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Must-Haves for That Loved One in Your Life Who’s Always Tired
According to The National Sleep Foundation , 35% of Americans say that their quality of sleep ranges from “poor” to “fair.” All in all, that’s not great. If you or someone you know is one of those millions of folks struggling with sleep, we’ve rounded up a few products that might help you relax, catch some Zzz’s and stay asleep the whole night through. It’s time to trade the sheep-counting for these must-have products to get the sleep of your dreams..
Specialized Pillows for Every Sleeper
No matter how tired you are, a pillow that’s too flat, hard or lumpy could really make or break your chance of getting a satisfying night’s sleep. Regardless of your sleeping needs and habits, we guarantee there’s a perfect pillow (or two!) out there for you.
Here are some of our favorites:
- Best Knee Pillow: In just a few days, the revelatory ComfiLife Orthopedic Knee Pillow will change your sleep habits for the better. Although this memory foam wedge doesn’t look like much, its ergonomic design allows it to fit comfortably between your knees, allowing for more support throughout the night. Whether you have restless legs or sciatica and lower back pain and pressure in need of relief, this pillow could be your new best friend.
- Best for Hot Sleepers: Hot sleepers — you’re in luck. Look no further than the Coop Home Goods Eden Adjustable Pillow . More than your average “chillow,” this product is crafted with a soft, gel-infused memory foam & microfiber fill blend for a cooler sleep experience. The special memory foam actually helps transfer heat away from the body. Whether you’re dealing with summer heat, nighttime hot flashes or you’re just a hot sleeper, this is a must-have chillow.
- Best Pillow for Stomach Sleepers: Sure, the Elviros Cervical Memory Foam Pillow may look a bit odd, but its design is incredibly innovative, to say the least. The high-density, slow-rebound memory foam is both soft and supportive, making its contour design perfect for aligning with your head, neck, shoulders or back. Essentially, that slope keeps your head from moving into an unstable position, allowing for less stress on your cervical vertebrae and spine. All of that translates to better sleep as well as neck and shoulder pain relief.
- Best Body Pillow for Side Sleepers: Say “goodbye” to tossing and turning. The Premium Adjustable Loft Quilted Body Pillow is a luxurious, hypoallergenic pillow that provides full-body support (and comfort!). Versatile and adjustable — while still maintaining its soft and fluffy quality — this pillow is great for side sleepers who need something to clutch as well as stomach sleepers who need a durable, supportive pillow. If you suffer from back, knee or hip pain or sciatica, then this versatile pillow is the best way to provide support while also experiencing some much-needed relief.
Sound Machines and Wake-Up Lights to Regulate Sleep
Whether you need help falling asleep or a little extra nudge when it comes to waking up in the morning, sound machines and wake-up lights can make a huge difference when it comes to creating a healthy sleep routine. First up, we have the Douni Sleep Sound Machine , a helpful gadget that features 24 soothing sounds, ranging from white noise to all those classic nature sounds (ocean waves, thunder, campfire, crickets and so on). This one is completely plug-and-play, making it accessible for adults and kids alike.
Of course, maybe falling asleep isn’t your primary concern. Maybe waking up on time, another key component of maintaining a healthy sleep regimen, is the issue. If that’s the case, then the Wake Up Light Sunrise Alarm is a great option, especially as the winter months near. This helpful Sleep Aid digital alarm clock works by simulating a sunrise: 30 minutes before your alarm is meant to wake you up, the device gradually brightens, creating the soft, natural effect of the morning sun.
Looking for an option that does it all? We can’t recommend anything more than the Hatch Restore . Controlled with ease via a smartphone app, the Hatch Restore can be programmed with personalized sleep-wake routines. From a Sunrise Alarm Clock, soft-glow reading light and a library of soothing sounds to a relaxation mode, this handy gadget helps you wind down by providing calming light levels and sounds.
Fitbit Charge 4 to Track Your Sleep Habits
One way to make sure you’re sleeping through the night and beating fatigue is to regulate your sleep schedule. Often, having a consistent routine can do wonders for your overall health, and that’s where fitness trackers come in. Dubbed Fitbit’s “most advanced” tracker, the Fitbit Charge 4 is our favorite option, all things considered. While it may not have all the bells and whistles that Fitbit’s smartwatches offer, it does have a plethora of features that can help you take your health and fitness goals even further.
This model features 24/7 heart rate tracking, in-depth sleep tracking and a seven-day battery life — meaning you can get a week’s worth of insight out of a single charge. Get in touch with your sleep schedule by learning when you sleep your best and when you’re at your most restless — and adjust where necessary. Bonus: The Charge 4’s sleek, discreet design means it isn’t bothersome to wear while catching those Zzz’s.
Sleep Masks and Noise-Masking Sleepbuds to Block Out Environmental Disturbances
If you’re like me, you’re sensitive to both light and sound, especially when trying to fall asleep. If the room is too bright or there’s a noise to fixate on, it can lead to hours of tossing and turning. Avoid that restlessness from the onset by investing in simple ways to cut out all those environmental factors. For one, there’s the tried-and-true MZOO Sleep Eye Mask . You don’t just have to be on a plane to use (and benefit from) one of these. Made of low-rebound memory foam, this eye mask is soft and comfy — and doesn’t put any irritating pressure on your eyes.
Fine with light, but frustrated by all those little house sounds or rowdy neighbors? We recommend Bose Sleepbuds II , comfy earbuds that harness the power of noise-masking technology. And while you’re covering up all those nighttime disruptions, try tapping into Bose’s library of calming sounds — it’s like a little sleep machine for your ears. Finally, while you could combine the Sleepbuds with the eye mask, you can also opt-in for a slightly more affordable product that does both. The comfy Sleep Headphones Bluetooth Eye Mask blocks light and lets you listen to music without the addition of headphones. Bonus: It’s a great travel companion.
Weighted Blanket to Reduce Pre-Sleep Anxiety
Recently, weighted blankets have become a real trend, flooding almost everyone’s targeted ads on Instagram. (Or was that just me?) While they seem to be everywhere, not many folks know that there are very real health benefits to using a weighted blanket. According to Mela , UK-based makers of the product, the pressure from a weighted blanket simulates a hug, which is known to cause the body to “release the hormone oxytocin…. so you feel at ease.”
Additionally, this “deep touch pressure stimulation” prompts the body to release dopamine and serotonin, both of which combat symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Bonus: Much like compression socks, that extra weight can help with restless leg syndrome. While there are several great weighted blankets on the market, the affordable, highly-rated Waowoo Weighted Blanket and the WONAP Cooling Weighted Blanket (great for hot sleepers!) are your best bets.
Lotions, Diffusers and Other Aromatherapy to Create a Sense of Calm
An underrated but super simple way to bolster a sense of calm before sleep is to try out some basic aromatherapy. If you haven’t dabbled in the practice yet, it involves using aromatic essential oils to improve health — of both the body and mind. Most often, aromatherapy is administered through the sense of smell and skin absorption. Before bed, certain smells can certainly create a sense of calm and relaxation.
One of the most common methods of administering the therapy is through an essential oil diffuser, much like the BlueHills Premium Essential Oil Diffuser . This lovely device features seven different LED light colors and multiple mist modes — and it can be paired with dreamy, natural sleeping aids, like Woolzies Sleep Collection Essential Oil Blend Set . If you want to dabble in aromatherapy on a smaller scale, a lotion-like the ever-soothing Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Black Chamomile Sleep Body Lotion is also a great choice.
Products Like CBD and Melatonin as Sleep Aids
Recently, there’s been quite a bit of chatter surrounding CBD, a known natural sleep aid — and for good reason. One of our favorite products? These cbdMD CBD Gummies , which are derived from all-natural hemp grown in the U.S. and are THC-free. Taking one before bed can help your whole body relax, but if aches, pains and stiffness are keeping you up at night (and on edge during the day), cbdMD suggests getting into a routine. Because these gummies won’t make you too drowsy, they recommend chewing one in the morning and one at night for optimal, full-day relief.
If you’re new to trying out the healing benefits of CBD, you should also know that it works wonders for managing stress and enhancing exercise recovery. You should also know that it comes in different forms, like this CBD PM for Sleep by cbdMD , which is a handy, easy to apply tincture that combines both CBD and melatonin. CBD not for you? Well, there’s always Sundown Melatonin .
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7 Solutions That Can Save a Relationship
Rocky road? Get your love life back on track.
This article is from the WebMD Feature Archive
See the latest news and features on Health & Sex
It's the rare couple that doesn't run into a few bumps in the road. If you recognize ahead of time, though, what those relationship problems might be, you'll have a much better chance of getting past them.
Even though every relationship has its ups and downs, successful couples have learned how to manage the bumps and keep their love life going, says marriage and family therapist Mitch Temple, author of The Marriage Turnaround . They hang in there, tackle problems, and learn how to work through the complex issues of everyday life. Many do this by reading self-help books and articles, attending seminars, going to counseling, observing other successful couples, or simply using trial and error.
Relationship Problem: Communication
All relationship problems stem from poor communication, according to Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Blending Families. "You can't communicate while you're checking your BlackBerry, watching TV, or flipping through the sports section," she says.
- Make an actual appointment with each other, Shimberg says. If you live together, put the cell phones on vibrate, put the kids to bed, and let voicemail pick up your calls.
- If you can't "communicate" without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant where you'd be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.
- Set up some rules. Try not to interrupt until your partner is through speaking, or ban phrases such as "You always ..." or "You never ...."
- Use body language to show you're listening. Don’t doodle, look at your watch, or pick at your nails. Nod so the other person knows you're getting the message, and rephrase if you need to. For instance, say, "What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we're both working." If you're right, the other can confirm. If what the other person really meant was, "Hey, you're a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you," they can say so, but in a nicer way.
Relationship Problem: Sex
Even partners who love each other can be a mismatch, sexually. Mary Jo Fay, author of Please Dear, Not Tonight, says a lack of sexual self-awareness and education worsens these problems. But having sex is one of the last things you should give up, Fay says. "Sex," she says, "brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy."
- Plan, plan, plan. Fay suggests making an appointment, but not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby's Saturday afternoon nap or a "before-work quickie." Ask friends or family to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. "When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation," Fay says. Changing things up a bit can make sex more fun, too, she says. Why not have sex in the kitchen? Or by the fire? Or standing up in the hallway?
- Learn what truly turns you and your partner on by each of you coming up with a personal "Sexy List," suggests California psychotherapist Allison Cohen. Swap the lists and use them to create more scenarios that turn you both on.
- If your sexual relationship problems can't be resolved on your own, Fay recommends consulting a qualified sex therapist to help you both address and resolve your issues.
Relationship Problem: Money
Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are exchanged. They can stem, for example, from the expenses of courtship or from the high cost of a wedding. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recommends that couples who have money woes take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances.
- Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle is unrealistic.
- Don't approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both of you.
- Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understand there are benefits to both, and agree to learn from each other's tendencies.
- Don't hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.
- Don't blame.
- Construct a joint budget that includes savings.
- Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.
- Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at their discretion.
- Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It's OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals, too.
- Talk about caring for your parents as they age and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs if needed.
Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores
Most partners work outside the home and often at more than one job. So it's important to fairly divide the labor at home, says Paulette Kouffman-Sherman, author of Dating From the Inside Out.
- Be organized and clear about your respective jobs in the home, Kouffman-Sherman says. "Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what." Be fair so no resentment builds.
