To build a successful relationship, it is useful to understand how couples create the downward spirals that make relationships so painful. Some people see this as being solution-oriented. Others see it as being so focused on problems that we bring them to life. My perspective is very simple: Couples face real challenges and ignoring them will not make them go away. The problem is simple but almost impossible to see because we are blinded by all of the articles, books, movies, music, family, and friends teaching us to look outside ourselves.