Are you having difficulties in your relationship? Do you feel like you’ve lost that sense of freshness and charm? Do other couples seem more caring and romantic? At times it appears that certain relationships are “made in heaven” and other relationships are just not, no matter how much they may try! But in reality, many things depend on your attitude, understanding and expectations of a relationship. You might be very sincere and dedicated, but totally unaware of certain beliefs, behaviors, and choices that you are making that may be secretly undermining and sabotaging your relationship!

Almost every long-term relationship out there will experience its’ share of ups and downs. And when you are going through a rough patch, it’s easy to point out what your partner is doing wrong and how their choices are negatively affecting your relationship. While that may be true, the best place to start when problems arise is by first asking yourself a few questions and doing some self-examination. This will help give you a new perspective and may help shed light on the situation.

Here are a few common areas where most relationships experience problems:

Different Expectations

One of the most common areas of relationship strife is the area of expectations. We all have certain things that we desire and expect of our relationships, which is normal. The problem begins when our expectations and our partner’s expectations don’t match up. And all too often, because expectations are different, we believe our expectation is right and our partner is wrong. Instead of actually taking time to first understand why we expect what we do, we can easily fall into the trap of judging the other person for not doing what we thought they should do. This is very common in all types of relationships. The key is to first examine your expectations, understand why you have them, communicate your expectations to your partner, and seek to understand their viewpoint and the expectations they have.

Individual Success

In a successful relationship, you both need to be able to celebrate each other’s successes. It’s important to genuinely celebrate the success of your partner instead of being jealous. A healthy relationship is the one that sincerely shares the success and failure of both partners, one who can share the disappointments of life, and also celebrate the successes!

Be Open and Honest

Without trust, it is very difficult for a relationship to flourish and grow. Be open and honest with your partner and make them feel secure. If you have a concern about something your partner is doing, bring it out in the open and discuss it with them instead of hinting at it or making snide remarks. Have the courage to talk with them in a calm, non-accusing manner. Many times, potential problems are simply a matter of misunderstandings or miscommunication. Once you take a few minutes to specifically address an issue, you will be able to clarify, understand and then move forward.

Sex life

Sex is one of the most common areas where differing expectation levels are encountered. Yet, it is an area where we often shy away from discussing with our partner. Again, communication is of utmost importance if you and your partner are having issues in your sex life. If you are not satisfied with your sex life then you will have to discuss these things with your partner. Both partners need to be willing to have an honest conversation about their sexual likes and dislikes and do it in a way that is not critical or demeaning to their partner. Many times, problems in the bedroom can be solved with simple solutions such as scheduling time for intimacy or getting away from daily stressors to connect, etc. Don’t be shy about bringing this subject up and discussing it. You may be surprised at the positive results.


Everyone has some flaws. If you do not like something about your partner, you can discuss it in a gentle way. But you should not keep repeating it over and over. By doing so, you will only worsen the condition. Instead, focus on the qualities that please you most. A healthy relationship is the one that is more forgiving and less demanding. Instead of constantly pointing out the negative, always be on the lookout for your partner’s positive features.

Negative Thinking

In most cases, partners spend too much time focusing on minor irritations, thus creating a negative thought pattern. They spend more time by creating or making arguments in their head instead of looking for the right solution. Whenever they feel that their partner will react negatively to a certain condition, they start creating imaginations about possible undesired outcomes instead of focusing on a positive solution. In the long run, this can erode a relationship.

Taking Our Partner for Granted

Everyone needs to feel loved and appreciated. Recognizing our partner’s value and significance on a regular basis can go a long way to provide the strength needed when serious problems or difficult situations arise. When we feel like our partner values and appreciate us, it can positively affect our self-esteem and motivation level to strive to invest more into our relationship! Therefore, it is important to look for ways to let our partners know how important they are in our life.

These are just a few tips on how to combat those subtle sabotages of our relationships. Remember that just a slight adjustment in implementing one positive strategy can alter one’s course significantly!

If you would like to speak with a professional about some issues that you and your partner may be facing in your relationship, Dr. Michael Cristiano is an excellent choice! Conveniently located in the Boca Raton Florida area, Dr. Cristiano is a board-certified psychologist and highly respected relationship expert. Having earned the coveted Psychology Today verification, Dr. Cristiano is a leader in the field of relationship issues and couples therapy. Schedule your appointment today by calling (561) 571-2772. Take action today to address any issues that are holding you and your partner back! You’ll be glad you did!