Couple problems include all the issues that may occur in the context of a couple relationship - whether the partners are married, whether they live together without being married, or whether they are dating each other.
Couple problems may be related to several factors. They may be related to unrealistic expectations about the relationship or about the partner. These expectations may reflect society`s «romantic ideal», which seldom translates into reality. Or they may have been developed during the lifetime of each partner, in his/her family of origin and in his/her previous experiences, and transported to the current relationship.
In either case, each partner demands that the other behaves according to his or her expectation, and is sad or angry that he/she behaves the way he/she does.
Couple problems may also be related to poor communication between the partners. Verbal communication may be distorted in several ways: by exaggerating the negative aspects of the relationship, by devaluing the positive ones, by «reading the mind» of the partner (or expecting him/her to read one`s mind).
In addition, verbal and non-verbal communication can contradict each other, leaving the other partner unsure about how to respond. Couples therapy may address each partners' expectations, the communication between them, or both these factors.