Even the best of relationships run into problems sometimes. You’re both tired from work, or the kids are in trouble at school, or your in-laws are getting on your last nerve…you know how it goes.
Life throws all kinds of challenges at a relationship, from relocation to redundancy to illness. No wonder problems arise in even the strongest relationships.
To keep a relationship running smoothly, it is important to solve marriage problems before they snowball into bigger relationship problems.
When do relationships start to have common relationship problems?
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.
Much of the common relationship issues that couples face are minor and can easily be avoided with mutual effort, understanding and respect. Although bumps along the path of marriage are unavoidable, if you are aware of them beforehand, you will be able to overcome them without leading your relationship to the verge of collapse.
None of us are perfect, nor will we exactly be the same on every level.
Some character flaws, on the other hand, will be natural and acceptable. But if there are behaviors, perhaps a little lie here or an indiscretion there, it’s essential to consider that on a grander scale as the relationship progresses.
Is that an ongoing problem you want to work through continually, or does that constitute a deal-breaker? Something to consider.
10 causes of common relationship issues
What can destroy a relationship? Many of the problems couples come to me for, seem to stem from issues that either cause or intensify their problems. But once couples learn how to address these two issues, everything else seems to start falling into place also.
Check out these causes of common relationship issues or issues behind relationship problems before understanding ways to solve common relationship problems:
One of the fastest ways to create unhappiness and instability in a relationship is through disappointment. And very few things create disappointment as quickly as unmet expectations.
But, there are typically two common relationship problems with expectations in a relationship:
Oftentimes, couples struggle to meet each other’s expectations because they are simply unrealistic. It’s important to understand that our expectations often derive from other people, past experiences, beliefs, or internal values. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they are sometimes very toxic to our relationship.
Alternatively, couples sometimes struggle to meet each other’s expectations because they simply don’t know what the other one expects from them or in their relationship.
Now, maybe you are pretty certain about what YOU expect from your relationship and your partner, but that doesn’t mean that your partner can read your mind, which means they most likely have no clue what you expect.
If you want to avoid unhappiness in your relationship, it is your responsibility to be very clear about your expectations and share those with your partner.
If in doing so, you come to realize that some of your expectations might be slightly unrealistic, or even impossible to meet, you might want to review where that expectation comes from and what is more important – being unrealistic or being happy.
One of the most common relationship issues that couples face is communication. There is often either a complete absence of communication, constant miscommunication, or very poor communication. The end result is almost always frustration, unhappiness, and unmet needs. Many times the root cause of the communication issue is in “interpretation.”
You misunderstand what the other person is saying and spend too much time and energy arguing a point your partner never intended. It’s a futile exercise. It is, therefore, essential to take the time to fully comprehend what your partner is trying to say.
Also, if you’re the one talking, it’s important to make sure you’re communicating clearly and exactly what you mean so that your partner can understand. You need to recognize the fact that their perspective is not the same as yours.
Their experiences, points of view, and even baggage are not the same as yours. But good communication demands empathy. It’s to see the world through their eyes as much as possible and then treat them the way that you would treat yourself.
3. Unsupportive partner
Another common relationship problem occurs when a partner is unsupportive of goals and interests. When you are in a relationship, you want to treat your partner like they can be whatever they want to be.
You want them to follow their dreams and will do anything you can to help support them along the way – and you expect the same in return!
One of the most common relationship problems couples will admit to are troubles in the relationship with finances. Not having enough money or not knowing how to split your financial burdens, as well as loss of jobs, a lack of money, poor money management, debt, and overspending are all common issues that can put pressure on relationships.
Discuss your finances when your relationship gets serious, and be honest about any debt you may have. Rely on one another if money gets tight and never stop communicating.
5. Cheating and other forms of infidelity
Cheating is a huge issue in relationships today. The internet has made all forms of cheating as simple as downloading an app. Sexting, emotional affairs, porn, sneaking around, and physical relationships with someone other than your romantic partner are all huge issues that damage relationships, sometimes irreversibly.
Infidelity is a hard subject to broach with your romantic partner, but it is in the best interest of your relationship to let your partner know when you are emotionally or physically checking out. You owe it to yourself to give your relationship another shot. Get your issues out in the open either with date nights or regular honest communication or seek couples counseling to help mend your relationship.
