Every relationship has its ups and downs. Whether you have been married for one week or five decades, a relationship takes work. Relationship problems are not a reason to call it quits, however. Instead, if you know what to expect, you can diffuse the situation before it gets out of hand.
Common relationship problems.If you are unaware of problems that can creep up in your relationship, then before you know it, a chasm can form between you. If you are in a relationship now and know something feels off, read through the following list of common relationship problems.
God created us to live life together, just as He created Eve for Adam. No one can live (and thrive) in a vacuum. However, remember that if your relationship has turned abusive, that is not what God had in mind. He commands us to love our spouses and to treat them as in the Lord. If you are in an abusive relationship, seek help right away.
People have different personalities, and this can cause clashes within the household. For example, you may be outgoing, a talker, and the life of the party. In contrast, your spouse may be quieter, thinking through a response before speaking and needing all the facts upfront before making a big decision. Yet, if you have the same personality and background, you may quickly become bored with one another.
They say that opposites attract, but you must learn how to communicate effectively with your partner. Most of us base our behaviors on the relationships we saw growing up, even if the relationships were not healthy. We must remember that our parents often struggled to keep their marriage together while raising children. Discuss with your spouse how both of your parents handled conflict and what changes your marriage needs.
If your relationship is at a stall due to communication issues, reach out to a counselor today. A counselor can have you practice communication skills, like active listening,
Financial problems.A big trigger in a marriage is financial problems. Trying to make ends meet, paying the bills, budgeting, saving, investing, overspending, and gambling can place pressure on a relationship.
For example, if you managed your money well before marriage, but your partner did not, your spouse may feel overwhelmed with you controlling the spending. On the other hand, if your spouse was always in financial distress from overspending or gambling before the marriage, then issues will arise with no boundaries to cover the essentials.
It is crucial that both people in a relationship are on the same page financially to run a household. For example, you might need to open a household account that you contribute to cover the bills while allowing yourselves to have separate funds for extra expenses. Or, you may choose to manage one checking and savings account and budget your income and expenses. Figure out a compromise and do what works best for your relationship.
Overspending and gambling, however, are compulsive behaviors. These behaviors are addictions that may need professional help to break the cycle.
You may have developed trust issues if you have been in other intimate relationships. Trust issues can stem from infidelity, betrayal, abuse, neglect, and abandonment. You may have experienced one or more of these in a past relationship or childhood. We then color our world through the lens of a victim, even if we don’t view ourselves that way. All we know is that we do not want a repeat of the negative behavior.
You may need a counselor to help you heal from past trauma so that you can enjoy and grow in this new relationship.
Your partner may have trust issues, and you feel you are paying for another person’s sins, always having your word questioned or asking for reassurance. Try to remain calm and understanding while you suggest that couples therapy may solve problems in your relationship. Trust issues can also stem from mistakes or actions taken in your current relationship.
Sexual and intimacy issues.When it comes to sex and physical intimacy, you should be open with one another. Communication in this area is imperative, as dissatisfaction or discontentment can lead to infidelity and adultery. However, that does not mean you should engage in an act that makes you uncomfortable to please your spouse. There need to be clear boundaries.
Emotional intimacy goes beyond sex. It is the gentle caring and soft caresses one feels in passing. It is understanding and loving each other despite your differences and pet peeves. Emotional intimacy and trust grow during the marriage, which we see in many older couples married for fifty and sixty years or longer. Trust is at the foundation of intimacy.
Is your partner meeting your expectations? Are you meeting their expectations? How we grew up, and past relationships sometimes set our expectations subconsciously. For example, if a single mother raised you, then you may expect to manage most of the household chores while working outside of the home. On the other hand, if your grandparents raised you, you may expect that you should be a stay-at-home mother and your husband work full-time.
You must discuss expectations with your spouse and compromise. Your relationship is unique and not the same as your parents or grandparents. Society has also changed, and what worked generations past may not work for your family and the quality of life you want to live.
Different ideas for the future.
Have your expectations of the future changed? Have you discussed important topics like where you plan to live and whether to have children? Your life changes – you get promotions, change careers, have four children instead of two – and suddenly, your future isn’t what you planned. Your spouse may feel the same way.
Take time to discuss in detail what the two of you want for your future. For example, do you want to move out of state when the kids are grown, but she wants to move now? Does your spouse want to go back to college and earn a degree, but you want to open a small business? See where the two of you can get on the same page and where you must find a compromise.
Problems with extended family.Have the two of you set clear boundaries with extended family? A typical relationship problem is an overfamiliarity with in-laws. For example, if your in-laws (or your parents) stop in at all hours or take it upon themselves to discipline your children or undermine your rules, this will cause issues in the marriage.
However, handling this problem takes tact as you do not want to offend your family or your in-laws. You and your spouse will need to agree on the rules of your home and then let the extended family know. If you cannot agree, you may want to consider asking an unbiased third party, like a counselor, for suggestions.
Forgetting to date your spouse.
Remember the excitement of the first date? Getting dressed, choosing an outfit you would look nice in and that would please your date? Do you remember the meticulous detail you took in planning the date and maybe subsequent dates?
The problem is we often forget to date our spouses. We become too busy with responsibilities or too aggravated with the other person about something trivial. Yet, it is in these moments that we develop intimacy. We grow as we converse with the other person. If all you talk about are your worries or what your children are doing, you may want to consider couples therapy.
Christian counseling for relationships.
Relationship problems don’t have to be a dealbreaker. If you know the common issues, you can identify the signs leading up to them and seek help from a counselor to keep your marriage on track. Complete the contact form or call our office to schedule a session with a counselor to discuss relationship problems and solutions.
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