Seven unexpected relationship obstacles to watch out for
Posted Friday, April 20 2012 at 18:00
- It’s not just vengeful exes, money problems and conniving in-laws that pose a threat to your union.
Most relationship obstacles come disguised in different forms. Some could appear dangerously complex while others seem as simple as ABC, but even the smallest hurdle can shake your relationship if you have no clue how to go over it.
Here are some relationship obstacles that seem simple but which you need to watch out for.
1 Kicking a bad habit
As human beings, we are always trying to better ourselves. But when one of you kicks a shared bad habit then this can turn into a big problem as it did in Grace Tulele’s* case.
“When I met Elvis*, we both smoked. Two years into the relationship and after he had proposed to me, he stopped smoking but I was not ready to stop yet,” the 31-year-old marketing executive says.
“The combination of me feeling abandoned and him being cranky from lack of nicotine put a severe strain on our relationship. He would get mad at me for smoking, saying that I was punishing him and trying to tempt him. I felt rejected and hated him for giving up what we had had in common.
“But one day as I sat there smoking after he had driven off because I lit up, it finally hit me: was I willing to give up my relationship with the man I loved for some stupid cigarette? No. Was there anything I was gaining from smoking? No. That was my last cigarette.”
That was two years ago, and the struggle to not smoke made the couple stronger.
“We got married and are expecting our first baby,” Grace says.
2 Change in religious beliefs
When one person in a relationship changes religion or becomes more spiritual than the other, it is bound to cause conflict.
Take Mercy Maingi*, a 29-year-old businesslady. She had dated Jack* for three years when she got saved.
“I met Jack for lunch and gave him the good news but he was not thrilled,” Mercy confesses. “He was very concerned about what would happen to our sex life, since the Bible advocates abstinence before marriage. To cut to the chase, my salvation put a real strain in our relationship and in less than a year we had to separate.”
3 Revisiting a hobby
Trying to keep yourself busy by picking up an activity that you do alone can cause some strain in even a perfect relationship. Lucy and Kim were in a perfect marriage, until Kim discovered a hockey club that plays on Sundays.
“What used to be family time became Kim’s hockey afternoon,” Lucy says. “He would take us to church, and then quickly for lunch, which would be no fun because he would rush us, reminding us that he had hockey training at 3!”
At first, Lucy was not too bothered. At least he wasn’t out drinking or with some woman somewhere, she told herself. But when it became an every Sunday, and some Saturdays, affair then it became a concern.
“It hurt that he was having a blast while I took care of our two children on a day when the help was off-duty. We tried going with him to cheer him on but with that hockey ball on the loose it was just too scary.”