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The 6 Biggest Relationship Issues and How to Solve Them

Table of Contents

Relationship Issues Key Takeaways:

      • It’s perfectly standard to argue in a relationship 

      • How arguments are resolved is the real key to a relationship’s health

      • A lack of respect, sex, and trust can all lead to problems

      • Poor communication leads to many challenges that couples could otherwise avoid

      • Even the most egregious relationship challenges are solvable

      • Placing blame during an argument triggers defensive actions and typically furthers an argument

      • Couples therapy effectively tackles several relationship issues while simultaneously gaining support and clarity

    Humans aren’t perfect, and our existence is fraught with challenges. It only makes sense that our relationships will face the occasional hurdle. The real test is what happens after the disagreements. 

    How you cope with problems says a lot about the health of your relationship, and how you deal with a relationship issue depends on what it is and how it developed. Some are more problematic than others and can require professional help, while others clear up with an apology. 

    The difficulty begins with identifying the root problems and knowing where the answers lie. Certain issues cause problems in almost every relationship. This article discusses six of the most detrimental relationship issues and the most successful ways to fix them. 

    Common Relationship Issues & Challenges

    relationship issues

    The most common reason relationships fail is a plain old lack of commitment. A weak resolve will never be enough to hold any relationship together, even a simple friendship, but a firm commitment is difficult to disassemble.

    Some other typical relationship challenges include:

    Loss of Trust

    Trust is one of the foundational emotions of every relationship. It allows partners to feel more open and generous with their emotions.

    People who trust each other are more apt to forgive, look over shortcomings, and believe in each other’s strengths and abilities. Trust breeds fertile ground for relationships to strengthen and grow. 

    A relationship without trust is on shaky ground. There is no room to grow because each partner is consumed with trust issues, such as infidelity, abuse, or theft. Several actions might cause a lack of trust, including:

        • Lying

        • Jealousy

        • Possessiveness

        • Control issues

        • Infidelity

      A lack of trust isn’t hopeless; however, several effective techniques exist to regain it.  

      Inadequate Communication Skills

      Your relationship has a big problem if your conversations are purely transactional. Only speaking about the household chores and other responsibilities is a sure sign of impending doom. Healthy communication consists of various subjects from both partners’ points of view. 

      Not speaking just to avoid an argument is counterproductive. There are safe and healthy ways to argue that help put an end to the conflict instead of shoving it under the rug.

      Sometimes communication problems stem from a lack of skill. Many people don’t know how to communicate their thoughts effectively and instead push them down into their gut, where they then present as anxiety, worries, and trust issues. 

      Learning to communicate is the first step to solving this issue. Being honest and open also helps strengthen communication.

      Priority Differences

      Two people with wildly different priorities in life can find it challenging to maintain a serious, long-lasting relationship. The relationship goals may be diverse, but it may also be that their life goals are too disparate ever to work. 

      People often have different relationship ideas and goals and don’t realize it. One person may think a month-long relationship is still in its infancy, whereas another may see it as burgeoning on serious. 

      Long-term future goals can also pose a priority problem. One person may want to move to a warmer climate or a less-congested location, while the other plans to keep working in the city for another ten years. 

      Differentiating priorities isn’t always a prelude to disaster. There’s always a chance you can work together to find a similar outcome. Research indicates that long-term partners affect each other’s goals only under certain circumstances. There may be no compromise if both partners feel strongly.

      Financial Issues

      Couples can handle money in such different ways that it causes catastrophic problems in their relationship. It can also cause a big problem if they don’t know how to handle financial discussions properly.  

      Some people are savers, and some are spenders. Determine your traits and tendencies before attempting any conversations about haywire finances.

      More than half of American couples enter marriage in debt. Basic budgeting skills and an understanding of the dangers of credit go a long way in keeping financial fights at bay.

      Lack of Respect

       How you speak to your partner, friends, family, and even coworkers can seem disrespectful. This means more to some people than others but can cause serious issues in the right situation.

      Speaking kindly to people you love, or even those you merely intermingle with, can help maintain feelings of respect in the relationship. Consider how you treat people in conversations and arguments. Ensure that your comments are positive, helpful, and honest. 

      Eye rolling, glib comments, contempt, and mocking are also signs of disrespect. Repairing the relationship can be challenging after these vile actions appear. Respect issues typically stem from deep-seated problems in the relationship and come from a place of arrogance and superiority. 

      Little or No Intimacy

      Intimacy is a coziness or a feeling of closeness with someone else. The hormone oxytocin – also known as the love hormone – has much to do with that. The human body releases oxytocin when we touch and show affection for one another.

      Sex is also an essential part of a relationship. It has benefits beyond being pleasurable – it also has advantages for physical, emotional, and psychological health. Couples that don’t touch, have sex, or spend much time together lose their feelings of intimacy, and the relationship deteriorates as a result. 

      Identifying the problems in a relationship is a critical step, but it’s just the first one. The next one can be even harder – fixing them. 

      Effective Tips to Solve Relationship Conflict

      You can solve almost any problem with enough commitment and desire. One of the most important factors in your success is how you deal with the situation. There are many options to help make dealing with relationship issues easier, and it may be necessary to use a few methods to tackle all problems.

