The majority of couples in counseling have difficulty managing conflict, but discord doesn’t characterize every couple. Some couples are disengaged. Disconnected couples may avoid addressing relevant issues, knowing they would struggle if they talked about difficult issues.

A smaller subset of couples is disengaged because the vicissitudes of life have overrun their relationship. A partner may have put work in front of family, or prioritized kids ahead of the relationship. Maybe the couple has stopped sharing with each other, being affectionate, or spending time with each other. These couples may not have unaddressed issues, but are unable to strengthen their connection on their own.

Most disengaged couples need to address the issues they are avoiding in successful, non-critical ways. Once they do so, they can work on their emotional connection. For the disengaged couples who have lost touch with each other, they need to talk about ways to restore their emotional connection.