What are the issues that stress a marriage, domestic partnership, or a committed relationship? We're thinking meddling relatives, but according to a recent U.S. survey, stress from work (35%) puts a lot of pressure and tension in a relationship.

Other top causes of relationship stress was being too tired for sex (33%), low sex drive (28%), and money arguments (27%).

Fights about children and infidelity were on the survey's list but did not rank as high. The other stressors included health issues, more about sex (e.g., unsatisfactory sex and porn), and arguments about politics. 

Disagreements are part and parcel of any relationship—that's why it's hard work and knowing the triggers is, of course, half the battle. Three ways to keep your relationship from falling apart:

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Be mindful of your mood when you get home from work.

There is no magic solution here. It's about making a conscious decision each day to try your best not to let the increasing demands of work affect how you are at home. Make a commitment that work stops after you step out of the office by letting co-workers know you won't be reading emails or answering phone calls. Our horrible traffic situation does give us the opportunity to regroup and clear our mind (hopefully). Do breathing exercises or listen to calming music when you're in the car. (Click here to read more about de-stressing your married life.)

Make intimacy a priority.

Whether you're a newlywed, still in the honeymoon phase, just had kids, or well into senior citizenhood, intimacy and sex are vital in a relationship. While the need to meet your partner's sexual needs is essential, the key to doing so is not all about how often you do it (one good sex romp in a week is enough!) or how wild you are willing to go (sexy apps or sex toys, anyone?). It's about about how you create a deeper connection with your partner. 

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Intimacy is what's unique in a couple, though some couples are content to be intimate in other ways. But find out the reasons why you're not getting busy under the sheets. Having low self-esteem or a disconnect between expectation versus reality could be ironed out by having an open and honest conversation about it. 

So stop making excuses that you have kids, lack of time, or too tired. Plan it and block it off in your schedule if you have to. (Newsflash: Moms want need sex!)

Honesty is still the best policy when it comes to money.

In a similar survey conducted on Filipino couples, keeping secrets—especially ones that involve the money—is the ultimate reason why couples become unhappy. Financial planning is one of the first vital conversations you need to have with your partner before you decide to get married. Financial infidelity can be worse than having an actual affair. 

Remember, you and your partner come from different backgrounds, which means you both handle money differently. Getting married or committing to a relationship involves compromise. Sit down and talk about your financial goals as a couple. It can be as simple as what you each consider a need and a want.

The overall good news here is the reasons why relationships turn sour are preventable. If you think these issues apply to you, your relationship is not doomed. You do, however, have to be on the same page with your partner, and that is always crucial.   

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This story originally appeared on Smartparenting.com.ph.

* Minor edits have been made by the Femalenetwork.com editors.

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