Relationship issues

Quality relationships enrich your life. But gaining and maintaining good relationships is a skill. If you want more out of your relationships, Opem Arms can help.

Time to read: 6 minutes

Do I have a problem with relationships?

Struggling to get along with other people is one of the first signs that we’re not travelling so well. In fact, relationship issues are the most common reason for Open Arms counselling.

Living with stress and unpleasant moods don’t just affect the way we feel about ourselves. They also affect the way we interact with other people.

Because our friends and family are so important for our wellbeing, not getting along with them can mean we’re left with no supports. People often describe a vicious cycle of needing support from those around them, but pushing them away and becoming more isolated.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s your mates, your family, or your partner, it takes effort to keep relationships working well.

If you’re stressed or going through a rough time, you might not feel motivated to reach out to people or spend time with them.

It might be that you just don’t feel like talking to people, or you feel uncomfortable sharing things that are on your mind. Maybe you just don’t want to burden your friends and families with your concerns. Or you may find that when you try and talk about your problems, you just end up arguing and the problems never get solved.

If any or some of these things are occurring, you might need some support to help get your relationships back on track.

Why am I struggling in relationships?

There are probably some good reasons that you’re finding it harder to get along with people. It may be that you’re going through a major life change or having to deal with a lot of setbacks.

Often, finding a solution to relationship problems might mean you have to sort out the underlying issue. Like anxiety or stress, or pressures in your life.

For example, seeing a financial advisor could help get you debt under control. This may improve relations with your partner because you won't be arguing about money.


Learning how to keep calm, listen and work on your problem-solving skills means you can talk without arguing. Allowing you to move forward.


Improve relationships by staying calm in stressful situations

If you are feeling stressed, your breathing may become more rapid and shallow. This makes it difficult to think clearly and communicate calmly to others.

The Controlled Breathing tool will teach you how to slow your breathing rate. This will help you remain calm, and will help others remain calmer as well as they won't be responding to your rising tension. By staying calm you're less likely to get into arguments at home.

Use Problem Solving to deal with relationship issues

A problem-solving approach can be very helpful in addressing relationship issues.

The Problem Solving tool can help you to work through the relationship issue step-by-step and find solutions.

It's best to practice these skills so that when you feel your stress rising, you can use them to remain calm.

This tool is also available on the High Res app to use on the go.

Underlying Mental Health issues and relationships

For some veterans and serving members, relationship problems can be related to a underlying mental health issue such as:

Understanding and addressing the underlying issue will assist your relationship.

Resources have also been developed for partners to:

Problematic behaviours in relationships

If you are yelling or getting into fights all the time may, or experiencing more serious signs of conflict, learn more about controlling anger and violence.

Get Help

  • Open Arms provides free and confidential 24/7 support to veterans and their families. Call 1800 011 046 and start a conversation.
  • Relationships Australia offers a broad range of services to individuals, families and communities throughout the country. Core services include counselling, mediation, and family dispute resolution. Contact your state-based Relationships Australia service on 1300 364 277.

Online resources

  • The Raising Children Network provides resources for parents such as tips for setting limits or helping children deal with separation.
  • Head to Health provides access to information about mental health care services, as well as links to online self-help programs.
  • myCompass is an interactive self-help service that promotes resilience and wellbeing for all Australians. myCompass is a guide to good mental health – it points you in the right direction. You can track your moods, write about them and view information and tips. You can also choose to do one of the modules designed to help you manage mild to moderate stress, anxiety and depression.