4 Most 'Unsolvable' Problems In Relationships — Solved

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Couple looking stressed

Every couple has their ups and downs, which is why learning how to fix a relationship by improving your communication with your partner is essential. And while it's true that some issues can't be overcome, four of the most common long-term relationship problems can be solved. At the beginning of your relationship, everything feels new. You can’t imagine ever having any kind of challenge with your new partner. And, sometimes, you can’t see their flaws. This new relationship makes you feel wonderful. —

But, eventually, the honeymoon period ends. You start to see your partner as a real human being with flaws, like the rest of us. Problems are part of every relationship. In fact, in his widely cited research, Dr. John Gottman found that 69 percent of all problems within any given marriage or long-term romantic relationship are unsolvable, i.e., "perpetual problems that may represent underlying conflicts and that can lead to emotional gridlock." This means you need to learn to understand your partner and your problems in the relationship. Nothing is as black and white as it seems.

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Here are the 4 most common 'unsolvable' problems in relationships — solved:

1. The intimacy won't always be hot

In the beginning, you can’t wait to jump in the sack 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 before, so It must be right. But, after being together or married for a while, that changes. Your list of responsibilities takes over, and your relationship gets pushed lower and lower in the order of your priorities.

What keeps the spark going is a good friendship, so it might be time to update your "love maps." This is where you get to know your partner inside and out, letting go of any secrets you may have. Your relationship needs to feel safe to do this. That means you don’t criticize one another, instead using "I" statements, as you let your partner know how you feel and what you need. Your emotional and physical intimacy will improve as a result.

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2. Your families will get in the way

You may have been the best of friends with his parents at first, but now that you're married or in a long-term relationship, they are in the way. You may sometimes feel your partner puts his family first, and you don’t like feeling like second best, as this makes you feel left out. Or, maybe you never got along, but you thought getting married would change things, and it didn’t.

You aren’t alone; many couples have problems with each other's families. They just do things differently than your family did, 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 listening to their side, again, without judgment. And make sure to let your partner know you need to feel that you come first with him.



3. Some of your dreams and expectations will never be met

You entered this relationship with dreams and visions 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 alright to go into a relationship with dreams and expectations, but, realistically, you should know that 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. When you've been in a relationship for a while, it's easy to want your partner to soothe you when you feel down, but if your partner isn't available, then this is a great opportunity to take care of yourself. Take a bubble bath, meditate, go for a walk in the sunshine, or listen to positive music. 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. You will experience some level of stress around money

When you first got together, you were likely both working. You loved your work. It didn't matter who picked up the check; it just seemed to always work out ...Or did it? Maybe, you just didn't say anything back then because you didn't want to upset your partner. Now, you have a mortgage and/or kids. Your income may not be as steady. You didn’t think your job would be outsourced, but it was. And so on.

Times have changed, but many men still carry the financial burden in relationships, and after a while, they may grow resentful about this. And of course, the same holds when a woman is the one carrying most of the financial weight. That is why it's important to make sure your partner feels appreciated by you, and the best way to do this is by saying it. Let your partner know how much you appreciate the hard work they do to support your family regularly.



Even the best marriages and relationships have their share of ups and downs. What’s important is that you learn to repair and forgive. No one is perfect, so don’t expect your partner to be. This also means letting your partner know when you have messed up, with a sincere apology. It's one of the simplest ways to fix a relationship, but so many people have a hard time doing it.

RELATED: 5 Healthy Expectations Within Marriage, According To A Relationship Therapist

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