1. Trust Issues
Lack or loss of trust is one of the most harmful contagions to a couple’s long-term success. Without trust, a relationship misses two of the key anchors to a strong bond: safety and security.
Trust issues may include factors such as jealousy , possessiveness, unreasonable rigidity, emotional infidelity , physical/sexual infidelity, relational game playing, lack of reliability and dependability, lack of emotional support, lack of financial compatibility, and lack of mutually-supportive goals .
If you believe trust is a major issue in your relationship (or was in your former relationship), examine whether the lack of trust is based on a pattern of evidence (such as significant broken promises), or mostly subjective emotions (such as jealousy without proof). Consider honestly whether the lack of trust is based on tangible substance or unjustified fears.
2. Different Expectations
“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.”
― Mark Twain
It’s not easy for a couple to walk a journey together for a long time. The elements that frequently draw two people toward one-another at the beginning of a relationship – physical attraction , sexual passion, common interests, personality connections, socio-economic backgrounds – often become less central as the realities and demands of day to day life sets in. Overtime, a couple’s expectations in the relationship may differentiate, as they begin to see their respective life plans as “what I want,” instead of “what we want.”
Some of the reasons relationship divergence occur between a couple include:
Mister/Miss Right or Mister/Miss Right Now?
Does your partner see you as “Mister/Miss Right”, or “Mister/Miss Right Now”? In other words, how serious is your partner about being in a long-term committed relationship with you? What about you with your partner?
Differences in Priorities
Your partner has different priorities and expectations regarding the relationship.
For some, the significant-other relationship (and family) is the primary center of gravity of life. Nothing else comes close in its importance.
For others, a romantic relationship , even a committed one, is but one facet of life. There are many other aspects of life which, in their perspective, can justifiably take higher priority.
3. Moving Through Life at Different Speeds
When one partner is learning and growing at a rapid pace, while the other is stagnating, this may be a source of relational divergence. One example of this would be a partner advancing quickly in her career and society, while her significant other is stagnating at home. The professional and social circles of the couple begin to diverge, and soon the couple themselves differentiate. They have physically, intellectually, and socially grown apart.
4. Compatibility Issues
Relational compatibility is a large topic worthy of full volumes of its own. In my books (click on titles) “ 7 Keys to Long-Term Relationship Success(link is external) ” and “ How to Get Over a Break-Up – Keys to Healing and Happiness Again(link is external) ”, relationship compatibility is explored in detail from several perspectives, including compatibility in intimacy, compatibility in personality types, and compatibility in attachment styles.