Articles by Jacqueline McDiarmid, Break ups, Communication, Couple's counselling, Couples, Relationships

Is my relationship in trouble?

Are you worried about your relationship? Thinking there might be something seriously wrong but you don’t know what to do about it? Are you thinking it might be time to separate? Or do you suspect your partner wants to end it?

Are you thinking it might be time to separate? Or do you suspect your partner wants to end it?

Many people I see wrestle with these thoughts and feelings. And sadly many people underestimate the level of pain they will go through if they decide to divorce or separate – kids, assets, finance, extended family and friends – the story – gone.

But it might not have to come to that.

If you are experiencing any of the relationship ‘warning signs’ below, couples counselling can help. Don’t risk what you have built, and the life and lifestyle that accompany it, without making sure you really need to break up.

With a good, qualified, marriage counsellor or couples therapist, you may actually be able to repair and rebuild your connection with partner or spouse.

10 signs your relationship is in trouble (and could benefit from couples counselling)

  1. You lead separate lives. He has his friends, she has hers. Socialising separately. Communication is around functional tasks in the home.
  2. Sleeping in separate beds. Unfortunately, many couples are not sleeping together. Usually this starts with one parent sleeping with a small child and it never changing over time. Sleeping together with your partner even without sex it a form of intimacy.
  3. No physical touch and I don’t just mean sex. I mean no kissing hello, goodbye, holding hands or hugging. If you are not doing any of these things, then there is a very high chance you are disconnected as a couple.
  4. You talk to someone else about your problems and never your partner anymore and/or you keep secrets from your partner.
  5. You avoid time with your partner.
  6. You don’t miss your partner when he/she travels. In fact, you look forward to the break
  7. You don’t trust your partner and find yourself going through his/her phone, computer or bag regularly. If you have hired a private investigator – and many people do – your relationship is in a crisis.
  8. You argue more than 80% of your time together. And the arguments are repetitive and never resolved.
  9. You don’t argue at all. Believe it or not no arguments can be far worse. It can mean you have given up fighting for your relationship or you are just doing your own thing now – checked out and disconnected.
  10. You are having an affair – you may think this is stating the obvious but many people I see who are having an affair struggle to understand that their primary relationship is in trouble.

If this is you and your partner, it’s not too late to turn things around. Just a little bit of work with a couples counsellor will have you both immediately re-focussed on each other. And when I start to work with couples, many of them start to realise how much they have missed the connection with their partner that attracted them in the first place.

Best of all, many couples find that connection again.

It isn’t always easy or instant. You’ll need to do some work. But with a Couples Therapist, and some changes in behaviour that drive changes in the way you’ll feel, you can find yourself heading back to where you want your relationship to be. Call us today on 02 8968 9397 and let us help you start to make some positive changes.

About Jacqueline

Jacqueline has been in private practice for more than two decades, helping individuals, couples and families.  She has extensive experience in couple and family therapy and is considered a specialist in these areas.

In her clinical practice, she has helped people deal with complex trauma, affairs, complex mental health issues, eating disorders, adolescent behavioural problems (including self-harm and suicidal ideation), behavioural issues in young children which are impacting parents and families, relationship issues and post-separation work.

Jacqueline works with many different dynamics: couples, parents, families with young children, same-sex couples, foster/adopted families, families with teenagers and also adult families.  She is particularly interested in helping parents of children with behavioural issues, or with diagnosed conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, ASD and so on.

Although Jacqueline’s work is supportive and friendly, she will challenge her couples and families to make the necessary behavioural changes, to repair relationships and to move towards healthier communication styles in the future.

Jacqueline’s style is direct and fast paced and she is known for quickly getting to the heart of the matter.  Clients report that they feel safe and understood with Jacqueline.

Qualifications and Professional Membership

Jacqueline has a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy (UNSW). She has a Bachelor degree in Counselling and Human Change, and a Diploma in Psychotherapy and Counselling.

Jacqueline is a Clinical Supervisor for Counsellors and Therapists. She lectures in couple and family therapy at Masters and Post Graduate level, and is currently Head Lecturer for the Couple and Family Therapy course (Masters) at the Jansen Newman Institute.  She has been a Lecturer at the University of Western Sydney and Sydney University, and continues to guest lecture at other tertiary institutions.

Jacqueline is also the Director of the Couple and Family Training Centre where she runs regular professional development workshops and seminars for Therapists, Counsellors, Psychologists, Social Workers and Health Industry Workers who are looking to gain skills in this specialist area.

She is a Clinical Member of the Family Therapy Association of Australia and a Clinical Member of PACFA.

“Thank you for seeing me today. Your help with all our family issues and all your advice has been invaluable.
I don’t know how other families do it, without a Jacqueline in their lives.” – Anna (43) step-mum and mum to four children.

If you feel as though you could benefit from talking with a Therapist please contact  The Sydney Couple and Family Specialists on 02 8968 9397 or email

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