A look at some common relationship problems.


Jason Brien.

Many people grow up with the idea that relationships need to be perfect or that they must always be happy. Relationships are never perfect and the majority of relationships that do exist are unhealthy. You only have to look at the divorce statistics alone to verify this. Relationships are full of problems which must be addressed and worked on regularly. This requires team work and a sense of unity. A shared desire to make each other’s lives as harmonious, loving and stress free as possible. With this in mind, I will explore 8 common relationship problems and how to correct them.

Poor communication;

If you and your partner cannot communicate effectively, both of you will struggle to understand each other and you will both struggle to meet each other’s needs. The ability to state your needs and views directly and assertively is important. This requires you first knowing what your needs and views are first though. All couples will disagree and argue about things at some point however unhealthy couples will argue about the same things over and over again. Unresolved or poorly resolved issues will continually arise during times of stress and can lead to feelings of resentment. All couples can benefit from attending relationship-based therapy or enrolling in a relationship communication course.

Chores;

Household duties and who does what chore is a very common relationship problem. Either one person does everything whilst the other sits around the house doing nothing or there is the expectation or belief that whoever is employed and works the most shouldn’t have to do chores. This is absolute rubbish. The reality is, you are both adults and it is not your partners responsibility to pick up after you. If you struggle to pick your own clothes up of the floor or if you struggle to do a shared load of washing, then you might need to reassess your habits. Yes, I understand that some people might be suffering from mental health or physical challenges but there is still the requirement to contribute in at least some way even if it is just to offer appreciation.

Jealousy and insecurity;

People who suffer from insecurity and jealousy will struggle in relationships. If you are not secure within yourself, you will struggle to trust others. In saying this, if your relationship is marked by infidelity and affairs, then jealousy and insecurity is going to be a natural consequence and this needs to be addressed and corrected or the relationship needs to end as it is probably already highly toxic and unhealthy at this point. If your relationship is not tainted by infidelity then you need to respect and trust your partner when they interact with other people even if they are of the opposite sex. Your jealousy and insecurity should not have to be or become your partners problem.

Money issues;

This can range from who earns how much to who spends how much. It is typical for couples to fight about other financial aspects relating to bills, mortgages, car repayments etc. I personally believe that if both people in the relationship are earning an income, then they are entitled to keep a portion of that income to fund their own personal endeavours, pursuits, interests, etc. How much they keep for themselves is a discussion. For single income relationships, there needs to be a civil discussion and agreement on the distribution and expenditure of the funds.

Maturity;

As people mature, their perspective about life changes and their expectations for their future may also change. Couples are not immune to this. Some couples grow apart yet they fight to retain what is already lost. If you started a relationship agreeing with your partner that you don’t want children for example, and then 10 years later you have decided that you want children but your partner still does not, then you both need to discuss the future direction of the relationship. Growing apart is quite natural yet it often becomes bitterly personal and leads to feelings of rejection, betrayal or of being unloved or unwanted.

Differences in sex drive;

This can be quite a tricky relationship problem. The struggle here for many couples is the question “how much sex is enough”. During the honeymoon period of a relationship sexual intimacy is quite frequent however it tends to die down a bit once the relationship progresses. This can lead to mismatches in sex drive. Especially when masturbation is forbidden or discouraged. Sometimes quality over quantity can address the sex drive problem. Rather than 5 minutes of sex 6 times a week, discuss and explore with your partner alternative ways to improve the quality and decrease the quantity of your sexual intimacy.

Mental health challenges or addictions;

When we are suffering from our own mental health challenges or addiction, it can be hard to focus on the needs of others. It can also be hard for our partners to understand our feelings, thoughts and behaviours. If you are suffering from depression for example, your partner may fail to understand why you cannot get out of bed or why you may not have the energy or motivation to go to work. Likewise, addictions can destroy relationships. Addiction is not limited to alcohol, drugs or gambling. Addiction can involve overspending and shopping or even a technology addiction. Personal and relationship therapy can help to resolve these issues.

Parenting styles and in-laws;

Relationships can become unhealthy once children and in-laws get involved. Most couples will complain that they signed up for their partner but they didn’t sign up for their in-laws. Relationship problems centred around family and in-laws are very challenging as you cannot expect your partner to abandon their family just to make you feel better and vice versa. Likewise, couples may get along well until a child is born and they both realise that they have different parenting styles or expectations. It could be issues from how much love and attention to give the child or what schooling they should get.

Resources.

https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=VJpXAlcItKUC&oi=fnd&pg=PR1&dq=common+relationship+problems&ots=0zpMCIuC0B&sig=zAITgGoW80bBsNRnrCOUU9G1qAg#v=onepage&q=common%20relationship%20problems&f=false 

https://assets.campbell.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/22122441/characteristics-of-healthy-romantic-relationships.pdf

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2167696812467330