6. Not enough time spent alone
Some of the common relationship problems involve not spending enough time alone together. This is especially true for couples who have children. Between work and family obligations, you sometimes feel more like roommates than romantic partners. This is because you have stopped ‘dating’ one another. Such circumstances can make a romantic partner feel unappreciated, unattractive, and emotionally frustrated.
Call up your favorite babysitter and establish a child-free date night once a week with your spouse. This allows you to reconnect as a couple instead of as parents. Go on dates and treat one another like you’re still trying to woo each other.
Boredom is a common problem in long-term relationships. Being with the same person for many years can seem to take the ‘spark’ out of your union. You may also feel you have outgrown one another. Don’t despair or give up.
You can reverse this feeling by looking for new ways to connect with your partner. Look for new things to do together such as travel or take up a hobby. This will help you bond over something fun and exciting.
8. Sexual intimacy
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 common 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 plotline 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 plotline 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.
9. The anger habit
The anger habit soon gets ingrained, and before you know it, you’re spending a large chunk of time fighting with your partner.
Think about it – if someone is angry and shouting at you, how likely are you to listen carefully and look for a solution?
Most people, understandably, react to anger with either anger or fear.
10. Not consulting each other
Let your partner know that they are a priority to you by consulting them before you make decisions.
Big decisions like whether to take a new job or move to a new city are obvious life choices that should be discussed with your spouse.
But don’t forget to include them in smaller decisions such as who picks up the kids tonight, making plans with friends for the weekend, or whether you eat dinner together or grab something for yourself.
10 signs of relationship problems that hurt the most
All relationships have their highs and lows, even the happiest of ones. There is no escaping them, and if not dealt with accurately, they can lead your relationships towards absolute chaos and destruction.
Here are 10 signs your relationship is having problems:
You both spend less amount of time together
There is minimal communication
You both are critical of each other
One partner indicates that the relationship is not going well
Differences of opinions are criticized than worked upon
You both are always defensive in front of each other
You both have stopped discussing long-term plans
You set other priorities over your relationship
Maintaining the relationship feels like a duty
You are happier when they are not around and vice versa
30 relationship problems and solutions
Now, how to solve relationship issues?
Common relationship issues are not hard to solve; all you need for that is a strong will to work on your relationship issues, andlove, of course.
Here are some common marriage problems and the solutions for how to resolve your relationship problems that you should know about.
When wondering about how to solve relationship problems, it can be useful to read first and then bring the conversation up about how to handle relationship problems with your partner.
1. Lack of trust
Lack of trust is a major problem in any relationship.
Lack of trust isn’t always related toinfidelity – it can rear its head any time. If you find yourself constantly doubting your partner or wondering if they’re truthful with you, it’s time to tackle your trust issues together.
Relationship problems will keep mushrooming when there is a dearth of trust in a relationship.
Be consistent and trustworthy. Each of you should make an effort to be where you say you’re going to be and do what you say you’re going to do. This is one of the best solutions to marriage problems.
Call when you say you’ll call. Never lie to your partner. Showing empathy and respect for your partner’s feelings also helps to build trust.
When life gets too much, you get overwhelmed. Maybe you’re in the midst of going after a promotion at work. Maybe they’re dealing with a troubled teenage son or daughter.
Whatever the reason, your relationship soon takes a back seat. Then relationship problems keep building up.
Talk to each other about what’s happening, and about what kind of support each of you needs. Lean on each other instead of getting so caught up in other issues that they drive a wedge between you.
Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, fights, and frustration. It also leads to one or both of you feeling unheard and invalidated and can quickly build into resentment and other common relationship issues.
Communication is a skill like any other, and learning it can make all the difference to your relationship. Learn how to listen without judging or interrupting, and how to get your point across without attacking.
Communicate with each other as friends, not combatants. Figure out what your communication style is and how compatible it is with your partner.
Work your way towards the solution by understanding what communication style would work better for both of you.
4. Not prioritizing each other
It’s so easy to take your partner for granted, especially when you have a lot of things going on. Before you know it, the only time you get together is over a hurried family dinner or while trying to get out the door in the morning.
Make time for each other every single day. No matter how busy you are, carve out fifteen or thirty minutes; that’s just for the two of you to talk and spend quiet time together.
Text regularly throughout the day. Add in a weekly date night to make sure your partner knows they’re your priority.
Whatever the issue, money can quickly cause problems.
One of the tips to fix old relationship issues regarding finances is to put those good communication skills to work here and have a serious talk about money. Figure out a budget that you both agree on and stick to it.
