The Relationship Issues Couples Therapists Hear About the Most

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Relationships issues are natural and are actually a sign of a healthy partnership. After all, if you don’t care enough to argue about anything, that means you’ve emotionally checked out of the relationship, which is way worse than passionately disagreeing with your partner because you care. However, you may find yourself wondering whether or not your drama with your partner is normal. Well, we have the insider scoop from couples therapists – they’re revealing the most common issues they hear about, and how to resolve them.

Trust Issues and Life Changes

Sadly, infidelity is the most common issue couples therapists see. Couples counselor Alyssa Calderon reveals, “Infidelity doesn’t have to end in a breakup, But it usually creates a distrust or lack of confidence that should be addressed.” Calderon suggests looking at the relationship’s underlying issues that may have caused the infidelity, rather than focusing on the cheating itself. In other words, the trick is to find a cure for the disease rather than the symptom.

Another topic that tends to come up in couples therapy is navigating major life changes. Therapist Vanessa Bradden shares, “I see a lot of people becoming first-time parents, for example, who want to navigate [preparing for] young children because they understand how complex and challenging that can be on the relationship.” This serves as an important reminder that couples therapy can be used to prevent relationship issues, rather than solely to solve problems that already exist.

Nasty Arguments and Feeling Unappreciated

It’s completely normal to argue in a relationship, however, it’s important to make sure those disagreements are productive. If nasty words are being thrown around, or people are trying to hurt each other’s feelings, that’s not exactly helpful towards solving any issues. That’s why a lot of couples turn to therapy to learn how to have productive discussions. Therapist Svea Wentzler says, “We’re able to point out the current challenges to communicating effectively, then help guide clients to learn the language and tools they need to engage in these talks without emotionally harming each other.”

People tend to notice what they contribute to a relationship more than they realize what their partner does. That’s why a lot of folks feel underappreciated by their partners. Therapist Amanda Craig shares, “Feeling like you’re not seen, not heard, by your partner—those are early warning signs that [people in the] relationship are starting to drift apart.” One way to make sure your partner notices all your hard work is to simply tell them! If you did the dishes or put extra time into looking nice for date night, let your partner know so they can express their appreciation.

The Spark Is Gone and Money Issues

It can be hard to keep that spark going for a long time, which is why couples who have been together many years may need some help reigniting the flame. While talking to an expert is certainly a good step, you may also want to try experimenting with new things you and your partner haven’t experienced together.

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Unsurprisingly, money is a huge issue in a lot of relationships. While we all know money can’t buy happiness, it can relieve a lot of stress within a household. Therapist Sabrina Romanoff explains, “Financial issues can be a tremendous stressor on a relationship on multiple levels. if a couple can’t afford to meet basic needs [like getting food on the table], it can lead to a lack of safety and more strain.” Romanoff feels that being open and honest about finances is the key. She says, “It’s helpful to explore how couples discuss their finances and what barriers they have to talk about money openly.”

Lack of Boundaries

A lot of people struggle with setting boundaries, and that task can become especially difficult when the family is involved. A lot of couples seek out therapists to help with overbearing in-laws. Therapist Gayane Aramyan says building a visitation schedule that works for everyone can really help. According to Aramyan, “It’s really about finding that happy medium and discovering ways that your partner can make you feel more comfortable.”