After providing couples therapy for thirty years a few things have become apparent to me. When a couple begins a relationship they are embarking on an experience for which most people are unprepared. There are many couples who simply don’t realize that it’s normal for problems to come up in relationships. Relationship skills have not been something traditionally taught in school. Most say they didn’t have great role models for a happy, committed relationship either. Most people enter relationships with good intentions but little knowledge about common problems that come up for couples, and, most importantly, how to handle them in an effective way. Upon encountering relationship problems most do one of two things. The first group chooses to live a less than satisfying life in a problematic relationship. Sadly, I have found that many fall into this category simply because they never learned how to deal effectively with common couple issues. The second group would rather switch than fight. Although there are couples who are better off apart, many who choose this route could have improved their relationship had they learned how to handle their issues more effectively. Often these same issues reoccur in subsequent relationships. I feel it is better to get the skills you need for a healthy relationship sooner rather than later. There are couples who say they have been discussing their issues for many years and nothing has changed. Sadly this is often so because the issues are being handled in the same ineffective way. What didn’t work last year won’t work now or next year. Having effective options can make a big difference. Couples can work smarter, not harder, and get excellent results.