3 Common Long Term Relationship Problems and How to Fix Them

All long term relationships have difficult times! Don't let anyone tell you different! In this blog I'm unpicking 3 of my FAQ around relationship problems.

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When I was thinking about what to blog about this week I was reminded of some conversations I’ve had recently with a few of you lovely ladies. Conversations around long term relationship problems, and whether the problems are “normal” and if they can be fixed (and, crucially, how to fix them ASAP!)

I absolutely love being able to have one to one conversations, answering questions and helping couples out individually however I thought I’d put together a blog of all the most popular questions that come my way.

These are some common long term relationship problems and my *humble* advice on how to fix them.

Long Term Relationship Problems- Remember You’re Not Alone!

I really hope this blog helps you practically if you’re struggling at the moment but also reminds you emotionally that you’re not alone or weird for finding something difficult in your relationship.

All of us long term relationship-ers hit a rough patch now and again. That rough patch can look like:

  • Spending no time together

  • Not feeling connected to each other

  • Sex and intimacy going missing

  • Or, just feeling like you’ve hit a wall in your relationship

Relationships take work, they don’t naturally sustain or maintain themselves unfortunately!

So please don’t feel bad for looking somewhere for support and please talk to someone if you do need a friendly ear (even if it’s to remind you that you’re absolutely NORMAL for feeling the way you do!)

Long Term Relationship Problem #1:

"Is it normal for a long term relationship to feel boring sometimes?"

Short answer? YEP!

The idea that the honeymoon period should last forever causes so many problems in relationships. This “spark” we should all be keeping safe and firmly lit at all times, it’s as rare as Bigfoot I swear!

A more realistic view of relationships is this:

Relationships ebb and flow; they have moments of high passion and excitement and then they have moments of calm. This is perfectly normal.

Don’t fall into the trap of mistaking the calm for boring or broken.

Also, don’t look to other people to see if your relationship measures up! Comparing your relationship to someone else’s only causes cracks where there were none before, because actually...

  1. From the outside you never truly know how someone elses relationship is doing

  2. We’re all human so our relationships and our needs are very unique- someone else’s relationship would never work for you because it’s been built for them… I hope that makes sense?

If your relationship is feeling a little lacklustre or stagnant the best thing you can do is ask yourself, what do you both want?

What could you both start doing to bring back some fun?

It could be something simple as making time for each other and prioritising a monthly date night.

Or, picking out a sex toy to play with together.

Or, surprising your partner with some sexy new lingerie- there's lots of options!

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Long Term Relationship Problem #2:

"How do you talk to your partner about sex without feeling super awkward?"

Communication is the single BIGGEST relationship issue I get asked about.

One of the most popular communication problems people speak about is the desire to talk about sex with their partners but fear getting in the way.

I understand this because until you start talking about sex it feels like this giant elephant in the room! We aren’t taught how to talk about sex; instead we’re actually slowly socialised to believe it’s un-ladylike and inappropriate to be open about our intimate lives.

Therefore you probably don’t have any fallback methods of how to bring your sex life into casual conversation with your partner.

But if you want your sex life to improve you’re going to have to begin by talking!

A disclaimer: to be very honest, this conversation will be awkward the first time you have it because it’s different for you BUT it gets easier I promise! The second, third, fourth, tenth time you bring up sex it’ll feel more natural so it’ll be more comfortable.

To help you get through that first time I’ve got some tips:

  1. Don’t talk about sex when you’re about to hop into bed or when you’re in the middle of something sexual. I know it seems like the most timely moment to talk S.E.X but it’s really not. Trying to have a serious conversation in an intimate moment can be at best a mood-killer and at worst a confidence-ruiner. Wait for a more comfortable, neutral moment like when you’re spending quality time together.

  2. Only start this conversation when you’re both in a good frame of mind- be confident, be sober and be open. This conversation is about having both your needs met so you both need to be prepared to have the chat and that includes being willing to talk. If you try to start the conversation when someone is already feeling low or insecure, you’ll likely get a defensive response and this is not going to lead to positive change.

  3. Listen! Make sure both of you get a chance to speak and make sure both people are LISTENING and taking in what the other person is saying. We all do that thing where we look like we’re present but we’re actually thinking about 50 other things we could be doing in the house right now! Effective communication however is about tuning everything else out, being present in the moment and listening to your partner. You’ll only be able to take real steps forward if you begin from a place of being heard.

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Long Term Relationship Problem #3:

"I don’t feel sexy or confident and this is impacting my relationship"

It makes me so sad that this is so frequently brought up to me but alas it doesn’t surprise me either.

We’ve all been here ladies! When our confidence for one reason or another has hit rock bottom.

Women I’ve spoken to before about confidence have shared that the following has impacted their confidence levels:

  • Having children and no longer recognising your body

  • Going through a stressful life event

  • Attempting to balance life, work, kids, relationship etc- you tend to put yourself to the bottom of the pile

  • Weight change and not feeling 100% comfortable in your new skin yet

  • Being active on social media and being inundated with “perfect” bodies all day long

  • Being a survivor of sexual trauma and feeling disconnected from your body as a result

  • Having a change in life and the anxiety of that rocking your feeling of self-worth

Whatever the reason, and there are plenty that aren’t up there, most of us struggle with our confidence at some point in our lives. So please don’t feel alone with this.

Even when confidence doesn’t feel like an option for you I absolutely promise you there are small steps you can take (starting today) to change how you feel.

The first step is talking to your partner about how you feel. Struggling with your confidence can massively affect your relationship if you don’t speak about your feelings.

When we’re dealing with insecurity and low confidence we can develop some pretty destructive defense mechanisms like distancing ourselves, projecting how we feel, becoming argumentative… sound familiar?

These can all impact how we connect with our loved ones so having a conversation with your partner about what’s going on for you is a really positive first move.

After this then, you can look at doing the inner work (journal prompts here!) to move past this low moment.

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