Six Common Relationship Problems and How to Overcome Them

asian couple fighting

Love, trust, and honesty form beautiful relationships. However, sometimes that’s not enough. 70% of couples break up within their first year of dating, but once you reach five years, the rate drops to 20%. This data shows there’s still a chance to create lasting bonds, but a happy-ever-after is never guaranteed. 

Around 40% of marriages end after the first year, and divorce rates are on the rise, especially in countries like Singapore which ranks 39th on the list of countries with the highest divorce rates. Out of 28,329 marriages, 7,890 couples divorced in 2021. Now that’s a staggering number. 

Every relationship goes through hurdles, and the couples that hold on to each other during tough times are the ones that last. So, don’t shy away from addressing your problems. Work on them together, and strengthen your bond! 

Here are a few common relationship problems you’ll need to work on: 


Many Singaporean men have expressed their displeasure about being unable to read between the lines with their partner. In a recent article on Her World, where Singaporean men shared “what makes them tick,” two men reported that their partner couldn’t express their needs, and they were left guessing what to do. One said that if a woman is upset at you, she won’t tell you. However, this issue has multiple perspectives. Maybe your partner feels that whenever they are upset at you, it leads to an argument. Or maybe they fear you won’t understand their emotions or react poorly.

If you have been facing such communication issues, it is important to dig deeper. Sometimes, mere discussions aren’t enough, and you might need outside intervention to understand the underlying issues. Couples therapy from a reputed relationship therapist Singapore based can be a good decision in such a case. The right therapist can address your concerns in a safe space, help you learn conflict-resolution strategies, and determine each other’s expectations regarding your relationship. A helpful tip to communicate better would be to talk to listen rather than just wanting to get your point across.

Lack of intimacy 

It is usual for a couple to crave each other’s presence. However, problems arise when there is a lack of intimacy between you and your partner. This issue can appear due to multiple factors, such as miscommunication or differing sex drives. Nearly 60% of Singaporean women report having low sex drives and increased chances of developing sexual dysfunction. This challenge may create emotional and physical distance between you and your partner. 

While there are other forms of intimacy, and sex doesn’t have to be the primary form, it is vital to establish boundaries built upon mutual consent. You should talk to your partner about their preferences, ensure both parties feel comfortable, and enjoy being close to each other. 

Holding grudges

According to studies, forgiving someone is excellent for managing stress and improving mental health. When you forgive and forget, you let go of things that hurt you and start fresh. In a relationship, holding grudges can dampen the mood of all future encounters. Problems, disagreements, and arguments are unavoidable, so you shouldn’t hold on to past bad experiences.

However, remember, there is a fine line between forgiving and taking yourself for granted. If you constantly ignore the same behaviors, only for your partner to repeat them, you should prioritize your mental health and establish some boundaries. 

Financial stress

Singapore is one of the most expensive countries in the world, with a cost of living that is 65% more expensive than in Dubai. It topped the world’s list of most expensive cities by the World Economic Forum in 2022, and its high cost of living is the root of all problems in many relationships. For instance, according to a study by Yahoo Finance, only five in 10 Singaporean women are happy to date a man who earns less than them. Compared to 92% of men being okay with their partner making more, 42% of women want a partner who makes more than them.

This financial insecurity strains relationships where Singaporean men fear materialistic partners. In contrast, Singaporean women fear cheapness and lack of responsibility. Couples can argue over each other’s spending habits. Regardless of both valid concerns, you and your partner can make a coordinated decision on managing your expenses, set boundaries, and create a joint savings account to support each other financially. 

Family and in-law conflicts

Singapore is a collectivist society that values families and social groups over personal benefit. This tight community is why there are many family and in-law conflicts. Singaporean parents play a significant role in their children’s relationships, leading to conflicts between the couple. However, handling these conflicts with sensitivity and respect is crucial to maintaining a healthy and harmonious bond.

You and your partner deserve to have the opportunity to nourish your relationship without outside interference. To ensure autonomy in your relationship, you can establish boundaries through polite communication with your family. 

Trust issues

According to a survey on the trust levels of Singaporeans, 65% of respondents were wary of trusting people outside the family. This mistrust extends towards romantic partners as many young Singaporean women fear their partners will either use them for money, get bored of them, or cheat on them, according to an article on Singaporean girls’ most significant relationship fears.

Trust is the foundation of every relationship; it can be challenging to repair once broken. You and your partner can develop mistrust due to many reasons. However, you can overcome this issue by being transparent and open about your feelings. 


Accepting that no relationship is perfect is the first step to building a lifelong bond. Setting unrealistic standards harms you in the long run. However, once you acknowledge that your partner can make mistakes, you can learn to love them despite their shortcomings. A genuine relationship can get messy and have many problems. Still, it can also be a beautiful bond once you and your partner continuously put in effort to nurture it.