The Biggest Issues Couples Face and How to Solve Them
You may have heard some people say that the right relationship should be easy. That is not true. Relationships require a lot of hard work. Even the most perfect matchups you could think of have problems. When two different persons come together to share their lives, they will have to adjust to each other. While these two may have a lot of similarities and even the same worldview, each of them has a unique set of experiences that shaped him or her. No two persons are alike, not even twins who grew up in the same household. Even siblings argue, even your parents who have been together all your life have disagreements from time to time, even you and your best friend fight.
Here are some of the most common issues that most couples face:
Usually, when people decide to be in a committed relationship, that’s because they find themselves compatible with each other. If you and your partner are compatible, that means that you two are well-suited for each other. You may share a lot of similar interests, or your differences may complement each other, or both. You and your partner may be compatible in some aspects but not in the other areas of your life. You may work in the same industry or you may never understand the type of work your partner does. You may share the same
You and your partner may be compatible in some aspects but not in the other areas of your life. You may work in the same industry or you may never understand the type of work your partner does. You may share the same religion but have different political ideologies. You may be an escapist while your partner is confrontational. You may not like spicy foods but that is the only thing your SO wants to eat. The similarities and differences could be big or small. Sadly, not all couples have high compatibility.
Compatibility becomes a big issue when you let the differences drive you away from each other.
For example, your partner is into sports and you’re not. The TV is always on the sports channel. You wanted to watch something else but you can’t. He goes out every Friday to watch football with his friends at a sports bar. He likes the jersey his friend gave him more than the book you bought for him on his birthday. This creates resentment. You wonder, what if you liked sports too?
Solution: Be Open
If you are not into sports, why don’t you try to like it? You don’t have to really like it the way your partner does. You can start by trying to show interest. If your partner watches football and you know nothing about it, you can ask your partner to explain to you what’s happening. More often that not, he will be excited that you are showing openness to understand the things he likes. You might end up truly liking it. If not, then at least you learned a thing or two. Introduce to your partner the things you like as well!
Try to understand and accept your differences. Do not let it get in between you. Sometimes, you also just have to agree to disagree. You may also want to consider life coaching to help you through your issues.
This is probably the most common reason why couples fight. It is also the leading cause of breakups. It is easy to understand why. Miscommunication leads to misunderstanding and we tend to leave when we can no longer understand why we are staying. Miscommunication could come in different forms. Being heard is very important in a relationship and when there is miscommunication, your partner may listen, but he or she may not hear what you’re actually trying to say. This breeds insecurity, resentment, and all other dangerous feelings that could create a rift between you and your partner.
Solution: Ask yourselves what are you really trying to say?
In the heat of an argument, we may say things we don’t actually mean. We are usually clouded with pride, anger, jealousy, and a whole lot of other emotions. Instead of saying simply what we really want to say, we may say it in a passive-aggressive manner that is totally uncalled for. This will most likely result in a negative reaction from your partner and the negativity will just go back and forth. The main cause of conflict will then be forgotten and you will just end up personally attacking each other. You just want to prove the other wrong. You may win the battle, but you may lose the war.
If you are overwhelmed with your emotions, try to calm down first. Think before you speak because whatever comes out of your mouth, your partner, who is not a mind reader, will take your words for what they are. Do not say hurtful things because once it’s heard, you cannot take it back.
If your partner tells you hurtful things, do not react to it right away. Understand the context and be the bigger person. Ask your partner again if he or she really meant what he or she said. Refuse to take in words spoken out of anger. Help your partner calm down and tell him or her to talk to you when he or she is ready. Do not allow yourself to be hurt unnecessarily. Give each other time to process what you actually feel and what you really want to say.
Issue: Unmet Expectations
If expectations are not met, naturally, there is frustration. We tend to expect a lot from our significant others. Sometimes, we unconsciously set the bar too high for them to reach, and once they fail to reach it, we either feel resentful or we act out and make them suffer for failing to do what we want them to do. When we are too focused on our expectations, we fail to appreciate our partners for what they really are. When an unmet expectation is coupled with miscommunication, that spells trouble.
