Being in a relationship is all about sharing your life with someone else. You open up to that person, talk about what’s bothering you, what makes you happy… the normal stuff couple talk about. And even if your opinions don’t match and you start bickering about insignificant things, you get over it quickly.
But some people are not so forthcoming and tend to make relationships difficult. Then you get to problems that are a bit harder to solve. That is why we created a list of 8 relationship problems shared by marriage therapists.
You have contempt for each other
No matter how strong the foundation of your relationship is, subtle sarcasm and contempt for your partner will slowly take it down, one chip at a time. According to psychotherapist Bonnie Ray Kennan, contempt has been identified as one of the leading predictors of divorce.
Kennan also said that this type of behavior creates a culture of disconnect, especially if both partners are not willing to sit down and talk. Constant bickering and finger-pointing will make matters worse and once the couple passes the point of no return, divorce or breakup is imminent.
Your partner is needlessly argumentative
You might find this strange, but you don’t always have to be right. Every couple comes to a point where their opinions are different and that is perfectly fine. There is nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree –if one of you constantly has to be right, then there is no winner.
According to relationship coach Lisa Schmidt, couples who always provoke each other and don’t try to make amends afterward are bound to break up. Their inability to forgive goes hand in hand with refusal to discuss the issues, which usually causes the breakup.
There’s chronic infidelity
People who have been in a relationship with serial cheaters know how exhausting everything can get. They usually believe their relationship can be repaired which is why they never leave, hoping their partner would come clean and admit they are willing to leave their cheating life behind them.
However, this rarely happens and lasts as long as the person who is being cheated on puts up with their partner. In the end, people eventually decide to stop trying to fix their relationship and leave for good.
Your partner is distant or secretive about where they go when you’re not around
Time apart is often the only thing that can save a relationship. People who spend too much time together tend to fight, so a decent amount of time apart is always welcome. However, just because you’re not spending time with your partner, doesn’t need to mean that their free time should be a complete mystery.
Partners who are secretive about their free time can make you feel abandoned both emotionally and physically, even when they are with you. Every couple needs to be open about things otherwise one of you will eventually get sick of secrecy and leave.
You have incompatible sex drives
According to psychologist Susan Heitler, it’s extremely important that couples stay in a mutually fulfilling relationship. This type of compatibility needs to be established right at the beginning of the relationship, otherwise, the relationship won’t work.
If your partner has no interest in exchanging pleasures the same way you do, then you might lose interest in them sooner than you thought. A relationship without excitement usually ends up with a breakup, which is something you want to avoid if you love your partner. What you can do is talk about meeting them halfway and making it work.
Your partner pushes you away
People have different levels of attachment and that affects their behavior in relationships. If one of you is perfectly fine with being open and intimate, but the other is avoiding or dismissing intimacy, then it might be hard for you to bridge that gap.
Being in a relationship with a person who is avoidant can drive you crazy. Your self-esteem is slowly chipped away by the lack of affection, mechanical intercourse, and no desire for closeness. It’s almost always easier to break up than stay in a relationship where there’s no affection.
Your partner is truly a narcissist
Having a truly narcissistic partner can be quite challenging for a relationship. Narcissistic partners tend to keep people in relationships by showing signs of change. They throw bones here and there, giving hope to their partner that they are finally evolving in a way that will save the relationship. However, they never give more than a few crumbs, and they do that while criticizing you for making the relationship miserable. If you are in a relationship with a narcissistic person, you need to start thinking about a future without them.
You can’t open up to each other
People need to feel comfortable in relationships. They need to be able to share problems and frustrations with their partner. If your partner likes to keep their emotions bottled up, you will eventually start arguing about that.
If one of you is not expressing their feelings, the other might start feeling anxious or even disappointed in the relationship. This often leads to distancing and an eventual breakup. That’s why it’s extremely important to talk about feelings, instead of burying them until one of you decides to give up.