Work out a financial plan for your future and take steps towards it together. Make crystal clear agreements and keep them.
6. Changing priorities
We all change as we move through life. Maybe you were both ambitious once, but now you’d rather live a quiet life. Perhaps your partner is no longer enthusiastic about your shared dream of buying a house by the sea.
Changing priorities can cause a lot of conflicts.
Look for what you both still have in common while allowing your partner to change and grow. Embrace who they are now instead of pining for the past.
If you have different priorities about major lifestyle issues, look for common ground, and compromise that you are both happy with.
7. Chore wars
It’s easy to lose your temper when it feels like you’re the one taking out the trash for the hundredth time in a row, or you get home from overtime to find the house is a tip. Chore wars are a leading cause of conflict in relationships.
Agree together on who is responsible for what, and stick to it—factor in a little flexibility for when one of you is much busier than usual.
If you both have different ideas of what constitutes a neat home, it might be time for a little compromise.
8. Different intimacy needs
Problems with your sex life are stressful and can have a big impact on your relationship. If one of you isn’t happy or you’re finding you have widely different intimacy needs, it’s time for a serious talk.
Carve out time for intimacy. Arrange for someone else to take the kids once a week, or make the most of any time you have alone at home together.
Sex keeps you feeling physically and emotionally close, so make sure you are both happy with your sex life.
Being taken for granted is one of the fundamental reasons for breakups.
Appreciation is what keeps us motivated and committed, both in our work and our relationships.
Remembering to compliment or notice the things our partner shows, we are grateful and increases the overall satisfaction with the relationship. Saying thank you goes a long way.
Having kids is a blessing, but it requires a lot of dedication and effort. This can cause a strain on the relationship when partners disagree on the way they want to raise children, address problems that occur, and spend family time.
Talk to your partner about why they think something should be done differently and share your reasoning. Often, we are repeating or trying to avoid patterns we were raised by.
Get together and spend some time understanding where the need to do things a certain way is coming from. When you understand, you can change and create a new way to parent that works for your family.
When we find the person, we love we want to share everything with them and to have them do the same. However, this can lead to feelings of losing one’s individuality, feeling of freedom, and a sense of accomplishment.
What does it take for you to be your own person while being their partner? Think of areas that you want to keep to yourself that give you a feeling of achievement and freedom.
It might be a hobby or doing sports. Talk to your partner so they don’t feel rejected by this new change and introduce it gradually.
What each of us defines as infidelity and where we draw the line can differ. Infidelity means various things to different people. Infidelity can encompass, besides the sexual act, flirting, sexting or kissing.
When infidelity has occurred, trust is broken, and a person can feel betrayed. This can snowball into many other issues and problems.
Talking about what infidelity is for you and your partner is important. They may hurt you inadvertently because, for example, they don’t find flirting a problem.
When something has already occurred, there is a choice to be made. A couple can try to regain trust and rebuild or end the relationship. In case the first one is chosen, seeking professional help can be a wise decision.
Figuring out marriage challenges and solutions and learning how to work out relationship problems is much more productive withcounseling.
13. Significant differences
When there is a critical difference in core values, the way partners approach life, and challenges, issues are bound to happen.
For example, it might be that they are more spontaneous or hedonistic, while you plan more and save rather than spend. Nonetheless, if your views and expectations from life differ considerably, you are bound to argue.
When there are core dissimilarities between you, you might wonder if you are suited for each other. The answer is – it depends. What kind of change would you both need to undertake for this relationship to survive?
Are you willing you make that change, and how much will it “cost” you? If you decide you can and want to change, by all means, give it a go. This is the only way you will know if the change is enough for this relationship to succeed.
You might be in a happy relationship for a long time before noticing the first signs of jealousy. They might act fine at first but slowly change.
They start asking for your whereabouts, distrusting you, checking up on you, distancing or stifling you, and demonstrating concern about your affection towards them.
Often this behavior is a reflection of previous experiences that were triggered by something that happened in the current relationship.
Both partners need to make an effort. If your partner is jealous, try to be transparent, predictable, honest, and share. Give them time to get to know you and trust you.
However, for this to be solved, they need to make a separate effort to change their anticipations and work out their concerns. There is a difference between privacy and secrecy, and this line needs to be redrawn.