Accept your partner for who he or she is and what he or she can offer in the relationship. Be grateful for whatever that is. If you seek perfection, you will never find it. This doesn’t mean you should abandon expectations. Of course, couples have to set some ground rules in their relationships. The key is to be realistic in setting expectations. For example, honesty is to be expected from you and your partner when you are in a relationship. An example of a common unrealistic expectation would be to expect your partner to be there for you all the time. There will be times you’ll have to face life alone. Just because both of you decided you are better together doesn’t mean that your individual lives already stopped.
Issue: Unclear Boundaries
It’s easy to get disillusioned when you are in love. A common misconception is that when you and your soul mate finally find each other, you become one. The correct mindset when getting into a relationship is to think of it as a partnership.
A partnership, in business terms, is an arrangement in which individuals share the profits and liabilities of a venture. In this case, the venture is a long-term relationship, probably a lifetime companionship. There are benefits and accompanying responsibilities in this set-up. It makes more sense to think of your relationship this way. If you subscribe to the idea that you become one, you start assuming that your partner thinks like you, reacts like you, and becomes you, vice versa. You both lose your individuality. You lose respect for each other. You no longer see the other person for who he or she really is. If you argue, you cannot reconcile the fact that you are actually different people. The resolution will be a very difficult process because the tendency is to impose on each other. You force your partner to adapt your ways and you either win or lose. It does not make sense at all.
Solution: Maintain individuality, respect privacy
Sit down and talk about boundaries. Be very clear about it.
Accepting that you are two individual people in a partnership makes setting boundaries easier and more sensible. While you and your partner should decide jointly on matters that affect the both of you, you must respect the decisions your partner makes for himself or herself. A good partner will support and empower, rather than manipulate and overpower. Allow your partner and yourself time alone. The healthiest relationships are between two people who constantly bring fresh perspectives into the relationship.
The right to privacy is a basic human right afforded to everyone, including you and your partner. While keeping secrets to each other is not the best way to go, there are things that you should not interfere with for various reasons. Let him or her open up when he or she is ready. Letting a person handle something alone is a sign of trust, but, if your partner needs you, be there. Trust your partner and trust yourself. You should be in a relationship with a person you believe in.
You will also be surprised that money issues can also be solved by setting clear boundaries and expectations. Once both of you are clear on what you should decide jointly and what you could decide individually, the relationship becomes easier.
Issue: Lack of Intimacy
A lack of intimacy in bed or a feeling of not being close enough to each other at an emotional level is a relationship killer. Intimacy is what sets a romantic relationship apart from friendship. When you are in a relationship with someone, you are more than friends.
If you make your partner feel that you are more open and vulnerable to your friends than to him or her, this is a big problem. Intimacy is not just about the sex. You can have sex with someone you do not connect with at a deep emotional level. If the sex is there, but the friendship isn’t, there will be jealousy and insecurity.
However, if the friendship is there but you do not make love in the bedroom, there will also be jealousy and insecurity. Because if you are not intimate enough, you are not lovers, you are not a couple, you are just roommates or best friends at best.
Solution: Be more vulnerable
Being vulnerable to your partner means that you trust him or her. When you have your guard down around your SO, you show him or her that you don’t mind showing your true self because you know he or she will never hurt you because you are accepted for who you really are. When you finally find your person, he or she should be the first to know the highlight of your day. When you have a problem, he or she is the first person you vent out to because he or she is the person you trust the most.
The physical intimacy is as important. Being able to open yourself up to the act of intimacy in bed is also a sign of vulnerability. However, physical intimacy should not be limited to the sexual. Holding hands, hugging, and other ways to show affection physically can really save a relationship.
Emotional and physical intimacy should always be present in a loving relationship.