Most couples experience some problems in their relationship at some stage. Expecting that your relationship will not always be the perfect, romantic picture you have in your head and being able to deal with issues as they arise is important for the longevity of a relationship.
6 Common Relationship Problems
Some of the most common issues that arise in relationships are:
1. Poor or Ineffective Communication
It is widely accepted that one of the core strengths of a successful relationship is good communication. Good communication is characterised by both parties being able to have calm, clear interactions where the message being sent is clearly received by the other person. Couples need to be able to read both verbal and non-verbal communications correctly and feel that their message has been received and accepted.
Having good communication skills is important as it allows you to maintain a close bond with each other and also provides the backing for good conflict resolution. When couples do not communicate well, often minor issues in a relationship can become major ones and issues are not resolved which causes resentment and can lead to a combative relationship.
2. Poor Conflict Resolution Skills
Conflict is part of any relationship as we don’t always have the same values, dream, goals or perceptions. Some couples are able to work through these differences and find a solution together that is acceptable to both parties.
Many couples are unable to work through these points of difference and will have unresolved issues. This is usually sustainable within the relationship if it is infrequent or not about core issues. However, when couples consistently fail to resolve problems then the relationship starts to feel the effects of this.
Couples who are not good at resolving conflict will often start to manage conflict in a number of negative ways. Some will start to ignore each other or the point of difference which tends to lead to resentment. Others will start to get louder and find nothing unusual in yelling at each other to try and get their point across. Still others will become passive/aggressive and give in only to try and pay back their partner in another way. Finally, there are couples where one person will continually back down and not have their needs met.
The result of frequent, poorly handled conflict in a relationship can be withdrawal in the relationship, anxiety and aggression.
While most people view infidelity as a physical interaction with another person outside of the relationship, more and more with social media and electronic communications, couples are finding different forms of infidelity within the relationship are occurring.
Couples have differing ideas on what constitutes infidelity. For some, it means a sexual affair with another person, for others it can be romantic or sexual communications with no touch being involved. Whatever the situation, infidelity can be incredibly damaging to a relationship and cause issues around trust which can take years to overcome.
Infidelity is viewed by the other partner as a violation of trust and can be damaging to the persons self-esteem as well as the relationship. Typically (though not always), men tend to be involved in sexual infidelity and women are involved in emotional infidelity (though both can be present). Interestingly, women are more likely than men to try and forgive an infidelity and try and work towards repairing the relationship.
4. Loss of Intimacy
Intimacy includes physical interactions as well as emotional and mental connections between couples. Often one of the first areas to deteriorate noticeably in a relationship is the sexual intimacy between partners. Usually, although not always, men will place more emphasis on this area not meeting their needs. A significant change in this area (after the honeymoon period of course) is often indicative of problems in the relationship.
Women tend to withdraw sexually and men emotionally when the relationship is not healthy, so paying attention to these areas is important for the health of the relationship.
A withdrawal in areas of intimacy can lead to isolation within the relationship and other problems can take on a greater sense of importance if this area is not satisfactory.
5. Substance Abuse
Substance abuse within a relationship, often alcohol abuse, can have a big impact on the health of the relationship. Often individuals will turn to alcohol, or other substances to help alleviate personal problems or stresses and this impacts on the relationship.
Excessive drinking or drug taking can cause the individual to withdraw, not communicate well and have less interest in hearing the problems of their partner. Of course other problems can arise out if substance abuse too such as financial difficulties or health problems and these too place a strain on the relationship.
6. Individual Issues
Often couples with otherwise healthy relationships will struggle to maintain a long term, healthy relationship because of issues such as depression, anxiety or self-esteem. While many people can be very supportive of these issues in their partner, it can be a draining exercise trying to maintain healthy interactions.
Couples with one of these factors in their relationship will often struggle with an unbalanced relationship, poor communication and anger within the relationship. The problems that can arise out of these issues are difficult for the individual to manage and when placed within a relationship, can add a very real pressure that is difficult to identify. Often problems present as a basic relationship problem when in fact it originally stems from the individual issue.
It is important not to place blame on the individual suffering from these issues but to have an awareness that it can place an extra burden on the relationship and professional help is important to try and identify and correct the underlying problems.
If you notice any of these common relationship problems in your relationship, then seek help as soon as you can to help identify the core issues and create that healthy relationship that everyone dreams about. All of these issues identified above can be fixed in your relationship, but the sooner you get help or try to address them, the easier it is to get the results you want.