common relationship problems

Common Relationship Problems (and How Therapy Helps)

Are you experiencing relationship problems?

While every relationship may be unique, there are a few common relationship problems most people experience from time to time. In most cases, a couple can work through issues in a way that improves both your communication and bond.

Some problems, however, may be more difficult to work through without professional help. If you or your partner struggles with addiction or a mental disorder your partner doesn’t understand, it’s important to address these problems in a supportive environment sooner than later.

In this article, we’re taking a closer look at several common relationship problems and how therapy can help.

Common Relationship Problems

Being involved in a partnership is a popular lifestyle choice. In the United States, over two million couples tie the marriage knot each year, while another large chunk of the population decides to cohabitate with their partners. Around 40 percent of all couples are raising children together.

As common as couplehood is, the dissolving of those bonds is also a common theme. Every year, nearly half of marriages end in divorce. Factoring in the number of unmarried partners who call it quits would make the statistics of ended relationships much higher. Most often, the reasons for growing apart are rather mundane. While some couples struggle with major events such as trauma, addiction, and mental health disorders.

Here are a few common relationship problems that are brought into a counseling session by couples who are seeking resolution.

Arguments

Contrary to the discussion, arguments are typically characterized by individuals seeking to convince another person that certain ideas and perspectives are the correct ones. Depending on the context, these verbal battles to be understood by a partner can become highly emotional. Elevated emotions can turn an otherwise civil conversation into one of anger and tears. Once the emotions have taken over the ability to express rational, applicable, thought, arguments can devolve into insults, blaming, and resentment. Rather than solving an issue, this form of communication can leave partners feeling worse.

Lack of Communication

It takes two to argue. On the opposite end of the frequent argument spectrum is the lack of any communication between partners. Sometimes, this lack of communication arises as a result of one or both partners not wanting to argue. Other times, it stems from the idea that there is nothing to talk about, or from the belief that talking about problems will only make them worse. If both partners are fine with not talking, there is likely not a problem. More often, at least one member of the party is feeling frustrated or depressed about the absence of intimate discussion or mutual problem-solving.

Learn more about depression disorder treatment.

Money Issues

When citing issues of relationship discord, money problems rank at the top. Studies examining the factor of money as a predictor of divorce indicate that various factors come into play. A couple’s ability to communicate, the presence of shared values, and outside stressors such as the state of the economy and amount of household debt can all be part of the mix. A partner may feel that something about the financial arrangement is not fair, or that there is an unequal balance of power when it comes to how the money is made or spent.

Parenting Disagreements

There is nothing that can bring a couple closer together than sharing the responsibility for shaping the development of a tiny human being. And there are few things that can be more stressful. All people have the experience of being children, themselves, and most enter a parenting arrangement with some idea of how they want their own child’s life to be structured. When ideas about the best way to go about the task of parenting are at odds, partners can become frustrated. When neither parents have a good idea about how to approach a parenting issue, the stress of parenting can become a strain on the relationship, itself.

Partner Responsibilities

Whether it is consciously discussed, or not, romantic partnerships are an arrangement of shared responsibility. While some couples may be able to divvy up tasks with ease, others will find that they begin to resent what is perceived as an unbalanced system. With the average American household consisting of two-income earners, finding ways to share the unending burden of housework and childcare duties can become complicated, and disagreements about the quantitative weight of responsibilities can create ongoing stress.

How Couples Therapy Can Help

It is a hard fact among therapists that many couples do not begin to seek therapy until the problems have gotten out of hand. Many couples see therapy as a last resort before hitting the door. Waiting until problems have become insurmountable to visit a relationship therapist can have a daunting effect on the outcome. It is almost always better to seek some intervention through therapy before reaching the end of your ropes. A therapist can assist partners with uncovering the root of a problem and can provide suggestions for more effective strategies toward making the relationship work.

Identification of the Underlying Issues

The issues which come up during relationship disagreements aren’t always what they appear to be. A partner who is complaining about a significant other who never takes out the trash is likely to be signaling that feelings are hurt over not believing that an equal investment is being made into maintaining the household. A partner who makes complaints about constant nagging is likely to be identifying that there is a feeling of helplessness to change the situation in a way that will appease the one who is nagging. A therapist who is trained in relationship repair can assist couples in recognizing the uncomfortable thoughts and feelings which are fueling these types of surface issues.

Development of Empathy and Insight

The key to a successful relationship is first being in a relationship with the self. When a partner is unaware of his or her own values, core beliefs, and relationship needs, the chances of those needs being met by a partner are slim. In addition to knowing yourself, a good partner will seek to genuinely understand the perspectives of the other. A therapy session can provide a neutral space for partners to explore any gaps in their own insight and can assist with guiding couples toward gaining empathy for the experiences of both parties involved.

Improved Communication

With the tools of correctly identified problems, insight, and empathy, effective communication becomes a more natural outcome. A therapist can assist couples in learning to speak a language that is equally valued, understood, and shared. A couple who is able to communicate in a healthy way is equipped with the most powerful tool of relationship success.

Sources:

CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm
Census – https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2018/11/cohabitaiton-is-up-marriage-is-down-for-young-adults.html
Statista – https://www.statista.com/statistics/242074/percentages-of-us-family-households-with-children-by-type/
Marriage.com – https://www.marriage.com/advice/communication/3-reasons-why-a-lack-of-communication-in-marriage-can-be-detrimental/
c
c