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20+ Reasons Why Relationships Are Hard

20+ Reasons Why Relationships Are Hard

Updated on Sep 27, 2023

Reviewed by Julianne Cantarella, MSW, LSW , Certified Relationship Coach

Relationships Are Hard - 20 Reasons and How To Get Through Hard Times

No one can deny that relationships are hard. Extremely hard.

It requires lots of effort and an undying commitment to stay with the person, no matter what.

For the ones in LDR’s, it’s even more tough. Of course, when face to face with your partner, you understand them beyond just spoken words.

Being able to meet your partner from time to time will give you the required dose of affection every time you fall down.

But whether you live together or miles apart, one thing’s for certain, your relationship is not a cakewalk.

When the honeymoon phase fuzzes out, it may give rise to a few issues that will make your going difficult.

You need to be accommodating enough to make your relationship last till seven births.

So, now let me tell you what makes relationships so difficult…

Relationships Are Hard - Definition & Reasons
Relationships Are Hard – Definition & Reasons
How To Get Through Hard Times in Relationships
How To Get Through Hard Times in Relationships

Why are relationships so hard? – 20 Reasons

If you have been in a relationship for a long-long period of time, you would know that it is everything else other than what is displayed on social media.

Relationships bring you happiness but it comes with its own set of difficulties and challenges…. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Intimacy is difficult

Kali Rogers, a life coach, said that romantic relationships require a lot of intimacy than most relationships.

The amount of emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual efforts required to maintain this relationship is immense. Hence, most people find it difficult to handle romantic relationships.

She further said that the problem is that we rely on someone else to fulfill our emotional needs. And there starts the blame game.

Such problems make it difficult for us to get intimate and drive the partners apart. Instead, be understanding and help them understand as well.

2. Exceptions kill everything

We expect our partners to make our lives rosy and happy, but that is not always possible.

They can be our support systems, but they are not God who can resolve your issues with a click. 

Additionally, people also fail to understand that their partners have a life of their own and their personal issues to deal with.

So, let me tell you buddy, a perfect relationship is a myth. You need to learn to balance the relationship and understand your partner’s situations before expecting something in return.

Keeping unrealistic expectations from your partner can make the relationship stressful.

3. Romance takes a backseat

With time, both partners can get occupied in their personal and professional life. The work-life imbalance gives them no time to spare for their partners.

Hence, the romance in the relationship takes a backseat.

With no romance, how do you expect the relationship to move further?

Couples must understand that romance is the oil of your relationship. You need to keep on polishing it with loads of oil.

If needed, recreate the scenes from the past and relive them to reignite that lost spark.

4. Clashing values

Clashing interests bring you together, whereas clashing values can set you apart. So, when you get into a relationship, always ensure that your values match.

Clashing values may seem intimidating in the beginning but only tamper your relationship in the long run.

So, make an effort to reach a common ground because if your partner doesn’t believe in your values, you will have everyday fights and disagreements.

These disputes can later turn into the failure of a relationship.

5. Individual decisions can be detrimental

Most relationships get difficult because the couple likes the idea of marriage but is not ready to follow it. In a marriage, you have to decide as a team.

It means that you have to make decisions based on choices of both or for the well-being of both partners.

You cannot be selfish in a marriage so you cannot always choose what you like and expect your partner to compromise.

Relationships based on individualistic decisions put one partner in power, and later the relationship falls off the track.

6. Too much Third-party involvement

If you are in a relationship and keep thinking about all others except your partner, the relationship will certainly fail. 

Your world is not your own anymore, you both are in it and so, you must first take into account your partner’s priorities and then anyone else’s.

It is a very common mistake that most couples make, which makes the relationship hard.

7. Accepting their past is difficult

Some relationships go through a hard time because the partners cannot accept each other’s past.

You may not have been present at the time they were facing such traumatizing experiences but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there.

Non-acceptance of each other’s past is still a major problem leading to relationship failures.

8. Conflict management is necessary

Every relationship is bound to have conflicts. Only the love-backed relationships survive this.

Nicole Martinez, a psychologist, and author of eight books says that couples must be open to communicating about their problems. Only then they will be able to figure out a way to move past these problems.

Also, if you want to resolve the conflicts soon, make it a habit to ask questions to your partner. Be curious about everything.

If you see them upset, ask them ‘What is bothering you?’ Let them speak and resolve your issues before it gets worse.

9. There’s no space between you two

Yes, couples share lives in a relationship, but it doesn’t mean they don’t want their me-time.

After a period of time, a person needs some time in solitude to do what gives them pleasure. As a partner, you must allow your partner their desired space.

But what happens is: with time, the partners get so dependent on each other that they hardly get time for themselves.

