relationships are romantic. Our relationships with family and friends also provide us with support, love, respect, comfort and friendship: as the famous John Donne saying goes, ‘no man is an island, entire of itself’.