There is almost universal agreement among couple therapists and researchers, regardless of theoretical orientation, that conflict is inevitable in a marriage or in any long-term dyadic relationship. The aura of the honeymoon fades when the couple makes unromantic decisions about where to live, how to budget money, share domestic routines and responsibilities, when to visit those unbearable in-laws, if and when to have children and how to raise them, as well as negotiating the changing nature of gender roles.
These potential sources of conflict must be handled by any two people living together, whether they are married or not, whether they are of the opposite or same sex. Authorities agree that it is how couples deal with such inherent conflicts that determines the quality and duration of their relationship.
When couples do not acknowledge and/or attempt to resolve conflicts, dissatisfaction and resentment continue to deepen and eventually take their toll. It is at the critical point that some of these distressed couples will seek professional help.