A good majority of couples states that communication is the primary presenting issue when starting therapy. Though most therapists recognize that problematic communication may be a troublesome issue, deeper and more systemic issues tend to be where the problem lies. Barriers in communication begin to develop as partners allow misunderstandings to continue, criticism and defensiveness are used to protect one’s emotional or physical safety, partners emotionally disengage with one another, and resentment sets in. By the time couples attend therapy, problematic patterns are entrenched and difficult to change.