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The Most Common Relationship Problems with Effective Solutions

Relationships are amazing - but they can sometimes be bumpy roads to navigate. Even soulmates encounter obstacles. Although each couple faces their own unique challenges, many struggle with the same types of problems. But what relationship challenges seem to come up the most? We'll discuss the most common relationship problems that pop up in a relationship, and go over some tips on how to resolve them. With a little insight, intention, some empathy and effort, you can bridge the common gaps threatening to divide you and your partner.

couple looking at each other from fighting and dealing with the most common relationship problems

Jump to a section on the most common relationship problems:

Trust Issues

Trust is one of the most important aspects of any relationship. When trust crumbles, it's hard to put that cookie back together. Trust issues can come from past lies, betrayals, cheating, or even one's own insecurities. Partners can become paranoid, insecure and jealous. They can end up acting like detectives, constantly accusing and overanalyzing interactions. Trust is one of the most common relationship problems because it is an underlying root cause to many other relationship challenges. For example, a lack of trust can lead to sexual problems, insecurities, jealousy, and more.

Restoring trust requires repenting through changed actions, not just apologies. If a partner has broken trust, it's important for them to come clean. They need to be authentic and real about what they've done so that the relationship can move forward. The offending partner should grant space and patience to the one that was hurt, rather than demanding trust immediately.

Additional tips for rebuilding broken trust include:

  • The offender listens without defensiveness. Hear the pain you caused. Don't hurt their healing timeline.

  • The victim communicates feelings of hurt and specific needs. Refrain from insults, digs or escalating fights.

  • Seek counseling to process wounds. A neutral third party facilitates healthy conflict resolution.

  • Discuss what behaviors would help restore faith. Increased accountability? More access to devices and accounts? Certain reassurances? This may be needed short-term so that their is a long-term.

  • The offender respects stated boundaries. Remain patient if intimacy or affection feels temporarily unwelcome. Don't coerce or guilt trip. Respect healthy boundaries that are set.

  • Write apology letters explaining the offenses. Describe specific lessons learned and pledge your loyalty moving forward.

  • Make amends through actions. Words mean little without changed behavior. Consistently follow through with promises.

  • Highlight progress made. Note examples of how you've been trustworthy.

  • Release bitterness and offer grace. Revenge prolongs toxicity. Two wrongs have never made a right. The journey to forgiveness may be long but is restorative.

With enough humility, courage and perseverance, trust can gradually be regained one small act at a time.

Communication Issues

A lack of communication can poison a relationship. It's common for partners to struggle with keeping a clear and open dialogue. They commonly hold back their authentic thoughts and feelings in fear of being judged or saying the wrong thing. Words end up getting misinterpreted and it suddenly feels impossible to see eye to eye.

Further, silence and assumptions can be toxic and end up destroying a relationship's healthy foundation. A couple needs to have a mutual understanding if they want to thrive as partners. Without it, partners may become closed off while bitterness bubbles beneath the surface. Emotional distance will widen if needs, feelings, and thoughts aren't shared.

The solution requires reviving open, honest and compassionate communication. Here are some tips:

  • Schedule regular relationship check-ins. Don't just wait for problems to discuss issues. Devote quality time to openly chat about your connection.

  • Practice active listening. Hear each other out fully without interrupting. Stop yourself from knee-jerk defensiveness. Offer empathy before adding your own perspective.

  • Discuss arguments early. Don't let hurt feelings get bottled up. Address issues while they are still small to avoid all your issues coming out at once.

  • Ask questions. Don't assume you know their full perspective. Seek to understand through back-and-forth communication.

  • Speak without blame. Own your emotions and don't cast judgments.

  • Validate feelings. You don't have to fully agree offer support and acknowledge their feelings are real.

  • Compromise. Find solutions satisfying both partners instead of competing to win arguments. It's always a good thing to meet in the middle.

  • Express appreciation. Positive feedback for when they listen and communicate will reinforce their good behavior.

With patience and practice, communication can get back on track. Reframe your discussions with empathy, honesty and a mutual understanding.

