At first, relationships are all about dates and those warm fuzzy feelings. But later on, you may come to realize that there’s a lot of work involved.
Long term relationships can be some of the most beautiful and satisfying parts of life. However, they can also be very difficult and troublesome, too. Many couples struggle to find a balance, and doing so can be quite difficult.
As the months and years pass, small issues can grow into larger ones, and if they are not resolved, these issues can become quite problematic. However, identifying the problems and learning how to resolve them can help to make your relationship function a whole lot better!
The common culprits of relationship hardships
There’s no one single thing that makes relationships difficult to manage. Here are some of the most common things that couples often struggle with.
#1 A lack of communication. Communication is one of the single most important tools for couples. Relationships require a lot of teamwork, and teamwork requires communication.
Many problems arise over the course of a long term relationship, and being able to resolve them using words is really important. This is why couples who communicate effectively are often much more successful in maintaining their relationship than couples who don’t.
Miscommunication due to sarcasm, passive aggressiveness and dropping hints are common among couples. That’s why it’s important to always speak up about what’s bothering you, however difficult it may be to find the right words. [Read: 12 signs you’re walking on eggshells in your love life]
#2 Dealing with changes. Sometimes, part of the reason why a relationship can be so difficult is if one or both partners undergo major personality changes through the duration of the relationship. For example, perhaps you and your partner were perfect for each other three years ago. But since then, the stress and responsibility of work or parenthood or other issues have changed either one of you.
Also, sometimes peoples’ values and their romantic interests can change as time goes on. It can be difficult to know exactly what sort of partner you will desire in five, ten, or twenty-plus years. When you look back at how you were and how you are now, you may come to realize that your compatibility is under strain.
#3 A breakdown of trust. Lies, cheating and any other form of deception can cause a huge rift between partners. When your trust in each other is broken, it’s extremely difficult to rebuild it. Couples who no longer trust each other will often feel constantly paranoid that the other may be reverting back to their lying ways.
#4 The family and the significant other don’t get along. Of course, your family’s opinion matters. And if they often nag you about how much they don’t like who you’re dating, you may feel like you constantly have to stand up for your partner, or in other cases, you may start to wonder if your family is right about your significant other. You may then be forced to choose a side, which is never healthy for any relationship.
#5 Stress. A relationship is like a bridge between two people, and just as bridges can collapse under too much stress, so can relationships. The type of stresses that relationships endure are varied. It could be financial stress, child raising stress, health issue stress and so on.
Even though your partner may not be directly involved with what’s stressing you out, the pressure you feel may spill over to your relationship, thus causing conflicts between you and your partner. The best route here is to work together to relieve the stressed partner, so that it doesn’t affect your relationship. [Read: 14 quick stress busters to recharge your mind]
#6 Falling in love with someone else. This issue can be a huge part of why relationships can be such a struggle for so many people. Sometimes, when you begin a relationship, you do genuinely love your partner. However, a few years down the line, you may meet someone whom you simply like better, and whom you think would be a better partner for you.
You don’t want to hurt your current partner, because you care about him or her, but you also don’t want to miss out on an incredible opportunity to be with someone whom you feel is an even better match for you.
#7 One person just wants to be single. There often comes a point in any long-term relationship when you wonder what it would be like to be single again. Would life be better? Would you do better at work? Is your relationship holding you down?
These thoughts often come in passing, and disappear as quickly as they appeared. However, the problem is when one of you dwells on the possibilities of being single again. This can cause resentment and the feeling of wanting to find greener pastures. [Read: What to do if you want to be single again]
#8 The struggle of going with the flow. You and your partner may be perfect for each other, complementing each other’s strengths. However, no matter how perfect your partnership may be, life often has a way of throwing lemons at it.
When you’re both overwhelmed by changes you can’t control such as the job market, the economy or other people wanting to drive a wedge between you, it can be hard to hold on to your relationship with as much gusto as you used to.
#9 Boredom. You’ve been with the same person for years on end, and things are starting to get a bit mundane. Sure, you love each other with all your hearts, but you can’t deny the fact that things can become a little monotonous.
The secret here is adding a bit of spice to your relationship. The problem with this solution is that some couples either don’t have the time or the energy to carry it out. Thus, the relationship slowly starts to deteriorate. [Read: 15 signs you’re bored with your relationship]
Whoever said relationships are easy deserves a hefty dose of reality to the face. Like anything worth keeping, relationships require time and effort to sustain. If you’re not willing to put in the elbow grease to make things last, your relationship will eventually collapse.
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