- Be open to other solutions, she says. If you both hate housework, maybe you can spring for a cleaning service. If one of you likes housework, the other partner can do the laundry and the yard. You can be creative and take preferences into account -- as long as it feels fair to both of you.
Relationship Problem: Not Making Your Relationship a Priority
If you want to keep your love life going, making your relationship a focal point should not end when you say "I do." " Relationships lose their luster. So make yours a priority," says Karen Sherman, author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last .
- Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Show appreciation, compliment each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.
- Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.
- Respect one another. Say "thank you," and "I appreciate..." It lets your partner know that they matter.
Relationship Problem: Conflict
Occasional conflict is a part of life, according to New York-based psychologist Susan Silverman. But if you and your partner feel like you're starring in your own nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day -- i.e. the same lousy situations keep repeating day after day -- it's time to break free of this toxic routine. When you make the effort, you can lessen the anger and take a calm look at underlying issues.
You and your partner can learn to argue in a more civil, helpful manner, Silverman says. Make these strategies part of who you are in this relationship.
- Realize you are not a victim. It is your choice whether you react and how you react.
- Be honest with yourself. When you're in the midst of an argument, are your comments geared toward resolving the conflict, or are you looking for payback? If your comments are blaming and hurtful, it's best to take a deep breath and change your strategy.
- Change it up. If you continue to respond in the way that's brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can't expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You'll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.
- Give a little; get a lot. Apologize when you're wrong. Sure it's tough, but just try it and watch something wonderful happen.
"You can't control anyone else's behavior," Silverman says. "The only one in your charge is you."
Relationship Problem: Trust
Trust is a key part of a relationship. Do you see certain things that cause you not to trust your partner? Or do you have unresolved issues that prevent you from trusting others?
You and your partner can develop trust in each other by following these tips, Fay says.
- Be consistent.
- Be on time.
- Do what you say you will do.
- Don't lie -- not even little white lies to your partner or to others.
- Be fair, even in an argument.
- Be sensitive to the other's feelings. You can still disagree, but don't discount how your partner is feeling.
- Call when you say you will.
- Call to say you'll be home late.
- Carry your fair share of the workload.
- Don't overreact when things go wrong.
- Never say things you can't take back.
- Don't dig up old wounds.
- Respect your partner's boundaries.
- Don’t be jealous.
- Be a good listener.
Even though there are always going to be problems in a relationship, Sherman says you both can do things to minimize marriage problems, if not avoid them altogether.
First, be realistic. Thinking your mate will meet all your needs -- and will be able to figure them out without your asking -- is a Hollywood fantasy. "Ask for what you need directly," she says.
Next, use humor -- learn to let things go and enjoy one another more.
Finally, be willing to work on your relationship and to truly look at what needs to be done. Don't think that things would be better with someone else. Unless you address problems, the same lack of skills that get in the way now will still be there and still cause problems no matter what relationship you're in.
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How to Solve Relationship Problems
Last Updated: July 28, 2022 References Approved
Finding solutions, healthy routines.
This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS . Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011. There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 84% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 382,092 times.
Relationships may develop problems for a variety of reasons, but poor communication is often the reason why some people have a hard time solving these problems. If you are in a relationship that has hit a rough patch, then you may benefit from improving the communication between your partner and yourself. You can also learn how to deal with problems as they arise in order to move past arguments and toward solutions. After things have gotten better, there are things that you can do to ensure that your relationship continues to thrive and grow.
- For example, you could set aside 15 minutes per morning to sit and tell each other about your plans for the day. Or, you could give your partner a call on his or her lunch break to check in and see how your partner’s day is going.
- Scheduling time to talk about relationship problems can be useful as well. By setting a time limit for discussing your problem, you may reduce some of the tension in your relationship and get closer to a solution. For example, you could decide to discuss a specific problem from 7-8pm.
- Keep these conversations as light as possible and avoid discussing anything that might upset your partner during this time. The goal is to get a rapport going again. Of course, if your partner is having a bad day or is feeling stressed about something, listen and be supportive and encouraging.
- Make eye contact with your partner when he or she is talking. Do not look away, look at your phone, or anywhere else when your partner is talking to you. Give your partner your full attention.
- Nod your head and indicate your interest with neutral statements, such as “yes,” “I see,” and “go on.”
- Rephrase what your partner has just said to make sure that you have understood him or her.
- For example, instead of saying, “You never make the bed in the morning,” say, “I would really appreciate it if you could make the bed if you get up after I do.”
- For example, if your partner often loads the dishwasher after dinner and tidies up the kitchen, let him or her know that you value these activities. Say something like, “I just want to say thank you for keeping our kitchen so clean and nice. I appreciate that so much.”
- For example, instead of calling your partner a mean name or insulting him or her in some other way, identify what you want him or her to do.
- For example, you might say something like, “I am sorry for not calling you to tell you that I was going to be late. I will try to be more thoughtful in the future.”
- For example, you may feel that your partner is not helping out around the house as much as he or she should be, and your partner may feel like you are too demanding. Take some time to think about what is bothering you and have your partner do the same.
- For example, you might say, “I have been feeling overwhelmed by the housework and I could use some more help from you.” Your partner might say something like, “I have been feeling overwhelmed as well because of my work schedule and I feel like you don’t appreciate how hard I work.”
- For example, you might say something like, “Okay, I hear what you are saying. I did not realize that you felt that way.”
- Do not get defensive even if your partner responds to you with a defensive claim, such as “You are always nagging me and you never appreciate how hard I work.” Acknowledge your partner’s feelings and move on.
- For example, if your partner has been feeling unappreciated, then you can promise to acknowledge his or her efforts more often. You might also make it a rule that you will not ask you partner to do anything until he or she has had a chance to unwind a bit. Your partner might then promise you that he or she will be more consistent with certain household chores.
- For example, if you promised to take out the garbage every night after dinner, make sure that you do so. Otherwise, your partner may start to feel resentful and begin lapsing on his or her promises as well.
- You don’t need to go far to get away. Try visiting a nearby city for a couple of nights. Go out to a nice dinner, see a play, or visit some museums together.
- For example, you can hold your partner’s hand while watching a movie, give your partner a kiss before you leave for work, or hug your partner before you go to bed each night.
- For example, you might have a girl’s or guy’s night out once per week, take a class by yourself, or join a special interest group on your own.
- For example, you could take a gourmet cooking class together, join a local hiking club, or try to learn a new language together.
- Try to be patient. Solving relationship problems can be a long process, especially if the problems have been going on for a while. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Remember to be mature. Jumping to conclusions, screaming at one another, and trying to get revenge is not the way to go. This can lead to more issues in the relationship. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- You'll need to lower your pride, If you two are having an argument stay calm, Don't let your pride win. This can cause a hard and a worst problem. Try to court again your partner if one of he/she is getting cold in your relationship. ⧼thumbs_response⧽ Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
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- ↑ http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/7-relationship-problems-how-solve-them
- ↑ http://www.helpguide.org/articles/relationships/relationship-help.htm
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201101/the-art-solving-relationship-problems
- ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201311/common-sense-approach-solving-relationship-problems
- ↑ http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/7-relationship-problems-how-solve-them?page=3
- ↑ http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/guide/7-relationship-problems-how-solve-them?page=2
- ↑ http://psychcentral.com/lib/how-can-i-improve-intimacy-in-my-marriage/
About This Article
The best way to solve relationship problems is by improving communication. You can start by scheduling time for you and your loved one to just sit down and talk. For example, you could spend a few minutes in the morning to tell each other about your daily plans. When you think you're ready to move onto discussing the relationship, try to have your conversations in a public place to keep things civil. For more relationship advice from our reviewer, like how to maintain your relationship once things improve, keep reading. Did this summary help you? Yes No
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30 Common Relationship Problems and Solutions
In This Article
Even the best of relationships run into problems sometimes. You’re both tired from work, or the kids are in trouble at school, or your in-laws are getting on your last nerve…you know how it goes.
Life throws all kinds of challenges at a relationship, from relocation to redundancy to illness. No wonder problems arise in even the strongest relationships.
To keep a relationship running smoothly, it is important to solve marriage problems before they snowball into bigger relationship problems.
When do relationships start to have common relationship problems?
For some, however, that phase of love eventually fades. As time passes and both parties of the relationship make their fair share of mistakes, what was once intoxicating becomes intolerable.
Much of the common relationship issues that couples face are minor and can easily be avoided with mutual effort, understanding and respect. Although bumps along the path of marriage are unavoidable, if you are aware of them beforehand, you will be able to overcome them without leading your relationship to the verge of collapse.
None of us are perfect, nor will we exactly be the same on every level.
Some character flaws, on the other hand, will be natural and acceptable. But if there are behaviors, perhaps a little lie here or an indiscretion there, it’s essential to consider that on a grander scale as the relationship progresses.
Is that an ongoing problem you want to work through continually, or does that constitute a deal-breaker? Something to consider.
10 causes of common relationship issues
What can destroy a relationship ? Many of the problems couples come to me for, seem to stem from issues that either cause or intensify their problems. But once couples learn how to address these two issues, everything else seems to start falling into place also.
Check out these causes of common relationship issues or issues behind relationship problems before understanding ways to solve common relationship problems:
One of the fastest ways to create unhappiness and instability in a relationship is through disappointment. And very few things create disappointment as quickly as unmet expectations.
But, there are typically two common relationship problems with expectations in a relationship:
- unrealistic expectations
- unclear expectations
Oftentimes, couples struggle to meet each other’s expectations because they are simply unrealistic. It’s important to understand that our expectations often derive from other people, past experiences, beliefs, or internal values. But, that doesn’t change the fact that they are sometimes very toxic to our relationship.
Alternatively, couples sometimes struggle to meet each other’s expectations because they simply don’t know what the other one expects from them or in their relationship.
Now, maybe you are pretty certain about what YOU expect from your relationship and your partner, but that doesn’t mean that your partner can read your mind, which means they most likely have no clue what you expect.
If you want to avoid unhappiness in your relationship, it is your responsibility to be very clear about your expectations and share those with your partner.
If in doing so, you come to realize that some of your expectations might be slightly unrealistic, or even impossible to meet, you might want to review where that expectation comes from and what is more important – being unrealistic or being happy.
One of the most common relationship issues that couples face is communication. There is often either a complete absence of communication, constant miscommunication , or very poor communication. The end result is almost always frustration, unhappiness, and unmet needs. Many times the root cause of the communication issue is in “interpretation.”
You misunderstand what the other person is saying and spend too much time and energy arguing a point your partner never intended. It’s a futile exercise. It is, therefore, essential to take the time to fully comprehend what your partner is trying to say.
Also, if you’re the one talking, it’s important to make sure you’re communicating clearly and exactly what you mean so that your partner can understand. You need to recognize the fact that their perspective is not the same as yours.
Their experiences, points of view, and even baggage are not the same as yours. But good communication demands empathy. It’s to see the world through their eyes as much as possible and then treat them the way that you would treat yourself.
3. Unsupportive partner
Another common relationship problem occurs when a partner is unsupportive of goals and interests. When you are in a relationship, you want to treat your partner like they can be whatever they want to be.
You want them to follow their dreams and will do anything you can to help support them along the way – and you expect the same in return!
One of the most common relationship problems couples will admit to are troubles in the relationship with finances. Not having enough money or not knowing how to split your financial burdens , as well as loss of jobs, a lack of money, poor money management, debt, and overspending are all common issues that can put pressure on relationships.
