Dr. George Pransky in his book The Relationship Handbook writes:

[M]aintaining a sense of well-being is all it takes to make [relationships] enjoyable and easy.

That seems a bit easy, no? If a couple fights a lot, shouldn’t they resolve the issues in question? Not according to Pransky.

[S]o-called “issues” in a marriage are symptoms and not causes of disharmony.

Interesting. If it is true that relationship issues are merely symptoms, then yes, we should attempt to cure the underlying illness. But what is the illness?

[Poor communication and unexpressed emotions and habit patterns from the past] are the symptoms of relationship distress, not the cause. The cause, the real bad guy, is insecurity. Painful memories, negative emotions, habit patterns and bad communication are all symptoms of insecurity.

Pransky goes further:

If you want to understand why people do as they do and feel the way they feel, you need only understand the role of insecurity in life. Insecurity is the source of distress and all counterproductive behavior…Insecurity is the generic human mental illness.