Different Sexual Desires

Another relationship problem couples regularly encounter involves imbalanced sexual desires. One partner craves frequent passion in the bedroom while the other feels their needs are met with less sex. Tension mounts over time. The energizer bunny partner will often feel rejected while the low libido partner feels aggravated and pressured.

Solving this problem requires compromise, creativity, and moving beyond viewing sex as validation. Stop looking at physical intimacy as a measure of your relationship's success. Reframe this thought to understand it is one of many ways to connect on a closer level. Openly discuss each other's needs around alternative erotic expressions like sensual massages or affectionate cuddling.

More Tips for overcoming mismatches in sexual desires include:

  • Discuss desires candidly. Share your ideal frequencies, turn-ons, and adventurous fantasies. But avoid ultimatums or demands.

  • Understand fluctuations are normal. Appetites ebb and flow with stress, health changes as we age, and needs fluctuate depending hormone levels.

  • Don't take rejections personally. Your worth isn't defined by sex. Both people deserve respect for their boundaries.

  • Intimacy comes in many forms. When sex is lacking, show affection through cuddling, kissing, massages and emotional closeness.

  • Make sex playful. Be silly, laugh together in bed, play music and games, and relieve performance pressure.

  • Initiate creatively. Text flirty invitations, leave suggestive love notes, send spicy selfies (within agreed comfort zones).

  • Schedule intimacy. Pencil-in sex when spontaneous desire lags. Effort prevents taking each other for granted.

  • See a doctor or therapist. If needed, rule out any underlying medical or psychological issues sabotaging sexual connections.

  • Focus on the whole relationship. Don't let the bedroom become battlegrounds. Explore intimacy's other ingredients too.

With mutual understanding and a willingness to compromise, couples can usually solve their differences in sexual desires.

Intimacy Problems

dealing with intimacy problems

Intimacy problems often comes from doing the same old daily routines. Partners forget to be intentional about their emotional and physical closeness. They take each other for granted, slip into routines, and stop being thoughtful with each other. Conversations sometimes turn superficial. Affection starts looking like quick pecks vs. passionate kisses. The relationship's rhythm becomes lifeless and flat. Intimacy goes beyond romance - it's that deep emotional connection that makes life meaningful!

Regaining a loss of intimacy requires initiative and creativity. Show your love through both grand gestures and small acts of service. Switch up boring routines, the usual date nights and same old sex positions. Communicate wants and needs with each other and truly listen. That's right - even though communication has it's own section, it is also an important step in maintaining and / or regaining intimacy.

Tips for dealing with intimacy problems include:

  • Plan regular date nights. Recreate your first date - whether that means bringing out some old school outfits or corsages from dances. Feel those nervous butterflies again.

  • Initiate physical touch often. Reawaken awareness of your partner's body through massage, stroking their face, hand-holding, and warm embraces. Explore different ways of physical affection.

  • Engage their interests. Ask about their hobbies, friends and activities. Even if you are in a long-term relationship - routinely show interest in something you might not be paying attention to lately.

  • Limit devices and distractions. Give your full attention. Maintain eye contact. Sincerely listen.

  • Go beyond the superficial. Avoid default conversations about chores and errands. Discuss dreams, values, fears. THIS IS KEY TO GETTING INTIMATE!

  • Travel somewhere new together. Share novel sights and make fresh memories to bond over.

  • Write love letters. Express what you cherish about them through descriptive words. Love letters can be spontaneous and fun, romantic, intimate, silly, or all of the above!

  • Drop surprises. Bring them their favorite meal or dessert just because. Leave encouraging notes.

  • Challenge each other. Test your limits through hiking, dance classes, and trivia nights. Bond through shared experiences.

  • Role-play romantic fantasies. Channel fiery passion from earlier in your relationship.

With renewed efforts to cherish each other, emotional and physical intimacy can be brought back.

Financial Disagreements

Money matters! But it can strain even the strongest relationships. Conflicts flare over spending habits, budget priorities, savings strategies and how to split shared expenses. Managing finances together in a relationship is tough if there are differing financial values and goals. The big spender craving luxury may resent their frugal partner's penny pinching fingers. Money disorders like shopping addictions, gambling or compulsive debt also corrode trust. I'm talking about real problems - not about a little "retail therapy".