Discuss your finances when your relationship gets serious, and be honest about any debt you may have. Rely on one another if money gets tight and never stop communicating.
5. Cheating and other forms of infidelity
Cheating is a huge issue in relationships today. The internet has made all forms of cheating as simple as downloading an app. Sexting, emotional affairs , porn, sneaking around, and physical relationships with someone other than your romantic partner are all huge issues that damage relationships, sometimes irreversibly.
Infidelity is a hard subject to broach with your romantic partner, but it is in the best interest of your relationship to let your partner know when you are emotionally or physically checking out. You owe it to yourself to give your relationship another shot. Get your issues out in the open either with date nights or regular honest communication or seek couples counseling to help mend your relationship.
6. Not enough time spent alone
Some of the common relationship problems involve not spending enough time alone together. This is especially true for couples who have children. Between work and family obligations, you sometimes feel more like roommates than romantic partners . This is because you have stopped ‘dating’ one another. Such circumstances can make a romantic partner feel unappreciated, unattractive, and emotionally frustrated.
Call up your favorite babysitter and establish a child-free date night once a week with your spouse. This allows you to reconnect as a couple instead of as parents. Go on dates and treat one another like you’re still trying to woo each other.
Boredom is a common problem in long-term relationships. Being with the same person for many years can seem to take the ‘spark’ out of your union. You may also feel you have outgrown one another. Don’t despair or give up.
You can reverse this feeling by looking for new ways to connect with your partner. Look for new things to do together such as travel or take up a hobby. This will help you bond over something fun and exciting.
8. Sexual intimacy
As the years go by and your relationship becomes seasoned, there will likely be a point where your sexual flame will dim. There could be a multitude of reasons as to why you or your partners in sex has dwindled, but no matter what the cause is, this decrease in sexual intimacy tends to cause common relationship issues.
In order to avoid such problems, there are a few important things that you should consider:
- As you spend more and more time with someone, the act of sex becomes predictable. In most cases, the more predictable the sex, the less fun it is to have. Think about your favorite movie for a second. When you first saw it, you were enthralled. You watched it over and over again, enjoying every viewing.
But after 10, 20, or 30 times seeing the same plotline play out, you only pulled it out for special occasions. Your sex life is just like that favorite movie. So, spice things up . Your favorite movie’s plotline is set in stone. The plotline between you and your spouse’s sexual experience can be changed any time you want it to.
Get creative, get ambitious, and understand that it’s not the other person’s fault. It’s just that, although you enjoy having sex, it’s just the same thing over and over again. Try something new today.
- Your expectations for your sex life may be a bit unrealistic. As your sex life loses steam, you likely are replacing more love and appreciation in the void left behind. Instead of harping on the lack of sex you’re having , take a moment and be grateful for the person you get to lay your head down next to.
9. The anger habit
The anger habit soon gets ingrained, and before you know it, you’re spending a large chunk of time fighting with your partner.
Think about it – if someone is angry and shouting at you, how likely are you to listen carefully and look for a solution?
Most people, understandably, react to anger with either anger or fear.
10. Not consulting each other
Let your partner know that they are a priority to you by consulting them before you make decisions.
Big decisions like whether to take a new job or move to a new city are obvious life choices that should be discussed with your spouse.
But don’t forget to include them in smaller decisions such as who picks up the kids tonight, making plans with friends for the weekend, or whether you eat dinner together or grab something for yourself.
10 signs of relationship problems that hurt the most
All relationships have their highs and lows, even the happiest of ones. There is no escaping them, and if not dealt with accurately, they can lead your relationships towards absolute chaos and destruction.
Here are 10 signs your relationship is having problems:
- You both spend less amount of time together
- There is minimal communication
- You both are critical of each other
- One partner indicates that the relationship is not going well
- Differences of opinions are criticized than worked upon
- You both are always defensive in front of each other
- You both have stopped discussing long-term plans
- You set other priorities over your relationship
- Maintaining the relationship feels like a duty
- You are happier when they are not around and vice versa
30 relationship problems and solutions
Now, how to solve relationship issues?
Common relationship issues are not hard to solve; all you need for that is a strong will to work on your relationship issues, and love , of course.
Here are some common marriage problems and the solutions for how to resolve your relationship problems that you should know about.
When wondering about how to solve relationship problems, it can be useful to read first and then bring the conversation up about how to handle relationship problems with your partner.
1. Lack of trust
Lack of trust is a major problem in any relationship.
Lack of trust isn’t always related to infidelity – it can rear its head any time. If you find yourself constantly doubting your partner or wondering if they’re truthful with you, it’s time to tackle your trust issues together .
Relationship problems will keep mushrooming when there is a dearth of trust in a relationship.
Be consistent and trustworthy. Each of you should make an effort to be where you say you’re going to be and do what you say you’re going to do. This is one of the best solutions to marriage problems.
Call when you say you’ll call. Never lie to your partner. Showing empathy and respect for your partner’s feelings also helps to build trust.
When life gets too much, you get overwhelmed. Maybe you’re in the midst of going after a promotion at work. Maybe they’re dealing with a troubled teenage son or daughter.
Whatever the reason, your relationship soon takes a back seat. Then relationship problems keep building up.
Talk to each other about what’s happening, and about what kind of support each of you needs . Lean on each other instead of getting so caught up in other issues that they drive a wedge between you.
Figure out together a time that will be just for you two.
3. Poor communication
Poor communication leads to misunderstandings, fights, and frustration. It also leads to one or both of you feeling unheard and invalidated and can quickly build into resentment and other common relationship issues.
Communication is a skill like any other, and learning it can make all the difference to your relationship. Learn how to listen without judging or interrupting, and how to get your point across without attacking.
Communicate with each other as friends, not combatants. Figure out what your communication style is and how compatible it is with your partner.
Work your way towards the solution by understanding what communication style would work better for both of you.
4. Not prioritizing each other
It’s so easy to take your partner for granted , especially when you have a lot of things going on. Before you know it, the only time you get together is over a hurried family dinner or while trying to get out the door in the morning.
Make time for each other every single day. No matter how busy you are, carve out fifteen or thirty minutes; that’s just for the two of you to talk and spend quiet time together.
Text regularly throughout the day. Add in a weekly date night to make sure your partner knows they’re your priority.
5. Money stress
Money is a leading cause of stress in relationships . Maybe there’s not enough. Or maybe there is enough, but they spend it while you prefer to save. Perhaps you feel they’re too tight with the purse strings.
Whatever the issue, money can quickly cause problems.
One of the tips to fix old relationship issues regarding finances is to put those good communication skills to work here and have a serious talk about money. Figure out a budget that you both agree on and stick to it.
Work out a financial plan for your future and take steps towards it together. Make crystal clear agreements and keep them.
6. Changing priorities
We all change as we move through life. Maybe you were both ambitious once, but now you’d rather live a quiet life. Perhaps your partner is no longer enthusiastic about your shared dream of buying a house by the sea.
Changing priorities can cause a lot of conflicts.
Look for what you both still have in common while allowing your partner to change and grow. Embrace who they are now instead of pining for the past.
If you have different priorities about major lifestyle issues, l ook for common ground, and compromise that you are both happy with.
7. Chore wars
It’s easy to lose your temper when it feels like you’re the one taking out the trash for the hundredth time in a row, or you get home from overtime to find the house is a tip. Chore wars are a leading cause of conflict in relationships .
Agree together on who is responsible for what, and stick to it—factor in a little flexibility for when one of you is much busier than usual.
If you both have different ideas of what constitutes a neat home, it might be time for a little compromise.
8. Different intimacy needs
Problems with your sex life are stressful and can have a big impact on your relationship. If one of you isn’t happy or you’re finding you have widely different intimacy needs, it’s time for a serious talk.
Carve out time for intimacy. Arrange for someone else to take the kids once a week, or make the most of any time you have alone at home together.
Sex keeps you feeling physically and emotionally close, so make sure you are both happy with your sex life .
9. Lack of appreciation
It doesn’t come as a surprise to you that bad bosses compel good workers to quit ? Up to 75% quit their job not because of the position itself, but because of their boss who never expressed appreciation.
Being taken for granted is one of the fundamental reasons for breakups.
Appreciation is what keeps us motivated and committed, both in our work and our relationships.
Remembering to compliment or notice the things our partner shows, we are grateful and increases the overall satisfaction with the relationship. Saying thank you goes a long way.
Having kids is a blessing, but it requires a lot of dedication and effort. This can cause a strain on the relationship when partners disagree on the way they want to raise children, address problems that occur, and spend family time.
Talk to your partner about why they think something should be done differently and share your reasoning. Often, we are repeating or trying to avoid patterns we were raised by.
Get together and spend some time understanding where the need to do things a certain way is coming from. When you understand, you can change and create a new way to parent that works for your family.
When we find the person, we love we want to share everything with them and to have them do the same. However, this can lead to feelings of losing one’s individuality, feeling of freedom, and a sense of accomplishment.
What does it take for you to be your own person while being their partner? Think of areas that you want to keep to yourself that give you a feeling of achievement and freedom.
It might be a hobby or doing sports. Talk to your partner so they don’t feel rejected by this new change and introduce it gradually.
What each of us defines as infidelity and where we draw the line can differ. Infidelity means various things to different people. Infidelity can encompass, besides the sexual act, flirting, sexting or kissing.
When infidelity has occurred, trust is broken, and a person can feel betrayed. This can snowball into many other issues and problems.
Talking about what infidelity is for you and your partner is important. They may hurt you inadvertently because, for example, they don’t find flirting a problem.
When something has already occurred, there is a choice to be made. A couple can try to regain trust and rebuild or end the relationship . In case the first one is chosen, seeking professional help can be a wise decision.
Figuring out marriage challenges and solutions and learning how to work out relationship problems is much more productive with counseling .
13. Significant differences
When there is a critical difference in core values, the way partners approach life, and challenges, issues are bound to happen.
For example, it might be that they are more spontaneous or hedonistic, while you plan more and save rather than spend. Nonetheless, if your views and expectations from life differ considerably, you are bound to argue.
When there are core dissimilarities between you, you might wonder if you are suited for each other. The answer is – it depends. What kind of change would you both need to undertake for this relationship to survive?
Are you willing you make that change, and how much will it “cost” you? If you decide you can and want to change, by all means, give it a go. This is the only way you will know if the change is enough for this relationship to succeed.
You might be in a happy relationship for a long time before noticing the first signs of jealousy. They might act fine at first but slowly change.
They start asking for your whereabouts, distrusting you, checking up on you, distancing or stifling you, and demonstrating concern about your affection towards them.
Often this behavior is a reflection of previous experiences that were triggered by something that happened in the current relationship.
Both partners need to make an effort. If your partner is jealous, try to be transparent, predictable, honest, and share. Give them time to get to know you and trust you.
However, for this to be solved, they need to make a separate effort to change their anticipations and work out their concerns. There is a difference between privacy and secrecy, and this line needs to be redrawn.
15. Unrealistic expectations
If you are human, you have unrealistic expectations ; no one is free of them. Nowadays, we might expect our partner to play many major roles: the best friend, trusted companion, business partner, lover, etc.
We might expect our partner to know what we want without saying it, advocate fairness at all times, or strive to change the other into what you desire them to be.
This can lead to misunderstandings, repeated quarrels, and misfortune.
If you want to solve a problem, you need to comprehend it first. Ask yourself – what is it that you feel entitled to? If you could wave a magic wand and change things, how would the new, pink reality look like?
