I probably have talked about this before, but I don’t know if it was ever succinctly stated, so I’ll try again.
The reason that people get married (or have long-term relationships), is because we have needs. What these needs are are unique to the individual. So for a couple to commit, both parties have to find someone who they feel meets their unspoken, and often unrealized needs.
Herein, lies the problem. The needs are really an lacking of each party, which then ends up creating conflict in the relationship. Further, because, the need itself is unrecognized or under-appreciated, other conflicts are born through the principle of cause and effect which we discussed the other day.
However, at the core of each relationship, it is my belief that there is one core issue (or perhaps two) that is central to the individual and creates the strife in the relationship.
So if a couple wants to really work on their relationship, the best way to approach things is that each individual step back and figure out what needs drive them and how that is impacts their behaviour in the overall relationship. If both members of the relationship are mature, and willing to work though their own things, and take ownership of their own issues (all big assumptions), it is my belief, that issues will naturally resolve themselves as people stop pointing fingers to the other party, and instead focus inward.
Of course, this approach remains untested by me, but it is my current working assumption. If I am honest, it isn’t a 100% solution, but I think it handles about 90% of the issue at hand.