When two people come together with chemicals of love flowing through their body, it can be an amazing sight to see. They want to spend every waking minute with each other and be in contact every moment that they couldn’t. It’s intoxicating, scary, and wonderful all at the same time.
For some, however, that phase of love eventually fades. As time passes and both parties of the relationship make their fair share of mistakes, what was once intoxicating becomes intolerable.
Marriage–well, relationships in general–have numerous ways to fall apart. No matter how many people you’ve been involved with, I’m sure you’ve experienced the popular mishaps on some level.
We can’t always fix those mistakes and poor decisions at the moment, but we can definitely learn from them as we enter newer, healthier relationships. Let’s examine the most common relationship issues, and then how we can learn to avoid or correct them.
As the years go by and your relationship becomes seasoned, there will likely be a point where your sexual flame will dim. There could be a multitude of reasons as to why you or your partners in sex has dwindled, but no matter what the cause is, this decrease in sexual intimacy tends to cause relationship issues.
In order to avoid such problems, there are a few important things that you should consider:
- As you spend more and more time with someone, the act of sex becomes predictable. In most cases, the more predictable the sex, the less fun it is to have. Think about your favorite movie for a second. When you first saw it, you were enthralled. You watched it over and over again, enjoying every viewing. But after 10, 20, or 30 times seeing the same plot line play out, you only pulled it out for special occasions. Your sex life is just like that favorite movie. So, spice things up. Your favorite movie’s plotline is set in stone, the plot line between you and your spouse’s sexual experience can be changed any time you want it to. Get creative, get ambitious, and understand that it’s not the other person’s fault. It’s just that, although you enjoy having sex, it’s just the same thing over and over again. Try something new today.
- Your expectations for your sex life may be a bit unrealistic. As your sex life loses steam, you likely are replacing more love and appreciation in the void left behind. Instead of harping on the lack of sex you’re having, take a moment and be grateful for the person you get to lay your head down next to.
Cheating on your spouse is probably rule #1 in the “Things You Shouldn’t Do When You’re Married” handbook, yet some people still have a hard time adhering to it. Some will argue that monogamy isn’t natural to the human condition, but let’s face it; if you sign up for a lifetime of monogamous matrimony, that’s a weak leg to stand on.
In order to avoid infidelity infecting your marriage, here are some things to consider:
- It all goes back to honesty and trust. If you don’t trust your partner, you’re going to drive a wedge between the two of you. If you’ve given your partner a reason to not trust you, then that distrust is on you. Be open and honest about what you’re thinking and feeling as you make your way through life together. Don’t find someone else to fill a need that you could’ve gotten at home if you had said something about it.
- If you can’t uphold your vows to marriage, then end it with your spouse. There will be temptations out there, and more often than not, your spouse will give you a reason to entertain them. They’re imperfect, but so are you. If your wedding vows can’t keep you from doing something that you shouldn’t, break it off and be honest. Trying to sneak around the rulebook just so you can have your cake and eat it, too, is as selfish as it gets.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it’s taken place.”
-George Bernard Shaw
When you spend your life with someone, you eventually develop this code between the two of you; a secret language that the two of you speak. You have your own inside jokes, hand gestures, and facial expressions. When people with an objective point of view see it, they’re dumbfounded as to how you understand each other.
It’s a really cool place to be at in a relationship, but it also comes with its drawbacks. When you’re that comfortable with another human, you tend to err on the side of “eh, they know what I mean”. You do less explaining, less listening, and less engaging. You communicate through your own shorthand vernacular but sometimes miss out on real conversations and meaningful discussions.
Don’t get too complacent in your communication and think there’s nothing left to talk about. Consider these following points as you attempt to avoid a breakdown in communication and following relationship issues:
- Check in with each other honestly. Make note of what they’re actually saying and respond with compassion. If they’re having a rough time at work, ask how you can help. If they’re struggling at the gym, support them however you can.
- Speak up if there is something that is bothering you. Displeasure that goes unshared grows into resentment and disdain. Get it off your chest (in an appropriate manner) and allow it to work itself out in your conversation.
Well, there it is; the big three. Avoiding relationship issues like infidelity, communication, and lack of sexual intimacy will be the key to you surviving the lifetime of love that you’ve signed on for. Use the tips and use them well. Good luck!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.