What are you doing at the moment that you feel could get you there?
When you grasp what you are expecting to happen, but reality and your partner are depriving you of it, you can start to look for ways to ask differently or ask for different wishes.
16. Growing apart
So many things on the task list, and there is only one of you. How long ago did you stop including things to do with your partner on that list? Drifting apart happens bit by bit, and we don’t notice.
You might wake up one morning and realize you can’t remember the last time you had sex, a date, or a conversation that is more than organizational.
A relationship is like a flower, and it can not blossom without nourishment. When you notice the signs, it is time to act. It will take time to cross the distance that has been created, but it is possible.
Prioritize your time together, bring back old habits and activities you did together, laugh, and take time to reconnect.
17. Lack of support
When life hits us hard, we cope with it the best we know. However, often our coping skills are not enough, and we need support. Lack of support from a partner can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and feeling overwhelmed.
Long-lasting lack of support also affects the way we value the relationship we are in, and satisfaction drops significantly.
If you don’t ask, the answer is certainly “no.” Talking about what we need and what we can provide can clear the air of unrealistic expectations.
Unspoken and unfulfilled needs lead to negative beliefs about the relationship.
Understanding what our partner can provide helps adjust what we come to them for and look for alternative sources of support while our partner works on becoming one of the main pillars of encouragement and comfort again.
Substance addiction can put a serious strain on a relationship.
Partner’s addiction can cause a significant effect on the family budget, cause many arguments, increase trust issues, cause ignorance and neglect of children and other family members, and impair overall relationship happiness.
Couple problems can be worked out with couples therapy . Counseling can be enormously helpful as it helps both partners deal with the issues arising simultaneously.
Understanding what triggers prompt addiction and building new habits as a couple promotes healthier ways of addressing problems. Individual therapy is recommended as well for both partners.
It can help understand the roots and patterns leading to addiction, and provide support to the non-addicted partner.
19. Moving at different speeds
Do you find yourself in a current relationship uncomfortable with the speed the relationship is progressing?
You might find your new partner moving more rapidly, wanting to spend more time together, constantly calling or texting, wanting to go away together, or you meeting their family?
Alternatively, you could be in a relationship that is not progressing the way you hoped it would, and the milestones you desired are not being reached.
When you and your partner need different speeds and intensities of intimacy and commitment , you may argue.
This can lead to becoming terribly upset over seemingly little things, pulling away, and questioning whether this person is for you.
Don’t sweep things under the rug rather address what is happening. Avoiding problems is not the best relationship solution.
What kind of reassurance or demonstration of love would bring you back on the same level? How are your needs different, and what can each of you do to find the middle ground?
20. Lack of responsibility
When one of the partners avoids taking responsibility, it can cause severe damage to the partnership. Money struggles, child neglect, fighting over chores, or playing the blame game can happen daily.
One of the most detrimental factors to the relationship is a significantly uneven distribution of responsibility amongst partners.
When addressing this issue, the first thing to do is to stop the blaming game. If change is to occur, you need to look forward, not backward. If the change is to be long-lasting, it needs to happen gradually.
Overwhelming a partner to make up for all this time of dodging responsibilities will just prove they were right to steer clear of them.
Give forgiving a shot as it has been linked to relationship success . Also, agree on the pace of change and the first things to share accountability for.
21. Controlling behavior
Controlling behavior happens when one of the partners expects the other to behave in certain ways, even at the expense of the wellbeing of the other partner.
This kind of toxic behavior deprives the other partner’s freedom, confidence, and a sense of self-worth.
Controlling behavior is a learned pattern of behavior from primary family or previous relationships.
At one point in life, this was beneficial for the controlling partner, and they need to learn to express affection differently. Speak up, set boundaries and adhere to them, and, if possible, try couples counseling.
All relationships undergo periods of fun and boredom. However, when the feeling of monotony and apathy color, most of the days, it is time to react.
Allowing to fall into a daily routine and go with the flow can lead to decreased libido and overall satisfaction with the relationship .
Think back to the honeymoon phase and recall the things you did as a newly formed couple. What is available from that list today, and what do you still feel you could enjoy?
Make a conscious decision to add spontaneity into the relationship to start the upward spiral to a more eventful relationship.
23. Outside Influences
All couples are exposed to outside influences and opinions on how things should be done.
Some influences are benign, like grandparents’ occasional babysitting, while others can be detrimental, like disapproval of one spouse by the family or friends of the other.
Your relationship comes first, and everyone else’s opinion is secondary. Show each other support and that you are a united front against the world.
To resist the influence, you can limit the amount of time spent with or personal information you share with the family members or friends trying to impact you.
Marital problems and solutions may appear quite similar on the outside, but no one knows better than you what you need to make it work.
24. Ineffective argument
Arguments are a part of every relationship. However, the way fights are led, and what is their outcome can have a big impact on the relationship.
Disagreement can be helpful or destructive, depending on what you do with them. Having the same fight over and over, losing your temper, or saying things you regret later is bound to make you feel it’s not worth it.
After an argument, you should feel you have made progress in understanding where your partner is coming from.
A good fight is one after which you have agreed on what can be the first step both will take to resolve the issue. Start by listening to hear the other side, not only by waiting for your turn.
Research together ways to fight better and only ever focus on the next step needed to take.
25. Keeping a scoreboard
When you keep blaming and recalling mistakes each of you has made, you are keeping a virtual scoreboard of each other’s faults. If being right is more important than being with the other person, the relationship is doomed.
This leads up to a build-up of guilt, anger, and bitterness and doesn’t solve any problems.
Deal with each problem separately unless they are legitimately connected. Focus on the problem at hand and speak your mind. Don’t let it build up and mention it months later.
Decide if you want to save the relationship and if you do, learn to accept the past as is and start focusing on where to go from here.
26. Life gets in the way
In a relationship, it’s usually the priority to nurture and develop the connection. When life is a persistent inconvenience, it means one or both of you were not necessarily ready to get involved, and that can happen.
Unexpected encounters with another person occur all the time. But when they do, it’s essential to allow it to flourish- placing it first over the chaos.
When the two of you notice you put the union on the back burner, it’s time to make a conscious effort with reprioritizing the other person regardless of your day-to-day situation to battle the new relationship struggles.
27. Trust is critical from the very beginning
Every relationship has problems, but when you first connect, you don’t want to go in with the idea that you can’t trust the other person. If this is baggage from a past relationship , that’s unfair and self-defeating for any new partnership.
If your new partner made a promise and then lied to get out of it, that will create mistrust early on. That’s tough to get back. In an effort to do so, one piece of advice on relationship problems is that there needs to be much transparency and commitment in keeping your word moving forward.
28. You can readjust goals at a moment’s notice
Perhaps in the first few weeks of dating, your life goals appear to be similar, but a profound life circumstance changes your perspective on where you see yourself in the future or maybe your mate’s.
The change is not in keeping with what the two of you discussed. In this situation, you can find a way to get your partner to see things from your point of view, or the partnership won’t be possible.
These are the kinds of issues in relationships that are difficult to overcome. Often differences in life goals are deal-breakers.
29. A kind word here or there
New relationship problems can include a lack of manners in numerous ways. Pleasantries like telling someone they look nice or saying thank you, or expressing how much you appreciate something they’ve done wane after a few dates.
It shouldn’t—unfortunately, comfortability and taking a partner for granted set in quickly. If you notice this early on, say something, but also make sure to lead by example. Be the first to tell your mate these things often.
30. Notice continued bad behaviors with a new relationship
You’ll know you have early relationship problems if your mate is continuously on their phone when you’re together. That’s incredibly rude behavior for anyone when they’re with other people for any reason, let alone being on a date or in the early stages of a partnership .
The focus should be on time spent with each other since free time is precious with the world’s hectic pace. When this happens at the start of a partnership, it won’t get better with time. It needs to be addressed and stopped to strengthen your union ultimately.
Relationships are marathons
Most relationship problems and ways of fixing relationship problems would be something that you must have heard about or experienced; still, when it comes to utilizing this common knowledge, not everyone is thorough with the implementation.
It’s not difficult to answer “how to solve marriage problems,” and there is plenty of advice on relationship issues and solutions.
However, when it comes to solving marriage issues and relationship issues advice, everything boils down to effort and implementation.
These common problems in relationships are not completely avoidable, and every couple runs into some of them at one point.
The good news is, working on relationship problems can produce a considerable difference and get your relationship back on track, free from all relationship difficulties.
Be creative, don’t give up on each other, and you will reach the solution.
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7 Relationship Problems and How to Solve Them
Here's how to resolve the most common relationship problems and get your love life back on track.
By Carol Sorgen WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD
It's the rare couple that doesn't, sooner or later, run into a few bumps in the road. If you recognize ahead of time what those relationship problems can be, you'll have a much better chance of weathering the storm, experts say.
Ideally, a couple should discuss certain basic issues -- such as money, sex, and kids -- before they decide to start their life together. Of course, even when you do discuss these issues beforehand, marriage (or a long-term, live-in relationship) is nothing like you think it's going to be.
In spite of the fact that every marriage experiences relationship problems, couples who are successful have learned how to manage them and keep their love life going, says marriage and family therapist Mitch Temple, MS , author of The Marriage Turnaround . They gain success in marriage by hanging in there, tackling problems, and learning how to maneuver through the complex issues of everyday married life. Many do this by reading self-help books, attending seminars, browsing articles on the Web, going to counseling, observing other successful couples, or simply by trial and error.
Here are some common issues and ways to resolve them:
Relationship Problem: Communication
All relationship problems stem from poor communication skills, says Elaine Fantle Shimberg, author of Blending Families . "You can't communicate while you're checking your BlackBerry, watching TV, or flipping through the sports section," she says.
- Make time ... yes, an actual appointment with each other, Shimberg says. If you live together, put the cell phones on vibrate, put the kids to bed, and let the answering machine pick up your calls.
- If you can't "communicate" without raising your voices, go to a public spot like the library, park, or restaurant, where you'd be embarrassed if anyone saw you screaming.
- Set up some rules ... like not interrupting until the other is through, banning phrases such as "You always ..." or "You never ..."
- Remember that a large part of communication is listening, so be sure your body language reflects that. That means, don't doodle, look at your watch, pick at your nails, etc. Nod so the other person knows you're getting the message and rephrase if necessary, such as, "What I hear you saying is that you feel as though you have more chores at home, even though we're both working." If you're right, the other can confirm, and if what the other person really meant was, hey, you're a slob and you create more work for me by having to pick up after you, perhaps they'll say so but in a nicer way.
Relationship Problem: Sex
Even partners who love each other can be incompatible sexually. Compounding these problems, says Mary Jo Fay, is the fact that men and women alike are sorely lacking in sex education and sexual self-awareness. Yet, having sex is one of the last things we should be giving up, says Fay, who addresses the topic in her new book, Please Dear, Not Tonight . "Sex brings us closer together, releases hormones that help our bodies both physically and mentally, and keeps the chemistry of a healthy couple healthy," she says.
- Plan, plan, plan, Fay says. Make an appointment -- not necessarily at night when everyone is tired. Maybe during the baby's Saturday afternoon nap. Or perhaps a "before-work quickie," Fay suggests. Or ask Grandma and Grandpa to take the kids every other Friday night for a sleepover. "When sex is on the calendar, it increases your anticipation," Fay says, adding that mixing things up a bit can increase your sexual enjoyment as well. Why not sex in the kitchen? Sex by the fire? Sex standing up in the hallway?