      Try to Find the Root of the Problem

      Sometimes a fight is not really about what it’s about. Couples often argue about a more significant issue without ever mentioning that issue in particular. 

      Perhaps their needs aren’t being met and they want you to spend time with them, contribute to the relationship, or show more respect. 

      Try to evaluate whether a larger issue is happening under the surface by putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.

      Find a Middle Ground

      It’s common sense that neither party ever really “wins” an argument in a relationship – and truthfully, trying to win is an indication that you’re probably not approaching the conversation from the best place. 

      Finding a middle ground where both partners feel satisfied without sacrificing is what really matters. Compromise is key. If your partner likes to party on the weekends but you’re a homebody, go out every other weekend or host some events at home. 

      Keep Honesty and Authenticity at the Forefront

      It’s never a good idea to avoid the truth to make someone else happy or prevent an argument. Keeping your authentic emotions and needs at the forefront of every action and conversation helps maintain genuineness in the relationship. 

      Find Some Help

      Fixing problems alone isn’t always an option. Some issues are too large and have caused too much damage to tackle without professional help.

      Couples therapy helps repair the destruction and rebuild trust. Partners will learn to communicate effectively, settle conflicts, and create a compassionate atmosphere for each other in treatment. They start to heal the wounds and build a stronger, more trusting relationship with the help of a therapist. 

      Don’t Play the Blame Game

      Placing blame, even jokingly, triggers a defense mechanism in that person, effectively shutting down the conversation. Directly attacking someone’s character and choices will ultimately destroy a relationship. 

      A better option is to use “I” statements that describe your emotions when certain things happen. This tactic avoids blaming and focuses on behavior as opposed to character flaws.

      Know When to Take a Time-Out

      There is a time to discuss things and a time to let them sit for a bit. Mastering that moment is crucial to ending constant bickering. The first sign of negative behavior is enough to warn you that the situation is in a downward spiral, and it’s time to take some time away from the discussion. 

      It’s not necessary to leave abruptly. Simply excuse yourself and spend some time alone. Recalibrate the argument before reentering the conversation.

      Finding a solution to any relationship challenge requires patience. Clear answers don’t materialize in a few hours or overnight, especially for long-term disagreements. Couples therapies and other group treatments are helpful because they provide a road map to navigate your journey. 

      Using the meantime to improve the foundation of the relationship is always helpful as well.

      Relationship-Improving Ideas 

      Improving your relationship doesn’t have to entail a lifetime plan and constant anxiety. Approaching it from an empathetic place makes the process much more conducive and easier. Many small actions that most people rarely consider can greatly enhance any relationship. 

      Improve Your Communication Skills

      Communication means a lot more than speaking. It means hearing and reflecting on what the other person has to say. It also means healthily taking constructive criticism and learning from your own mistakes. 

      Identify Emotional Triggers

      All couples learn to identify each other’s “do not push” buttons. People learn what bothers their mates after so many years and how best to avoid arguments about them.

      Hot-button topics are typically tied to past trauma and trigger the same high-octane emotional responses as the originating event. Learning to identify your partner’s triggers helps you understand how to keep a disagreement constructive, while learning to identify your triggers keeps you self-aware. You become a better communicator and grow emotionally. 

      Foster Curiosity

      People form relationships because they have an interest in someone. They’re curious about how they feel and think. Their thoughts and ideas are exciting, at least at first. People can become less enthused with each other as years pass. 

      Staying interested in how your partner sees the world helps keep the relationship exciting. Show your interest by asking questions, participating in things your partner likes to do, and sharing your own interests in related subjects.

      Realize There Are Ebbs and Flows in Life

      Every single day of a relationship may not be wine and roses. There may be arguments on some days, while other days may hearken back to when you first met.

      Realizing early in the relationship that some days will just be plain, old, average life, and acknowledging that it can be tiresome at times, helps keep the tension down.  

      Try implementing these tips into your daily routine in small ways. Make it a point to completely tune into your partner’s dinner conversation or have a one-on-one every night ten minutes before bed. It doesn’t take much effort to make lasting changes in your relationship.

      Every relationship experiences hardship, and learning to live through them is a crucial part of the human growth experience. Facing challenges in a healthy manner helps both partners grow and strengthens their bond.

      Constant Arguing Can Get Anyone Down – We’re Here to Help

      Constantly arguing makes everything worse. It blurs the issues until most couples can’t remember how the whole thing started. The Counseling Center Group™ can help you learn how to control your emotions and change your behaviors. We provide therapies for groups, couples, individuals, and families. 

      The Counseling Center Group is dedicated to helping you live a life you love. We are committed to providing relatively short-term treatments to achieve positive, long-lasting results. 

      Our therapists use structured, evidence-based methods to efficiently help you reach realistic goals. Contact us today to learn more about therapy and how it can help you. 

      Reasons for Divorce and Recollections of Premarital Intervention: Implications for Improving Relationship Education

      Interdependence of approach and avoidance goals in romantic couples over days and months. The Journals of Gerontology: Series B. 2021;76(7):1251-1263.


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