The beginning of most relationships are rainbows, sunshine, sex, and happiness. Eventually, however, relationships settle, partners get comfortable, and some issues may come to light that you didn't anticipate. That's not always cause to run the other direction. It just means you finally encountered the interesting relationship wreckers that are surprisingly common. And what's even better — you can easily overcome if you identify them and put in the effort.
Once a relationship enters that comfortable phase, it's easy to fall into patterns that affect a plethora of major relationship foundations like communication, intimacy, trust, and more. It's easy to write off in the beginning, but as time goes on, it's very common that ignored issues become a big deal and begin to wreck your relationship. Common relationship wreckers can quickly turn your fondness and connection into distance and wondering where you went wrong.
Every single relationship has issues, and there's no reason to be ashamed to acknowledge and admit your own. Your relationship isn't broken just because you argue over the dishes every day or fight about using finances to go out to eat. It's actually common amongst most relationships. And instead of walking away from problems or pretending they don't exist, consider these common relationship wreckers below and take steps to fix them.
1. Financial Issues
Amongst difficulty agreeing upon the best way to use finances efficiently or save, Daily Mail noted that a more common problem is discovering a partner has hidden/accumulated debt or is irresponsibly spending. Modern couples are much less likely to share finances, talk money, or have a joint account, which can create difficulty in maintaining financial partnerships and understanding each partner's contribution. Even though this is one of the most common relationship wreckers, it's also potentially one of the easiest to avoid. Sit down with your partner and make a detailed plan about finances and contributions. You should also consider contacting a wealth management firm or looking into financial counseling to ensure you're taking the right financial steps together.
2. Lack Of Communication
According to Couples Counseling Center, the top reason for separation is communication breakdown. This is in part because a majority of other problems (dishonesty, sexual frustration, fights, etc.) can stem from simple miscommunication or lack thereof. Oftentimes, couples get into a routine of "caustic communication," or stop sharing and having meaningful conversation, according to the same Couples Counseling Center article.
3. Video Games
For many men, and sometimes women, video games are a very time consuming part of their lives. According to a survey conducted by Divorce Online, Divorce Helper shared that a fairly high percentage of women ended their relationships due to gaming. The study noted that 15 percent of women believed their partners valued gaming over their relationship – that's roughly one in every seven women.
4. Fundamental Differences & Gender Roles
Often people enter into a relationship because they like the idea of whom someone is or seems to be, they have common ground, or get along well. Over time, however, you may begin to see your outlook on some of the important fundamental issues don't match. The Couples Counseling Center piece shared that, as an example, an introvert and extrovert may have completely different ways of defining “together time” or showing love. Another example, according to the aforementioned Daily Mail piece, is outlook on division of labor or roles in a relationship. Although arguments are less common over gender roles at home and work, it's still an issue a lot of people are working through or just simply can't see eye to eye on.
5. Unwillingness To Talk With Professionals
In an interview with Us Weekly, Kristen Bell shared her thoughts on couple's counseling, which were very insightful. In the interview, she said:
I thought I had this life thing down pat when I met Dax. I didn’t realize that I needed a much bigger toolbox to have confrontations and disagreements with people. You do better in the gym with a trainer; you don’t figure out how to cook without reading a recipe—therapy is not something to be embarrassed about.
The basic foundation for the large majority of conflicts people have in their relationships (and life in general) aren't always within their understanding or capabilities to solve without outside input or resources. For some reason, therapy has such a taboo and negative association attached to it, but in reality, it's just a resource and every couple should feel comfortable utilizing it.
Research from the Couples Counseling Center suggested that up to 41 percent of people engage in some form of physical or emotional infidelity, which is a major reason many relationships end. However, cheating isn't the only form of dishonesty that causes problems. Many times, people feel the need to hide things from their partners because they don't want to cause immediate issues or potential upset. That being said, hiding things from your partner generally causes larger issues in the long run and creates an overall lack of trust.
7. Toxic Friends
Have you ever heard the theory that you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with? According to Business Insider, when it comes to relationships, people are greatly influenced by those closest to them. Additionally, Marriage 365 shared that toxic people can harm your relationships. This doesn't necessarily mean your friend is a bad person, but it can mean that your friend's behaviors, influence, or overall relationship with you is toxic to your other relationships and aspects of life.
8. Work-Life Balance
Maintaining time and care for your relationship is key to keeping it strong and healthy. With today's technology and in modern work culture, the aforementioned Daily Mail piece noted that it's easy to devote countless hours to work, take on a side hustle, and find yourself always connected online or networking. If you're feeling overshadowed by your partner's work responsibilities, it's important to address it and set some boundaries. Make sure you're taking interest in your partner's life and set aside specific times or days to spend time with just each other.
9. Intimacy Issues
The beginning of a relationship is often deemed the "honeymoon phase" for a reason. After time passes, Couples Counseling Centernoted that sexual energy and excitement can start to fade which, in some cases, contributes to infidelity. When the sexual spontaneity fizzles, it's important to make a conscious effort to maintain physical connection through touches, hugs, kisses, and sex. Even being intimate by cuddling or stroking without it always leading to sex is a good way to maintain balance and and alleviate physical frustrations.
10. Non-Commit Threats
According to Bustle, you need to feel trust and security in your partnership, and you can't do that if someone is consistently threatening to leave. When you're in a long-term relationship or marriage, it's important you make the decision ahead of time to stay through highs and lows. Both partners need to rely on the fact their significant other will stick around if something goes wrong instead of worrying about their partners shutting them out or leaving. Otherwise, according to the aforementioned Business Insider post, you may begin to feel you can't speak up without creating a negative outcome, which leads to another major relationship wrecker in terms of communication.
According to the aforementioned Daily Mailpiece, expanding your family creates a whole new dynamic in any relationship and furthers the need for understanding and communication. It's important that you prepare yourself for major life changes and conquer them as united front. Try to keep that in perspective when you're lashing out or too tired to be as present as normal with your partner.
12. Household Chores
If I'm being completely honest, the most common and consistent fight I have with my husband is over laundry. For the longest time, we didn't think it was normal to get so worked up over something as menial as household chores. However, in talking to just about any other couple, I've discovered that household chores is a fairly common heated topic. According to Relationship Expert, many couples argue over the division of chores and resentment starts if one person feels the other isn't contributing enough. Find a way to divvy up household chores and stick to it because, according to The Chicago Tribune, studies have found that couples who split chores have the best sex lives.