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4 Common Problems in Long-Term Relationships

Most Couples Therapists would agree that some predictable problems arise in long-term relationships.

  • Taking each other for granted. Unfortunately, couples over time, as they live together, start to take each other for granted, having a false sense that their partner will be there no matter what. What that means, often, is that they become complacent and “lazy” in the relationship. As a result, the relationship goes stale, becomes boring, one of both partners stop putting in effort in how they treat each other. This becomes a dangerous situation, particularly when one of the partners is secretly or openly craving attention. It is a fertile ground for a sexual or emotional affair.
  • Diminished or non-existent romantic and sexual relationship. Over time, especially when a couple becomes parents, children are the focal point of the relationship and partners don’t realize that they are becoming disconnected. Romance and sex take a back seat after all other chores and responsibilities are completed and there is nothing left emotionally or due to exhaustion. We know that couples who manage to continue to have a romantic and sexual connection do so because they make it a priority. They think about it, make time and space for and plan for it.
  • Fun is the thing of the past. Oftentimes, there are less and fewer fun times as the couple continues in their journey together. It is the thing of the past. It is very important to have fun in your relationship and in life. It beats stress and enriches everything you do, it makes you feel alive. Being married and having kids is not a reason the couple cannot plan fun things for themselves. Think back to things you did at the beginning of your romance, new experience you were willing to have and went out of your way to having. Sitting on the couch or going out to dinner once in a while cannot be the only fun things left in your relationship.
  • Long-standing resentments and unresolved conflicts. It is important to be aware of and continue to talk about hurts and disappointments that happen along the way. They are pretty much inevitable. What is critical is that they are not “swept under the rug”, as many of my clients like to say. They need to be talked about, apologized about over and over again and if there is still a conflict, please seek professional help to deal with it.