Either they have to give up their space or upset their partner. Since both the options are not appealing, the relationship eventually suffers a hard time.

10. Excitement goes downhill

During the initial stage of a relationship, the excitement level is at its peak because you are having a good time with this person.

However, gradually, you get used to the partner, and your excitement decreases because they become a part of your “daily routine”.

In the later phases, couples understand that a relationship requires CONSISTENT efforts.

But sooner or later, you get tired of making an effort because there are other things to look after in life and you expect your partner to understand this. 

This sudden shift in your behavior and lack of attention can again lead to relationship failure.

11. Priorities keeps changing

Revisit the initial phases of your relationship where you always chose your partner over everything. You made sure to be there for them, always… no matter what!

But now that you already have them, you instead pay more attention to other goals that you wish to achieve. Your priorities have changed, and this gives rise to disputes.

Regular disputes can be draining and ultimately break a relationship. One must either talk to their partner and comfort them or decide what is more important for them.

12. Taken-for-granted syndrome has creeped in

I have hardly come across any couple who doesn’t have this complaint.

Your partner loved you for the person you were in the initial phase of your relationship.

You paid attention to their needs, understood them and also took good care of them. Your partner expects the same from you lifelong.

But what happens is, after a long time, you take your partner for granted to please others or put your needs as a priority. This taken-for-granted feeling is bound to add stress to your relationship.

13. A common space doesn’t exist

Another prime reason why most relationships fall in pieces is that the partners are not on the same page.

Maybe we can blame the system for it. But today’s generation is working towards it and making all clarifications before stepping into a long-term relationship.

If both partners aren’t expecting the same thing from life, it will give rise to several issues in the near future.

Most couples fail to discuss important aspects of life during their courtship period which creates problems.

Later on, when they live together, they realize their expectations from life are different, and the relationship fails.

14. There’s an absolute lack of respect

A relationship expert says that a relationship cannot work if you don’t respect your partner. Putting them down in public is a primary sign that your relationship is about to fall apart.

It happens because most people want their partners to agree with them on everything.

They fail to understand that the partners can have different opinions, and they must respect that. 

If you don’t give your partners a chance to speak up, it shows you are trying to dominate them and force your opinions on them.

15. Communication is off!

Undoubtedly, this is the biggest problem in any relationship, specifically in long-distance relationships.

People fail to communicate what they feel in the early stages of the problem which leads to even bigger problems.

They don’t understand that without communicating, both of you will be in the dark. Keeping quiet and going with the flow, will do you more harm than good.  

So, whatever you feel, communicate with your partner. Lack of communication is a silent killer in every relationship.

16. There’s no time for each other

If you’re constantly occupied with work or other people, you will soon be detached from your partner.

It is not because you do not love them, but the love tends to fade when you don’t prioritize them. Sooner or later, it will lead you to the end of this relationship.

Couples spending less time together gradually detach and become used to each other’s absence.

They no longer want to be surrounded by each other and ultimately become comfortable living alone. 

So, if you have time for your social gatherings, but not for your partner, then sorry friend, you need to get used to living without a partner.

17. The past baggage is too much

When you find a true partner, they will want to know all about you, even the issues that you don’t feel comfortable sharing.

They want to help you heal from these painful past experiences. These issues are important to discuss so they can help bring you out of the trauma.

You may be doing fine at the surface level now, but deep down your soul might still be suffering. Such issues can be related to childhood abuse, abandonment, or past relationships.

When these kinds of discussions are brought up, people try to escape the conversation and blame their current partner for their behavior, making the relationships hard for them.

18. The comfort zone is TOO comfortable

When you are single, you do things that fall in our comfort zones. But with a partner, you often tend to cross the boundaries.

If you’re living alone, you can make excuses to avoid certain actions but it is not always possible with a partner. They red-spot your excuses and try to change you for your better.

Both of you know all the personal details of each other and push each other to do things you have never done before. Most people don’t like this action of self-discovery, which makes the relationship harder for them.

19. Compromises!

Name one relationship that doesn’t include compromise. Even a parent-child relationship has so many compromises in it… from both sides.

Then how can you expect a romantic relationship without compromises?

Most of us want our partners to match our needs and make things perfect for us. Sure, why not? But, are you ready to do the same for them? The answer here is a big NO.

It doesn’t require only compromises by one to hold onto a relationship but the joint efforts of both to balance it.

And if both of you aren’t ready to compromise, your relationship is going to be hard… no matter what you do.

20. The details are hidden

Your partner is a special person in your life, and if you don’t make them feel that, your relationship is going to be hard.

In a healthy relationship, your partner knows much more about you than any other friend or family member.

Couples need to bring forward their vulnerable sides- be it their fears, anxieties, or anything that contributes to their current personality.

There are times when a partner tries to reveal their vulnerability, but the other partner doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to fathom it. Even in such cases, the relationships may fail.

Now that you know the reasons that make relationships so hard, what if I tell you that the culprit behind it is no one else… but YOU!

Here’s how…

What do couples do that make relationships hard?

A relationship cannot be hard or easy without the actions of people involved in it. So, if you analyze, there are certain things that couples do to make their relationships hard, including.

1. You both expect too much

Every person expects their partner to go out of their way to meet their demands. But it is not always practically possible.

When these expectations are unmet, it leads to conflicts between the two partners

These unrealistic expectations from their partners which leads to disappointments. On the other hand, due to these disappointments, they don’t pay attention to even the reasonable demands of their partners.

Eventually, it creates a gap in the relationship.

2. The blame game never stops!

If you both keep playing the ‘blame game’, how can you expect your relationship to eb a cake walk?

The first step to solving a problem is to first accept that it exists and that it’s your fault it does. But if you both drag it to a point where it leads to an argument, then you’re doing it wrong.

Instead of blaming your partner, learn to accept your fault and apologize for it. Be mindful of your words and don’t ever try to hurt them by your actions.

It can be as simple as ‘I got late because of you.’ Or ‘I couldn’t eat properly because of you.’

Remember, your small gestures also create a huge impact.

3. You both rationalize a lot

Some people have a habit of rationalizing everything. They keep on analyzing every step and action. This overthinking habit kills the charm of the relationship.

So, if you’re one of them who overthink ever aspect of their relationship like communication, sex, goals, appearance, parenthood, etc, let me tell you, it’s impacting your relationship more than you know.

Don’t evaluate your partner’s actions like they’re appearing for an exam and keep a note of their progress.

Such behavior may irritate them and limit their freedom because they are very conscious about their actions. It will eventually create a steep abyss in the relationship.

4. You judge too quickly!

Judgments can kill any regular relationship and it is no different for romantic relationships.

Remember, judgments are usually based on assumptions and your assumptions don’t need to be true.

So, instead of talking to your partner and finding out the real truth, if you judge them on the basis of their actions, your relationship is sure to face a struggle.

5. The understanding is missing

Understanding is the key to any healthy relationship. Most couples fail to realize that their partner’s response is a reflection of their own action.

For instance, if you do not understand your partner’s thoughts, opinions, or feelings for the several times they have brought it forward, they will gradually stop sharing things with you.

It will drive you apart, and the real culprit is your own lack of sense of understanding.

Lack of understanding makes the relationships very hard to sail. 

6. You harbor feelings for someone else

When the spark fuzzes, partners start seeing people outside the relationship.

So if you’re being over-friendly with someone else (whoever it may be) except your partner, it’s going to have a lasting impact on your relationship.

No, it doesn’t mean that you cannot have a life of your own. Chilling with friends is not wrong but developing strong feelings for someone else instead of your partner is wrong.

Ignoring your partner for someone else is always going to make them feel you undervalue them, and the relationship will get difficult.

7. You hurt them, intentionally!

When you are in a relationship, there will be times when you have to make difficult decisions.

Often these decisions will not be well received by your partner, but you may still have to go ahead with them for everybody’s benefit.

On the other hand, there are instances when you wilfully take such decisions because they suit your needs and end up hurting their feelings.

For example, if your partner wants you to spend time with them, but you lie to them about working late in the office… instead, you hang out with your friends, then you willfully hurt your partner.

8. You both prioritize ego

Ego can kill every friendship and relationship. And once ego enters a relationship, God bless you, my friend. 

Often during fights, one partner waits for the other to apologize due to the infamous “ego” of course.

After repeating the same pattern, the other partner also reaches a limit and refuses to apologize anymore. Both of you face an ego clash and this ultimately ruins your relationship.

Even if one person out of the two is mature enough to keep their ego aside, most conflicts can be resolved.

9. You both play pretend

Few couples have a habit of fighting and then pretending everything is fine the next morning.

But deep inside, both the partners have unresolved issues and unanswered questions. It only creates a silent rift in the hearts of the couple.

Often, it also happens that a partner knows that the other one is lying or is facing some challenges, but they choose not to talk about it. Rather, they wait for their partner to approach them and talk.

This behavior of not resolving the disputes immediately eventually causes the partners to drift apart.

10. “Let’s call it Quits!”

When the tempers fly high, some partners have a habit of saying ‘Let’s end it then.’ Or ‘It’s not working anymore’ time and again.

Such statements hamper the love between the two of you, and it becomes so bad… that it is never the same again.

Your partner may hear such statements once, twice, or maybe ten times if you are lucky.

But they too have a tolerance level, and once that saturates, they will certainly agree with you about ending it. 