15. Unrealistic expectations
If you are human, you have unrealistic expectations; no one is free of them. Nowadays, we might expect our partner to play many major roles: the best friend, trusted companion, business partner, lover, etc.
We might expect our partner to know what we want without saying it, advocate fairness at all times, or strive to change the other into what you desire them to be.
This can lead to misunderstandings, repeated quarrels, and misfortune.
If you want to solve a problem, you need to comprehend it first. Ask yourself – what is it that you feel entitled to? If you could wave a magic wand and change things, how would the new, pink reality look like?
What are you doing at the moment that you feel could get you there?
When you grasp what you are expecting to happen, but reality and your partner are depriving you of it, you can start to look for ways to ask differently or ask for different wishes.
16. Growing apart
So many things on the task list, and there is only one of you. How long ago did you stop including things to do with your partner on that list? Drifting apart happens bit by bit, and we don’t notice.
You might wake up one morning and realize you can’t remember the last time you had sex, a date, or a conversation that is more than organizational.
A relationship is like a flower, and it can not blossom without nourishment. When you notice the signs, it is time to act. It will take time to cross the distance that has been created, but it is possible.
Prioritize your time together, bring back old habits and activities you did together, laugh, and take time to reconnect.
17. Lack of support
When life hits us hard, we cope with it the best we know. However, often our coping skills are not enough, and we need support. Lack of support from a partner can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.
Long-lasting lack of support also affects the way we value the relationship we are in, and satisfaction drops significantly.
If you don’t ask, the answer is certainly “no.” Talking about what we need and what we can provide can clear the air of unrealistic expectations.
Unspoken and unfulfilled needs lead to negative beliefs about the relationship.
Understanding what our partner can provide helps adjust what we come to them for and look for alternative sources of support while our partner works on becoming one of the main pillars of encouragement and comfort again.
Substance addiction can put a serious strain on a relationship.
Partner’s addiction can cause a significant effect on the family budget, cause many arguments, increase trust issues, cause ignorance and neglect of children and other family members, and impair overall relationship happiness.
Couple problems can be worked out with couplestherapy. Counseling can be enormously helpful as it helps both partners deal with the issues arising simultaneously.
Understanding what triggers prompt addiction and building new habits as a couple promotes healthier ways of addressing problems. Individual therapy is recommended as well for both partners.
It can help understand the roots and patterns leading to addiction, and provide support to the non-addicted partner.
19. Moving at different speeds
Do you find yourself in a current relationship uncomfortable with the speed the relationship is progressing?
You might find your new partner moving more rapidly, wanting to spend more time together, constantly calling or texting, wanting to go away together, or you meeting their family?
Alternatively, you could be in a relationship that is not progressing the way you hoped it would, and the milestones you desired are not being reached.
When you and your partner need different speeds and intensities of intimacy and commitment, you may argue.
This can lead to becoming terribly upset over seemingly little things, pulling away, and questioning whether this person is for you.
Don’t sweep things under the rug rather address what is happening. Avoiding problems is not the best relationship solution.
What kind of reassurance or demonstration of love would bring you back on the same level? How are your needs different, and what can each of you do to find the middle ground?
20. Lack of responsibility
When one of the partners avoids taking responsibility, it can cause severe damage to the partnership. Money struggles, child neglect, fighting over chores, or playing the blame game can happen daily.
One of the most detrimental factors to the relationship is a significantly uneven distribution of responsibility amongst partners.
When addressing this issue, the first thing to do is to stop the blaming game. If change is to occur, you need to look forward, not backward. If the change is to be long-lasting, it needs to happen gradually.
Overwhelming a partner to make up for all this time of dodging responsibilities will just prove they were right to steer clear of them.
Controlling behavior happens when one of the partners expects the other to behave in certain ways, even at the expense of the wellbeing of the other partner.
This kind of toxic behavior deprives the other partner’s freedom, confidence, and a sense of self-worth.
Controlling behavior is a learned pattern of behavior from primary family or previous relationships.
At one point in life, this was beneficial for the controlling partner, and they need to learn to express affection differently. Speak up, set boundaries and adhere to them, and, if possible, try couples counseling.
All relationships undergo periods of fun and boredom. However, when the feeling of monotony and apathy color, most of the days, it is time to react.
Think back to the honeymoon phase and recall the things you did as a newly formed couple. What is available from that list today, and what do you still feel you could enjoy?
Make a conscious decision to add spontaneity into the relationship to start the upward spiral to a more eventful relationship.
