It’s Not Just You: The Common Problems Of Long-Term Relationships

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Healthy Relationship Advice For Long-Term Couples, Married Partners, & People Dating

When you fall in love, the world is a wonderful place full of hearts and unicorns. Fast-forward a few years and your starry-eyed romance has morphed into a humdrum existence of who’s turn it is to cook the dinner or take the trash out. Not surprisingly,  too many couples grow apart and split before they reach the five-year mark.

It takes a lot of effort to keep the spark alive in a long-term relationship. Here are some of the many problems you can expect to face as time ticks on.

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1. Loss of intimacy

The first 6-12 months of a relationship are hot and heavy. You can’t wait to tear each other’s clothes off and when you are not having sex, you are usually thinking about having sex.

This is nature’s way of ensuring you forge an intimate bond that keeps you together in the long term – ideally to raise children together. In time, however, the fierce lust of attraction wanes and turns into a less frenetic bond of love and mutual adoration.

Unfortunately, for many couples, once the relationship heads into the long-term territory, the pressures of everyday life take over and intimacy goes out of the window. Add kids into the mix and opportunities for bedroom fun are few and far between.  

Try and reconnect at least once a week. Make time for a date night when you can spend quality time together. Look at sex toys if you want to spice up your sex life; there are some products that are great for couples. However,if one of you is actively avoiding sex, you need to sit down and talk about why that’s the case.

2. Leading separate lives

It’s healthy to have your own interests. Living in each other’s pockets is not good for your sanity and it guarantees you won’t have a good support network if the relationship fails.

However, there is a very real danger that you may end up leading separate lives if you are not careful.

Try and do things together. Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby as a couple. This gives you things to talk about beyond your shared life . Couples who have fun together tend to stay together in the long-term.

Remember, friendship is the foundation of any successful long-term relationship, and friendship lasts far longer than sexual attraction.

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3. Boredom

Boredom is a relationship killer. If you find your partner deeply boring, there is no real incentive to make the relationship work. Of course, it isn’t always your partner that bores you. Often, it’s the relationship that’s boring.

In the early days of a relationship, couples go on dates, spend quality time together, and have fun. But as time goes on, they settle down into a routine and dates are few and far between.

Instead of spending a fun afternoon together, many couples end up arguing over who left the wet towels on the bathroom floor.

Don’t let boredom set in and kill your relationship. Make an effort to keep the romance alive. Plan a surprise weekend away or sweep your partner off for a romantic meal once in a while. Keep them on their toes and remind them why they fell in love with you.

4. Poor communication

If you can’t talk about your problems, the relationship is doomed. All couples have issues from time to time. It’s perfectly normal. Instead of bottling up your annoyance or being upset, sit down and have a conversation. Don’t get angry or resort to leaving passive-aggressive notes on the refrigerator. That won’t help!

Book some couples therapy if communication issues are blighting your long-term relationship. This is one issue that will fester if left untreated.

Follow the strategies above and your relationship will go the distance. 

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This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.