Relationships are not easy today. Relationships were never easy unless people were ready to adjust. Relationships are a mixed bag of ups and downs. Modern relationships are not easy, and there is no doubt about that.
Today, lifestyles have changed, and so have our relationships. Our lifestyles have drastically changed, and these changes are reflected in every aspect of our living. A direct impact of these lifestyle changes is on our relationships. Being a life coach, many clients come to me with relationship problems. Modern relationships are messy and very difficult to cultivate. Modern relationships don’t last and easily fall apart. People prefer giving up on relationships to resolving conflicts.
Relationships are a roller-coaster ride. You’re not always up, but also not always down. People do not have the patience to go through the downs of relationships. There are rosy spells in relationships, but there are rough patches also. However, people today prefer breaking up instead of putting in the effort to mend the relationships.
I have come across many clients and witnessed many relationship problems throughout my career. If you’ll know what are the most common relationship problems, you can brace yourself for weathering the storms, big and small. It helps your relationship to survive the tumultuous times without taking a major hit.
No duration of a relationship declares it to be permanent. I have seen couples coming for counseling even after 20 years of marriage. I remember once a couple came to me for marital counseling. They had been married for 18 years and had two children, 13 and 16 years old. The husband was working in a renowned firm and worked hard to provide his family with all comforts. He had dedicated himself in his career to provide a lavish life to his wife and children.
His wife worked initially but had to give up her job to look after the kids. She had been a dedicated wife and mother and was absolutely proud of looking after her family. However, she always felt that something was missing in her life. She often felt disconnected from her husband. Over the years, she felt their intimacy, love, and relationship have suffered a slow and steady death. Initially, she would excuse herself by telling her that her husband was working hard for his family and to be a good husband and father.
When she used to tell her husband about how she feels their relationship is stagnating, he would hardly respond. She was open about how she needs more attention, affection, and some couple-time. Her husband would change for a few days but would stick to his routine in a few weeks. He would often get angry about how his wife did not appreciate how hard he worked for his family. She would keep quiet and settle for it. However, after 18 years of marriage, she couldn’t take it anymore. She started feeling resentful and suffocated in that relationship and decided to get a divorce. However, they were asked to try relationship counselling before taking such an extreme step.
They started counseling and decided to give one more chance to their relationship. It’s been a fulfilling journey for them as all their conflicts were resolved. This year, they celebrated their silver jubilee and feel the same love for each other that they did at the beginning of the relationship.
What are the most common relationship problems?
Problems in relationships are inevitable. There are so many things going on in one’s life that a lot of problems arise in day-to-day relationships. Work pressure may take a toll on intimacy, or the spark might fizz out. From in-laws getting on your nerves to kids wreaking havoc on your love life, anything and everything can be a trigger to relationships.
Life throws all different types of problems, twists, and turns at you. But, when you’re together, there’s nothing you cannot sort. With time, such complications might start impacting your relationship dynamics. Let us have a look at the most common modern relationship problems.
Lack of Time
One of the most common modern relationship problems is lack of time for either of the partners. Today’s busy lifestyle and hectic schedule have made everyone overwhelmed with work. People somehow find it hard to manage their personal and professional life well. It creates a time shortage for relationships. Every relationship needs time to grow and build, but when you don’t give enough time to relationships, they start withering. Most clients that come to me often say that their partner has no time for them. When both partners start feeling this way, they start getting distant from one another. For a relationship to sustain, you need to give enough time to your partner.
Lack of healthy communication
I have counseled many couples in my journey of being a life coach. If there is one problem that every couple has always complained about is lack of communication. In fact, most relationship problems begin with a lack of communication. When you stop talking to your partner, or you stop discussing your concerns and problems with them, a distance is created between you guys. This distance keeps on increasing when neither of you makes the effort of communicating. Today, everyone is independent and arrogant. People avoid talking and making things right. They would rather give up on each other than talk and resolve conflicts.
Well, one thing that is followed by many young people is forming fake relationships. People commit to a relationship with no will of loving or keeping their partner. Such relationships are built based on lies and fakeness. People would often use their partners for their personal desires. These may be sexual, financial, or physical needs. Many times people indulge in fake relationships because of peer pressure or social status.
