All relationships have their fair share of problems, so it's only natural that you and your partner might second-guess your commitment at one point or another. The thing is, if you love each other, communicate, and remain supportive, these everyday issues don't have to be a big deal. It's only when you have
ongoing concerns about your partner — the kind that you just can't shake — that you may a problem on your hands.
If there are certain issues that make you wonder about the strength of your relationship, or the commitment of your partner, or how compatible you really are, it's worth it to open the floor for conversation, and get your worries out in the open. "If you are having concerns, talk to your partner," Joshua Klapow, PhD, clinical psychologist and host of
The Kurre and Klapow Show, tells Bustle. "So often one or both people are afraid to say anything for fear of making problems worse." And yet, staying quiet actually can make the problems worse.
"The reality is that the longer there is no communication the more damage you are doing to the relationship," Dr. Klapow says. "If problems are already in place and you haven’t discussed them, it’s time to bring them up. Talk about it, talk about your worries, and trust that if you love them and the feeling is mutual, that talking about the problem will not destroy the relationship." Here are a few
ongoing issues that are definitely worth talking about, according to experts.
They Don't Support Your Career
If your partner, for any reason, doesn't stand by you and support your career, cheer you on — or even simply ask about your day — you might find yourself questioning whether or not they are "The One." And with good reason.
"Acting disgruntled or uninterested reveals a lack of respect for your aspirations," Carlee Linden, manager of online dating services for
BestCompany, tells Bustle. Your partner should be happy for you when you talk about your day, or share your goals for the future; not bored, angry, or apathetic.
If you notice that they aren't being very supportive, you should definitely bring it up and talk about it. They may not realize they've come off as dismissive or discouraging, and may be happy to try a little harder. But if it feels like they
just don't care, it may be time to move on to someone who does.
They Do (Or Don't) Want Kids
If having kids is important to you, you need to stick by it. If not having kids is important to you, you need to stick by it. This is an area where you can't really meet your partner halfway, so if you can't agree, they may not be "The One."
"If your future plans and goals are very different, you may want to cordially end the relationship and find someone that is more like-minded,"
Katie Ziskind, licensed marriage and family therapist, tells Bustle.
It's better to call it off now than to be resentful years down the line. Or worse, to hang your hopes on the chance your partner may see things your way and change their mind. You deserve someone who
shares your same goals and values when it comes to something major, such as having kids.
You Already Disagree About How You'll Raise Your Kids
Speaking of kids, concerns can go beyond the question of whether or not you'll have them, and reach on over to how you plan to raise them.
As Dr. Klapow says, many couples find they clash when it comes to how they imagine themselves raising kids, from how to discipline them, to how many privileges they'll allow them, and so on. And it can definitely cause problems.
While it's something you can work out, as the years go on, it may be smart to listen to your gut. If you think your partner doesn't share your values — especially when it comes to the lives of your future children — they may not be "The One."
They Have A Totally Different Sex Drive
Another problem many long-term couples encounter is mismatched or low sex drives. This is such a common issue, and one that can often be
resolved through communication, Dr. Klapow says, that you shouldn't assume it's going to spell disaster.
But other times, talking about your sex life ends up shedding light on other problems, such as an
inability to communicate. If this is an area that feels unfixable, for any reason, it might very well end up being a dealbreaker.
You Don't See Eye-To-Eye About Finances
It might feel silly to lie awake at night worrying about your partner's spending habits. But you have every right to consider how it might affect you, if you end up sticking together long-term.
"Money and the division of money usually comes down to values," Dr. Klapow says. "The underlying issue here is a combination of that, and again, communication." So if you're already concerned about it, and can't see eye-to-eye, it may only get worse.
It's not so much about your salaries, or whether or not you guys have debt, but your ability to talk about it. If you two can't get on the same page, and are arguing 24/7 about
all things financial, you may have a bumpy road ahead of you.
You're Not Sure You Can Trust Them
This is a big one, because without trust you really don't have much to build a long-term relationship on. So if you can't imagine a future where you might
be able to trust your partner, they may not be "The One" for you.
"Trust can be on any topic, not only infidelity," Dr. Klapow says. "Trust that they will be on time, that they will spend money wisely, that they care about you, that they will be emotionally available in crisis situations. All of these are paramount to the success of a relationship."
It is something you can work on improving, by communicating, establishing healthy boundaries, and giving yourselves time to adjust. But don't forsake your gut feeling, which might be telling you it's just not meant to be.
You Keep Arguing About The Same Things
It's important to keep in mind that all couples fight, and that it's OK — and even healthy — to do so, as long as you keep things civil and
hear each other out. It's only if things turn toxic that you might have a problem on your hands.
So if you can't shake the thought that you aren't able to communicate in a healthy way, you may want to spare yourself from a super toxic future. As Dr. Klapow says, "Arguments that repeat themselves, that happen over and over with no resolution, become a toxic drain on the relationship."
It's possible, as with all problems, to work through this together — possibly with the help of a therapist. But sometimes, two people just can't see each other's side and the sooner they admit that, the better.
You Worry About Their Lack Of Future Goals
If you find yourself worried, time and time again, about your partner's lack of goals, it may be time to speak up. This is especially true if you're pulling the full weight of the relationship, and are beginning to feel like things are quickly becoming unfair.
"If you work your butt off, are career driven, and value that about yourself but feel your partner slacks off [or is not] contributing as much financially, that likely isn't going to get better,"
couples therapist Brooke Sprowl, LCSW, tells Bustle. "This demonstrates a difference in core values and is likely to build further arguments in the future."
Of course, these are problems all couples experience at one point or another. If they crop up, and you deal with them in a healthy way, they certainly don't have to be dealbreakers. It's only when the issues are ongoing, and seemingly unfixable, that they might cause you to
rethink the future of your relationship — and whether or not your partner still feels like "The One."