- California psychotherapist Allison Cohen, MA, MFT, also suggests learning what truly turns your partner on by asking him or her to come up with a personal "Sexy List." And, of course, you do the same. What do each of you truly find sexy? "The answers may surprise you." Swap the lists and use them to create more scenarios that turn you both on.
- If your sexual relationship problems can't be resolved on your own, Fay recommends consulting a qualified sex therapist, who can help you both address and resolve your issues.
Relationship Problem: Money
Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are said, from the expenses of courtship to the high cost of weddings. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) recommends that couples who have money woes take a deep breath and have a serious conversation about finances.
Problem-solving strategies: The NFCC offers the following advice for having that much-needed financial conversation:
- Be honest about your current financial situation. If things have gone south, continuing the same lifestyle that was possible before the loss of income is simply unrealistic.
- Don't approach the subject in the heat of battle. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both parties.
- Acknowledge that one partner may be a saver and one a spender, understanding that there are benefits to both, and agreeing to learn from each other's tendencies.
- Don't hide income or debt. Bring financial documents, including a recent credit report, pay stubs, bank statements, insurance policies, debts, and investments to the table.
- Don't blame.
- Construct a joint budget that includes savings.
- Decide which person will be responsible for paying the monthly bills.
- Allow each person to have independence by setting aside money to be spent at his or her discretion.
- Decide upon short-term and long-term goals. It's OK to have individual goals, but you should have family goals, too.
- Talk about caring for your parents as they age, and how to appropriately plan for their financial needs, if necessary.
Relationship Problem: Struggles Over Home Chores
Nowadays, most partners work outside the home -- and in today's economy -- often at more than one job, so it's important to equitably divide the labor at home, says Paulette Kouffman Sherman, PhD. She is the author of Dating from the Inside Out: How to Use the Law of Attraction in Matters of the Heart .
- Be organized and clear about your respective jobs in the home, Sherman says. "Write all the jobs down and agree on who does what." Be fair: Make sure each partner's tasks are equitable so no resentment builds.
- Be open to other solutions, Sherman adds: If you both hate housework, maybe you can spring for a cleaning service. If one of you likes housework, the other partner can do the laundry and the yard. As long as it feels fair to both people, you can be creative and take preferences into account.
Relationship Problem: Not Prioritizing Your Relationship
If you want to keep your love life going, making your relationship a focal point does not end when you say "I do." "Relationships lose their luster," says Karen Sherman, PhD, author of Marriage Magic! Find It, Keep It, and Make It Last . "So make yours a priority."
- Do the things you used to do when you were first dating: Make gestures of appreciation, compliment each other, contact each other through the day, and show interest in each other.
- Plan date nights. Schedule time together on the calendar just as you would any other important event in your life.
- Respect one another. Say "thank you," and "I appreciate ... ." It lets your partner know that he/she matters.
Relationship Problem: Conflict
Occasional conflict is an inevitable part of life, says New York-based psychologist Susan Silverman, PhD, but if you and your partner feel like you are starring in your own nightmare version of the movie Groundhog Day , it's time to break free of this toxic routine. Recognizing these simple truths will lessen anger and enable you to take a calm look at the underlying issue.
Conflict resolution skills can help you and your partner learn to argue in a more constructive manner, says Silverman, who offers this advice:
- You are not a victim. It is your choice whether to react and how to react.
- Be honest with yourself. When you're in the midst of an argument, are your comments directed toward resolution, or are you looking for payback? If your comments are blaming and hurtful, it's best to take a deep breath and change your strategy.
- Change it up. If you continue to respond in the same way that has brought you pain and unhappiness in the past, you can't expect a different result this time. Just one little shift can make a big difference. If you usually jump right in to defend yourself before your partner is finished speaking, hold off for a few moments. You'll be surprised at how such a small shift in tempo can change the whole tone of an argument.
- Give a little; get a lot. Apologize when you're wrong. Sure it's tough, but just try it and watch something wonderful happen. "You can't control anyone else's behavior," Silverman says. "The only one in your charge is you."
Relationship Problem: Trust
Trust is an essential part of a relationship. Are there certain behaviors that are causing you to not trust your partner, or do you have unresolved issues that are hindering you from trusting others?
Problem-solving strategies: You and your partner can develop trust in each other by following these tips, suggested by Fay.
- Be consistent.
- Be on time.
- Do what you say you will do.
- Don't lie -- not even little white lies, to your partner or to others.
- Be fair, even in an argument.
- Be sensitive to the other's feelings. You can still disagree but don't discount how your partner is feeling.
- Call when you say you will.
- Call to say you'll be home late.
- Carry your fair share of the workload.
- Don't overreact when things go wrong.
- Never say things you can't take back.
- Don't dig up old wounds.
- Respect your partner's boundaries.
- Don't be jealous.
- Be a good listener.
Although relationships have their ups and downs, there are things you can both do that may well minimize marriage problems, if not help avoid them altogether, says psychologist Karen Sherman. Be realistic. Thinking your mate will meet all your needs -- and will be able to figure them out without your asking -- is a Hollywood fantasy. "Ask for what you need directly," Karen Sherman says.
Use humor -- learn to let things go and enjoy one another more. And be willing to work on your relationship and to truly look at what needs to be done. Don't think that it will be better with someone else; the same problems you have in this relationship because of lack of skills will still exist.
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How To Solve Relationship Problems: 5 Secrets From Research
Before we commence with the festivities, I wanted to thank everyone for helping my first book become a Wall Street Journal bestseller. To check it out, click here .
Every relationship has problems. And they lead to arguments — which often don’t go anywhere and just make things worse.
One solution is couples therapy. It’s a very good solution, especially if you want to solve things by getting divorced.
From The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples :
In fact, we asked the people who participated in our research if they were getting therapy, and we discovered that there was a reasonably high correlation between getting therapy and getting a divorce. It was more likely that couples would get a divorce if they had therapy than if they had no therapy. This was especially true for individual therapy, but it was also true of couple therapy.
That’s John Gottman , the data driven cupid of academia. He’s renowned as the relationship expert who can listen to a couple talk for just a few minutes and predict whether they’ll split up with an eerie 90+% degree of accuracy.
For decades he’s brought couples into his lab, studied how they interacted and followed up to see whether that worked. And he’s learned a lot. John’s book is The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples.
All couples have arguments. There is no magic, conflict-free relationship. (Sorry.) So how do you fight right ? That’s what we’re gonna learn. Where should we start?
How about at the beginning? Because as it turns out, beginnings are critical…
Start Discussions Gently
As you may have suspected, starting a conversation with “YOU MORON!” is never a good idea.
Seriously, if you don’t want your partner to get defensive and angry then, quite simply, don’t begin a discussion in a way that would make any person defensive and angry.
Sounds obvious but we all do it. And women do it a lot more than men. (Don’t worry; we’ll get to the mistakes men make soon enough.)
The woman’s role here is usually critical, as in heterosexual relationships (in most Western culture) it is the woman who brings up the issues 80% of the time, according to research by Philip and Carolyn Cowan at Berkeley. Again, the findings suggest that starting with attack is less likely to result in nondefensive or empathic listening.
The critical distinction here is between “complaining” and “criticizing.”
Complaining about a specific problem or behavior is totally okay. (“When you’re late, it makes me feel like I’m not important to you.”) But criticizing is when you present the issue as a defect in your partner. (“You’re just so selfish!”)
Telling someone you don’t like their behavior is appropriate and necessary. Accusing them of being a demonspawn succubus forged from an unholy pact in the darkest pits of the netherworld is, shall we say, less-than-constructive .
Happy couples presented issues as joint problems, and specific to one situation. Unhappy couples, on the other hand, presented issues as if they were symptoms of global defects in the partner’s personality.
But some people will respond, “You don’t understand. They always make this mistake and I’m just trying to fix them.”
Overruled, counselor. You’re still doing it, but with a shinier rationalization. Trying to “fix” your partner means you see them as defective. This is the perspective that couples on their way to Splitsville take.
Partners in unhappy relationships saw it as their responsibility to help their partners become better people. They acted as if they believed that the problem in relationships is that we pair with people who aren’t as perfect as we are. Then it becomes our responsibility to point out to our partners how they can become better human beings. They need us to point out their mistakes. We expect them to be grateful to us for our great wisdom. In miserable relationships our habit of mind is to focus on our own irritability and disappointment, and to explain to our partners how they are responsible for these miserable feelings we have.
Don’t raise issues in a way that could be summed up as “Everything would be wonderful if you just get your act together and do exactly as I tell you because you’re the screw-up and I’m the long-suffering victim here.”
Focus on the problem, not the person. And be gentle. Even if you are right, being self-righteous doesn’t help.
(To learn more about the science of a successful life, check out my bestselling book here .)
Okay, so you’ve got your head on straight about how to approach things. But your head isn’t the only part of you that’s important here. Your body plays a big part…
I know, easier said than done. But this is huge . The ability to stay physically calm during conflict showed the biggest correlation with relationship happiness of anything Gottman tested.
I recall a landmark phone call in my life from Bob asking me if I had ever obtained high correlations (in the .90s), and him reporting that we had obtained such high correlations in our first 3-year follow-up study, using only physiological data in predicting relationship happiness, controlling for initial levels.
Did you notice the wording there? “Physiological.” As in, your body. So suppressing rage, keeping your mouth shut and appearing chill doesn’t qualify as calm.
When things get emotional, your heart starts racing, the cortisol and adrenalin start pumping and this leads to a cascade of negative effects you can’t control. You have trouble listening, empathizing and problem solving. Gottman calls it “diffuse physiological arousal.”
You and I call it “wigging out.”
In the context of relationship conflict, DPA has big psychological effects. It decreases one’s ability to take in information (reducing hearing and peripheral vision and making it difficult to shift attention away from a defensive posture). It can also create increased defensiveness and what we call the “summarizing yourself syndrome,” which is repeating one’s own position in the hope that one’s partner will suddenly “get it” and become loving again. DPA can reduce the ability to be creative in problem solving, it eliminates access to one’s sense of humor and to affection, and it reduces the ability to listen to one’s partner and empathize.
And this is a bigger problem for men. When put in an emotional situation, men get “flooded” more quickly than women. And once physiologically worked up, it takes them longer to return to baseline.
…there were decreases in blood pressure only for women. Noradrenaline is a stress hormone that operates in the brain and is the equivalent of adrenaline in the periphery. Oxytocin, in her study, decreased noradrenaline levels for women, but not for men. Hence, this research would suggest that men are more vulnerable to DPA…
Ever get into a heated argument and realize it’s going nowhere? Once the stress hormones are hitting the bloodstream at firehose speed, Gottman says constructive, empathetic discussion is impossible. So what do you do?
Well, kids aren’t the only ones that can benefit from a time-out. You can’t “insist” that your body relax. So Gottman recommends taking a 20-minute break. And distract yourself during that time. (Bitterly mumbling to yourself for 20 minutes isn’t going to make Round 2 any easier.)
When you’re both calmer, try again.
(To learn the two-word morning ritual that will make you happy all day, click here .)
So maybe you manage to stay all Zen. Great. But now you’re in the thick of the conversation. What should you be saying to make sure it doesn’t go off the rails?
Yeah, sounds obvious. But this isn’t some silly little truism — it’s a powerful insight from real data. You want a ratio of five positive comments for every negative one.
The ratio of positive to negative affect during conflict in stable relationships is 5:1; in couples headed for divorce, it is 0.8:1 or less.
