Everyone knows that taking care of a problem in a timely way is far better than letting it slow burn, or simmer and develop into something bigger and maybe even something irreversible. The same is true with relationship problems. Yet, people are more apt to fix a leaky faucet in a timely way, than they are to resolve a fight or disagreement with their partner. A December 2016, Relationup survey revealed that over 73% reported that they ignored problems with their partner more often than they addressed them.
Just what are the consequences when you don’t deal with a relationship problem?
- Problems become layered and more difficult to fix
“Relationship problems often grow bigger with time and then become more difficult to repair, as opposed to nipping it in the bud in the early stages,” says Carla Litto, M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy and Relationup Advisor. You do one thing and then your partner reacts and then you react to that and before long, you have layers of problems. “The more complicated and complex the problem gets, the more problematic it is to untangle.”
- Happiness is delayed
“Not getting help could mean delaying your happiness–whether that means an improved relationship that has been limping along (or crawling under a rock to die), or finally deciding to separate, says Ivan Chan, M.A. in Counseling Psychology and Relationup Advisor. Not doing anything leaves you sitting in dissatisfaction, anger and resentment and it could be for a long time.
- Impulsive decisions get made
Threats get made and very quickly, things can escalate. But you do have an opportunity to dial things back if you can take a deep breath, seek consultation and make a repair. Carla Litto agrees, “In moments of anger or heightened emotion, you might make a decision you regret, whereas if you seek immediate help and take a pause, the fresh perspective could help you repair the relationship before things get way off track.”
- Your sex life deteriorates
Disconnection takes a toll on your sex life. It is hard to create passion when you are shut down and upset. “When you become physically disconnected from your significant other, it can create another layer of roadblocks to reconnecting- a complete shutdown. Once you open up communication with one another, reconnection begins and your sex life reawakens,” explains Maria Christian, Master of Social Work, Relationup Advisor.
It is natural for couples to have difficult patches. The secret to a successful relationship is to be able to work through them relatively quickly and effectively. Avoidance is not the answer.
Written by Rhonda Milrad, LCSW
Founder and Chief Relationship Advisor, Relationup