So, how is your relationship going? Coasting along, or are you skirting in between the landmines? These are seven things that will sabotage any relationship.
Jealousy. Possessiveness and jealousy on your part will only make your partner feel trapped. This could lead to them wanting to get away from you, because you make them feel claustrophobic. Ironically the single thing you wanted to prevent.
Sexual problems. If you are having sexual problems, and are unable to talk about them, or get it together to go for professional help, alarm bells should be ringing. Different people have different sexual needs, so once a week may be quite sufficient for one partner, but not for the other.
Old issues. Long shadows from the past can cast a pall over present relationships. If you have abandonment issues, self-image issues, self-worth issues, drug issues, dependency issues or endless financial issues, it is unrealistic to expect them not to have an impact on the relationship you are currently having.
Financial woes. Financial worry is part and parcel of life – few couples never have these. But constant agonising about money, running up of debts and misspending can cause a lot of tension in any relationship. When couples are unable to synchronise their spending habits or their financial values, trouble looms.
Parenting styles. Parents need to present a united front to their children. If one parent allows the kids to do things and the other forbids it, it causes confusion for the children and stress in relationships. When children are stepchildren, this becomes even more important. Parents need to decide on certain ground rules and stick to them.
In-law troubles. When parents are unhappy with your choice of spouse, or parents are unwilling to let go of their child and let him/her start a new life, it causes great trouble for the couple. There is ongoing stress and family dramas and everyone feels they are being pulled in different directions.
Old flames. Sometimes there are old boyfriends or girlfriends who just won't back off. This can cause endless dramas and jealous fits. If it really upsets your partner that you see an old flame, weigh up the different issues here. Is a cup of tea with an old boyfriend really worth an unpleasant atmosphere at home for days? On the other hand, does your partner perhaps have a reason to feel insecure? – (Susan Erasmus Health 24, updated June 2012)