Relationship problems can occur even in the most harmonious partnership. For couples in crisis, it is important to understand one thing: The secret of a happy relationship is not to avoid hurdles of your love, to push them aside or to act as if they didn’t exist. It rather lies in understanding the message and the core of the problem and working together to resolve it. In this way, the partners will not distance themselves from each other, but emerge stronger from the crisis.
Too high expectations – great disappointment
Seeing things through rose-colored glasses, butterflies in the stomach, sweet love messages, red roses, hot sex, big feelings and a lot of passion: this is what the initial phase of many relationships looks like. The partners can hardly keep their eyes and hands from each other. Every minute they spend apart is agony. That’s just how things are supposed to go on and on. And this is perhaps the greatest love error of mankind. Because even the greatest love cannot stand up to such high expectations without the help of the lovers. At some point, daily routine inevitably sets in. The rose-colored glasses fade, the butterflies become sluggish. And then? Then, you could say, the real relationship is just beginning and we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. Often, partners are disappointed when the feelings of intense infatuation subside, the excited tingling in the gut abates. Suddenly they argue with their partner about the full trash can, the dirty dishes, the worn socks next to the laundry basket or other little things, instead of enjoying their togetherness. They recognize quirks in their apparently perfect dream partner and begin to doubt their relationship. Now the partnership is subjected to quite a few stress tests and love must prove itself. If this fails because disappointment and doubt gain the upper hand, for example, the stress test develops into a genuine relationship or marriage crisis. In the worst case, the only solution is separation or divorce.
Is everyday life a love killer?
We speak of a relationship crisis when problems manifest themselves, when they have developed into negative patterns and when small disputes have become permanent conflicts. It is not uncommon for a crisis to develop out of love’s test of stamina after the first infatuation. In addition to the disappointment of unfulfilled expectations, there are the usual everyday issues such as stress at work or money problems. Occasional differences of opinion can easily turn into apparently insurmountable conflicts. An initial annoyance over small quirks of the partner can creepingly become a permanent dissatisfaction, which can lead to the relationship crisis over the long term. A major matter of argument – especially for women – is an unequally distributed workload in the household. They complain about unfinished tasks, clothes left lying about or tipped-up toilet seat lids. If the partner then at some point goes deaf and withdraws, the relationship quickly gets into a vicious circle. This can go so far that a normal conversation is no longer possible, because every well-meant word of one partner is seen as an attack by the other and thus leads to the next dispute.
The subject of sex
In most partnerships, sex becomes less common in the course of the relationship. This is quite normal and not automatically a sign of a relationship crisis. Sex isn’t everything. A relationship can be divided into three areas:
Ideally, the three areas are equally fulfilled for both partners. Likewise, the fewest relationships work without sex at all. What is important is a good balance, and above all that both partners are satisfied with their sex life – no matter how pronounced this may be. Only if the couple talks about unfulfilled sexual wishes, they can be fulfilled. Otherwise, one partner or even both partners are sexually dissatisfied. And this is not always, but very often, a reason for infidelity.
Problems caused by changing living conditions
Just as the advent of everyday life can lead couples into a crisis, relationship problems can also arise from a change of the usual living conditions. When two partners live together in a relationship, they develop habits, fixed responsibilities and processes over time. If they get confounded, the couple must find a way to deal with that. This may be the case, for example, when a partner who has been at home for several years returns to work and has less time for the other and for the household. Naturally, the birth of a child means a particularly big change for a couple’s everyday life. With a new family member, the couple receives new tasks and additional responsibilities. They no longer are only partners, but suddenly also parents. Especially at the beginning it is often difficult to keep the balance between the different roles. It is not uncommon that women in particular miss out on their role as a partner because of their newly acquired role as a mother. If the partner feels neglected and withdraws, the couple is heading for a crisis.