What Causes Relationship Trouble, And How Do You Prevent It?

Updated April 10, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

Navigating conflict in relationships can be hard

Many couples experience relationship trouble of some kind at some point. It can stem from a lack of communication, unaddressed incompatibilities, stress, and more. Recognizing relationship trouble and developing behaviors or tools to prevent it can help you mediate conflict with your partner if it arises. When you view conflict or concerns through the lens of opportunities for growth, it can also help you discover new ways to understand and become closer to your partner. Let’s take a closer look at why relationship trouble might come about and what you can do to manage it.

Why relationship trouble might occur

Factors that may affect a relationship include:


Communication may be key in any relationship, whether between friends, coworkers, family, or you and your partner. You can think of it as one of many love ingredients that combine to form trusting, meaningful bonds. Without effective communication, you and your partner might not be able to address things that make you upset, feel unappreciated, or worry you. When these sorts of things begin to accumulate, they can quickly evolve into larger concerns that might come out at the wrong time. Lashing out or being unable to address the root of the problem can occur when you wait too long to speak your mind. 

Communication may also relate to honesty and trust, both of which can be a vital part of a healthy relationship. Partners who feel able to communicate may trust that they can be upfront about their mistakes, fears, and desires. This can help cultivate a sense of emotional intimacy that can be a crucial part of differentiating partnerships from other relationships in life.

Sexual relations

Another common cause of relationship trouble can be sexual incompatibility or dissatisfaction. For some people, physical intimacy can be an important piece of the puzzle. Those who view sex as important may feel unable to connect with their partner or might feel like their needs are not being considered or met. Likewise, incompatibilities may leave one or both partners feeling frustrated or upset, potentially leading them to display their anger in an inappropriate manner.

Money troubles

Money can cause stress in any relationship, even the one with yourself. If you and your partner are constantly bickering over bills or expenses without any resolution, for instance, finances may begin to take a toll on your relationship.


Maybe you want to see the world and your partner is more of a homebody. Perhaps your goal for the next five years is to settle down and start a family while your partner wants to focus more on their career. Whatever the case may be, having different ideas for the future and what it might look like or about what your current relationship should be like can spell trouble. Learning to approach the future with similar ideas or at least a willingness to work together and compromise can make a world of difference.

How to prevent and manage relationship trouble

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Combating common relationship troubles can be much easier than you might think. Becoming an honest and effective communicator may be the best first step to take. This may help you get to the heart of what might be causing your relationship concerns so you can work to address them.  

Communication as a whole can also help you navigate things like sexual differences, financial strain, and much more. When you can clearly express to your partner what your wants and needs are and encourage them to do the same, it can become much easier to figure out which solutions will actually solve the problem. Likewise, good communication can help create trust and safety that might help you and your partner grow closer. 

From there, it may be helpful to establish an effective way to make progress on your concerns. Perhaps you and your partner decide to enact a budget limit for each week, and you commit to sticking to it. Or maybe you choose to plan a date night every weekend to address your partner’s concern about a lack of quality time together. 

Whatever the case may be, finding actionable steps you can take to make things better can help everyone feel like their voice has been heard. Sometimes, validation and a desire to make things right may be the most important parts of moving forward.

Navigating conflict in relationships can be hard

Relationship troubles and online counseling

If you are having relationship troubles, it sometimes may be true that outside guidance and support are necessary parts of addressing the root of the problem. In many cases, ignoring issues may only make them worse. Instead, it might be beneficial to consider speaking to someone who has the expertise and skills required to act as a mediator and can help you find solutions for your concerns. A counselor or therapist, for instance, can provide advice on how to solve relationship problems and more.

There are many ways to get help for common relationship problems, but one that can help save you time, money, and stress may be online therapy.  When you talk to a therapist through the web, either by yourself or as a couple, you can access sessions from a place and at a time that makes sense for your schedule. Plus, you can save money you might otherwise spend commuting to and from in-person appointments. 

Research suggests that online therapy options can be beneficial for those who seek them out, even couples. One study found that 95% of couples who participated in online couples therapy found the experience to be helpful. That means that you too might be able to find value in speaking to a professional, especially if your relationship trouble seems to be too persistent or overarching to be resolved by you and your partner.


Many forms of relationship trouble can arise from unaddressed conflicts, poor communication, and discrepancies between what each person in a relationship expects from the other. Being open and honest with your partner can be a great way to prevent large conflicts, as can finding tangible solutions to concerns that you do discover. Working with a mental health professional like a therapist can also help you find the right support and resources, whether for yourself or for your relationship.

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