Even in the midst of arguments, the successful couples Gottman studied frequently sprinkled in positive statements like: “Good point”, “Say more about how you feel and what you need”, and “If that’s so important to you let’s find a way to make that happen.”
You want to avoid negative comments that aren’t constructive like: “That is so stupid”, “You’re so selfish” and, “I’d love to hit you with a tire iron and bury you in the crawlspace.”
But don’t forget — the ratio was five to one, not five to zero . Negativity isn’t evil. In fact, a little bit is necessary. Getting angry didn’t cause breakups…
It was escalation of negativity that landed people in divorce court. You yell and then they yell louder and then you yell even louder until the windows are vibrating and the pets are cowering beneath the couch. If this sounds like your fights, may I suggest you don’t get a 30-year mortgage? Because your marriage will likely be over in 6.
It is the escalation of negativity, marked particularly by criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling, that predicts divorce. We found that couples who escalated conflict divorced an average of about 5.6 years after their wedding.
When things get heated, use humor. Calling your partner a joke is not a good idea but making a joke during a fight can help deescalate conflict.
(Positive affect) was the only variable that predicted both couple stability and happiness in our newlywed study. Furthermore, the positive affect was not distributed evenly or randomly during the conflict conversation—rather, it was used precisely—it was in the service of conflict deescalation. Positive affect and deescalation were used in the service of physiological soothing, particularly of the male in heterosexual relationships. That’s why even small amounts of positive affect during conflict predicted positive outcomes in the relationship. Bob Levenson’s lab has also found that humor is effective at reducing physiological arousal.
(To learn 3 secrets from neuroscience that will help you quit bad habits without willpower, click here .)
Maybe you’re doing good so far. But there’s a point when you just want it to end . You can’t handle any more talking or any more feelings. Like you’ve been through thirty days of Guantanamo Bay waterboarding and you’re all I’ll-tell-you-whatever-you-want-to-know-just-make-this-stop .
Yes, men, I’m looking at you…
Don’t deny your partner’s feelings and try to shut them up. Hear them out. That doesn’t mean “just continue nodding until the words finally stop coming out of their face.” It means actually pay attention to and consider what they’re saying.
Guys have a big problem with this one — and it can kill a relationship.
Men’s acceptance of influence from their female partner was critical for well-functioning heterosexual relationships. The inability to accept influence from women was a stable predictor of relationship meltdown.
When women complain, men often emotionally disengage or get defensive and this just escalates things. The point isn’t that you have to fold and give in, you just have to listen and make it clear you’re listening.
This is manifested in one of two patterns of rejecting influence: (1) male emotional disengagement (which eventually becomes mutual emotional disengagement), or (2) male escalation (belligerence, contempt, defensiveness) in response to their wives’ low-intensity negative affect (complaining). The (happily married) men don’t reject influence from their women as often. They tend to say things like “okay,” or “good point,” or “you’re making perfect sense, really,” or “you’re starting to convince me.” This is not compliance; it is lively give and take. To be powerful in a relationship we must be capable of accepting influence on some things our partner wants.
(To learn how to have a happy marriage, click here .)
But what about those arguments you have over and over and over again? Will they ever get resolved?
Actually, uh, no…
Often, Nobody Wins. So Play Nice.
Almost 70% of recurring relationship disagreements never get resolved.
…we learned that only 31% of couples’ major area of continuing disagreement was about a resolvable issue. Much more frequently—69% of the time—it was about an unresolvable perpetual problem.
Unless it’s a true dealbreaker (“You really need to stop sleeping with the UPS guy”), let it go. You have to accept your partner “as-is.”
Nobody is perfect. You’re not perfect. When you get involved with anyone, you’re accepting a set of problems. You just want to make sure you’re with someone whose problems you can handle.
We found that what mattered most was not resolution of these perpetual problems but the affect that occurred around discussion of them. The goal of happily married couples seemed to be establish a “dialogue” around the perpetual problem—one that included shared humor and affection and communicated acceptance of the partner and even amusement.
Discuss the issue, but don’t expect that it’ll ever get resolved to everyone’s complete satisfaction. It’s more about how you discuss it. Be accepting, affectionate and laugh about it.
(To learn how to deal with passive aggressive people, click here .)
Okay, we’ve covered a lot. Time to round it all up and learn the final (and much more pleasant) thing that can help smooth romantic difficulties…
This is how to solve relationship problems:
- Start gently : Complain but don’t criticize. Focus on the problem, not the person.
- Stay calm : When your pulse goes up, happiness goes down.
- Stay positive : “Five To One” isn’t just a song by The Doors; it’s also the key to a happy relationship.
- Accept influence : Really listening to your partner’s needs can make sure I never see a true crime documentary on Dateline NBC about the end of your relationship.
- Often, nobody wins. So play nice : If your attitude is “my way or the highway” then I hope you like traffic jams. As Aristotle never said, “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get what you need.”
So what else should you do in order to make a relationship work and get past problems? It’s not all about arguing the right way…
You need to have fun. Keep making an effort, keep having adventures, keep acting like you did when you first started dating.
In relationships that were happy, people continued courtship and intimacy and nurtured emotional connection, friendship, fun, adventure, and playfulness.
Even in the middle of a fight, it’s important to remember the person in front of you is the person you love. Love isn’t just a noun; it’s also a verb. Love’s not just something you have, it’s something you do.
And if you can continue to do it in the midst of an argument, then you can be happy after it ends.
And isn’t that what we all want? Happily ever after?
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Follow these 5 tips to solve relationship problems and lead a happy love life, there will be times when your relationship has to face difficult situations and choices to make. in times like these, all you need to do is follow these 5 tips to solve any problem in your relationship.
Published: September 7, 2017 2:52 PM IST
By Shreya Suresh Kumar | Edited by Shreya Suresh Kumar
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Always give your partner a chance to respond
The first thing to do in any problem is to be a good listener. Always give your partner a chance to talk and hear him/her out. This will solve the problems by half. The main reason why many problems are never solve dis because both of you blabbering in anger and that obviously takes the fight nowhere. Hearing out will give you a better understanding.
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Look at problems together
If there is an ongoing conflict, look at it together. Consider both the views and never to sell your views and opinions to your partner. Whatever the problem is, when you do things together, things will only get better.
Talk about what you can do to help
During a crisis, never tell your partner what to do or what not to do. Instead talk of things that you can do from your side to resolve this particular problem. The best solutions come when you are first ready to solve the problem. Whether it is deciding which movie or who will stay back to look after the kids or anything else. Offer help from your side first.
Value your partner
If there is love and acceptance in a relationship, it becomes easier for couples to solve problems. You will become more considerate towards to your partner during arguments or differences.
Be patient with your partner
However difficult the situation is, if you lose your patience, the situation will get worse. You need to be patient when dealing with problems. Losing calm, raising voices, ugly fights and quarrels will ruin your relationship in the long run.
Follow these 5 foolproof tips and your relationship problems will be solved.
For breaking news and live news updates, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram . Read more on Latest Lifestyle News on India.com .
- relationship tips
- solve problems
Published Date: September 7, 2017 2:52 PM IST
15 Most Common Relationship Problems & Solutions
- Jan 04, 2022
- 8 minute read
Intimate relationships that last seem rare these days. They survive only when people have the capacity to find shared ground, commit to one another, and overcome challenges. Relationship issues are common, but there are a number of tried-and-true methods for dealing with them.
We’re looking at 15 of the most common relationship problems couples tend to have, discussing what you can do to solve them and how relationship counseling online can help. With the proper mindset and knowledge, you and your partner can be on the way to a happy and healthy relationship.
If people in a relationship can master communication, you’ll be far less likely to experience other common relationship problems.
Effective, honest communication is essential to relationship success.
Different people communicate differently. You may be quiet while your partner is talkative. Regardless of your communication styles, relationships need effective, regular communication to thrive as a unit.
“Most couples see me for help with communication. It is really challenging to stay connected, still feel aligned, and intimate while also walking away from a conversation feeling as though we worked through an issue. Setting up, typically two very different people, with this idea that they’re on the same team can be the switch that gets them to this place.” Talkspace therapist Meaghan Rice, PsyD, LPC
Maybe you’ve stopped communicating the way you used to. For some couples, every conversation has an edge of confrontation. Others might forget what communication is supposed to entail and how important it is to happiness. To improve communication and emotional connection in your romantic relationship, try focusing on the following:
- Work on identifying where your conversations are breaking down
- Don’t expect your spouse to read your mind
- Be open and honest about your feelings
- Practice being a good listener
- Think before you respond
Communication is a two-way street that both people need to focus on together. If you want your romantic relationship to work in the long run, effective communication should be a priority. The good thing is, there are many useful communication exercises for couples to practice.
Relevant debates are healthy and important for self-expression. However, spiteful arguments are hurtful and serve no good purpose. Successful couples have rules for arguing, such as:
- Breathing before responding
- Refraining from using profanity
- Resisting name-calling
- Staying on-point
If you have the urge to say something spiteful to your partner, ask yourself what you’re feeling first. Are you angry? Are you sad? Are your feelings hurt? Are you frustrated? What are you unhappy about?
Make a regular time to sit down and discuss developing issues before they build up and become problems or relationship challenges. Express yourselves peacefully, with forethought and a level of maintained respect, instead of simmering, boiling, and exploding on each other. Need help achieving this? Couples therapy techniques might help you. If you are having trouble controlling your anger and frustration towards your partner, our guide on how to control anger in a relationship might also help.
3. Staying Close
With time, every long term relationship will change. Some of what used to seem most important might begin to not even phase you anymore. Additionally, as things in the relationship change, you and your romantic partner may also be changing in different ways, evolving as individuals.
This doesn’t mean that your long term relationship can’t continue working. It just means that you need to make the effort to spend some intentional time rediscovering one another.
It’s not realistic to expect that people will stay the same throughout their entire life. People age, grow, adapt, and are fundamentally changed in various ways by their life experiences.
It’s important to stay close as a couple, even when you’re changing as individuals. Talk with each other and honestly discuss how you each see the future evolving. Enjoy discovering how you’re both growing as human beings. Change in a healthy relationship can be exciting.
4. Sex & Intimacy
Many relationship problems are sex-based. Ask yourself what you want sexually. Be honest and open with yourself. Encourage your partner to do the same. Then, get together and discuss what you both want.
Be mutually respectful of each other’s desires and needs. The chances are, you’ll both be pleasantly surprised and excited to make some changes in your sex life. Of course, some sexual problems will require professional help to get through. In some cases, you or your partner might have a fear of intimacy that’s impacting your sex life. A sex therapist can be a huge asset to any relationship. Explore this option before losing hope.
If your partner cheated on you, you’ll have to decide for yourself if you can forgive them, or if you’ll need to move on without them in your life.
Most affairs don’t typically happen spontaneously. Infidelity can also come in the form of emotional cheating, too. If you want the relationship to survive post-affair, you’ll both need to be honest about what happened, and then work together to solve any underlying issues.
Cheating hurts, and it can take years to get over. While many relationships can endure after someone has an affair, it requires a firm commitment from both partners for them to learn how to get over infidelity .
The simple fact is life requires money and couples argue about finances. Financial pressures can lead to catastrophic relationship issues when not addressed properly. Research shows that more than half of all couples enter a marriage already in debt.
