Relationship problems are more common than people think and there are a number of times you may find yourself extremely irritated by your partner. It is important to identify the root causes of your relationship problems as this may assist in dealing with them.
This article serves to identify 7 relationship problems and how best to manage the ups and downs you face and fix your relationship.
Most couples state this as the major contributing factor to their relationships failing apart. When people in a relationship have a difficult time talking to their partner, this may lead to frustration as they may not likely understand each other’s needs and insecurities. The inability to communicate with your partner may be due to events from previous relationships which can manifest in the form of passive aggressiveness, clamming up and saying regrettable things.
HOW TO FIX: In order to better express yourself to your partner for the development of your relationship, it’s important to have healthy communication skills. The following skills will be important tools to help reduce tension and misunderstanding:
- Active Listening – focus attentively to what your partner is saying. This includes presenting positive body language.
- Taking Responsibility – Owning up to the part you played in a misunderstanding goes a long way. It is important to acknowledge your wrongs and avoid deflecting.
- Reflect Back – The opposite of deflecting, reflecting back allows your partner to hear their point of view out loud as you repeat what they have just said. This gives your partner the opportunity to clarify and indicates your willingness to listen and understand what they are expressing.
When you’ve been together for a while, you may not feel as sexually attracted to your partner as in the early days when you couldn’t keep your hands off each other. This low sexual desire may develop as the responsibilities in the relationship evolve or increase. According to Gottman, two out of three couples report a decrease in sexual satisfaction after a child is born.
HOW TO FIX: It is important to reignite your sexual attraction by talking about sex and coming up with personal lists of what turns you and your partner on. Exchange the lists and create scenarios by planning “sex-dates” when both of you are available and aren’t tired. This increases the anticipation and excitement. Bring back the spark you had in the early days by:
- Sexting and flirting with each other
- Keep an open mind about sexual dynamics such as fantasy.
- Escape the normal bedroom and plan weekend getaways. The change in environment can be a boost.
Financial problems may be an issue from the start of a relationship all the way through to marriage. The expenses associated with courtship, cost of the wedding, the spending patterns of a partner as well as your income gap as a couple may all contribute to quarrels about money.
if one partner tries to control the finances or doesn’t include the other in financial decisions, it creates an inequality that will chip away at trust and respect.
Culture may also play a part in this issue as men have been brought up to believe that they must always earn more than the woman. This can cause tension in some relationships where the woman earns more than the man.
HOW TO FIX: If it is a problem for you that your partner earns less or more than you do, it is important to
- Identify how exactly that makes you feel. Bring out the old notepad and write down how it makes you feel. This also applies to the spending patterns for the both of you vs. your income.
- If one or both of you tends to overspend, set an appointment with a financial analyst to assess your spending behaviour. Professional assistance may help you appreciate your financial situation from an outside perspective and can have a positive impact on your relationship.
TIME SPENT APART
Your partner is your best friend and doing most things together is healthy. If for some reason the relationship time is not prioritized as much as necessary, which differs from relationship to relationship, it may cause strain as it stops being a priority. There are a number of reasons people spend significant time apart: living and working in different cities and opposing working hours being examples.
HOW TO FIX: It comes down to your very personal definition of “enough” time spent together, create more time for each other by:
- Setting up dates in advance and make time to discuss your feelings with your partner.
- Taking short trips together will help you reconnect with your partner. It doesn’t have to be an expensive escapade, but a different setting may bring much needed time to talk to your partner and do different activities together.
NO ROOM FOR INDIVIDUAL GROWTH
On the other end of the “time spent” spectrum, is spending too much time together. Ideally, you want to spend a lot of time with your partner working on your relationship, but there must be time set aside for individual growth. You still have hobbies and friends that your partner has no major interest in and that’s okay. Too much time spent together might be detrimental to your relationship as that individuality is lost.
HOW TO FIX: Setting aside time for your hobbies is healthy and make a suggestion to your partner to do the same. It’s important for you to:
- Do something that feeds your mind and your personality.
- Take time to do some soul searching or visit that gallery you’ve been meaning to.
- Most importantly, don’t cheat! Alone time should be that!
Many people view their partners as the perfect beings to live the rest of their lives with. This is a good expectation as you believe your partner will meet all your emotional and physical needs. Over time, your partner might change as no one ever stays the same. Expecting your partner to stay the same is near impossible as you learn more about each other as time goes on and your relationship evolves.
HOW TO FIX: Embracing change is a part of life which you must also apply to your relationship. For the relationship to remain healthy, it is important that you:
- Evolve with your partner and learn about their new habits.
- Be more accepting of your partner’s changes otherwise, this will cause resentment in the long run.
When you don’t really know where you stand in a relationship, it’s not uncommon to feel insecure. You might not have an official title yet, or you want to move to a different city whilst your partner wants to venture into a new business or career path. You can’t have everything in life and opportunities may be missed. This can cause resentment towards your partner. But it is possible to move past feelings of insecurity, and establish trust in a relationship
HOW TO FIX: if you or your partner are worried about being cheated on or abandoned, let each other know. While it may be an issue that you’ll have to work on, you’ll need to:
- be honest with your partner about your insecurities and about where you stand in the relationship and for the future will allow them to better support you.
- This doesn’t mean one of you has to sacrifice their dreams for the sake of the relationship.
- Navigate the dreams together and deciding how they can work out for the betterment of the relationship.
HOW MARIE STOPES CAN HELP YOU
Marie Stopes offers a host of women’s wellness services, including HIV and STI testing as well as contraceptive counselling, to help you find a method that suits you.
Find your nearest Marie Stopes centre and make an appointment online.