Bridging financial gaps starts with candid conversations to unpack how each other feels about money. Learn about their upbringings to see where their financial habits stem from. Then learn their fears and goals so you can make a solid plan for the future. Compromise by determining shared priorities and setting household budgets. Stick to the budget! But also allow individual discretionary funds so you maintain some autonomy.

Additional conflict resolution tips for dealing with financial stress:

  • Communicate values. Understand if you and your partner values security, experiences, or both. Then incorporate your values into your plan.

  • Set shared goals. Get on the same page regarding target savings, retirement plans, big purchases like cars or homes. But allow room for evolving goals over the years.

  • Make budgeting collaborative. Track expenses and income together. Have "monthly money talks". Learn where the money leaks are coming from.

  • Split shared costs equitably. Based on income levels and expenses, ensure each contributes fairly. Reevaluate with career changes. However, costs and expenses do not only relate to money! Make sure to understand that every relationship is different and some partner's sacrifice career goals to take care of the family. This is a cost in itself!

  • Allow personal discretionary funds. Agree each gets their own fun money to save or spend freely without scrutiny.

  • Seek help for addictions. Get counseling for secretive or compulsive spending, gambling, shopping or debt. Don't enable each other's disorders. Establish accountability.

  • Avoid financial infidelity. No secret credit cards or hidden purchases. Transparency and trust must extend to money.

  • Discuss large purchases. Get on the same page before making big-ticket item decisions.

  • Be encouraging of each other's efforts. Appreciate frugal behavior or celebrate hard-earned splurges. Don't ridicule.

  • Make thriftiness playful. Have competitions to see who can negotiate the best or find the best deals. Add some humor to this to make it fun.

With maturity, teamwork and understanding, you can craft a shared money philosophy that aligns with both your values and goals. Financial harmony is possible with proper conflict resolution.

Struggles with In-Laws

They say when you marry someone, you marry their family too. But determining appropriate boundaries with in-laws puts many couples in awkward spots. Tensions mount over disruptive or overbearing in-laws. Or you may clash with passive aggressive behaviors. Establishing a united front and speaking up directly can help couples caught in the middle of extended family drama.

Tips for managing in-law issues include:

  • Discuss values and priorities upfront. Decide together how much influence parents will have on your lives and if traditions need reworking.

  • Tackle tensions early. Don't let small annoyances progress into resentment. Calmly address issues.

  • Vent privately to each other. Avoid bashing your in-laws publicly even among friends. Stay respectful.

  • Present a united front. Support each other's decisions rather than letting your in-laws driving wedges.

  • Set boundaries together. Tell in-laws that pry too much which matters will stay private between you and your partner.

  • Allow space. Politely decline invitations if visits start to feel suffocating. You can't force closeness if chemistry is off.

  • Get on same the parenting page. Discuss if in-laws will have frequent childcare roles and what values you want instilled into your child. Set boundaries if there are parenting disagreements since you are the parent!

  • Voice appreciation too. Positive reinforcement increases the likelihood of improved behaviors.

  • Lead by example. Rise above pettiness or passive aggression. Be the bigger person with acts o kindness.

  • Communicate needs directly. Once again - communicate! Tiptoeing around problems creates disfunction. Speak candidly but calmly.

With teamwork, grace under pressure, and proactive communication, you can usually achieve a decent relationship with even the most difficult in-laws.

Different Values and Priorities

Relationships suffer when partners no longer share the same outlook on life. Changing personalities, careers, and life stages prompt you to outgrow each other. Your weekend visions switch from fun-filled partying to quiet book club meet-ups. One craves family expansion while the other feels fulfilled already. Your favorite neighborhood is now too boring for their adventurous spirit. Misaligned ethics, worldviews or definitions of success become deal breakers.

Revisiting changing values requires communicating without ultimatums. Explore each other's needs and be willing to find middle grounds. Discuss which values allow flexibility vs. those central to your identity. You may never fully agree on everything, but with mutual respect you can learn from each other's differing lenses.

Tips for bridging gaps in values, priorities and interests include:

  • Define your must-haves vs. negotiables. Articulate deal breakers that would prompt relationship termination vs. differences of opinion you can work through.