It’s wise to have a clear understanding with your partner about who’s responsible for what in terms of money. A basic budget is simple to develop and can go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary arguments. For more tips, learn how to talk to your partner about money .
External pressures from traumatic life events can stress any relationship. The death of a loved one, financial strain, disease diagnosis, chronic stress, past abuse, or anything else that you or your partner has endured can affect emotional and physical health. Don’t shut your partner out. You’re a team. Be there for each other, even through the rough times.
8. Showing Gratitude
Everyone likes feeling appreciated for their efforts. Whether you have a fast-paced career, or you take care of the home, it’s important to feel valued for the things you do that make your partner’s life more enjoyable. Expressing appreciation regularly can ensure you’ll both feel more noticed in the relationship, even if it’s just for something simple.
Parenting can be very difficult if you haven’t developed a cohesive plan and a firm commitment to stick to. This is especially true in the case of step-parenting. If you’re raising children from previous relationships together, definitive house rules are necessary. Talk with your partner in private about any parenting issues, and always present a unified front.
10. Keep Things Exciting
It can be hard to keep a relationship exciting, but relationships are work. You need to put in time and effort to keep the romance alive and stay engaged with your partner. If you feel like your relationship is in a rut, plan something different to help spice things up again.
11. Battling Over Chores
Many people struggle over responsibilities at home. If you start to feel resentment about who’s doing what (or who isn’t doing what), keep the lines of communication open and be sure you’re sharing your frustration.
Let your partner know you need help. Be specific with what you want. Then — and this is important — resist the urge to correct how they accomplish a task. The only thing you’re doing by reloading that dishwasher “your way” is telling them that they should just let you do it in the first place next time.
Trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. If you’re questioning whether or not you can trust your partner, calmly yet firmly ask them if there’s reason for concern.
If your partner is the one who has trust issues, reassure them they have nothing to worry about.
The good news is that you can overcome trust issues in a relationship .
Feeling safe in a relationship is important. Verbal, emotional, or physical abuse cannot be tolerated. Any form of abuse should be taken seriously and addressed immediately. If you need help and are in an abusive relationship cycle , you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline at any time.
14. Change in Life Goals
Goals are important, and when two people in a relationship are aligned in terms of what they want out of life, it can be wonderful. Sometimes, however, goals change. If you and your partner can’t get on the same page with what you both want in the future, it can cause problems. Talking about your goals and being realistic about what each of you wants will be important throughout the duration of your relationship.
15. Same Fight, Different Day
It’s not uncommon for a couple to have the same fight over and over, but when disagreements start to escalate, or problems begin to manifest in other ways, it can be problematic for the relationship. Be sure that you’re addressing the root of the problem, so that you can attempt to change the behaviors and thought processes you both develop after so long.
How Do You Fix Relationship Problems?
If your relationship seems substandard in any way, and you want to fix it, it’s simple to begin. It can also be a lot of fun, if you’re both dedicated to the process.
“To start fixing issues in a relationship, the highest levels of success depend on each partner’s willingness to show up and take ownership of their contribution. Having an impartial lens of a professional helps to navigate this journey, but even individually-carving out space, having real conversations about issues, and always bringing creative solutions to the table can start the trajectory in a positive direction.” Talkspace therapist Meaghan Rice, PsyD, LPC
Remembering to implement any or all of the following can be beneficial in any relationship:
- Say please and thank you
- Express dissatisfaction without using profanity or name-calling
- Schedule regular date nights, even if they’re during the day or at home
- Be proactive about pleasing your partner sexually
- Spend time asking questions about each other’s wants and needs
- Take time outs from debates that seem to be turning into arguments
If you want to solve your relationship issues, remember what it was that first attracted you to your partner. Ask yourself where the relationship problem is stemming from, and then take action to improve the situation. Be honest with your partner and enjoy rediscovering the excitement of your love.
1. National Domestic Violence Hotline. The Hotline. https://www.thehotline.org/ . Published 2021. Accessed December 10, 2021.
Talkspace articles are written by experienced mental health-wellness contributors ; they are grounded in scientific research and evidence-based practices. Articles are extensively reviewed by our team of clinical experts (therapists and psychiatrists of various specialties) to ensure content is accurate and on par with current industry standards.
Our goal at Talkspace is to provide the most up-to-date, valuable, and objective information on mental health-related topics in order to help readers make informed decisions.
Articles contain trusted third-party sources that are either directly linked to in the text or listed at the bottom to take readers directly to the source.
Meaghan Rice PsyD., LPC
Dr. Meaghan Rice, LPC, is a Nationally Board Certified Counselor with over 10 years of experience. She's a military spouse and parent, and has found her niche helping people move through their most challenging moments and embrace their inherent strengths.
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16 Ways To Solve Relationship Problems without Breaking up
How do you usually react to the problems in your relationship ? Do you get angry? Do you feel frustrated and helpless? Do you easily give up? Or do you do something to fix whatever it is that is broken?
The truth is, only a few people actually know how to survive the greatest challenges in their relationships, while most end up saying goodbye to their love stories with a broken heart – and you should learn from this.
There’s no such thing as a smooth sailing relationship. Every couple encounters an obstacle as they face life together; some are petty, while others can be more difficult to deal with. True, these problems are part of a couple’s test of patience, and it’s up to them how to overcome them. Sadly, there are also issues where the couple could no longer resolve, thus leading to the end of their relationship.
Whenever you are faced with the most challenging obstacles, a break up is not always the answer – even if you think that it’s the only way to stop your heart from hurting.
If you are currently caught between saving your relationship and ending it, this article will help you take the right step.
Here are some inspiring tips on how to solve relationship problems without breaking up.
1. Accept the fact that you don’t have a perfect relationship.
You’re not in a fantasy world, and your love story will never be as perfect as what you read in fairy tales – and it’s okay. A part of fixing your relationship’s problems is recognizing that what you have is not perfect – and it doesn’t have to be.
Accept the fact that you and your partner are just humans capable of making the wrong decisions. Don’t end the relationship just because you did something wrong or your partner took a wrong turn. Please talk about the real issues, acknowledge that you do make mistakes, and learn from them.
2. Talk about the problems that are affecting your relationship.
When the two of you face a misunderstanding over a particular issue, like when you cannot agree on a joint decision, the best recourse is to talk things through. Communication is the golden key to making a relationship last, especially when trying to solve a problem that affects both of you. Talk about it first and try to understand what went wrong. It’s best to discuss the issues together instead of fighting and playing the blame game.
Tell your partner your thoughts, and allow them to voice out their ideas as well. There’s no need to prove who has the better opinion because, at the end of the day, neither of you would be happy with a half-hearted decision.
Talking things through helps a lot, however, as you learn more about how you think as individuals and how you can come up with a compromise over that subject you have been arguing over.
Even if it’s just one person who made a mistake, you both have a role to play in fixing it. You apologize, you forgive, you give second chances, and you learn from your shortcomings.
ALSO READ: 8 Ways to Solve Communication Problems in Your Relationship How to Discuss Relationship Problems without Fighting
3. Take some space from each other, but set an amount of time.
Taking some time away from each other can be a good way to cool the emotions down, especially when you have reached a heated argument. You cannot come up with a sound resolve if you are on a high emotional high, so it would be better to take some time off. You may want to spend time with family or friends, or just by yourself, so you can think things through.
If you think you both deserve a break from each other, it’s okay. Just make sure that you take them on together when you’re finally ready to face the problem.
Do set a time limit, though. You may want to dedicate a specific time to discuss your problem together; make sure that this period of being away from each other is enough for both your emotions to calm down.
4. Be patient, be more understanding, and have a little more faith.
When your relationship problems are further burdened by being in a long-distance relationship , you have to rely on three important qualities: patience, understanding, and faith.
Don’t break up just because you are too impatient. Give your relationship a chance to adjust to a long-distance relationship , and most importantly, have a little more faith in your partner. Why would you give up if your significant other is doing everything to make it work?
ALSO READ: 10 Ways to Have More Patience in a Relationship
5. Take a walk together.
When you can’t come up with a resolve to your argument sitting down, then it may help that you go out for a walk. Unlike traveling or going on a vacation, taking a walk is a much simpler way to contemplate your issue and the kind of solution you want to address. Walking also helps you two relax, and in a way, realize that you’re on the same journey together.
6. Go through the argument while holding hands.
Holding hands while talking about relationship problems can be cheesy for some couples, but this approach is highly recommended, even by psychologists.
When you hold hands while discussing a problem, you can feel each other’s emotions without using words. You form a more intimate connection that allows both of you to exchange empathies, and the decision you come up with to solve the problem becomes sincere and wholehearted.
7. Say sorry – and mean it.
When you and your partner are in an argument, for sure, you will be hurting each other’s feelings, either by the words you say to each other or through your exchange of reactions. Regardless of who is at fault, however, be ready to say you’re sorry.
Saying sorry doesn’t necessarily pertain to that you are taking the situation’s fault, but more to the hurtful position you have placed your partner. It is also important that you know the reason behind your apology and that you only mean well.
8. Be mindful of your partner’s feelings.
When facing an argument, you should be well aware of how your partner feels and reacts. Their emotions serve as signals towards their next move, such as coming up with a decision. You should read these signals before they actually spell out what they want to say or explain. Otherwise, you will not understand each other.
9. When in doubt, pray.
When both of you cannot come up with a resolve together, despite going through a series of discussions over the same issue, then perhaps it’s time to pray.
There’s nothing prayer can solve, as while it doesn’t always provide you with answers, praying helps you rethink your relationship goals and how you want to achieve these. The quiet time also allows you to calm down until you find a balance between reason and emotion while facing the problem.
10. Never let the idea of breaking up enter the conversation.
“Let’s just end this”, “let’s break up”, are the phrases that can be the most painful part of trying to solve a relationship problem. No matter how emotional or hurt you feel, never let the idea of ending your relationship be a part of the conversation.
Don’t give up just yet, especially if you still want to fix it. Even if you think that saying these things will make you feel better, it won’t. It will just add another thorn to an already aching heart.
11. Stop putting all the blame on your partner.
As mentioned before, don’t play the blame game. When your partner does something wrong or facing a problem in your relationship, consider these two possibilities: one, whatever your partner did maybe a reaction to how you treated them, and two, you’re partly responsible for what happens next.
Evaluate yourself as a partner. Are you doing your part? What do you think are the factors that drove your significant other to make these mistakes? Could you have done something to prevent them?
However, also keep in mind that there are really times when even if you did everything right, some people won’t just do their part and mess up. In such cases, you should never blame yourself. Know when you are right and know when you are already being taken advantage of.
ALSO READ: 9 Effective Ways to Help Couples Solve Relationship Problems
12. Don’t let other people’s judgment influence your decisions.
While it’s good to ask for advice and help from other people, the only ones who can really fix the problems in your relationship are the both of you.
As long as you know that you are treating your partner right and you are doing your part, then you should have the confidence to reject other people’s judgment about your relationship – especially if these pieces of advice contradict how you truly feel.
13. Don’t turn to your vices for temporary remedies.
When people have relationship problems, they usually turn to their vices for temporary comforts: drinking, smoking, and even flirting with other girls/guys. While they can make you feel better somehow, imagine how much damage they can do to an already dying relationship?
Don’t take this road if you still want to save your relationship from breaking up . Face your problems head-on, and face them as a couple. Alone, you are weak and vulnerable. But together, you’re unstoppable.
