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Common long-term relationship problems

While every couple is very different, there are certainly common trends in the causes of relationship break downs amongst long-term couples.

As relationship experts, we see many long-term couples struggle with similar issues, and even the strongest of couples can be challenged by one or more of these problems.

We take a look at some of the most common problems that are experienced by couples in a long-term relationship.

Woman gives man loving look

Not sharing the same future vision

We all have goals of what we want to achieve in life. Whether that’s a dream to live in a particular country, pursuing a certain career, or knowing that you want to get married and start a family.

One of the biggest causes of long-term relationship failure is the realisation that your partner’s goals do not match your own. Perhaps you had not yet discussed future plans, or maybe their own goals have shifted over the years.

Some couples are able to reach a compromise on their future plans and can carry on happily after an effective discussion. However, some goals are less easy to compromise on – for example, making the decision to have children.


Another common cause of a long-term relationship ending is infidelity. It can be very difficult to work through the betrayal of a partner cheating and rebuild trust, but it is possible.

For some, cheating is an absolute deal-breaker, and the relationship will end. However, for many, the issue is a lot more complex, and while there will be strong feelings of hurt, they will still feel love for their partner.

Understandably, emotions are often very high when infidelity is uncovered, and this can lead to harsh words being spoken in the heat of the moment. These emotional responses can cause more harm than good and can fuel a relationship breaking down for good.

Clear and reasoned communication is absolutely essential at this time. Many couples need relationship counselling to be able to establish a structured and guided way of reconnecting after a betrayal of trust.  

Couple holding hands

Lacking intimacy

Being close and feeling connected and comforted, both physically and emotionally, is an essential aspect of a romantic relationship.

Over time, things can get in the way of this closeness, and you may find yourself spending less time being intimate with each other. Intimacy in a relationship makes you feel like you matter, and without it, couples can begin to feel dissatisfied together.

Unhelpful arguments

It’s only natural for there to be some form of argument in your relationship. However, frequent, repetitive arguments that lead nowhere only serve to be destructive, and this is a common cause of long-term relationships ending.

During arguments, many people naturally resort to defensive forms of communication, letting their emotions take over. This can lead to unpleasant things being shouted out that you might not truly mean.

Arguments can become non-constructive, with things being bought up from previous fights that should have been forgiven long ago. It can be very easy to get trapped in this sort of destructive argument cycle.

At some point, one or both of you will have enough of living with constant arguments, and a change will need to be made, or the relationship will come to an end.

Young couple in love with each other

Not having fun

Relationships should be joyful. Back when you first got together, you probably enjoyed date nights out together and talked about more than money problems or arguments.

As you become more comfortable with each other, making time for your partner may seem less important, and other commitments may get in the way.  Making an effort to bring some fun back into your relationship is absolutely essential for a successful couple.

How can Remainly help your long-term relationship?

If you are in a long-term relationship that could do with a little work to get you back on track to being truly happy together, then Remainly is here to help point you in the right direction.

Whether you’ve been together for many years and feel like you’re stuck in a rut, or you need help overcoming a betrayal or reaching a compromise, then there is no shame in seeking couples counselling to help you through.

Remainly is an online couples counselling service led by relationship expert and certified psychologist Andreas Løes Narum, which you can access in your own time to discover ways in which to strengthen your relationship.

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