From heaven to hell, cloud 9 to room 101, Kylie and Jason to, well, Kylie and Jason; all relationships hit rocky patches. We’ve rounded up some expert advice on three of the most common relationship problems to throw you a lifeline. You’ve just got to figure out if you want to sink or swim. 

They’ve cheated

How to make it work: If your partner is showing remorse and you think the relationship is worth fighting for, you need to communicate with them and figure out what went wrong.

“One-night stands usually happen when the individual just wanted to have some sexual gratification and experience something new, which suggests that there is a degree of boredom within the relationship,” says Dr Massimo Stocchi, a clinical director, counselling and sexological psychologist.

“An ongoing affair is usually representative of the individual seeking a quality in another which their partner is not providing in the relationship, for example intimacy, sex or nurturing.”

Infidelity is one of the hardest things a relationship can go through, so it’s important to seek outside help to get you through it. Caroline Brealey, founder of matchmakers Mutual Attraction, advises: “Speak to a counsellor, as well-meaning friends are likely to be judgemental and offer short-sighted advice.” 

When to walk away: Some people just can’t forgive, and some relationships aren’t worth fighting for. You have to be honest, and if you fall into one, or both, of these categories, it’s time to leave.

Oops: daft mare missed his neck again

We always argue

How to make it work: If you are squabbling about the same silly things, Brealey has a novel suggestion: “Try the ‘do one thing different’ approach. For example, you can still moan about that rubbish TV show, but only whilst rubbing your tummy and patting your head. It will help break your arguing pattern and cause some giggles.”

If your rows are more serious, when you are not arguing, you should talk about what is causing you to fight and come to a compromise about the topic of the argument, advises Dr Stocchi. 

When to walk away: Dr Stocchi says if you or your partner refuses to compromise your relationship will fail, while Brealey adds: “If the arguing becomes emotional bullying or turns physical, it’s time to leave.” 

Shell shock: is this what your love life looks like?

Our sex life is boring

How to make it work: Get in the bedroom! “Sex, like anything in life, is something that needs dedicated practice,” Dr Stocchi says (and we concur). “It is about learning to be mindful in the present moment with your partner and not feeling the need to hurry.” 

If you do talk about it, tread carefully: “The last thing you want is for your partner to get a complex,” Brealey points out. “You have to steer your partner in the right direction and make sure when they do hit the right spot, they know about it!”

When to walk away: “You have to weigh up how important sex is to you. If you find you’re really not happy then perhaps the relationship has run its course,”  Brealey concludes.


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