Many people make a boyfriend or girlfriend just to avoid feeling left out. Such relationships can have a disastrous effect on the partner who was truly committed. Many times, one of the two partners is completely in love, while the other is just passing time. It is the most common modern relationship problem.
Taking Your Partner For Granted
Another very common modern relationship problem is taking your partner for granted. Many times, when relationships get old, people tend to think that their partner won’t leave them, no matter how they behave. You might start taking the special efforts and actions of your partner for granted. When you have a lot on your plate, you easily fall into the trap of taking each other for granted. For instance, your partner might cook you your favorite meal every day. You’d appreciate it for some time, but soon it’ll become a routine. You’ll start taking the effort for granted without appreciating your partner. It forms a ground for top relationship problems and makes partners drift away from one another.
Today, couples are financially independent. They do not depend on one another for their money requirements. However, when it comes to spending on common house expenses, conflicts start arising. Everyone wants a partner who is good at spending and saving. You and your partner need to do sound financial planning right at the beginning of your relationship. If you fail to do so, these money issues can become one of the challenges of a relationship. You might suffer from a money shortage or might not agree on the spending styles of each other. In any case, money issues can escalate quickly and pose a problem for your relationship. Money is a crucial aspect of everyone’s life. When you’re a young couple, it might not be a cause of concern. But, when you’re married or plan kids, money matters start creating many problems. You should set short-term and long-term budgets and discuss your savings. It is one such problem that can be resolved easily with some genuine discussions.
Trust Issues in a Relationship
Trust issues in a relationship are the biggest problems. If even once your trust is broken, you might find it hard to build the same trust again. Most couples that come for relationship counselling have trust issues with their partners. Trust is a big thing, especially in today’s time. If someone puts in their trust in you, then you shouldn’t break that trust. As a couple, not being able to trust each other is one of the fatal modern relationship problems. Lack of trust is not always about cheating or infidelity. It can be a simple incident that you cannot take out of your head. For instance, your partner might have lied to you in the past, and now you find it hard to take their word at face value. When trust starts vanishing from a relationship, it becomes a breeding ground for several problems. If you want to avoid any problems in your bond then you need to be transparent and trustworthy.
It might sound like a small issue to be discussed in relationship problems, but it is a big one in today’s time. Today, both the partners are working, and both give an equal contribution to work and home. It is not the time when women used to handle the home, and husbands would work outside. However, now both partners go to the office and return together after a tiring 9-5 job. You cannot expect one partner to single-handedly manage the entire household chores. It is very essential to divide duties and manage chores in a balanced manner. A war over chores and disagreements are among the most common long-term relationship problems. Just like money issues, agreeing to the distribution of household responsibilities is a simple way to take constant bickering out of the relationship. It should be done from the beginning of a relationship so that it never poses a problem in the future.
We live in a time where the coming generations are very concerned about their careers. Today, everyone’s priority is to build a life and a personality of their own. In fact, many people do not involve themselves in any relationship to ensure they build a strong career. Moreover, sometimes our life experiences change us. We may have gone through a trauma or a situation you could never get out of. For instance, suppose you both were ambitious and driven when you were young. However, as you started growing as a couple in a relationship, one of you had to take the step of prioritizing personal life. Most women have to leave their work after pregnancy because they have no one to look after their children. It may seem the right decision at that moment, but it somehow creates a sore feeling in my heart. When as a couple you’re not on the same page about life goals, they can drift apart quickly. You should always tell your partner what you’re going through and how your priorities are changing. When you’ll make them see through your perspective, they’ll understand.
Lack of appreciation
As I said, humans cannot appreciate the same thing for a very long time. However, when it comes to relationships, both partners must appreciate and acknowledge each other’s efforts. One of the biggest problems is comparisons. One partner would often compare their share of efforts with the other partner. They would often say that they are doing more for the relationship. This disagreement forms many problems for the couple. People do not appreciate or compliment their partner for the things that they do daily. Lack of appreciation is among the most normal relationship issues among couples. Well, it is also the easiest to end. You can start taking each other’s good qualities and appreciate them. Instead of mentioning your partner’s weaknesses every time, an appreciative gesture can keep your relationship full of freshness.