  • Take personality assessments together. Discuss insights gained about your natural preferences and tendencies. Understand you may be wired differently.

  • Research love languages. People express and receive love in different ways. Learn each other's love languages.

  • Share childhood influences. Unpack how your upbringings shape who you are today. Gain empathy about deep-rooted traits.

  • Respect changing seasons of life. We keep evolving. Seek shared visions for current life stages before projecting far off future ones.

  • Compromise. Take turns choosing vacation spots. Trade off hosting family holidays each year. Meet halfway.

  • Define shared priorities first. Focus on nurturing points of alignment rather than just obsessing over differences.

  • Discuss visions of the future. Get on same page about family size, major moves, career paths.

  • Allow space for individual growth. Support your partner's personal goals and need for autonomy.

With compassion, patience and insight into what makes you each tick, you can gain fresh perspectives while maintaining shared visions. Core values need not divide you.

Lack of Quality Time

It's easy to become ships passing in the night when life gets busy. Couples get caught up in demanding work, parenting duties, hobbies, and separate friend groups. They neglect bonding through substantive conversations, intimacy and activities. Instead, they collapse into bed scrolling phones alone before dozing off. Days feel transactional - all logistics and chores without closeness or bonding. For companionship to deepen, you must invest dedicated quality time.

Make renewing quality time in your relationship a habit. Incorporate date nights with adventures and deep talks. Disengage from social media or tech around each other to be fully present. Express your feelings and listen supportively to nurture emotional intimacy. Share experiences you want to try and then go do them together. Couples who devote quality time together can reconnect!

Tips for devoting more quality time as a couple include:

  • Institute weekly date nights. Schedule one-on-one activities, trying new restaurants, shows, museums or outdoor adventures.

  • Take short weekend trips together. Explore somewhere within driving distance. Make fresh memories.

  • Do chores cooperatively. Cook, clean, run errands as a team. Bond during mundane activities.

  • Share childhood memories. Reminisce about your pasts. Share old photos and laugh over mishaps.

  • Unplug fully around each other. Shut off phones, TVs, and other distractions. Engage in conversation.

  • Cuddle without expectation. Physical affection releases oxytocin hormones that enhance emotional bonds.

  • Rediscover passions together. Take a painting class. Join a recreational sports league. Master a skill as a duo.

  • Establish daily check-ins. Debrief highs and lows of your days. Don't just default to logistics.

  • Give full attention. Listen intently. Maintain eye contact. Ask thoughtful follow-up questions.

  • Surprise each other. Bring coffee to their office. Leave encouraging notes and find creative ways to say "I love you". Make their favorite meal just because. Delight in the little things.

With a few adjustments, you can block off space for quality time with the one who matters most - your partner.

Frequent Fighting

gavel over money and a book representing frequent fighting as a common relationship problems

Even rock-solid couples sometimes hit rocky patches where small disagreements can turn into serious arguments filled with attitude. Nagging over small grievances or delivering low blows during arguments become habits. Constant sarcasm and criticism pollutes your home. One-upping each other and getting defensive strains simple conversations.

To break free from relentless fighting cycles, aim to stop conflicts quickly and communicate without ill will. Address issues before they spin out of control. Learn each other's triggers so you can sidestep touchy subjects. Take breaks as needed to cool off before continuing talks. Follow fights with proactive affection and affirmation.

Additional techniques to limit or stop fighting in your relationship include:

  • Notice rising tensions early. Pause discussions before they escalate into fights. Suggest tabling talks for later.

  • Never get mean. Avoid insults, sarcasm and mean comments. They destroy trust and inflict lasting wounds.

  • Set rules of engagement. Agree you'll take breaks upon request, maintain respectful tones, and tackle one conflict at a time.

  • Listen to understand. Hear their perspective fully before crafting rebuttals in your head. Ask clarifying questions.

  • Stick to the issue at hand. Don't bring up past mistakes or shift topics mid-argument.

  • Discuss arguments afterwards. Debrief once emotions cool. Explore root issues and resolutions so lingering hurts can heal.

  • Focus on positive. Don't just nag about flaws. Express appreciation for your partner's efforts and qualities.

  • Inject humor. Share laughs after arguments to relieve tension.

