Home » Are Your Relationship Problems Solvable? (Raising Happiness Homestudy)

Are Your Relationship Problems Solvable? (Raising Happiness Homestudy)

Never let a problem to be solved become more important than the person to be loved.
–Barbara Johnson

Welcome to Theme 5 of the Raising Happiness Homestudy. In this theme you’ll learn about some of the science related to romantic relationships.

Parenting Practice: Categorize Relationship Conflicts

Take some time to think about the conflicts that have recently arisen in your relationship. What do you fight about?

(1) Which of these conflicts are solvable, one-time issues? These are fights that may come out-of-the-blue and are unlikely to occur again. Often the only solution needed for these types of problems are an apology.

(2) Which are cyclical? What fights are you having again and again — that result from basic differences in your personalities and personal preferences? Can you accept these conflicts? When you talk about this problem, do you make some headway — does the problem get better for a little while, and then come back?

(3) Which of your conflicts are wounding? These are important to identify, so that you can keep them from further eroding your relationship. Wounding problems are cyclical conflicts in that they are based on personality differences and they tend to be recurring — but you haven’t yet established a constructive dialogue around them. These are the fights that are characterized by defensiveness, global criticism, stonewalling, and contempt.

(4) Do you have any deal-breakers in your relationship? What are your deal-breakers? For me, they are things like abuse, infidelity, or not feeling loved.

All couples are different. What do you fight about? What type of problem is this? Give us an example of a recent fight in the comments, and your diagnosis.


If you would like to download the audio version of this video to listen to in your car or on the go, click the link below.


This video is the 1st in a series about the science of great relationships from The Raising Happiness Homestudy. Check out the rest of the Homestudy here.

Additional reading:
Should You Stay or Should You Go?
How to Know if You’ve Married the Wrong Person