14. Never use your words as weapons to hurt your partner.
Words are powerful. They can be as beautiful as flowers but can also be as deadly as a knife. Use them wisely, especially if you’re trying to fix a problem in your relationship. Never use them as weapons to hurt the person you love just because you’re angry – because if you do, there is no turning back.
Choosing the wrong words can lead to a breakup. At the same time, choosing the right one can save your relationship. These choices will always be there every time you fight or argue. Make sure to pick the right one .
15. Don’t argue over the phone, chat, or text.
Personal confrontations are always best when resolving an argument between couples. Bickering over the phone, through text, or via chat can be very limiting, as you don’t get to understand each other’s points of view completely. The emotions that come with the messages likewise get lost in translation when not dealt with in person, thus making matters worse in the long run.
It may be better to dedicate time to talk things through, like meeting up after dinner or lunch, in a place where you two can be alone together. The intimate environment provides a sincere ambiance, which allows you and your partner to discuss the issue comfortably.
16. Never vent to your friends when you’re in an argument with your partner.
When taking time off from your partner due to an argument, it would be great to spend time with friends so that you can relax. However, you shouldn’t discuss your relationship issues with them.
They may give you varying opinions on the matter and make it more difficult for you to think straight, and they may even go the extra mile and talk these out to your partner. Sure, they mean well, but it doesn’t always mean that their unsolicited help can solve your relationship issue.
In a nutshell…
All couples go through all sorts of relationship problems. It doesn’t excuse anyone. You may be dating for only a few months or have been married for several years already, but obstacles would still come your way. All these trials are just a test of patience, and being able to overcome them together may lead to a long and lasting relationship.
Even if you don’t have the perfect love story, it’s important that you hold on to your relationship, especially if you think that you’ve finally found the one. Problems will always be there to challenge your bond, so make sure that you are ready and strong to face them all. Don’t give up!
Online courses recommended for you:
- Relationship Coaching: Transform Problems into Growth & Love: Develop true love & greater intimacy & a relationship growth mindset, stop destructive conflicts, find meaning & purpose.
- Love & Connection: The Science of Successful Relationships : This course will show you how to examine the unknown path that you’ll travel with your spouse, and carefully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship.
Books recommended for you:
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My partner and I have been fighting for a few days. But I did not understand who was responsible for this. But after your article, I understood my mistake. You tell me everything about relation tips. Thank you very much for the tips. Please share more like this(:
The Art of Solving Relationship Problems
A six-step process for putting problems to rest..
Posted January 17, 2011 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
Kate was annoyed at the amount of money Tom spent on new fishing equipment. She offhandedly mentioned it to him once, decided to drop it, but then spent the weekend snapping at him about all sorts of little things. Tom knew what was upsetting Kate, but rather than saying anything, decided to keep quiet and ride it out.
Sara and Matt are always fighting about the kids. Sara thinks Matt is too easy on them, while Matt thinks Sara acts like a drill sergeant, unable to ever cut them any slack. The kids feel caught in the middle and play one parent against the other.
Problems are bound to arise in any relationship, and each couple finds its own way of handling them. Kate, for example, gets upset about what Tom is doing, but has trouble being direct and clear about what is bothering her. And Tom has learned over the years that if he lays low, he can wait for it to blow over. Because Sara and Matt are unable to get on the same page with parenting , they become polarized, with each overcompensating for the actions of the other, and using their children as a battleground for their own struggles.
Unfortunately, their children are ultimately the losers in their struggle. Other couples are even less open and say they never argue. Instead they silently agree to avoid confrontation and push their problems underground, creating anxiety and stifling intimacy .
Unsettled problems are a major source of stress , stress that can not only undermine your relationship, but your diabetes management as well. Research has shown that successful relationships are not those that necessarily have fewer problems, but those that have found effective means of solving the problems that come up.
Here is a six-step process for tackling and solving those problems in your relationships.
Step 1: Define your problem and solution. Sure, you know you're upset, but what exactly are you upset about? Kate might be mad about the new fishing gear, but is it about spending the money, the fact that Tom didn't talk to her about it ahead of time, or that perhaps it's another reminder that he spends almost every weekend with his friends fishing and that they don't do things together as a couple? Sara realizes that she is upset with Matt always undermining her, but is more worried about the fact that the kids are confused and playing them against each other.
Take time to clearly define what bothers you the most. Figure out how you feel and why. Anger is a common reaction, but try and go one further step and ask yourself what is it that worries you or hurts your feelings. Many psychologists consider anger a reaction to other emotions lying beneath.
Sure, Kate feels angry, but actually she feels hurt that Tom doesn't seem to want to spend more time with her. Sara gets annoyed, her annoyance is masking her worry that the kids are becoming manipulative. To be able to talk about these underlying emotions, rather than your anger, gets to the core of your true feelings, and is easier for the other person to hear and understand.
But problem-solving is more than just an airing of complaints. Next, you need to be clear about what you would like to be different in positive, concrete and specific terms. Suppose Kate realizes that what she really wants is for her and Tom to do more as a couple. Rather than complaining and saying to him that he is spending too much time fishing, or merely saying that she wants to do more with him, she could say instead that she would like him to have more time to do things with him as a couple and wonder whether he would be willing to leave two Saturdays a month for them to do things together. Sara might say that she is afraid that the kids seem confused about what is expected of them, and would like Matt to map out with her a chore list for the kids that they can both agree upon.
Step 2: Plan a time to talk. OK, you've done your prep and are clear on the problem and your solution. Now pick a good time to talk - not when your partner just walks in the door after work, not after you've both have had a couple of cocktails on a Friday night and are tired, not 10-minutes before you have to pick your daughter from soccer—but a time when you both are likely to be calm, relaxed and able to listen. If you are not sure, send your partner an email or write a note suggesting a time and giving a preview of your discussion. ("Matt, I'm worried about how we are handling the kids. Could we sit down on Saturday morning before the kids get up and talk about this?") This gives your partner a heads-up about your concerns and schedules a time that will work for both of you.
Step 3: Talking and listening. OK, take a deep breath. Start by talking about your view of the problem, your worry, your solution—"Tom, I know I seemed upset but the new fishing equipment but I realized that what was bothering me about it was...;" or, "Matt, I'm worried about the kids and think it's important that we both be on the same page." Talk about you, not your partner. Use "I" statements ("I feel like I'm always walking on eggshells when I'm around you," or, "I think that it would be wonderful if you could do more together,") rather than "you" statements ("You never say anything positive, you always seem angry.") Talking about yourself helps keep your partner from feeling attacked or blamed, and getting defensive and angry in return.
Managing a conversation is a bit like driving a car. You want to keep in mind where you are going and stay on the road. You steer the conversation, just as you do when driving, by making subtle adjustments as you go along. If Kate sees that Tom is getting upset she can stop and check it out—"Tom, you're looking upset. Did I just hurt your feelings?"—rather than ignoring his reactions, plowing ahead, and leading them both into an emotional ditch. Do your best to sound calm.
Strong emotions stir defensiveness in the other, and undermine the problem-solving process. If your partner does start to get angry or defensive—"What about you ... Last week you did ..."—get quiet. While you're probably tempted to defend yourself, doing so at this point is like throwing gasoline on fire. Your goal is to put out the emotional fire in the room and you do that by simply listening. If you don't fuel the fire with more words, your partner will eventually calm down.
If, however, it seems that both of you are getting worked up, that emotions are getting too high, if the conversation is beginning to feel like a power struggle with one of you needing to win or get the last word, it's important to stop before the situation gets out of hand. The best way to do this is by saying as calmly as you can that you want to take a break and cool off and that you'd like to try again in a half-hour, an hour, or after dinner.
Be clear it is a time-out and that you want to talk again. Don't just say, I don't want to talk about this anymore, and walk out of the room. This kind of cut-off will only make the other more anxious and angry and escalate the process. When you are both calm, try again. If the conversation quickly heats up again, stop and take another break until both of you are absolutely calm. Control the temperature of the conversation.
If things have gone well and your partner is able to listen to what you have to say, ask for their reactions. Tom may say that he understands how Kate feels and wants to do more as a couple, but quite honestly, he says, he wants to do something more active than the car trips or the going to the movies that they've done in the past. Matt may think that a chore list a good idea, but he is particularly frustrated by the kid's inconsistent bedtimes.
The goal is to hear each other out. Don't worry about over-talking if the talking is sincere and productive. Resist the "Yes, but" response, and instead focus on "Yes, and"—accepting and building on each other's ideas. See each other as on the same team, working together for the relationship. Make sure you understand exactly what the other is saying—"Tom, what exactly would you rather do together?" or, "Matt, what time would you like the kids to go to bed?" Keep it clear, keep it concrete, keep it calm.
Step 4: Decide on a plan. If you are both in agreement about the problem, it's time to agree on a plan of action. Again make it as specific as possible and time-limited, and try to address each of your worries and preferences. Tom agrees to not go fishing next Saturday; Kate agrees to try out Tom's idea of going hiking on a new trail. Sara and Matt agree to map out a short list of chores and bedtimes for each of the kids. They will talk together with the kids next Saturday morning, then try it for a week. Write down the plan just so it is clear to both of you.
A "let's try it" attitude is better than obsessing over the ultimate solution. The willingness to work together is more important than the decisive plan. If at any point in the planning, you feel like your partner is going along with and passively agreeing, check it out—"Are you really OK with this? I can't tell how you're feeling." Don't march ahead until you know the other is on board.
Step 5: Evaluate. Try out your plan and evaluate. Did Tom and Kate both enjoy the hike on Saturday? Were Sara and Matt able to back each other during the week when the kids started to complain about the chores? The evaluation is about honesty and fine-tuning. Kate and Tom did like the hike, but Tom really missed seeing his buddies on Saturday and would rather do it again on a Sunday. The new chores and bedtimes seemed to work OK, but Sara and Matt decide to continue for another week to see how well the kids settle into the routines, and then discuss it again. Again, keep changes clear and concrete.
Finally, try and give each other feedback about the talking process itself: It helped me to have us write out the plan; what did you think? Did you feel like I was giving you a hard time when we first started talking? Again you are both learning a skill. Knowing what worked and what didn't will make your future efforts at problem-solving more effective and comfortable.
Step 6: Say what you like. Researchers have found that if you want to create a positive and supportive environment for your relationships you need to give each other four times more positive comments than negative ones. What this means is that you can never give each other enough compliments and support: Thanks for talking, I appreciate your trying this out, I'm glad we are doing this together. This support helps you from slipping back into old patterns and encourages you to keep up the new ones.
When you first started learning to drive, you probably felt overwhelmed and awkward and went all over the road at first. Learning to steer your conversations will at first feel much the same. Don't get discouraged. With practice, you will get better.
And if, in spite of your best efforts, your conversations get too explosive, if you need help figuring out exactly what it is that is bothering you, or if you feel overwhelmed by the number of problems you're worried about, consider seeking professional help. A couples or individual counselor can provide a safe environment for sorting out problems and discussing difficult topics, and can coach you on specific things to try at home. Your mental health association, your physician, the yellow pages, and online searches can lead you to qualified professionals in your area.
Keep in mind that you really can't make a mistake. If a conversation goes off course, circle back and try it again. Your goal is not to do it right but to do it differently—to plow new emotional ground, to speak as honestly as you can, to be open to compromise. With patience and persistence and pats on your own back, you'll be able to put your relationship problems to rest.
Bob Taibbi, L.C.S.W., has 45 years of clinical experience. He is the author of 11 books and over 300 articles and provides training nationally and internationally.
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