3 Common Relationship Complaints You Should Never Ignore

 / 

,
Relationship Complaints Never Ignore

What would you do in this situation: You bring up something that bothers you about your relationship, but your partner doesn’t take your relationship complaints seriously.

So you try bringing it up again or hinting that it still bothers you, and you either encounter another dismissive response or your partner makes minor/temporary efforts but soon slips back into old habits. Would you bring it up a third time? What about a fourth?

One of the most common causes of long-term relationship breakups is when one member of a couple stops complaining about something that really matters to them because her or his previous complaints have been ignored. They might stop complaining, but because the issue remains, they continue to accumulate resentments and/or to drift emotionally until the relationship is in full crisis.

When the other partner realizes the entire relationship is now under threat, they feel totally blindsided, “But you haven’t mentioned this for months! How was I supposed to know it bothered you so much?”

“I told you over and over,” is the typical response, “but you didn’t do anything.”

“Because you stopped complaining about it, so I thought things were okay!”

Of course, by then things are very much not okay. So much so that it is often difficult to save the relationship, even if authentic efforts to address the situation are finally made.

Read: How To Navigate The Stages of Love and Build A Healthy Relationship

To be clear, few ignored complaints are important or meaningful enough to cause a breakup, but some are. In more than 20 years of working with couples, I’ve identified three kinds of what I call “high-risk complaints” — ones that are most likely to cause relationship erosion if they are habitually ignored.

3 Common Relationship Complaints You Should Never Ignore

1. Frustrations about sex.

Complaints about not having enough sex or feeling unsatisfied with their current sex lives is a very common relationship complaint and one that is typically voiced many times in one form or another (some subtle, some more overt).

When the other partner makes only minor and short-lived efforts or, more commonly, responds with excuses, dismissiveness, or minimizing, it can cause a real emotional wound, because of the nature and frequency of the rejection it causes.

Every night going to bed and nothing happens will feel like a stinging rejection, one that impacts mood and self-esteem, as well as other aspects of emotional health. (See “10 Surprising Facts about Rejection.“) In order to protect their feelings and self-esteem, they are likely to withdraw emotionally, and over time, the emotional gulf that gets created becomes impossible to reverse.

     Therefore… When your partner voices sexual frustrations or concerns, take them seriously. Discuss them honestly, work on finding mutually satisfying resolutions, follow-up, deliver on promises, and if you’re stuck, get educated — there’s lots of info out there about this issue. And remember, if your partner used to voice sexual complaints and stopped, it by no means guarantees they are no longer upset about it or affected by it — they probably are.

Read: 8 Daily Practices That Build a Strong Romantic Relationship

2. Clashes with in-laws.

Marriage involves the formation of a new family unit (even if there are no children) that becomes a priority in terms of loyalties and obligations. When in-laws create conflict (e.g., the in-law has an overtly hostile or critical attitude; ignores and shuns; or disrespects boundaries, for example, by ignoring requests to check before unscheduled drop-ins), it is up to the other partner to set limits with his or her parents.

Not doing so and ignoring the complaint or minimizing it erodes feelings of loyalty and safety, and can lead to an early breakup or a tense and unsatisfactory marriage.

     Therefore… As difficult as it is to set limits with parents who might feel offended or betrayed by such actions, if the boundaries are reasonable and clear, most in-laws learn to respect them in time.

Keep in mind that they are likely to test the boundaries first, so it is important to address any violations and reinforce the stated expectations. The most effective way to do this is to respond to the very first violation (testing of the limits), as failing to do so will make the boundary violations and clashes continue.

Read:10 Signs You’re The Toxic Partner In Your Relationship

3. Technoference.

Our phones and tablets are doorways to the world, but in relationships, they function more like walls than doors. I’ve previously written about how devices can significantly interfere with relationships (read about “Technoference“). Studies found that higher levels of technoference were associated with greater relationship conflict and lower relationship satisfaction, as well as depressive symptoms and lower life satisfaction.

     Therefore… Create device-free times (e.g., during dinner or after 9 p.m.) and zones (e.g., the bedroom or restaurants).

When our partner voices a concern, we should always listen and take it seriously, especially when it involves a complaint in the high-risk category. Responding calmly and fairly isn’t always easy, but it will increase both relationship satisfaction and longevity.

In Print:
Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts


Written by Guy Winch
Originally appeared on Psychology Today.com

3 Common Relationship Complaints You Should Never Ignore
Relationship Complaints Never Ignore pin

— Share —

— About the Author —

Leave a Reply



Up Next

10 Riveting Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Crumbles Over Time

Best Movies About Broken Marriages: How Love Dies

Marriage is supposed to represent love and commitment, but it’s not always a fairy tale. Below are some of the movies about broken marriages that challenge the “happily ever after” stereotype!

