Relationship problems tend to boil down to a few over-archingthemes. Most romances break up due to the same recurring problems. Anotherwise healthy relationship might have unique stresses because itsuddenly becomes a long-distance romance, but couples who live together orwho see each other every day tend to face the same general issues.
These relationship problems tend to involve lack of communication,sexual relations, mixed priorities, trust, and conflict resolution. Allof these apply to married couples, but marriages also tend to have two otherpoints of conflict: money issues and household responsibilities. So let’slook at all of these and see how each can be managed.
Communication Breakdown – Relationship Tips
Mostproblems in a relationship happen when the couple stops communicating withone another.
The two of you may continue to talk, but your talks arelikely to devolve into arguments, mutual recriminations, and tensions.Talking is only part of communication. To communicate, you have to be ableto convey your real feelings and emotions to your relationship partner,while listening and understanding the ideas and issues your partner findsimportant.
Listening is one skill that marriage counseling teaches. Mostpeople believe good communication is about convincing people your ideas areright, but this only works if the listener is willing to listen, keep anopen mind, comprehend, empathize, and understand. Most people aren’tnaturally receptive to those things, because they have set opinions aboutmost everything in life, even if they don’t think about them or talk aboutthem often.
Communication is the cornerstone of a good relationship. This letsthe two of you become closer sexually, resolve any priority issues, resolveconflicts, establish trust, figure out a plan for your money problems, andset up a sensible system of domestic responsibilities. Communication touchesevery other part of your relationship.
Sexual Relations – Intimacy Issues
Sex issues tend to dominate relationships that go bad. Coupleswith great sex lives can break up because everything else in therelationship is a disaster, but couples who enjoy intimacy regularly and aresexually fulfilled tend to find ways to resolve other issues. Think aboutit: sexual intimacy is the #1 way your relationship with your girlfriend,boyfriend, lover, or spouse differs from most other relationships you havein life. So if you want to have a healthy romantic relationship, a healthysex life tends to be essential. Often, life in the bedroom is the spectrumyour view your relationship through. Sex is also the way we reaffirm ourrelationship bonds.
Mixed Priorities – Love Answers
Every person alive has a slightly different set of priorities. Forinstance, let’s talk about the last two issues I discussed. Maybe man viewshis sex life as the #1 priority in his relationship, while having rapportwith his girlfriend is less important. Maybe the woman views rapport andemotional intimacy as more important than sex, though she also wants to besexually fulfilled. Both people have different priorities in what they wantfrom this relationship.
That’s not always a bad thing, but getting your priorities straight isimportant to having a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Communicateto your partner what it is you find key to this relationship, whileencouraging your romantic partner to do the same. Once you have a frank andopen discussion of priorities, the two of you can start to get on the samepage.
This may take some negotiation and adjustment. Understand thatyour lover’s priorities are just as important to the relationship as yours.If you go the extra step to make sure her priorities are met and she takessteps to see your priorities are realized, the two of you can findcontentment in the relationship. While your priorities don’t have tocoincide completely, you do have to find a way to make both fit within therelationship.
Conflict Resolution – Romance Advice
Conflict resolution is a major problem for many relationships. Ifthe two of you can’t find ways to resolve your issues, the relationship isdoomed. Again, having an open line of communication is pivotal in resolvingconflicts. Too often, people simply talk past one another, trying to recitetheir talking points, while dismissing what their girlfriend or boyfriendhas to say. This leads to an escalation of frustration and anger.
Figure out ways to resolve your conflicts. Try never to go to bedangry at one another. Don’t let resentments fester, because these only leadto more and bigger fights. Find some way to manage conflict.
People in relationships also need to find the source of the conflict.You’ll find some men and women find stimulation in conflict. They might evenview arguments as a kind of foreplay. Seeing the dramas on television and infilm creates an unrealistic view of the romantic relationship, as fights andbreakups are just ways of showing you really love each other. If you figureout this is what your partner is seeking, you have to decide whether that’swhat you want. Most people get worn out by constant strife, breaking up andmaking up, so if you come to the conclusion that this is your girlfriend’sor boyfriend’s standard operating procedure, think about getting out.
Trust Issues – Relationship Suggestions
Many fights stem from trust issues. Relationships areemotionally-charged and they tend to get to the heart of our psychology.Lingering feelings of inadequacy often manifest in a romance as jealousy,envy, and controlling behavior. If a person doesn’t have an inner self-worthand a positive self-image, this can lead to suspicion and even paranoiaabout their lover’s true feelings. Especially if a person has been hurtbefore or cheated on before, trust issues can be a major player in theirongoing relationship problems.
I’ve written at length about establishing trust. A couple has to reach anequilibrium where both partners assure the other they are loyal, withoutconstraining their ability to interact socially. A person has to breathe ina healthy relationship, so a naturally jealous person has to develop trustin their partner. At the same time, if you have a boyfriend or girlfriendwho tends to distrust their partner–or has a history of having their trustbroken–you have to take the extra step to assure them you’re different fromthe others. This is a fine line, but every relationship has to resolve itstrust issues some way.
Relationship Problems in a Marriage
Below are two relationship problems that might not show up in apremarital relationship, but once the two of you move in together or getmarried, they can become major issues.
Home Responsibilities – Marriage Issues
Sharing the responsibilities around the house might seem minor, but aninability to assign duties to each (and keep to them) leads to a lot offights in a marriage. This goes beyond taking out the trash and doingthe laundry.
Who balances the checkbook every month?
Who takes the kids to school?
Who picks them up from school?
Who handles home repairs, whether it’s fixing it hands-on or calling theplumber, the electrician, and the air conditioner repairman?
Who pays the bills?
Get a plan and stick with the plan. Assign duties, so you don’tend up arguing constantly because a bill wasn’t paid or the children gotleft at school too late. Domestic responsibilities are an easy one, as longas you have a plan and a little communication.
Money Issues – Marriage Tips
Along with sex, “money” is one of the relationship problems thatcouples have most. When the two of you have mounting debt and you don’tsee a way out, everything else seems that much worse. Money issues naturallyleads to the blame game. Maybe the wife thinks the husband should get abetter job and make more money, an idea that hits at the heart of hismasculinity. Maybe the husband thinks his wife can’t be trusted with thecharge cards, and her shopping sprees are emptying their bank account andpushing them towards bankruptcy. Both husband and wife harbor lingeringresentments, feeling the other could do more to bring in income, whilespending less. When things get bad enough, the children can have fingerspointed at them (education costs, extracurricular costs, text bills,clothing expenditures).
Most of the time, both parties are to blame. Money issues thereforerequire a two-party solution. This is where priorities and marriageresponsibilities become pivotal to the happiness of the marriage. Startsolving your money issues and everything else seems better. Sit down, startto communicate, and come up with solutions. Once the two of you have a planto resolve your money issues, stick to the plan. You’ll resolve yourfinancial burdens, while starting to build trust and get a mutual sense ofaccomplishment.