Mismatched sex lives
Sex is an integral part of relationships. If you do not have a happy sex life, then it is really hard to have a happy relationship. Mismatched sex drives are commonplace for modern relationships. It affects both the partners equally. Your sex life might be full of spark and fire initially, but it dulls down with time. As your body goes through myriad changes, it directly affects the sex drive of a person. Many changes occur with all the stress, hormonal imbalances, aging, and other problems. Soon sexual compatibility becomes an issue for couples. There is no doubt that lack of intimacy can make couples distant and disconnected. No matter how old your relationship is, make an effort to carve out time to get intimate with your partner. You may even seek medical help instead of just giving up on the relationship.
Just like trust issues, jealousy is also like a termite. It might not be visible initially, but it slowly eats your relationship from the inside. Modern relationship problems revolve around emotions like jealousy. A fleeting pang of jealousy if your partner gives a little attention to someone or even if your partner gets some attention from another person is felt. However, if the real emotion of jealousy establishes a grip, it can make any relationship toxic. You’ll start feeling jealous about anyone and everyone around your partner. I have seen people who constantly check their partner’s phone, stalk their social media, follow their location, and pick fights on every small issue. Jealousy affects both partners equally. While the jealous one disrupts their regular life, the other partner’s mental health is affected directly. So, if you feel even a bit jealous, you should talk and sort things out before they turn really critical.
Over possessive partner
There is nothing worse than dating an over-possessive partner. When you begin a relationship, a little bit of care and possessiveness seems cute. However, when this possessiveness gets too much, you start feeling suffocated. A partner who’s so possessive that they somehow start controlling you is very astonishing. I remember I had a client once who was dealing with such a partner. His husband was very possessive and would always keep a check on her. He would not allow her to talk to male employees, go out with friends, connect with male friends over social media, and whatnot. It started affecting the wife’s mental health badly. He even asked her to leave her job because he caught him having lunch with a group of friends who also had male employees. She had to take counselling to get over the trauma and toxicity of the relationship.
Relationships are built over trust. If you cannot trust your partner in any way, then the problem lies in you and not them. Everyone deserves freedom and independence. As a couple, you should value each other’s personal space and respect each other’s feelings.
View about parenthood
One very modern relationship problem that most couples face is parenthood. While one partner is ready to start a family and has kids, the other partner always seems confused. Many times the views about parenthood do not match. Every couple dreams of raising children together but never feels prepared enough to do so. It causes a lot of problems and fights among couples. Moreover being parents is a big decision. When you have children, they take up a lot of space in your life. Many young couples are just not ready to compromise on their dreams and goals so quickly. You can discuss with your families and each other. One should always be sure before taking such decisions. If you force your partner to become a parent when they don’t feel like doing so, you’ll get blamed for the rest of your life. It is better if you mutually take a decision and go ahead.
Most modern relationships break because of unrealistic expectations of either of the partners. Today, people watch movies and serials and believe that love is a fairy tale when in reality it is not. You might expect your partner to bring stars for you, but they won’t. If you’re in a relationship, it is natural to expect certain things from your partner. However, sometimes people set the bar of their expectations unrealistically high. Relationships become a challenge for you where you want to stand perfect and win always. Even if you expect something from your partner, you should express your expectations explicitly. Expecting your partner to guess and deliver your desires will only break your heart.
When relationships live longer, people often start feeling bored with their partner. Committed monogamous relationships are harder to sustain than people think. It is one of the prime reasons why people fall out of marriages. You might feel you’ll find ‘the one’ and live happily ever after with them. Well, it won’t happen. In real life, romantic partners often start getting attracted to other people. If your relationship is monotonous, then the chances are even high. However, you should always be open about your feelings to your partner. When you talk and discuss such issues, your partner will understand. However, keeping them a secret will end the relationship.
Many times we do not even realize our relationship is suffering. People today are too busy in their careers that they take relationships for granted. Life can get overwhelming, and you will always need someone to celebrate your success with.