29 Relationship Issues and How to Solve Them

relationship issues29 Relationship Issues and How to Solve Them

Everyone experiences relationship issues at some point in their lives. Some are easy to solve, while others can feel like a mystery to understand. These 29 relationship issues create more breakups than they should. This list can help you identify these problems, and solve them so that you’re relationship can work.

  1. Lost Trust: Trust is like a currency. It increases and decreases with different situations in your relationship or marriage. When there is enough to spare, relationships thrive. When there isn’t enough, relationships start to crumble.
    • Solution: Learn about your partner’s meaning of trust. Being faithful isn’t enough. You have to learn about what matters to your partner. This helps to let your partner know you’ll be there when needed.
  2. Unexpressed Emotions: Many people hold stuff in so they don’t hurt their partners. These emotions can build up over time and take their toll.
    • Solution: Learn to communicate emotions in the moment, so that the feelings don’t build up and become a much larger problem.
  3. Sexual Boredom: Desire is an interesting thing. Long-term relationships are likely to become “blah” at some point.
    • Solution: Open your mind to new possibilities. Also, get to know who your partner is as an individual. Esther Perel’s book on modern relationships is a good book to read on this subject.
  4. Overwhelming Negative Views: When there are more negative things that you can say about your partner than positive, you’re in trouble.
    • Solution: Practice daily reminders of the positive reasons that you’re in this relationship. Work to turn the tables on the negative override.
  5. Lacking Shared Goals: Couples who don’t have shared goals for their future can struggle.
    • Solution: Identify what you want for your future in your relationship, and find the common ground. Create plans around these.
  6. Compulsive Busyness: Both members of the couple working too much, and not making enough time for each other.
    • Solution: Date nights can help with this. Busy couples have to schedule in time for bonding. They also might need to schedule time to have difficult conversations.
  7. High Conflict: Most couples have some arguing. Others struggle to come to any resolution out of these arguments.
    • Solution: Learn to listen. Both have to practice validating each other, and respecting each others’ point-of-view. Take “time-outs” as needed.
  8. Shutting Down: Some couples deal with conflict by shutting down completely. This can lead to frustration and anger.
    • Solution: Communicate about difficult topics, and take “time-outs” as needed. Always return to the topic, rather than let it fester.
  9. Flooding: Many people don’t know when their emotions reach a point of no return. When one person is struggling with emotional flooding, information can’t be effectively received.
  10. Lost Interest in Your Partner: People become complacent about their relationship. They feel like they know everything about their partner, and there is nothing more to learn.
    • Solution: Remember that there is always more to learn about your partner. Get curious about what is there that you don’t know. Love Map cards are a great tool.
  11. Being to Critical: Criticizing and putting your partner down.
    • Solution: Learn to communicate your story without “blaming” and pointing fingers.
  12. Ignoring Influence of Your Partner: Not caring about your partner’s perspective, while listening and understanding their point-of-view.
    • Solution: Listen to your partner’s story. Practice gaining an understanding behind their current perspective.
  13. Cheating: Affairs and infidelity cut into the trust that many couples have. This can be downright traumatic.
    • Solution: Practice heading back into a space of talking about how this happened. Give adequate time for healing.
  14. Sexual Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, pain with sex, and low sexual desire can cause serious problems with sexual pleasure. They can also lead to shame and disconnection.
    • Solution: Seek out a sex therapist who has specific training in working with these issues. They can provide referrals and develop a plan to deal with these problems.
  15. Mismatched Values: Every relationship has two people with different values. When these don’t align, there can be serious disputes.
    • Solution: Learn about your partner’s values system. Gain an understanding of where this comes from for your partner.
  16. Jealous and Control Issues: These feelings and insecurities can lead to passive-aggressiveness. This can lead to a loss of individual independence.
    • Solution: Practice building up self-esteem rather than other-esteem. Practice encouraging some separate hobbies and friendships.
  17. Addiction Issues: Substance abuse, compulsive gambling, and sex addictions can lead to relationship issues.
    • Solution: Get help. Don’t try to do this on your own. Find a qualified therapist and get involved in support groups.
  18. Depression and Anxiety: These serious mood issues can make it difficult to connect and understand each other.
    • Solution: Meet with a psychiatrist or therapist. Talk with your medical doctor. Practice mindfulness meditation.
  19. Raising Children: Having a child can be the highlight of a couple’s life. It can also come with communication barriers and enormous constraints on time.
    • Solution: Schedule in adult time and practice staying present and enjoying this. It is important to have time to bond with friends and your partner with and without children around.
  20. Paying Little Attention to Each Other: Busy or long-term couples often forget to pay attention to each other. This can lead to less sharing and enjoying of each others’ company.
    • Solution: Focus on turning towards your partner as much as possible. Also, circling back when you failed to pay attention at an earlier time. This can build trust and connection.
  21. Neediness: Being overly dependent about decisions and time spent together.
    • Solution: Practice enjoying private time. It might not be enjoyable at the beginning, but remember that it’s important in creating a balanced relationship.
  22. Never Saying “I’m Sorry”: Pride becomes more important than taking responsibility.
    • Solution: When you screw up, own it. This can help to build trust, and demonstrates respect.
  23. Failed Expectations: It’s impossible to avoid having expectations in a relationship. This can get out of control when fantasy is confused with reality.
    • Solution: Communicate your dreams, but take responsibility for your part in making that dream come true.
  24. Secrets: Whether they are big or they seem small, secrets can destroy trust.
    • Solution: Practice sharing information, rather than withholding it. This can feel vulnerable, but remember that you can’t connect unless you walk through this vulnerability.
  25. Defensiveness: Denying and explaining can take the place of listening.
    • Solution: Accept your partner’s perspective. Rather than deny this, take responsibility for the part that you can.
  26. Holding on to the Past: Bringing up past hurt, and using these past situations as weapons.
    • Solution: Reckon with your own emotions. If you’re bothered by something that happened in the past, communicate what you need to change that.
  27. Unrecognized Shame: Shame can lead you to lash out or avoid your partner.
    • Solution: Learn about shame and where it is in your relationship, and why it’s there. This can make it easier to recognize what’s happening, and practice shame resilience.
  28. Non-communicated Sexual Desire: Keeping your sexual desires and fantasies secret can lead to frustration and resentment.
    • Solution: Open up about your sexual desires and fantasies. Enjoy the results!
  29. Traumatic Events: Accidents, abuse, and other traumatic events can put the relationship on a perpetual hold. Even the most connected relationships can become distant after these events.

This list of relationship issues can destroy trust and harm relationship connection. However, the majority of them can be worked on. If you’re experiencing these in your relationship, consider getting outside help. Looking for a couples therapist can help you work through these relationship issues, and develop a healthy connected relationship.


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