When couples have issues, most of us assume it is because of some pretty obvious causes like infidelity, financial issues, sex or lack of it or disagreements with members of the extended family. Most of the very serious problems within a relationship are ones you might not immediately categorize as life-threatening to the relationship. Things that we take for granted can be corrosive to a healthy relationship and we don’t even know it. But, therapists know that these are just symptoms of more difficult problems within the couple’s relationship.
Here are 7 of the most ignored relationship issues according to therapists:
1. They Are Emotionally Closed Off From Each Other
Couples who are together for a long time will sometimes overreact to something or refuse to accept any feedback from their partner about their behavior. Don’t blame the messenger and refuse to listen. Try to accept that maybe their outside point of view is just as valid as your own point of view about your actions. Take the opportunity to learn about yourself, admit that you are human and that you have failings from time to time. Take that feedback and grow as a person.
2. They Assume They Know Everything About a Partner
Everyone lives in their own world of thoughts and feelings that do not get expressed to anyone but themselves. No matter how long you know your partner, they will still be able to surprise you. Leave a little mystery because desire thrives on the unknown. Understand that no matter how well you think you know someone, you will never know everything about them.
3. Personal Space
It is easy to fall into a relationship and spend all of your time with your significant other. But, outside interests and hobbies are very important to the individuals inside the relationship and they are important to making that relationship strong and successful. Rather than becoming codependent on one another, couples should see a relationship as a mating of equal and independent partners in life.
4. Abusive In a Fight, Doesn’t Apologize Afterwards
All couples fight over things, but the successful ones apologize and make up afterward. People who are nasty and vindictive during an argument can really wreck their partner’s emotional balance. When they refuse to apologize for the mean things they said during the fight, the other partner might feel that the other person cares more about their own ego and being right than they do about their partner’s feelings. When you own up to your own failings, then you can come to a relationship from a more honest place.
People who don’t love themselves will have a very hard time loving someone else or accepting that they are worthy of being loved in the first place. You have to come to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Your past is your past and it can’t be changed. Let it go and let someone love you. You have to believe that you are worthy of love. People who don’t believe that tend to act out, have affairs or struggle with addiction. You cannot have a healthy relationship with someone else until you have a healthy relationship with yourself.
Housework has traditionally been the domain of women, but recently, with so many women moving into the workforce, couples have begun sharing the domestic chores. Successful couples take a more team oriented approach and make sure the housework is carried evenly by both partners. Couples who split the housework have reported better sex and that they are having it more frequently. By sharing the housework, you are pulling the same load together as a team. You are building your shared world together. By doing your share of the housework, you are telling your partner that you love them and that they are important to you.
7. Too Dependent on Each Other
When couples do everything together and rely on each other to be everything to them from lover to chef, accountant to best friend, it can be a drain on the relationship. Therapists suggest that couples develop outside relationships with other family members or friends and create some space within the relationship. People with interests and strong friendships outside the relationship can create a well-rounded and independent person.