Relationship problems is an all encompassing, over-arching umbrella topic which can cover a lot of issues. Luckily for you, I’m going to cover a lot of them in this article, or at least the common relationship problems that I have encountered over my life-span. And I’ve had a hectic life over the last thirty odd years I kid you not. Working at ground level with other people has opened my eyes to some of the finer things in life, and also a dark side to life that a good portion of us never experience, or talk about with other people. You’d often find me sitting at the other end of the table, offering empathy and guiding people onto the right path. Ten years in the Mental Health charity sector will do that to the best of people. A genuine want, or perhaps need, to help others. Hopefully this article will help a good few people!
Most, if not all common long term relationship problems stem from a breakdown or lack of communication between a couple or a group. I’ve often been clear in my Marriage. If I want something I ask for it, and if I feel neglected in any area I tell my partner. She’s never going to know if I don’t tell her, right? She’ll exist in a deluded bubble, sheltered from the real truth. And she is the same with me. I will admit that sometimes it’s hard to hear, that she isn’t happy, and it’s often hard not to make the conversation about me, because it’s my feelings that she’s hurt, but I’ve found a way to just sit there and listen, and think of a plan to better my ways to service her needs better.
I kid you not, a long time ago I was a person that would really keep his feelings close to heart when someone upset me, or if I was feeling neglected, and it would often come out in other spiteful and passive aggressive ways. It wasn’t later in life that I realised that witholding how I really felt from my significant other was essentially lying to her. There was no way around it. Not telling the full story is a lie. And I’d be lying to myself too, that life was awesome and full of roses in la la land, but deep down I knew the truth. And you can convince yourself on many levels, but not deep down.
So I’ve learned to be bitterly honest, sometimes it can be uncomfortable, and I’ve read elsewhere that sharing uncomfortable feelings with others can be like letting out a loud fart. It’s awesomely relieving for me, but it poisons the atmosphere in the room. Whilst that is true, and I do agree that sharing uncomfortable feelings are mood killers, but isn’t it better that others know? So that they can act accordingly? If you’re feeling insecure, unhappy and neglected, isn’t it better to let your partner know rather than pretending everything is fine? I dunno, I’m more of an activist than a passifist. I like to work towards a common goal rather than ignore it.
Basing a relationship on sex will lead to relationship problems
We’ve all been there before. I’m sure most of us have thought awesome mindblowing sex is the best way to a happy relationship. When I first met my wife, after a month or so all we did was cuddle and have sex. It was mindblowing. But what happens when all of that fizzles out? What happens when you start to let your guard down, relax in your natural state and start to wear those PJs all day or live around in your boxers constantly? There will be that need for both of you to settle down and explore each other on a different level. Likes, dislikes, fears, passions, craving, past history. I mean on the first date we don’t go all out and present the whole trait picture because that would scare most people away. But there at least has to be a time, before sex, to get to know each other on a better level.
My wife, she made me wait for nearly a month before I finally got my end away.
She had been hurt, lots, in the past and wanted to make sure that I was right for her. And it worked in essence, because the real me was what you saw on the surface. Naive and eager to learn. Yet, what if she jumped right into bed with me on day one and then later found out that I was a narcissist? It wouldn’t be so easy for her after that because for a lot of women, after sex, it’s often hard for them to detach. It’s giving that piece of them away that they’ll never get back. And if you were to later find out that your partner is completely not compatible with you, then it will lead to major relationship problems down the line, and that’s a fact.
Always. Always, work on the compatability before having sex! That goes for both men and women. After all, she could turn out to be really jealous and controlling.
A relationship is a commitment
If you’re reading this because you would like to find out why ‘it just doesn’t feel right’ at the moment then you’re on the right track. The next step is to look at ways to improve it for the better. I would hate to chuck one or two years of togetherness down the pan over something that can be worked through. My wife and I have been through a lot of relationship problems over the last ten years, and it hasn’t been easy, but every obstacle we’ve faced we’ve worked through it and overcome it. We’ve faced bankruptcy, my porn addiction, Alex’s birth, moving house, getting Married and a plethora of other things. It’s just, well, we’ve been through too much to give up so easily.
You should feel the same way.
We are a society that panders to the feeling of instant gratifation. It’s not our fault. Everything is at our fingertips in an instant, why shouldn’t relationships be the same? If we aren’t happy 100% of the time with our partners then it’s easy to have a ton of budding male and female suitors at the click of a button, and not limited to our local areas like it used to be. We can talk to people all over the world if need be. It’s the facebook experience on steroids, people everywhere, and looking to get up to all sorts of things. Not very many appreciate long terms goals anymore when instant gratification is on tap everywhere. If you’re unhappy you can do a vast array of things at the click of a button.
