Long-term couples face certain stressors which can cause cracks in the relationship. Learn what they are how to combat them.
Many couples that look happy from the outside are not always happy behind closed doors. All couples have conflicts but how they deal with it is what matters. Conflicts can arise at every stage of your life.
Several new developments in an existing situation can be a prime cause for conflict. A couple may be well-adjusted to doing household chores but when a baby comes into the equation, everything can go for a toss. A major move, change in financial situations and a death in the family can be other stressors in a relationship. Here are a few other stressful situations long-term couples face, according to Bustle.
Disparity in sexual appetites
"In my practice I notice that many couples feel stressed about the frequency of sex," said Dr Alexandra Miller, psychologist. "This disagreement can also affect the amount of affectionate touching because the partner who wants less sex may 'freeze up' if they think an affectionate touch is an invitation." It is not uncommon for the sex to go down once couples have spent a long time together. Following a sex schedule can help inject some life in the bedroom and reignite the intimacy and romance.
Spending time with in-laws
Getting along with your partner’s family is hard enough but it gets even tougher when you don’t see eye to eye with them in matters. You will still have to spend the holidays with them and do so cordially without hurting anyone’s feelings.Psychotherapist Deanna Fernandez said that that can be stressful for most couples. "Couples counseling can also help offer insight to any problems and help each partner identify better ways to respond to particularly difficult family members," Fernandez said.
Going through major life changes
Major transitions like moving to a new city, starting a new job, or loss of a loved one can not only cause pain, but also put strain on your relationship with your partner. "For long-term couples it can be extremely challenging to be thrown off your normal routine," Fernandez said. Sometimes, these transitions happen so suddenly and thus, at such times, it is important to keep the lines of communication open between the couple.
Arguing over finances
Fighting or arguing over money is one of the most common conflict areas for couples. No matter how much you earn, it will always been a topic of discussion. Each person has different spending and saving habits and it can irk the other person. If you are someone who likes to save, then your partner blowing money on shopping can spark up arguments. When there's an obvious imbalance, it can cause resentment to build if your issues aren't being aired out as they come.
Planning a trip together
Going for a vacation is supposed to be fun, but the planning of the trip can be a stressor for most couples. More often than not, the tension starts in the initial stages of planning. "Couples have widely differing ideas of the 'perfect vacation.' Your idea of a perfect vacation might be getting up at noon and relaxing by the pool. But if your partner wants to get up early and see as much of the area as possible, it may not be the bonding experience you hoped for,” said Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist. Planning a vacation together can also bring up arguments about money as well. "Talk about what you would like without making the other one wrong and respect your differences," Scott-Hudson concluded.
Re-evaluating long-term goals as a couple
When you first got together, chances are that you and your partner agreed on most things and were willing to make ample sacrifices for each other. But only in rare cases does life really go on as planned. But these goals keep evolving. "When your goal seems to be going in the opposite direction from your partner's, it could be a problem," Schweyer said. Find the middle ground between your goals and learn to compromise to live happily ever after.