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.
Give your relationship a boost with these solutions for 8 common relationship issues.
1. Lack of trust
Lack of trust is a major problem in any relationship. Lack of trust isn’t always related to infidelity – it can rear its head any time. If you find yourself constantly doubting your partner or wondering if they’re being truthful with you, it’s time to tackle your trust issues together.
Solution: 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. 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.
Solution: Lean on each other instead of getting so caught up in other issues that they drive a wedge between you. Talk to each other about what’s happening, and about what kind of support each of you needs.
3. Poor communication
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.
Solution: 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.
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.
Solution: 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 through the day. Add in a weekly date night to make sure your partner knows they’re your priority.
5. Money stress
Money is a leading cause of stress in relationships. Maybe there’s not enough. Or maybe there is enough, but they spend it while you prefer to save. Perhaps you feel they’re too tight with the purse strings. Whatever the issue, money can quickly cause problems.
Solution: 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 conflict.
Solution: 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 compromises 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.
Solution: 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.
Solution: 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.
These common problems plague most relationships from time to time. The good news is, a few simple changes can make a big difference and get your relationship back on track.