We need to remember that being with a partner is a long term goal, an investment of sorts. You invest in them whilst they invest their time in you. That’s a lot of work to throw away. It may seem hard, working through trouble and strife, but the long term benefits are amazing, and the deep connection you can feel with your partner is second to none.
Stop relying on your partner to make you happy
Happiness should come from within. Many common problems in relationships stem from the fact that one, or both people aren’t happy within themselves and partnered up with another in hope that they become happier. Don’t worry if this is you, this is quite a common occurence and I, myself have fallen into exactly the same trap. Not many people can actually say their lives are happy right now, and that’s because the world, the media, and society tricks us into always looking at the bigger picture. Sometimes we need to reign that focus in a little, focus only on ourselves and concentrate on what matters most to us. If that’s happiness then we should be focusing on what makes us happy, not what other people tell us will make us happy.
We see it all around us, dating websites will sell us the notion that we need to be partnered up to be truly happy, as will the media and almost any advertiser. But mostly it’s a trick to get you to invest in their service or product. Real happiness comes from within. It’s definitely not something you buy and it’s not something that you own. Happiness comes from a core belief in yourself that things are good. It’s not something that happens overnight either. I didn’t just wake up one day and say,
“Hey dudes and dudettes, I’m happy!”
It’s something I continually work on daily, in small doses, to achieve my main goals. When you’re happy within, then it’s time to go out there and start trying to find the perfect partner for you.
Cheating can be a breakdown between two people. Not just one
I wrote an awesome article on cheating a few weeks back. Without going into too much detail because I want you to read it, cheating can be the result of a breakdown in communication. One side of the relationship can be feeling undervalued, not listened to, not respected enough and/or their needs not being fully met that they can walk straight into the arms of another person. Yeah, that would make them not a very nice person, but make sure you recognise and take ownership of the part you played in the demise too (excluding abuse). Not saying it’s the same for everyone, but recognising and admitting your part is the way to move forward.
Don’t give anyone that’s messing you around the time of day
I’ve seen a lot of people have relationship problems over the fact that their partner has been sending them crazy-eyed jealous. Truth be told, I’ve been that way too, crazy jealous over someone, but for good reason. Often that gut instinct takes hold and sends you on a downward spiral of what your gut is experiencing versus what your mind perceives as reality, and what your partner is telling you. I look back to my history and I have absolutely no clue why I let myself go through that.
I’m SO much of a better person than to worry about whether I’m insane or not. You are too.
If you’re finding yourself wrecklessly chasing people around over who said what to who and why? Just.. don’t. You’re so much better than that. In my ten years of togetherness with my partner I’ve never once had to do that. She’s always been upfront and honest with me. I can’t fault that. That’s the way it should be. Perhaps now is the time whether to focus on asking yourself whether your jealousy is built upon actual facts or a feeling you have, and talk it through with your partner. Else they’ll never know, and keep doing what they’re doing.
Never, ever, ever base a relationship on something material
You’re hurting each other that’s why. If you’re with each other because splitting up means you’ll lose something that you can’t be without, something other than your partner, then you’re doing it wrong. You’ll clash lots and have more relationship problems than most. The most successful relationships are forged in the fiery depths of hell and dragged through every fiery lava pit in your harsh ascent, yet no matter what happens, both of you stick together, steadfast, helping each other out along the way. When you are together because of posessions, such as money or popularity, then your heart isn’t properly invested in the comittment. It’s only invested in your own ascent.
Which brings me to my last, but not least one
It’s scary out there
It is, I’ll agree. But if you’ve worked through all of your relationship problems that you possibly can, been to counselling, therapy and a plethora of other things and the only option is left to split. Whatever you do, don’t cling on to it. I’ve learned in life that without properly addressing your fears they’ll only get worse. So if you’re clinging to your partner because the unknown scares you – imagine what it will be like in ten years time? The soul constricting fear that will consume you by then? My mantra is the sooner the better, and then you can focus on creating your own paradise within sooner. Rather than ten years down the line. I’m all for putting in a double hard effort for trying to fix things that are broken, but there comes a time when something is unfixable, and it’s time to chuck it in the bin.
Did you know my Mum chucked my Dad when I was 5? Those two had more relationship problems than cassanova did. Her biggest regret? Not chucking him when I was much younger, and perhaps I would haven’t had such a bad 5 years as I did, but you know, we live, we learn. We all make mistakes! It’s how we learn from them.
But certainly never be afraid to take a risk. You should grab life by the balls and swing hard from those dangleberries.
Flight or fight, you choose
Be well, friends