Abby is from the USA and moved to the Philippines…
While having conflicts will be inevitable in any relationship, most problems are things that can be easily worked out if you do so before they become too big, before too much resentment has built between you over a particular issue. This is why it’s important to approach any problems that you might be having with your partner relatively early so that you can figure out how to manage them before they turn into a serious fight. While just about any problem can be kept small if you deal with it soon enough, here are a few specific problems and how you can keep them from becoming relationship-breaking issues.
1. You’re jealous.
A mild amount of jealousy is normal to have in a relationship. Many of us are insecure from time to time, and as such, we can feel threatened when we perceive another person as getting too close to our man. Some even see jealousy as a proof of love, protection of what is important to you. However, it’s too easy to cross the line and turn a mild jealousy into an unbearable green monster.
Jealousy can turn into a hateful, suspicious habit way too fast, so it’s something that really must be nipped in the bud. If you have a problem with a certain other woman in particular, the best thing to do is approach your man and talk to him about it. If you believe you have genuine reasons for feeling threatened by her, share these with him. If he’s aware of your feelings, he’ll be able to reassure you that nothing is going on, and if necessary, distance himself from the other woman a little bit.
However, if you find yourself jealous all the time, at every turn and of every new woman in his life, be it a schoolmate, coworker, or friend of a friend, you need to check yourself before it’s too late. Nobody wants a controlling, insecure partner, and if that’s what you’re becoming, you need to find the root of the problem. When jealousy is a constant thing, it’s yourself that’s the problem, not him. Try to decipher the root of your insecurities and work on your trust levels as well. If you love yourself and trust your guy, jealousy should not be an issue.
2. You’re not having enough sex.
Physical intimacy is a part of most adult relationships. However, often when we’ve been with our partner for a long time, the flame tends to die down a little bit. Couples sometimes just get too busy with their separate lives, or perhaps there are children in the mix that make it hard to find time to be intimate together. Whatever the reason, if your sex life seems to be nonexistent, ending the relationship and moving on to the next guy is not necessarily the solution.
What seems to be the root of this problem? Does he just suddenly seem to have a lower sex-drive with no explanation? First of all, realize that he may just have a lot on his plate, perhaps he’s stressed out due to work and as a result, sexy-time has just become less important to him. Talk to him. Find out if there’s something bothering him that could be inhibiting your sex life. Ask if there’s something you can do to entice him, perhaps you can dig into his fantasies and find a way to get him back in the bedroom.
If it just seems to be your lives getting in each other’s way, perhaps a lack of privacy due to children or living with family, then it might be time to plan a couple’s vacation. Hire a babysitter for the night, or for the weekend, and take some time to rekindle the romance and sensuality in your relationship. Whether you get the kids out of the house or decide to treat yourselves and spend the night at a hotel, planning a special, sexy getaway is sure to have you both in the mood.
3. You’re having financial trouble.
Money problems can be a huge strain on relationships. Whether you have a shared bank account or keep your finances separate, debt is a serious problem that can ripple out and cause a ton of problems in most areas of your life. When you are in a serious relationship, whether you are married or not, finances often become a joint weight to bear, and can cause a lot of tension.
Money trouble and debt can consume you and has destroyed many relationships already, but you needn’t let it destroy yours. This is one area where having good communication is essential. Even if you aren’t married to your partner, if you foresee him in your future, then you have to be honest about even the more sensitive subjects. Not to mention, if you end up marrying him and then surprising him with a ton of debt that is now his responsibility too, it’s not going to go very well. So before that happens, talk to him about your problems.
Often, when something such as debt is lingering on our mind, we make the mistake of taking it out on those close to us. Instead of lashing out at your man, though, go to him for support. When it comes to a financial crisis, two heads are better than one, despite any hesitation you might have about sharing your troubles. If he really loves and respects you, he will try to understand and together you can come up with a plan to work your way back up, and you’ll have someone to keep you on track.
4. The relationship doesn’t feel like a priority anymore.
The magic that once filled your days when you were with him just doesn’t seem to have the same power over you that it once did. You might even say that your relationship has actually gotten boring. You find yourself missing that new-relationship phase and wondering if he even cares about your relationship anymore, or if he’d just let you walk away without a word.
First of all, you need to remember that every relationship hits a slump at some point, and this doesn’t necessarily have to spell out doom for the two of you. If you really feel like you and your relationship are no longer a priority to him anymore, it’s time to sit down and have a talk about it. You might be surprised by what your man says – perhaps he even feels the same way, that you’re the one who has lost interest in the relationship.
