Six Reasons Why Your Relationship May be Suffering

We’ve all experienced the stress of attempting to maintain a relationship. When our partners are causing us conflict and we are feeling frustrated, many of us complain to our friends and family, and many of us complain about the same things—lack of communication, lack of attention, and unmet expectations, for example.

Some relationships are not meant to last, either because they have run their course and this person is not the right one for you in the long run (as they say, you have to kiss a lot of frogs) or because they have been poisoned by drug or alcohol abuse, infidelity, or domestic violence, in which case there is a slim chance that they can be saved without significant assistance and change on the part of both parties.

The majority of us, though, have “normal” concerns and “normal” explanations for why our relationships could falter, feel unfulfilling, or go through a challenging time.

High Expectations

We now demand different things from marriage than we did in the past, especially women. We no longer view being a “good provider” as one of a spouse’s top concerns because women now earn their own money, many young women have more education, and many make more than their spouses. About a generation ago, gender roles and consequently marriage duties changed. As a result, our expectations also shifted, frequently in an unjust manner.

Many women anticipate that their husbands or partners will behave less like males and more like other women—emotionally expressive, attentive enough to anticipate and meet our needs, romantic, etc. While there are guys who possess these skills, many men do not, and we blame them for it without clearly stating what we need or want.

Men, on the other hand, might have married women who have jobs or hobbies outside the home, but they still have expectations that they can manage the home like old-fashioned housewives did. We blame our partners for being human because we believe they should be more well-rounded than they are capable of being. Nobody will be able to fulfill every demand or play every position, so we shouldn’t expect anyone to. When we enter into marriage believing our spouse to be a superhero, we are setting ourselves up for failure.

Looking for What We Miss About Ourselves

High expectations go hand in hand with the notion that we are seeking partners who will “complete” us. The notion that when we get married, we marry someone who carries some missing piece we’ve been looking for is prevalent in romance stories and love poetry. However, no one can make us happy with ourselves if we are not satisfied with ourselves in the first place. It is desired to marry someone who improves you, brings out the best in you, and balances your strengths and flaws with a different profile or skill set. While a fulfilling relationship can increase our happiness, it cannot compensate for the things that are actually lacking in our own sense of self or poor self-esteem.

You will only lose yourself in the relationship and feel even worse as a result as you forget who you are, what drove you and made you happy before, and what you really want and need as opposed to what you think you should want and need if you look to your marriage as your sole or main source of self-esteem, self-worth, or identity.

Trying to Change the Other Person

Too frequently, we try to mold others into the way we believe they ought to be. We attempt to alter the characteristics that first drew us to a person far too frequently. For instance, you may adore your new partner’s joy and childlike sense of carefreeness, but after getting married, you may view him as immature and reckless and attempt to alter him. You adore the warm, flirty, and outgoing personality of your new girl, but you subsequently believe that she is being too amiable with others and wish for her to be less amiable.

Other times, we meet someone who possesses parts of the qualities we value and others that we do not, and we try to modify the undesirable traits. People don’t behave that way. While we (ideally) develop and evolve throughout our lives, we rarely transform into wholly new individuals. The outgoing woman won’t suddenly turn into a wallflower, and the spontaneous man with the youthful outlook can’t be expected to suddenly become the one in the relationship who becomes the worrier and puts up safety nets for the future. However, we might be able to change a bad habit, such as if you and your spouse agree his smoking or her tardiness can and should be addressed. The function of his partner may have to be that.

We must be able to comprehend and accept our spouses for who they are. I recently overheard a man talk about how his calm demeanor and lack of emotional sensitivity made him fall in love. This was appealing and energizing coming from a family that was quite dramatic and emotionally sensitive. However, it then changed to, “Are you a robot?,” when his spouse responded less strongly than he believed was necessary during a dispute. Why don’t you respond to anything I say? Instead of feeling uncomfortable because her way of responding was different from what he was used to, he was better able to embrace their various ways after realizing that she was more level-headed than what he was used to and reminding himself that this was one thing he appreciated about her.

Lack of Presence

This is such a crucial problem. There seems to be less and less time to be fully present in a couple relationship today with so many couples having two careers, even after having children, and feeling the pressure of the trend of longer work hours, commutes, commitments and responsibilities outside the marriage, etc. This is especially true, in my opinion, once children are involved, so it doesn’t surprise me that a growing number of couples are divorcing soon after the kids move out. Too many couples discover they have lost their connection with one another after 25 years of marriage when they realize they haven’t gone on a date in a long time or had a conversation that wasn’t about the kids.

Being present in a relationship, especially a marriage, is crucial. Be mindful of your friendships. If you don’t stay in touch by calling, texting, or meeting up, the relationship deteriorates. A marriage is the same way. Yes, you see one other and chat to each other every day, but what are you really saying to each other—your thoughts and feelings, your love for one another, and your future plans—instead of asking who will do the grocery shopping?

Choosing who will handle today’s errands is vital as well, but going out to dinner without discussing the kids or household duties is more crucial for the future of your marriage. This will help you to remember why you decided to spend your life together in the first place. I do believe that childless couples find this task easier, but it is still possible to do even having a house full of young children clamoring for your attention.


Communication is a tried-and-true method. According to conventional thinking, communication is essential for a successful marriage. Why don’t we all give it more of a priority because we all know that? This marriage-related feature relates to the previous point about being present. We can talk to each other when we’re together. When we communicate, we are less likely to misinterpret each other’s meanings or assume that we know what the other person is thinking or feeling.

When we express our emotions, we are better able to deal with a problem before it gets out of hand. We keep the lines of communication open and foster healthier connections when we sit down and actually talk, rather than sending a fast text or talking while doing five other things. Lack of communication can lead to smaller problems growing into larger ones because we don’t say what we need to say and then harbor animosity. This is especially true when our partners don’t live up to our expectations (see above) because we never informed them what we expected in the first place.

Overall, keeping things in perspective, not expecting things we can’t get, being independent individuals who come together to be in a relationship rather than two halves of some magical whole, accepting the good and the bad (within reason, of course), continuing to talk, paying attention, and being present can all help many relationships. and assess if a matter merits conflict. Tomorrow it might not matter. In that case, let it be.