El Dorado Hills
Psychological Center

10 Common Pitfalls Couples Face

1. Failing to keep promises, lying, or cheating. These blatant violations of trust often result in failed relationships. If the basic trust in a love relationship is repeatedly broken, the problems accumulate and the motivation to stay together decreases. Partners in healthy relationships agree to reconcile their differences - and if they keep their promises, the relationship can stay strong. However, consistent lying, cheating, or breaking of promises can often be why relationships end.
2. Imbalance of power. A common problem couples face occurs when one partner has more decision-making power than the other. When one person usually makes the decisions about activities, friends, financial matters, household matters, holidays, and so on, the relationship can become unstable. If a sense of equality doesn't exist, a failed relationship could be the result.
3. Acceptance of stereotypes. Mistaken gender myths include beliefs such as "Men like sex more than women" or "Women are passive" or "Men make more money than women." If one partner believes these stereotypes, false expectations are created - resulting in higher chances of a failed relationship. An equal balance of power can save your marriage.
4. Isolation. A common problem couples face when they're newly in love is isolation from friends and family. Love relationships based on fear and insecurity (which is why couples isolate themselves) aren't stable, and exacerbate other problems - which can lead to the breakup of a romantic relationship.
5. Lack of self-knowledge. If one or both partners aren't in tune with their interests, needs, desires, future plans, goals, values, sexual attitudes, and preferences - then it's difficult for them to engage in a healthy relationship. Self-knowledge helps partners communicate who they are and what they want - which can prevent the breakup of a romantic relationship. This can be a common problem couples face if they got together when they were young.

6. Low self-esteem, insecurity, and lack of self-confidence. A common reason relationships end is because one partner feels unworthy of being loved. This insecurity can lead to possessiveness and overdependence, which isn't healthy for a love relationship. Building self-esteem and self-confidence is one way to build a healthy relationship (but each partner must do this for him or her self).
7. Excessive jealousy. "Jealousy is cited as one of the most frequent causes of the breakup of romantic relationships," says Roger Hock in Human Sexuality. Delusional jealousy can trigger abuse and violence, which can (and should) be why relationships end. Delusional jealousy isn't a common problem couples face - but normal jealousy can be.
8. Ineffective communication. If both partners can't share their thoughts, feelings, opinions, values, needs, frustrations, or even their joys, a failed relationship could result. If this was the cause of a breakup, then learning to love again could involve learning how to communicate effectively. This is a common problem couples face, for various reasons.
9. Control issues. If one partner is trying to control or manipulate the other, the love relationship can become weak - or even dangerous. This reason why relationships end may be seen in different ways, such as checking up on the partner, name-calling, threatening the partner, requiring the partner check in all the time, or not allowing any deviations from the partner's schedule. This isn't loving behavior, and it results in failed relationships.
10. Violence. This is the most obvious, surefire way to destroy a romantic relationship. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, and emotional abuse are attempts to gain total control over a partner. Though relationships like this should end immediately, many partners stay for various complicated reasons. Learning to love again can be difficult if violence is the reason for the breakup of the romantic relationship.
Working towards a healthy, loving relationship is one of the most rewarding and challenging things you'll ever do. These reasons why relationships end are common problems couples face; becoming familiar with them may save your marriage, or prepare you to love again.
Source: Human Sexuality by Roger Hock. © Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen