Can you identify perpetual problems in your relationship?

Activity 1 - Common Perpetual Problems

Below is a list of common perpetual problems that cause conflict in relationships.   Are there any problems from the list that have become gridlocked in your relationship? 

  1. Differences in neatness and organisation.  One person is neat and organised, the other is messy and disorganised.
  2. Differences in wanting time together Vs time apart and alone.  One person wants more time alone than the other, who want more time together.
  3. Differences in optimal sexual frequency.  One wants more sex than the other.
  4. Differences in preferred lovemaking and what each wants from the experience.  For example, one sees intimacy as a precondition to making love, while the other sees lovemaking as the path to intimacy. 
  5. Differences in handling finances.  One person is much more financially conservative and perhaps a worrier, while the other wants to spend more freely.
  6. Differences with respect to extended family.  One person wants more independence from family while the other wants more contact.
  7. Differences in how to approach household chores.  For example, one person wants equal division of labour while the other does not. 
  8. Differences in how to raise and discipline children.
  9. Differences in whether to have children or not.
  10. One person in more involved with the children than the other. 
  11. One person is stricter that the other and one wants more gentleness. 
  12. Differences in punctuality.  One is habitually late and the other always likes to be on time.
  13. Differences in preferred activity.  One person prefers active, physical recreation while the other is more passive and sedentary. 
  14. Differences in needs for socialising with other people.  One is more extroverted and gregarious than the other. 
  15. Differences in preferred influence.  One prefers to be more dominant in decision-making than the other.
  16. Differences in ambition and the importance of work.  One person is more ambitions than the other. 
  17. Differences with beliefs about religion.  One values religion, the other does not.
  18. Differences with drug and alcohol use.  One person is more tolerant of drugs and alcohol than the other.
  19. Differences in independence.  One feels a greater need to be independent that the other. 
  20. Differences in excitement.  One feels a greater need to have life be exciting or adventurous than the other.
  21. Differences in values.  There are major differences in what each value in life.  
  22. Differences in morals. 
  23. Differences in relationship fidelity.  There are major differences in what it means to be sexually loyal to one another. 
  24. Differences in … [you can identify your own here].


Activity 2 - Categories for Solvable Problems

Next is a list of categories that couples commonly disagree over.  Look over the list and identify any potentially solvable problems you would like to discuss with your partner.  It will probably be a small issue.  It may also refer to a specific situation.  It must have a concrete, tangible, easily defined solution. 

For example:  a conflict over Money & Finances -  My partner wants to save scrimp and save all year for a long holiday at Christmas but I want to spend some of our savings on going out to dinner on weekends and take a shorter holiday over Christmas.            

  1. Money and finances
  2. Diet and food
  3. In-laws and extended family
  4. Household chores
  5. Children (having / raising)
  6. Parenting
  7. Friends
  8. Recreation and fun
  9. Sex
  10. Religion
  11. Politics
  12. Issues of power and respect
  13. Career and family balance
  14. Handling stress
  15. Chronic illness or pain
  16. Alcohol, cigarettes and other drugs
  17. Other:

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