Often when relationships are in trouble there are certain similar issues that prevail. This can be anything from lack of communication to loss of intimacy and the precursors to this are usually stress often due to financial problems, problems balancing lifestyle and expectations or invasion of boundaries. This may even lead to infidelity on the part of one partner and unfortunately without proper help couples often end in separation and divorce. If there are children involved then the couple are not the only ones that suffer.
Lack of communication is a big issue in our daily relationships let alone our romantic ones. Our background and inhibitions often stop us from saying to our partner directly what we need to say and this brings an element of dishonesty into the relationship making it superficial in some part. Honest communication will cause deeper connection with your partner and lead to your issues being solved faster so if you cannot do this you need to see someone such as a couple’s counsellor who can establish a common safe ground where you can begin to talk to each other honestly.
Conflict can occur in our everyday relationships due to different values and perceptions on life. Relationship conflict with your partner however often comes from a different area to less intimate conflict. When our needs are not met we begin to feel uncomfortable and resentment starts to grow. We begin to argue and say things we don’t necessarily mean and invade each other’s boundaries. Remember your partner is your partner – not your mother or your boss and none of us own another person. We need to respect each other as individuals and allow for that. Quite often there creeps into the relationship an inequality where one partner perceives themselves as the giver and sees the other as the ‘taker’. Of course here both are equally responsible as the ‘giver’ keeps giving which enables the ‘taker’ to take.
Often this causes one of the partners to withdraw, creates stress on the relationship, anxiety, resentment and aggression which not only affects the couple but the whole family. If this kind of conflict continues it leads to lack of affection and sexual connection.
Without sexual connection it becomes difficult for romantic relationships to continue. It is one of the factors that make the relationship different to our many others. Often problems occur due to different needs sexually which are somewhat clouded when couples meet and are in the passionate phase with stronger feelings to fuel their desires.
External stresses often affect the physical energy and the way couples interact emotionally which in turn affects their sexual connection at the end of a busy day. Often this can lead to one of the partners becoming frustrated and continued frustration due to lack of connection often leads to the end of the relationship where one party either is unfaithful or the relationship simply burns itself out.
There are many types of sexual dysfunction according to psychologists such as lack of desire, inability to be aroused or to experience orgasm but these are different from sexual problems which occur due to lack of intimacy and stress.
Intimacy is not just about sexual connection but also the emotional, mental and spiritual connection between two people. It serves to enhance the feelings of romance and togetherness creating an even deeper connectedness which often brings with it loyalty to the other partner. This makes it an important part of romantic relationships and if the trust and communication has suffered in the relationship both parties often feel the lack of intimacy which often fosters infidelity and devastating effects.
Often the partner that has been cheated on suffers a range of emotions from anger, humiliation, depression, and outrage and it becomes hard for them to trust their partner again. This heralds the end of the relationship in either separation or divorce. Infidelity is not just a physical affair with another person; it can also be an emotional liaison where one partner feels the presence of the third party winning the affections of their lover. Quite often couples break up because one of the partners has turned to someone else for emotional support turning their energy away from their partner and making communication and resolution of issues even more difficult.
Another person though is not the only type of infidelity in relationships. What if your partner has turned their energy to some kind of substance abuse and they are spending their hours ‘loving a bottle of alcohol’ instead of you. This is a no contest. Whilst it is true some people turn to substance abuse as a quick fix for their issues what it does in fact is only serves to enhance the problems. Also the amount of money these substances cost put a further financial strain on the partnership. Also these addictive substances often cause a person to be less sensitive to other’s needs which makes the relationship even worse. If this is the situation both parties need to acknowledge what is happening and see a trained counsellor for assistance.
Unfortunately if the above issues are not addressed in a relationship divorce becomes immanent as each person begins to believe that the negatives of the relationship outweigh the positives. It is important before your relationship comes to this point to look at what is happening and to seek help. This does not mean discuss it with your friends, your mates, mum, dad, your sister or your boss. Remember none of us unless we are trained professionals are able to assist you in your relationship because everyone has their own baggage and whilst even professionals have baggage because of their training when it comes to assisting others they are often able to shine a new perspective on how your life can change and inject new fire into a dying passion. So it starts with you both being honest enough to realise that you need help and to ask for it.