No relationship is perfect. We all argue from time to time and have some problems, and that is natural and normal. But, if you keep having fights and tension over and over in your relationship, it’s probable that you and your partner are actually facing some deeper issues that you are not even fully aware of. Sometimes, we can’t explain why our relationship isn’t working properly and isn’t as healthy as it should be, because we only focus on the surface issues while we should try to search for the solution to our problems a little deeper. There are some things that are devastating for each relationship, but are unfortunately very common among today’s couples, and until you deal with them, you can’t hope to have a successful relationship. Here are the four most common relationship problems that can cause numerous other issues and problems.

Criticism

It’s perfectly natural if there are things about our partners we dislike and are not satisfied with. But what all couples must have in their minds is that nobody is perfect and that we all have faults. You need to accept your partner for who he is and you should love the true him, despite not liking some of his personality traits. If one of the partners considers that the other person has some characteristics that they can’t put up with and thinks of these things as deal breakers, walking away is always a better option than staying in a relationship that will make the couple miserable. The worst thing you can do is to criticize your partner, whatever they do, and try to change the essential parts of their being. If you have a problem in your relationship, treat it that way—don’t act like it’s only a problem in your partner’s personality. It’s never nice to point out to someone as being the only cause of disagreements. If you constantly criticize your partner and his personality, you are actually only nagging and not doing anything productive to improve the relationship between you two. Besides, you are creating a negative atmosphere in a relationship, increasing the dissatisfaction of your partner. Although we hate to admit it, the truth is that women are those who criticize their boyfriends or husbands more often than men. Instead of doing this, try complimenting them and show them how much you appreciate them personally and everything they do in a relationship. If you only criticize your partner, you won’t accomplish a change in their behavior—you’ll only do the opposite, you’ll lower their self-esteem and will provoke spite in them, which won’t bring anything positive for your relationship.

Shutting down

Shutting down is a usual response for constant criticism. The person who is being criticized feels attacked and not valued enough, and instead of trying to improve, they choose to shut down. This is one of the most damaging things you can do in a relationship. By shutting down, you build emotional walls around yourself and are passively telling your partner you don’t care about him or your relationship. If you have an issue regarding your partner’s treatment or the state your relationship is generally in, you should give your best to talk about it, no matter how hard it may seem. Men are the ones that usually give a silent treatment to their better halves when their ego is endangered or when they are hurt. But that is just a form of passive aggressive behavior and doesn’t improve a relationship in any way. Whatever problem you and your partner are having, it won’t go away if you pretend it’s not there. By not resolving issues you have, the only thing you do is increasing their intensity. Problems have the tendency of pilling up, and if you don’t resolve them one by one on time, you’ll end up having a miserable and unhealthy relationship in general and you won’t even know what the real source of your issues is. Both you and your partner will grow negative emotions and dissatisfaction toward each other and will end up fighting about every little thing, because it will be the only way for you to get rid of all that negative energy you have stored. The only mature thing to do in situations like this is to talk sincerely about everything that bothers you. If you need to argue, then argue. But even when you fight, it’s crucial to always be respectful to each other’s views, opinions, and personalities.

Belittling your partner

Belittling their partners is one of the common mistakes most couples do without even being aware of it. Fights and disagreements are a common part of even the healthiest relationships. But strong couples know how to communicate properly. They don’t insult each other and never talk down to their significant others. You can never act superior to your other half, because you are equal partners in life and you are not a better person than they are. As soon as your partner feels you are patronizing them, it will insult their ego more than you can think. It will lower their self-esteem and you’ll cause more deep issues in their personality than you could imagine. If you communicate with your partner like you are above them, you are only showing your insecurities and you are showing the lack of respect you have for them. It’s okay if you don’t agree with each other on some points, but you should never yell or insult each other. Besides disrespecting your partner, you won’t accomplish anything else. Fights can be productive and good for a relationship when you both use arguments in order to defend your points of view. It is of special importance not to talk down or insult your partner in front of others. You are not only embarrassing them, you are also making yourself and your relationship look bad. Whatever issue you may have that you want to resolve with your partner, wait until you are alone and deal with it in the privacy of your own home.

Not taking responsibility

One of the first signs that you are an adult, ready for a long-term, committed relationship, is the fact that you know when to take responsibility for your actions and words. Apologizing is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it’s a sign of strength and real maturity. But, sadly, many people run away from responsibility when it comes to problems in the relationship. What they do is playing the victim. Another possible reaction is defensiveness and counter-attacking. Remember that every relationship, especially a romantic one, is a two-way street. If you are having some trouble with your partner, you both have to carry part of the blame. It’s impossible they are the only one guilty for every issue you guys have—you must have contributed to the quality (or non-quality) of your relationship in a one way or another. If your partner is mature enough to confront you about something that went wrong in your relationship or that hurt them, be mature enough to look at the things from their point of view and take at least part of the responsibility for problems you two are encountering. This is the only way to build a healthy relationship.