Sometimes, things start falling apart — from within or without — and this is frequently caused by different pressures and conflicts.

Broken marriage movies have taken up this subject widely, giving us stories that are sad, or even hopeful around relationships.

Below you’ll find ten such unhappy marriage movies that show how love can breakdown and be turbulent – each films look at human



Up Next

Friendship Marriage: Japan’s Latest Relationship Trend Explained

Friendship Marriage: Japan's Latest Marriage Trend Explained

Friendship marriage is the latest relationship trend taking the world by storm, and it’s got everyone talking. Forget the traditional notions of romance and commitment; these couples are rewriting the rules of marriage and how!

This unique approach has not only got people talking, but it’s also challenging many societal norms when it comes to marriage, romantic relationships, physical intimacy and cohabitation.

So, are you ready to unravel what the friendship marriage in Japan is all about? Let’s go then.

Related: 5 Simple Ways To Strengthen The Friendship In Your Marriage<



Up Next

Should I Start a Family? 10 Reasons That Might Convince You

Should I Start a Family? Reasons That Might Convince You

Two paths are diverging before you at a crossroads. You can either continue with your present life which has the comforts you know so well, or you could choose the other path which goes into the unknown. 

The decision to start a family is one of those big adventures in life that leaves us breathless with awe; it is filled with twists and turns and love upon love.

This article takes you on an exciting journey of decoding parenthood: an adventure that is both daunting and thrilling, and joyous as well as demanding.

Whether it is from the depths of unconditional love or soaring heights of leaving a lasting impact, each reason acts as a lighthouse in this respect.

Therefore, let’s examine these 10 reasons why to start a family!



Up Next

8 Questions To Ask Yourself If You Want To Avoid Marrying The Wrong Person

Marrying The Wrong Person? Important Questions To Ask

Picture this: you’re standing at the altar, surrounded by beaming friends and family, moments away from saying “I do” to the person who you thought was your soulmate and the love of your life. But deep down, you can’t ignore the nagging feeling that something doesn’t feel right. Could it be possible that you’re marrying the wrong person?

The fear of marrying the wrong person lingers in the hearts of many, and it’s a fear worth exploring, because this is your life we are talking about. In this article, we’ll dive into eight essential questions that you should ask yourself before taking that leap into forever.

So, grab a cup of coffee, get comfortable, and let’s unravel how to avoid marrying the wrong person.



Up Next

63 Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Conversation Starters For Deep Dialogues With Your Partner

Why conversation starters? Over time conversations with your partner might begin to feel shallow and focused more on the daily grind than topics that actually matter. This is normal. It’s probably not a dangerous red flag that your relationship is about to end, but it is likely unsatisfying and monotonous.

It’s quite easy to reignite the spark with your partner by enjoying deeper and more meaningful conversations just by becoming more intentional in carving out time to talk.

We all know that communication is key to a healthy relationship, but let’s be honest; talking about what’s for dinner or whose turn it is to walk the dog just won’t cut it.

If you’re yearning for a deeper connection, it’s worth dedicating ten to fifteen minutes a day to one of the most important people in your life.



Up Next

When You Outgrow Love: What Is Grey Divorce And How To Thrive After

What Is Grey Divorce and How to Redefine Your Story

Divorce is never an easy decision to make. But sometimes life happens and you have to do the unimaginable. Grey divorce is one such experience that can feel like an unthinkable decision, yet, you know you just need to take the step. But what is grey divorce?

In life, at a certain stage we may feel that it is absolutely crucial that we start over, not only to survive but also to thrive. It becomes necessary that we step into the unknown regardless how scary or irrational it may sound. And the same goes for a marriage. 

Even if you may have shared a lifetime together and created lasting memories and experiences, a divorce may be the only option left for a happier, healthier and better life. That’s the reality for an increasing number of couples who find themselves in the realm of “grey divorce.” 



Up Next

What Does Being Submissive Mean? 9 Warning Signs You Might Be A Meek, Submissive Woman

What Does Being Submissive Mean? Signs Of A Meek Woman

Ever wondered, “What does being submissive mean?” Well, let’s put it this way: it’s like constantly being in the backseat of your life’s car, letting others take the wheel while you navigate the road of existence.

For example, meet Jess. She’s that friend who’s always putting everyone else’s happiness and needs before her own, and she often finds herself getting involved in abusive and unhealthy relationships.

If you relate to Jess and the ways she lives life, then you might be in for a very rude reality check. Because this points to the realm of female submissiveness. Stick around as we uncover nine warning signs that scream, “Hey, you might be more like Jess than you think!”

Related: