Sooner or later it happens in the best of relationships: some little thing catches us off guard and rubs us the wrong way. Before we know it, we find ourselves flooded with inappropriate and, moreover, extremely unpleasant emotional tides. These moments are dangerous, because frequently these emotional states of emergency lead us to say or do things we regret soon after. More often than not, we only realize it when we can’t take them back.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is highlighting relationship struggles for some couples.
Of course, while no one’s relationship is perfect, here are the three most common issues:
In-laws can cause a rift in some relationships. It can be the overbearing mother who cannot let her son grow up, or the stubborn father who never seems to think anyone is good enough for his daughter. But the most common theme is that one partner doesn’t feel supported by the other partner when that partner has poor boundaries with their parents.
If your parents tend to be over-involved in your life, there’s a good chance that it will end up showing up in your relationship. It’s crucial to have healthy boundaries with your parents, especially if you plan on entering or maintaining a serious relationship.
It’s likely that both you and your partner had your own separate relationships with money before you met each other. There’s also a strong possibility that you each had different views on what was prudent to spend money on. Money isn’t always about money; it can also represent what you invest in the relationship.
Do you both invest in your own way to the point where it feels like you’re a team? Even if the dollar amount contributed isn’t the same, it should feel on many levels like the relationship is a mutual investment. No relationship is 50/50 — not even when it comes to money — but there should feel like a balance between two partners on how much they invest in the relationship personally and financially.
This is a big one. Put simply, sometimes you have needs that are completely different from your partner’s, and vice versa. It’s not always an issue, but when these needs are opposing, there can be complications. For example, you might need more connection and intimacy, while they need more space and alone time. Even though this is extremely common, it often turns into feelings of rejection and all kinds of other misconceptions. Simple communication and reassurance can help quell any pain points with competing needs.
Let’s say you’re the partner who needs space. It would be helpful to reassure your partner by saying something like, “Hey honey, I love you very much, and right now I need a little alone time to just decompress. Let’s make a date night to spend quality time together tomorrow.”
That way, your partner hears your needs while you also commit to a time where you’ll fulfill theirs, too. Compromise is important here, especially if we have competing needs.
If these issues or others are still causing problems in your relationship, premarital counseling can help you solve problems before they occur, if you’re considering getting married. You can also turn to a place like ReGain for assistance.