When you’re truly in love, it’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that at some point, you and your partner could become strangers to each other. There are certain things that could spell the end of your relationship if not dealt with effectively.

We spoke to counselling psychologist Andreas Banetsi, who offered insight into some of the things that could put strain on a partnership, and how a couple can overcome them to ensure their relationship stays strong.

Your phone
“The most common thing that would jeopardise a fairly good relationship are issues around a partner’s cellphone usage,” Banetsi says. “As time goes on, many people become more intimate with their cellphones than with their partners, to such an extent that a relationship comes to an end because one person feels neglected because of the other’s obsession with their phone.”

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The refusal to share certain information
Banetsi explains that there are certain pieces of information that one partner may not feel comfortable sharing with the other, and this often causes conflict because it zones in on issues of trust and honesty.

“It’s important that partners set boundaries at the beginning of a relationship when it comes to certain information so it doesn’t become a major issue in the long run,” he says. “This comes up a lot in many of the sessions I have with couples, where one may feel that their partner isn’t entitled to know their salary, and because this boundary was never set, it comes across as a lack of trust in the other partner which may become a very contentious issue in the relationship.”

If you haven’t come to an understanding that the two of you have different cultural or religious beliefs, then you’re likely to go nowhere slowly in the relationship.

Significant others
Banetsi says that the presence of significant others in a relationship can be a powder keg if not handled sensitively.

“If the guy sees his friend as a crucial part of his life, sometimes to the point where the lady feels she has to compete with them for attention, it can become a huge problem.”

This doesn’t mean you can’t have friends, but that you should make it clear to your partner that there is no competition between them and the other person. Banetsi adds that you should be deliberate in communicating your whereabouts and who you’re with.

“The resolution to this is to communicate. If you’re going somewhere with your friends, make sure your partner knows where you’re going and who you’re going to be with. This is not to say that you should give an update every hour, but always make sure that your partner is on the same page.”

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If this information isn’t shared, it will become a contentious issue, which will lead to your partner feeling insecure in the relationship.

Religious and cultural values
If you haven’t come to an understanding that the two of you have different cultural or religious beliefs, then you’re likely to go nowhere slowly in the relationship, Banetsi says. “There should be understanding, balance and respect.”

He says that a strong relationship rests on respect and communication.