Don’t give up hope yet, you can still rekindle the spark! While most relationships eventually reach a point of stability that can be mistaken as boredom or indifference, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring the magic back. Try making an extra effort to show your man more attention. Give him random neck rubs, bake his favorite meal, wear a special perfume; do whatever it was you did to get his attention early in the relationship. He’ll surely notice and will likely want to return the favor, and now you have the chance to fall in love with each other all over again.
5. The amount of housework you do seems unbalanced and unfair.
Very few people actually relish the thought of coming home after a long day’s work and finding there’s already a mess to clean up. In older times, housework was the woman’s job, but now that most women are in the workforce as well, it’s an unrealistic and unfair expectation to assume they will continue to be the sole homemakers. When you come home every day to a mess you didn’t even make, it can get really frustrating.
If one of you has the time to, or actually wants to, be the sole house cleaner, there’s nothing wrong with that. But since that’s rarely the case in most modern couples, it’s time for our men to “man-up” and lend their women a hand around the house. You should take into consideration who works longer hours as well as other factors, but the responsibilities still need to be shared.
Try making a chore chart. It may seem a little juvenile, but it’s effective. Decide which duties belong to who, perhaps exchanging on a weekly basis so no one is stuck doing the one thing that they hate every time. When both of you share in the cleaning, you both also tend to be more aware of the mess you are making as you’re making it and as a result will probably go to greater lengths to make it easier for each other.
6. He prioritizes his job over you.
If your man has recently gotten a new job or a promotion, chances are that it’s going to demand more of his time than it used to. This can be a very frustrating thing in a relationship. In a perfect world, everyone would work from 9-5 and never have to work overtime or have to stay late because they got stuck in traffic, but sadly, we don’t live in that world. When your man seems to spend more time at his job than he does with you, sometimes even bringing his work home, it’s easy to feel neglected.
Take a deep breath, and try not to let your feelings cloud your judgement for a moment. If this prioritizing his job over you is a relatively new thing, try and see if there is a legitimate reason for why this is happening, perhaps a new job or promotion as mentioned before. Try to be understanding. Your man doesn’t likely enjoy his having to stay late all the time anymore than you do.
A lot of the time, working late is not really optional. If something has to be done, it has to be done, and a few extra hours here and there are not usually worth losing a job over. Talk to your man, though. Find out if all of these extra hours are really non-negotiable. If they are not, and it turns out he has the option to decline without any penalty, ask him if he wouldn’t mind turning it down at least once in a while.
7. He’s flirting with other girls and doesn’t see it as cheating.
Many people have different interpretations of what constitutes infidelity. We draw our lines at different places; some might see simple verbal flirting as cheating, others don’t consider it cheating unless sex is involved. However you view it, if you and your partner aren’t on the same page, it can cause quite the disaster.
Before it gets to this point, it is essential to have The Talk. You may think it’s not necessary, cheating is kinda a given no-no in any relationship, but boundaries still have to be established. I was dating a guy for about eight months once when I found out that he didn’t consider us exclusive. I had just assumed that it didn’t need to be said after that long and that we didn’t need to establish anything, but I turned out to be wrong. Don’t make the same mistake, and establish what your boundaries are early on.
Prevention is usually the best cure, and it goes double in this case. Cheating is a serious matter, so make sure he understands what cheating means to you, and vice versa.
8. He doesn’t trust you anymore.
Trust is a vital part of any relationship that is going to last, so if your partner has lost his trust in you for some reason, it needs to be addressed quickly. Neither of you will be happy staying in a relationship where one of you doesn’t trust the other, and it will likely lead to a big blow-out if you don’t get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later.
First of all, you need to know why he has lost his trust in you. If there isn’t an obvious reason you can think of, ask him point blank what has happened to make him lost his faith. If he can’t give you an honest, legitimate reason, then repairing your relationship might not be an option any longer. You can’t fix a problem if it doesn’t exist.
If, however, there is a reason behind his lost faith, there are steps that you can take to recover it. Start off by making sure to never ever lie to him – not even small white lies. Trust is hard to rebuild once it has been destroyed, so understand that it might take some time before things are as they were. In the meantime, do your utmost to be the most trustworthy person that you can be – and don’t stop even once you feel things are normal again.
Most relationship problems can be solved before they are even problems as long as you have good communication and foresight. Make sure to always address issues as soon as you become bothered by them; the sooner they are solved, the happier you both will be.
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Abby is from the USA and moved to the Philippines to be with her husband, David Christopher Hizon, who also happens to be her photographer for most of her writing endeavors. A gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie, she is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that will come across in her writing. Follow her at http://facebook.com/WritersInTandem & http://www.thewritersintandem.wordpress.com