Last updated on Feb 27th, 2018 at 01:02 pm

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3. Lack of clear boundaries in the relationship

Another one of the things that seems to come between couples is the issue of boundaries and expectations. We all know what boundaries are, but we don’t often talk about them and verbalise them. Boundaries and expectations are also different for each person in a relationship. Boundaries are influenced by your own experiences, your background, your faith, and the examples that you’ve been shown in life.

For one person, having close friends of the opposite sex might not be an issue. For another person, it might be a complete no-no.

Because we don’t often verbalise our boundaries and expectations in relationships – we often just expect our partners to be on the same page as us – we end up being frustrated and resentful when these boundaries are crossed.

For example, if you don’t want your partner to chat to someone you don’t know on Facebook, then make that clear. Don’t get upset if they’re sending messages back and forth if you haven’t discussed the issue, and given your partner a chance to respond.

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If you want to be in charge of your own bank account and you don’t want to share an account with your partner, then make that clear right from the start.

If you want to be in charge of your own bank account and you don’t want to share an account with your partner, then make that clear right from the start.

If you want to raise your children in a certain faith, with certain religious boundaries and expectations, then discuss it with your partner before you have kids.

It’s difficult to come up with a complete list of boundaries and expectations at the beginning of a relationship, they usually present themselves as time goes by. What we need to be better at is dealing with the ‘offence’ when our boundaries are crossed.

Try to deal with your anger and frustration before you approach your partner about the issue. Discuss it in a non-defensive manner, and try to give them context so that they can respond appropriately.

Saying “stop calling everyone darling” is not constructive. Rather say “I feel like it crosses boundaries when you call other men and women ‘darling’ because you use it as a pet name for me. It takes away from the special bond we have, and it makes me feel jealous and a little bit betrayed.”

Your partner probably doesn’t even know that they’re hurting your feelings when they do or say certain things. Being clear about how it affects you will make them more likely to understand your point of view.

Being able to communicate clearly can help prevent the breakdown of communication in your relationship, and can help prevent the breakdown of the relationship as a whole.

Click page 4 below to read about more reasons marriages can fail…