4 Make-Or-Break Challenges You'll Face In Any Good Relationship

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At the beginning of a relationship, when everything is new, you can’t imagine ever having any challenges. You can’t see your partner’s flaws, so the relationship makes you feel wonderful. But, eventually, the honeymoon ends. You start seeing your partner as a human being with flaws like the rest of us. And that's when relationship problems begin. Many relationship problems are unsolvable. This means you need to learn to understand your partner and the problems in the relationship.

Healthy relationships take a lot of work and patience. Nothing is as black and white as it seems. But, once you know what to expect, you can learn how to fix a relationship and get through any challenge without resorting to a breakup or divorce.

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Here are 4 make-or-break challenges you'll face in any good relationship:

1. The chemistry isn’t always hot

In the beginning, you can’t wait to be physically intimate with your partner. It’s like a new adventure. You are getting to know your partner from the inside out. You’ve never felt this kind of chemistry. It must be right.

We all know after being in a relationship for a while life changes. Your list of responsibilities starts to take over, and your relationship gets lower on the list. We have found that what keeps the spark going is a good friendship. It might be time to update your Love Maps. This is where you get to know your partner inside and out. Let go of any secrets you have. The relationship needs to feel safe to do this. This means you don’t criticize one another. You also use "I" statements. Let your partner know how you feel and what you need.

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2. Your in-laws get in the way

You were best friends before the marriage, but now your partner is in the way. You may feel your partner puts his family first. You don’t like feeling like second best in the marriage. This makes you feel left out. Or, maybe you never got along. You thought getting married would change things, and it didn’t. You aren’t alone — many couples have problems with their in-laws. They do things differently than your family, and you don’t understand it.

This is an area where you want to stay away from judgment. Remember, they are your partner’s parents. Try to listen to their side, again, without judgment. Be sure to let your partner know you need to feel first in the relationship.

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3. You won't meet all the dreams you had for the relationship

You entered the relationship with dreams of what love is. You thought you knew your partner’s Love Language. You thought your partner would always understand you and take your side.

It’s okay to go into a relationship with dreams and expectations. But, the truth is, they won’t all be met. This is where you need to learn to self-soothe. You can’t rely on your partner for everything and to always be able to soothe you. It’s easy when you have been in a relationship for a while to always want your partner to soothe you when you feel down.

If your partner is unavailable, this is a great opportunity to self-soothe. Take a bubble bath, meditate, go for a walk in the sunshine, and listen to uplifting music. Make sure you do something that helps revive you and pleases you. This will help take a lot of pressure off of the relationship.

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4. Money issues will get in the middle of your relationship

When you first got together, you were both working. You loved your work. It didn’t matter who picked up the check. It just seemed to always work. Or did it?

Maybe you didn’t say anything because you didn’t want to upset your partner. Now, you have a mortgage and a family. Your work may not be as steady as it used to be. You didn’t think your job would be outsourced, and it was. This doesn’t mean you can’t find a new one. Times may have changed, but men often carry the financial burden. After a while, they can feel resentful about this.

It’s important to feel appreciated in the relationship, whether you work outside or inside the home. So, how do you do this? You say it. Let your partner know how much you appreciate how hard they work. This one can be easy to forget when the list of responsibilities has added up.



Even the best of relationships have their ups and downs. What’s important is how you follow the relationship advice above and learn how to repair and forgive. No one is perfect, so don’t expect your partner to be. This means letting your partner know when you have messed up with a sincere apology. This can be one of the simplest ways to repair, but many people have a hard time doing this.

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Lianne Avila is a licensed marriage and family therapist with a practice in San Mateo, CA. Her work has been featured in Psych Central, BRIDES, and Prevention.

This article was originally published at Lessons for Love. Reprinted with permission from the author.