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For most of us, relationships take center stage in our lives. We spend a lot of time thinking about finding that special someone, our very own happy ever after. However, we know that, unlike in the movies, life keeps rolling and with it, relationship issues start to appear.

Life can get quite stressful and overwhelming, so even when we get along really well we may be confronted with conflicts that seem difficult or almost impossible to overtake.

It’s completely normal for couples to experience ups and downs. Obstacles in relations are inevitable. Work responsibilities take too much of our time and energy. Daily routines and chores fizzle out our sexual spark. Meddling family members drive wedges.

There are always going to be hardships along the way. So, what’s important is how we handle them. Studies show that being in a happy relationship makes us less likely to experience emotional and mental health problems, such as depression. Understanding relationship issues and confronting them head-on can prevent them from snowballing into irreconcilable differences.

Why Consider Couples Therapy?

Common relationships problems | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDHave you been feeling lonely, disappointed, misunderstood? Have you lost connection with your partner? Do you feel that your needs and expectations are being overlooked?

Whether you’re experiencing relationship issues or you want to reconnect with your partner, seeking couples counseling can really make a difference. Couples therapy can help you work out an existing problem, prevent an exacerbation of problems, or get you through a period of transition or increased stress.

Misconceptions about couples therapy prevent couples from seeking help early on. Research tells us that, on average, couples wait six years before seeking professional help. Many of us think of therapy exclusively for very serious issues or even as a last resort before ending the relationship.

This is not to say that couples counseling isn’t effective at solving long-term problems. However, it probably will be more challenging and take more time to dig into years of hidden conflicts and frustrations. So, it can require a great deal of commitment and effort from both sides.

Every relationship is unique, as every person is. Nonetheless, there are a few common relationship issues that most of us will experience along the way. Identifying and recognizing these problems are happening can be the first step toward a healthier and happier relationship.

5 Most Common Relationship Issues

1. Lack of communication

Couples conflicts | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDSometimes, we avoid bringing up things that are bothering us under the belief that talking about problems will only make them worse. This fear of instigating a nasty fight compels us to keep things to ourselves. However, this tactic can work against us in the long run.

Different people communicate differently. Our communication style is deeply affected by the models we grew up around. So, it is important to be aware of these differences and commit to honest, effective communication to thrive together.

Learning how to express your concerns openly and listening with an open mind can make a great change in your relationship. If you’re able to master communication, you’ll be far less likely to experience other relationship issues.

2. Mistrust

Trusting one another is the basic foundation for a solid and healthy relationship. Trust can be really hard to build, especially when we have past relations – romantic or family – that sowed suspicion. And it is even more difficult to get back. After the trust is broken, relationships can be harmed or even lost.

Learning how to trust someone again is a slow and painful process, full of setbacks. Once our trust is shaken it can be frustrating for both parties to move forward. Counseling helps couples regain trust, and provides tools to work together to solve any underlying issues.

3. Growing apart

As time passes and routine settles in, couples can become more roommates than intimate partners. We have to juggle many responsibilities, so at times, our relationship takes a back seat without us even realizing it.

We all have moments when we feel overwhelmed by our own life. This can create a distance and make you and your partner feel disconnected and even alone. This doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s a problem in the relationship, but rather that you’re both facing individual problems that are interfering with your life together.

The good news is, you can rebuild intimacy with your partner once you both focus on what you need from each other. Making a conscious effort to reconnect and dedicate time to each other, as well as the relationship, can help you shorten the distance.

4. Sex and intimacy

Sexual problems Couples | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDIt’s quite common for the sexual spark to fade as the years go by and the monotony takes over. Keeping your relationship fresh and exciting can be a challenge, as we tend to lose some of the spontaneity and romantic surprise in our daily routines.

Put in the time and effort to rekindle that sexy spark and reconnect with your sexual side. Be honest and open with each other about what you want. Explore together new fantasies, wants, and craves free from judgment and embarrassment.

Sex can be an indicator of other problems in the relationship. A couples therapist can help you and your partner unveil what is lying underneath and get you back between the sheets.

5. Money

We begin to form our relationship with money in early childhood, by observing our parents, relatives, and others around us. Years later, these financial beliefs can have a serious impact on our relationships.

Differing strategies for spending and saving money can cause tension and conflict in relationships. Many couples find it helpful to have a shared account for their expenses as well as separate accounts to keep some financial independence.

Having a clear understanding with your partner about the way you want to handle money can avoid unnecessary arguments and resentments down the road.

Couples Therapy in Baltimore, MD

Couples conflicts | New Connections Counseling Center at Baltimore, MDIf you are experiencing issues in your relationship, couples therapy can help you and your partner get to the root of your conflict, find new ways of communication, and strengthen your connection.

Our therapists are experienced in helping couples work through their problems and start a new chapter together, with a renewed connection and intimacy. A key aspect for the success of therapy is for both partners to feel comfortable and at ease, so we will make sure to find the right fit for both of you.

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About the Author:

Cathy Sullivan-Windt

Psychologist (Ph.D.) & Owner

Cathy is a licensed counseling psychologist with almost 20 years of experience. She specializes in women’s counseling, anxiety treatment, sexual assault recovery, life transitions, and relationship issues.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time in nature, traveling, reading, and being with her family and friends.

Read More About Cathy

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