Many couples see “I do” as the end of what it takes to be married when it is actually just the beginning. To avoid the typical marriage problems with your spouse, there are a variety of approaches and strategies that can keep you both happy, healthy, and growing in your relationship.
Whether you and your spouse use these strategies in trying to resolve marriage problems on your own or see a therapist to resolve them, the approach can make the difference between a successful marriage and a broken one.
When Happily Ever After Stops Being Happy
A lot of difficulties arise when couples cannot work past their marriage problems. Many people have a problem being realistic about the day-to-day realities of what a marriage needs to work. The divorce rate attests to this since most first marriages end with the spouses separated or divorced.
Worse still, the rate of divorce for those who get remarried is even higher. Many people need to work harder on their marriage problems if these statistics are ever to go down.
Everyone needs to use the marriage framework to work on becoming a better person in the service of all of their relationships.
Most Common Marriage Problems
While there are many problems that occur in almost every marriage and are not unique to any one couple, there are a few issues that you should probably see as deal breakers for a relationship. The three main deal breakers are adultery, addiction, and anger or abuse.
When either of the first two issues come into play, it can predict the end of a marriage if the situation is not dealt with immediately, and sometimes it is still the end of a relationship even after they deal with it.
The third issue is a very large red flag. Excessive anger or abuse of either the emotional, physical or sexual variety can create trauma that affects victims for years to come. Any of the three A’s indicate that you and your spouse should seek some counseling if you hope for the marriage to survive.
The following problems are the most common ones in healthy marriages and can be addressed by using a variety of strategies that will also help you better understand your spouse.
1. Communication Issues
Some people are confrontational while others like to minimize their problems. The personality traits that may have originally attracted one spouse to another may become problematic when they take place within the context of a marriage.
People with marriage problems often need to work to develop ways of communicating that are beneficial for both of them. If they are able to respectfully listen to each other and exchange ideas without fear of criticism, they will get to the causes of many of their problems.
Sometimes it is more important to be kind to your partner and agree with them rather than to be right, as appealing as that seems. Follow a few simple rules to have effective communication:
- Keep distractions such as cell phones or other people to a minimum
- Try not to interrupt your spouse
- Listen to them and show them this by rephrasing and repeating their statements
- Use your body language to express interest in their words
2. Sexual Intimacy
Intimacy is a very important element in most marriages and its significance should be taken seriously. The difficulty in setting aside time in a marriage for intimacy becomes a problem occasionally, especially when there are children.
This is why it is important for spouses to have an ongoing, sometimes sensually silent, way of showing love to each other. This can come in the form of hugs and touches, smiles, or just a little extra attention.
Also, frankly talking about what each partner likes sexually or sharing fantasies is a very honest and important component to maintaining a happy marriage.
3. Money Problems
Money is the cause of problems in a variety of familial relationships. Studies have even shown that in lower socio-economic families, there are additional stressors added to the typical ones in a marriage. All information about finances must be made available to the other spouse to avoid encountering obvious marriage problems.
Honesty with one another about financial circumstances within the relationship are one cornerstone of its foundation. Often, one spouse may go to other family members for help in solving the financial difficulties the marriage is experiencing.
Whenever parents, in-laws or siblings become involved in your relationship, it only makes marriage problems worse.
4. Unequal Chores And Responsibilities
This complaint is not only made by women, but also by men. Although the wife has typically been tasked with maintenance of the home and children, changing norms and two-income households have made that a thing of the past.
The best approach for the partnership when you face this issue is to make a list of all the things each of you does in and around the home. If the tasks on paper seem to show that one party or the other is doing a majority of the work, this is something that needs to be addressed and equalized so that there are no hard feelings.
If there is a compromise acceptable to both parties, such as hiring an outsider, that should be considered as well.
5. Not Prioritizing Your Relationship
Modern life can be stressful, and it can be very hard to maintain a balance between your work and personal life. The emotional stability of the marriage should never come second to anything in your life other than your children.
A marriage will not work if one party always feels unwanted and the other party sees them as needy.
Even though you are tired after a long day at work, it is relatively easy to do one simple thing for your spouse to let them know you appreciate them. These can include:
- Scheduling a date night
- Thanking your spouse regularly for everything they do
- Surprising them with an unexpected phone call
6. Arguments and Conflicts
Letting the things that bother you about each other burrow into your brains is the route to marriage problems. For a marriage to work, both parties must continue to stay positive about their partners, seeing the other spouse’s flaws as one of the things they love about them.
If you find yourself angry at the same things they do day after day, step back from the toxic rut you have become entrenched in and look objectively at what underlying issues are actually bothering you.
When you find yourself in the midst of arguing with a mate, try to remain constructive. There are simple rules to follow when arguing:
- Be civil
- Don’t be a victim
- Be honest with yourself
- Don’t jump on top of what a spouse is saying
- Change the tempo to change the tone
7. Sexual and Emotional Affairs
Whenever one spouse loses their interest in the other, marriage problems are likely to ensue. If one partner finds themselves bored in their marriage, they should examine what the root causes of their boredom are and decide whether these issues can be overcome.
Perhaps the problem is not that they no longer find their spouse appealing.
Maybe, amidst all the noise of day-to-day life, their interactions have become routine and stale. They may long for the feeling of spontaneity that used to exist in the relationship. This can be addressed if spouses are consistently focused on meeting each other’s needs for intimacy and sex.
Fixing Problems For A Happier Marriage
There are many avenues to fixing the marriage problems you and your partner are encountering. Try to be creative in your approach and don’t let your anger over issues fester into resentment.
A positive attitude toward addressing these problems and adding to the overall strength of the relationship can go a long way. The whole marriage needs to be more resilient than the small problems that will arise occasionally.
There are millions of different kinds of marriages and just as many ways to approach the marriage problems existing in each of them. If your marriage will make it for the long haul, it is important that you put a lot of work into it.
You and your spouse must continue to work together and also remind each other of the things that made you fall in love with each other. Being grateful to have found that someone eternally special to you should be your concern when you wake up every day.
Everything else is secondary.