  • Be affectionate. Reconnect physically after conflicts through hugs, hand-holding or cuddling.

  • Know when to seek help. Certified counselors can equip you with healthy conflict resolution tools.

  • Limit the attitude. Fix yourself if you realize you are constantly criticizing and giving your partner an attitude. A little attitude can be healthy but a lot of it can be toxic.

One last expert tip is that you can't fix a relationship if you don't fix or work on yourself as well. Practice self-love and positive affirmations to love yourself that that you can expertly loving someone else. With emotional intelligence and the right techniques, you can break negative fighting cycles plaguing your partnership.


All relationships face hurdles at various points in their journey. But remember partnerships aren't puzzles to be solved; they are gardens to be tended. With daily nurturing, empathy and trust, you can weather the storms that blow through. Study your relationship's soil to see which ingredients it may lack - more time together or more intimacy? Better communication or more laughter? Assess your unique relationship and water it with the relationship advice and tips mentioned throughout this post.

There are always weeds of conflict and obstacles to overcome, but view them as areas of opportunity for growth. If all else fails, check out some books on how to improve communication in relationships, or on rebuilding lost trust in a relationship.

Frequently Asked Questions on The Most Common Relationship Problems

What are some of the most common issues couples face?

Some of the most common relationship problems involve communication breakdowns, mismatches in sexual desires, breaches of trust, lack of intimacy, financial disagreements, struggles with in-laws, diverging values and priorities, inadequate quality time, frequent fighting, and inability to resolve conflicts constructively.

Why does communication often suffer in relationships?

Lack of communication poisons relationships when partners forget to nurture transparent dialog. They hold back authentic thoughts and feelings, let resentment build silently, make assumptions, and allow emotional distance to widen. Without properly articulating needs, misunderstandings accumulate and couples grow closed off.

How can we reconnect if our sex drives don't match up?

Compromise through open dialog about desires, creative intimacy alternatives like sensual massages, and scheduling sex to counteract diverging spontaneous libidos. Understand fluctuations are normal. Don't take rejections personally. Prioritize affection and whole relationship. See a doctor or therapist if needed.

How can I rebuild trust in a relationship if it's been broken?

The offender listens, understands the pain caused, respects boundaries and follows through with changed actions, not just apologies. Meanwhile, the wounded partner communicates hurt feelings without escalating fights and releases bitterness to start trusting again. Counseling can facilitate healthy conflict resolution.

Why does intimacy often fade in long-term relationships?

Familiarity and life's busyness causes partners to slip into lifeless routines devoid of thoughtfulness. Conversations grow superficial and affection becomes an afterthought. But reigniting intimacy simply requires initiative - surprises, new adventures together, and investing attention in each other's inner worlds.

How do we get on the same page about finances?

Through candid conversations about individual money mindsets and values, then compromising to craft a shared budget aligned with collective financial goals. Split costs equitably, allow individual discretionary spending, and set guidelines regarding large purchases. Seek counseling if addictions or secrecy plagues spending habits.

What boundaries can reduce in-law struggles?

Decide together appropriate levels of influence and proactively communicate directly when issues arise. Don't let resentment build. Present a united front on decisions, but also allow space when visits feel invasive. Get on the same page regarding parenting styles if kids are involved. Kill them with kindness!

How do we reconcile diverging values or priorities?

First define your must-haves versus areas of flexibility. Then communicate without ultimatums, research love languages, and focus on compromises meeting both people's core needs. Explore each other's personalities and motivations. Support each other’s autonomy for growth. Seek shared visions for this current phase of life.

Why does a lack of quality time strain relationships?

Life's demands distract partners from prioritizing true bonding. Days spent in parallel but separate activities breed isolation and transactional relations devoid of intimacy. Carving out quality time together through shared novel experiences, deep conversations, and being emotionally and physically present with each other can reignite connection.

What helps couples break out of frequent fighting?

Address issues early before arguments escalate. Set rules of engagement like taking breaks if needed and respectful communication. Listen fully and stick to one topic. Debrief after to heal hurts and explore resolutions. Refrain from meanness. Reconnect affectionately post-fight. Know when to seek counseling for mediation help.


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