But then what should you do as a couple to move out of these problems?

How to get through hard times in relationships?

Now that you know the hard times can’t be escaped, you should also know what you can do to minimize it.

1. Work on your Friendship

Being in a relationship wherein you can’t communicate with your partner makes no sense.

When you don’t feel comfortable with them, misunderstandings are bound to arise. So, if you want your relationship to survive despite the hardships, you must build a strong foundation first.

So, being friends first, assures that there is always a shoulder to lean on during hard times.

But remember, every friendship requires spending time, talking, and being there for each other. And if you do this, you will see your love growing multi-folds with time. 

2. Plan regular date nights

Overcoming hardships requires courage.

While in a relationship, there would definitely be some fights and arguments… it’s not just about the roses and fancy proposals.

So, planning regular date nights, dressing up well for each other, is an excellent way to remain connected to your partner and ensure that the “problem” never takes over.

3. Chill together

A packed work schedule, juggling between places of stay and office, not being able to prioritize spending time with your partner, etc. pave the way towards an unhealthy relationship.

On the contrary, being in each other’s company, gazing into each other’s eyes, going off to sleep with a peaceful mind, etc. all portray how patiently a couple has come through the hardships.

So, no matter how hard the times get, make sure you spend time with your partner.

If you are busy the entire day, at least talk for a while before dozing off.

4. Work on problems together

Many people do not like discussing the problems because they fear losing their partner. This builds up with time and leads to bigger issues.

Couples don’t prefer to discuss small problems. Rather, accumulate a few together and try solving them all at one go… and also pray for it to vanish magically. Well, this is not how any healthy relationship works.

If you cannot spare time to sit and solve the petty issues, how are you even expecting to deal with the major ones together?

So, instead make your relationship a priority and solve it NOW!

5. Show your vulnerable side

A relationship can thrive only if you share an emotional connection with your partner. But this requires you to open up to each other.  

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you necessarily need to put your guard down because otherwise how do you think your partner will be able to connect to you.

If you refuse to do this, surviving tough times is not your cup of tea. 

Once your partner knows your vulnerabilities, they will know why you behave in a particular fashion… and so, your disputes will be easier to work upon.

6. Be honest about your feelings

Relationships can be difficult as hardships may root from a lot of issues. If you both aren’t on the same page financially, let me tell you, it can prove to be one of the major killing factors of a relationship.

Usually, a husband tries to hide the financial crisis from the wife just to safe-keep the “ego”.

So many couples around the globe have admitted to the fact that it is a major reason for stress in their relationship.

If the same continues, in the long run, you might find it difficult to convey your thoughts to your partner. Hence, being honest to your partner from day one can help overcome this.

7. Communicate!

A relationship is a responsibility of you two – not anyone else’s. So, when you seek advice from family and friends and do not work out by themselves, it creates a lack of trust between the two.

Hard times in a relationship mean that there is a need for communication between the couple. You need to take time out and speak up about the lingering issues.  

Each of you must be comfortable enough to share your feelings and opinions. If you cannot communicate your feelings to your partner, what is your relationship even based on? 

Communicating your feelings makes your partner aware about the times you’ve felt hurt or special. It will help you take your relationship forward in a balanced way.

8. Celebrate the good times

When life is throwing knots at you, most of us turn to depressed pessimistic beings. But, one of the things that we overlook is the good memories and times spent with each other.

Good times mean anything like birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, etc. These tiny milestones need to be cherished.

Thus, if you are looking forward to making your relationship work, start being positive.

You and your partner will make it through this phase only if you’re ready to face tough times together.

9. Identify bad behavior

Relationships bring either the best or the worst out of you. Now, it depends on how the two individuals think and utilize their ability to strengthen their bond.

In case, you feel irritated with your partner always, or notice your mental health deteriorating by the day, you need to speak up.

Your partner must always try to bring out the best version of you and not humiliate you.

On the contrary, if things are not working fine for you, contemplate your and your partner’s behavior. Talk to your partner about the problem and seek a solution at the earliest. 

10. Hold onto the trust

The foundation of any relationship is trust. No matter how tough times get, always, I repeat ALWAYS trust your partner.

Tell them about all the issues you face in a day because they deserve to know.

Trust also indicates that your partner would never go against you or do anything behind your back.

Even though there is a fight, the trust between you two will help you make a comeback even stronger.

A word from ThePleasantRelationship

You can always repair the rough patches in a relationship. Yes, dealing with these may seem difficult… but not impossible.  

If you both love each other and want to spend a lifetime together, understand that ups and downs are a part of life.

All issues can be handled only if there exists a deep emotional connection between the two of you. 

So, keep faith in your partner and the relationship that you both have built over the years… trust me, you will find your happily-ever-after!

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