23. Outside Influences
All couples are exposed to outside influences and opinions on how things should be done.
Some influences are benign, like grandparents’ occasional babysitting, while others can be detrimental, like disapproval of one spouse by the family or friends of the other.
Your relationship comes first, and everyone else’s opinion is secondary. Show each other support and that you are a united front against the world.
To resist the influence, you can limit the amount of time spent with or personal information you share with the family members or friends trying to impact you.
Marital problems and solutions may appear quite similar on the outside, but no one knows better than you what you need to make it work.
24. Ineffective argument
Arguments are a part of every relationship. However, the way fights are led, and what is their outcome can have a big impact on the relationship.
Disagreement can be helpful or destructive, depending on what you do with them. Having the same fight over and over, losing your temper, or saying things you regret later is bound to make you feel it’s not worth it.
After an argument, you should feel you have made progress in understanding where your partner is coming from.
A good fight is one after which you have agreed on what can be the first step both will take to resolve the issue. Start by listening to hear the other side, not only by waiting for your turn.
Research together ways to fight better and only ever focus on the next step needed to take.
25. Keeping a scoreboard
When you keep blaming and recalling mistakes each of you has made, you are keeping a virtual scoreboard of each other’s faults. If being right is more important than being with the other person, the relationship is doomed.
This leads up to a build-up of guilt, anger, and bitterness and doesn’t solve any problems.
Deal with each problem separately unless they are legitimately connected. Focus on the problem at hand and speak your mind. Don’t let it build up and mention it months later.
Decide if you want to save the relationship and if you do, learn to accept the past as is and start focusing on where to go from here.
26. Life gets in the way
In a relationship, it’s usually the priority to nurture and develop the connection. When life is a persistent inconvenience, it means one or both of you were not necessarily ready to get involved, and that can happen.
Unexpected encounters with another person occur all the time. But when they do, it’s essential to allow it to flourish- placing it first over the chaos.
When the two of you notice you put the union on the back burner, it’s time to make a conscious effort with reprioritizing the other person regardless of your day-to-day situation to battle the new relationship struggles.
27. Trust is critical from the very beginning
Every relationship has problems, but when you first connect, you don’t want to go in with the idea that you can’t trust the other person. If this is baggage from a past relationship, that’s unfair and self-defeating for any new partnership.
If your new partner made a promise and then lied to get out of it, that will create mistrust early on. That’s tough to get back. In an effort to do so, one piece of advice on relationship problems is that there needs to be much transparency and commitment in keeping your word moving forward.
Perhaps in the first few weeks of dating, your life goals appear to be similar, but a profound life circumstance changes your perspective on where you see yourself in the future or maybe your mate’s.
The change is not in keeping with what the two of you discussed. In this situation, you can find a way to get your partner to see things from your point of view, or the partnership won’t be possible.
These are the kinds of issues in relationships that are difficult to overcome. Often differences in life goals are deal-breakers.
29. A kind word here or there
New relationship problems can include a lack of manners in numerous ways. Pleasantries like telling someone they look nice or saying thank you, or expressing how much you appreciate something they’ve done wane after a few dates.
It shouldn’t—unfortunately, comfortability and taking a partner for granted set in quickly. If you notice this early on, say something, but also make sure to lead by example. Be the first to tell your mate these things often.
30. Notice continued bad behaviors with a new relationship
You’ll know you have early relationship problems if your mate is continuously on their phone when you’re together. That’s incredibly rude behavior for anyone when they’re with other people for any reason, let alone being on a date or in the early stages of a partnership.
The focus should be on time spent with each other since free time is precious with the world’s hectic pace. When this happens at the start of a partnership, it won’t get better with time. It needs to be addressed and stopped to strengthen your union ultimately.
Relationships are marathons
Most relationship problems and ways of fixing relationship problems would be something that you must have heard about or experienced; still, when it comes to utilizing this common knowledge, not everyone is thorough with the implementation.
It’s not difficult to answer “how to solve marriage problems,” and there is plenty of advice on relationship issues and solutions.
However, when it comes to solving marriage issues and relationship issues advice, everything boils down to effort and implementation.
These common problems in relationships are not completely avoidable, and every couple runs into some of them at one point.
The good news is, working on relationship problems can produce a considerable difference and get your relationship back on track, free from all relationship difficulties.
Be creative, don’t give up on each other, and you will reach the solution.
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.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.