Home Love & Relationships Relationship on the Rocks? 5 Common Causes of Stress in Romantic Relationships

Relationship on the Rocks? 5 Common Causes of Stress in Romantic Relationships


Suppose you’re noticing that your relationship spark has dimmed to ashes or exploded into an inferno. A rocky relationship can impact all areas of your life, including your health and your other relationships. If you’re struggling romantically, there are several reasons why you and your partner might be feeling disconnected lately.

These issues can sometimes negatively impact romantic relationships beyond repair, from differing libidos and jealousy to contradictory beliefs about the future. Here you can learn more about the five most common causes of stress in romantic relationships.

Differing libidos

Differing libidos is the number one stressor in most romantic relationships of people older than eighteen. While both men and women can experience a lack of sex drive, women commonly have lower sex drives than their male counterparts.

While differing libidos can lead to a breakup, boxes to the left don’t have to be your future. Some of the reversible reasons for lack of libido and low female sex drive include:

  • Hormone changes
  • Poor mental health or the need for medication
  • Prescription medication side effects
  • Hormonal changes or birth control side effects

Poor diet, lack of physical health or exercise, poor self-esteem, and recovering from a traumatic or sad event are just a few other reasons female sex drive can decrease. 

Creating a more positive environment in your relationship or seeing a sex therapist can help solve this problem for you and your partner. 

Contradictory ethical and political beliefs

The second most common reason for stress in relationships involves not seeing eye to eye about basic ethical situations, political beliefs, and the future. If one partner wants to get married and have a family while the other wants to remain childless and unmarried, this divide can create a lot of stress, leading to arguing.

When it comes to ethics and politics, it is crucial to find empathy and compromise. If a romantic couple cannot agree on fundamental human rights issues that may affect them in the future, envisioning a happy future with your romantic partner becomes more anxiety-inducing and less comforting as time goes on. 

There’s no clear communication

Your romantic partner should not only be your lover, but they should also offer you a deep and fulfilling friendship. Friendships cannot survive without healthy communication.

If you are not communicating clearly with your partner or feel like your communication styles are opposing, the result may be stress and anxiety when making both big and small decisions.

From where to buy a house to what to have for dinner, communication is an essential part of our everyday interactions with friends, lovers, partners, family, and strangers alike. Constant miscommunication has the power not only to confuse but also to deteriorate the quality of your relationship.

Jealousy and lack of trust

If you feel like you can’t trust the person you love, it’s easy to imagine how that feeling might manifest into insecurity, jealousy, and tension. Whether or not a romantic partner has valid reasons to be jealous, a lack of trust can create a lot of stress on any relationship.

If you do not trust your partner, you are less likely to respect their boundaries. This mistrust can lead to you talking down to your partner, feeling sad around them, or even interrogating them.

If a partner feels questioned or mistreated, they are less likely to show affection and reassurance, therefore creating more distance between the two people. These issues can cause a vicious cycle or a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead of accusing or questioning your partner, consider having a conversation with them to voice your concerns. This conversation will give them a chance to open up and be honest, creating a lifeline for the relationship.

Inability to share valuable time 

If one partner in a romantic relationship is too busy to spend quality time together, this disconnect can create stress and insecurities about being unwanted.

Consider having ‘no phone’ times where you are directly interacting without work or social distractions. Another option is to have a day of the week dedicated to a date night where you can take the time to show each other that you care.


If you notice that your romantic relationship is experiencing one or more of these troubling issues, you may want to address your partner respectfully and let them know how you are feeling. Consider couples counseling if you feel you need outside support in rekindling your relationship. 

David Smith