It takes no time, and almost no effort, to fall in love with a person. But it can take months and years to build a healthful relationship and a lot of effort to sustain it. When falling in love, you are drawn to and most aware of your mate’s positives. But to build a lasting relationship, you’ll need to accept both the positives and negatives of your partner. When that doesn’t happen, relationships often fail.
While the reasons relationships fail vary from one couple to another, we list a few common ones in this post, along with some tips for overcoming these problems for relationship success.
11 Reasons Relationships Fail
Adjustments, understanding, and loyalty are a few essential components of a long-lasting relationship. Without these elements, building and maintaining a strong relationship foundation is impossible.
Other common reasons relationships fail are discussed next.
1. Unrealistic expectations
“Expectations were like fine pottery. The harder you held them, the more likely they were to crack.”– Brandon Sanderson, Science fiction and American fantasy writer
One of the common reasons for failing relationships is expecting too much from your partner. Initially, expectations are relatively low and therefore easily fulfilled. The infatuation stage is often filled with romantic dinners, gifts, and much more. Partners tend to be their best selves and are able to overlook the other’s flaws. But with time, infatuation fades and partners begin to see each other
more realistically, and have a harder time denying potentially problematic differences.
For example, you may be ready for marriage and children, though your partner is more focused on career goals. Or, you might be looking forward to travel and adventure, while your partner prefers a more settled life. A mismatch of such expectations can create a great deal of conflict in your relationship.
What to do: You are one couple, but two different individuals. Make sure to share your aspirations and expectations openly. When you encounter differences, try to find ways for each person to have some of what they want. Rather than judging and reacting, seek to understand each other’s desires.
Open and transparent communication is one of the essential aspects of a healthy relationship. Whether you are trying to hide something important from your significant other or you are not getting enough time to communicate, miscommunication can create cracks in even the most solid romantic relationships.
Lack of communication can make a partner feel lonely, causing them to look elsewhere for love and affection. Miscommunication between you and your partner may also lead to a build up of negative feelings, which can destroy a relationship over time.
What to do: When you identify a communication problem between you and your partner, address it before it gets out of hand. Prioritize and practice healthy communication, as it can clear most of the problems arising in a relationship. Make time to routinely discuss issues that are creating a gap between you.
3. No room for compromises
Balance is a key element in happy relationships. Refusal to budge and compromise, even when your partner is unhappy, can create resentment. Inflexibility in thinking and an unwillingness to consider your partner’s perspective can undermine the building of a supportive partnership.
What to do: Sometimes, it is okay to let your partner decide. Stay focused on the bigger picture rather than fixating on winning each battle. Love should be selfless, not selfish. Make room for some adjustments and compromises and see how easy your relationship can become.
Someone said, “love doesn’t break hearts, the ego does.”
Ego is a small word, but can deliver a strong punch to a relationship. Even a hint of egoism can destroy a loving bond. In lasting relationships, partners regularly convey an understanding and interest in each other. Ego is about oneself, one’s self-esteem, and one’s desires. And expecting adjustments and compromises from the other to satisfy your ego is not conducive to the healthful exchange of love and support. With ego comes self-centeredness and distance between partners.
What to do: If you are an egoist, you always want to be right. But know that it is totally okay to be wrong. Work to change your orientation from “me” to “other,” and to consider ways to meet your partner’s needs. Think about what would happen if you let your ego dominate your relationship. Would your partner be happy about it? Does it bring you closer to your partner? And is it worth jeopardizing the relationship for the sake of your ego? If you answer “no,” to the questions above, stay calm and allow your pushy ego to subside.
5. Trust issues
The foundation of every romantic relation is trust and loyalty. Some factors that contribute to a lack of trust in a relationship include too much dependence, possessiveness, jealousy, cheating, and past negative incidents. When there is insufficient trust, there is very llittle relationship security. That means that the relationship sees no bright future or, in some cases, no future at all.
What to do: The absence of trust will bring out the worst in both partners. Commit to working together to make a plan to re-establish trust if it’s been broken in the past. If trust hasn’t been broken, try to have faith in your relationship and give your partner some freedom. Redirect your worries by giving your brain an activity to keep it occupied.
It is okay to get angry, but acting on it with aggression or violence is not okay at all. Intense anger hampers one’s ability to effectively problem solve. Therefore, making decisions when angry can lead to regretful and damaging statements and behavior.
Anger can not only spoil your relationship with your partner but can also damage your quality of life. If either one of you is dealing with extreme anger issues and is not able to control it, then your relationship could be in trouble.
What to do: Learn to avoid impulsive reactions. Take a moment to ask yourself – “what could happen if I react aggressively?” You could do something you regret, and your partner might get hurt. Is it worth it? Give yourself time to unwind, and agree with your partner to work through problems at a later time.
7. Lack of compatibility
One of the greatest authors, Leo Tolstoy, said, “what counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.” You and your loved one are two different individuals with different sets of likes and dislikes. So, it is possible that you may not like what your partner wants. But that is what a compatible relationship is about – respecting each other’s desires and adjusting accordingly. Without this, your relationship may fall apart.
What to do: Discuss your needs and wants with your partner. It is okay if you don’t have shared interests between you. What matters is that each of you respects the other’s preferences, and finds time to enjoy your unique interests.
8. Messy priorities
We all have priorities. If these priorities are not managed well, you may run into relationship problems. For instance, you may be too busy with your work, or spend all your free time with friends, and repeatedly place family problems at the end of the list. Such imbalance of priorities is one reason relationships fail.
What to do: When you don’t like some of your partner’s habits, let them know about it. Each of you should try to organize your time to make room for the other. Maintain a balanced schedule to minimize future conflicts. And when your partner’s behavior cannot be changed, do your best to accept them.
Although it is not so common, narcissistic behavior will pose a threat to any relationship. Manipulation, cheating, playing with emotions, threatening, dismissal, or belittling are some destructive narcissistic behaviors that cannot be tolerated for long.
What to do: The first thing you need to understand when dealing with a narcissistic partner is that it is going to be really difficult for you to manage your relationship. But if you are committed and love your partner, then you may take some strict measures to bring it back on track. Establish firm boundaries, clearly assert your needs, concerns, and limits, and seek help from a counselor if necessary.
10. Too dependent
Emotional dependency is harmful not only for your relationship but also for you. We all need someone to share our happiness with or listen to us and bring us up when we are down. However, expecting your partner to manage your feelings, and to make you a happy person is unrealistic and unhealthy. Your partner will likely become resentful of your impossible expectation, and you will
become consumed with disappointment.
What to do: A relationship should be interdependent, comprised of two individuals coming together to enhance each other’s lives – not to make each other whole.. You may want to be with your partner, but you should also want a life outside of the relationship. Spare some time for yourself and give some space to your partner.
Some other common reasons that could be responsible for damaging a relationship include monetary issues, disrespecting each other, taking the relationship casually, boredom, taking each other for granted, and even infidelity.
What to do: In case of petty issues, such as boredom, or minor disagreements, you can make some small amendments and bring your relationship on track. But if your relationship is at risk due to issues such as disrespect and finances, it is essential to work on them by talking about it with your partner.
Any number of problems can lead a relationship to fail. To build and maintain a happy and strong partnership, commit to working on your own self, support your partner, and try every possible way to bring your relationship on track.
Do you have any tips or experiences to share? Leave your comments below.
Image Credit: freepik
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