Small problems in relationships are often the ones that we overlook or ignore when they are really the ones that we should be addressing right away.
After all, big problems don’t usually start out as big problems.
They start with the little annoyances and moments that we tuck away for a fight later on. I remember when I was younger that the piece of relationship advice I was always given was to “pick your battles.”
I agree that you shouldn’t be complaining about every single thing that your partner does. However, when we hold in our feelings and let them build up… it usually results in an explosion of emotions.
Here are four seemingly “small” problems that you should address in your relationship now before they evolve into big ones.
#1. You aren’t on the same page when it comes to your future
When I was in college I was dating a great guy. We had a lot of fun together and there was an intense attraction between the two of us.
However, there was a major issue that ended up being our demise. He was certain that he wanted kids soon whereas I had just turned twenty-one and kids were the last things on my mind.
Instead of addressing the issue, we tried to ignore it. When we saw babies out there was an awkward silence that would fall between the two of us. We ended up getting in a huge fight one night and things ended between us.
The reality is that I do want kids. I just felt rushed in that relationship and I wonder what would have happened if we had communicated more instead of letting the kid topic build up until there was resentment.
#2. This is no balance when it comes to the household
While I was growing up, my Dad didn’t have a job most of the time. In fact, the only time I remember him having a job was when I was very young. My Mom did everything.
She cleaned houses and then when she got home she would clean up after her kids.
Looking back, I have no idea why my Dad didn’t help my Mom. Instead of carrying his weight, he sat back and allowed her to do everything. However, some of this falls on my Mother as well.
She didn’t confront him about his lack of help. She silently went about her work and years later when she woke up one day wanting a divorce, it was no surprise to any of us except for my oblivious Father.
#3. Neither of you wants to bring up a lack of intimacy
A few years ago I was in an amazing relationship with a man that I considered to be my best friend. We got along so well and the topic of marriage came up. There was only one issue that was constantly at the back of my mind.
In the year that we had been together, I could count the times that we had been intimate on one hand. As a person that is quite sexual, I didn’t know how to cope. I loved him so much that I decided to try to push my yearnings aside.
One night I remember crying and telling him that we didn’t need to be sexual and that it was okay.
Our relationship ended because of the distance between us (we lived in different countries and my visa expired) but it really ended because neither of us wanted to bring up the elephant in the room.
#4. You get too comfortable with each other
The place where relationships fail the most from my experience is when people stop trying to make an effort because they feel comfortable.
Early on in my current relationship my partner sat me down and was completely honest with me. He told me how much he loved me, but that he felt like he was pouring 100% into the relationship whereas I was just kind of… floating along.
Yes, it hurt to hear but I am so glad that he said something because it gave me the opportunity to correct my behavior. I cared so much for him and the fact that I was being so complacent in the relationship was a huge wake-up call and I quickly turned things around.
There are still times when I pick my battles, but most of the time I still tell my partner when something bothers me and he communicates in the same way.
It can feel scary at times but if you truly want your relationship to work it’s important to address and confront the problems that come up, even when they seem small.