Common Marriage Problems And What You Can Do About Them

Updated September 8, 2023by Regain Editorial Team

Many people walk into marriage expecting that they will have a perfect relationship, one where there are no arguments or conflicts. Others that are struggling with problems in their marriage may believe that this is an indication they cannot withstand the challenge of maintaining the relationship. However, neither is true. Marriage can be rewarding, but conflict can be expected in any relationship, regardless of how happy or healthy it is. Further, it’s not as much about the issues at hand, but more so about how you handle it as a couple. If you and your spouse are having problems or you’re considering tying the knot one day, it could be useful to be aware of common marital problems people face regularly. In this article, we’ll be discussing common issues partners face in marriage and what you can do to help repair them.

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Common Marriage Problems

The Issue: In-Laws

You may think your in-laws are amazing people and you could never have a problem with them, and for some people, this is true. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t ever run into problems with them. Your in-laws may be competing with you for the attention of their child, and that can be difficult for each of you to accept. They may start butting in more frequently, or you may feel like you’re losing your partner because they’re constantly with their parents instead of you. Your in-laws may eventually start to drive a wedge between you and your partner, whether intentional or not, and you need to know that your partner is on your side.

The Solution: Sit Down And Talk To Them About It Together

To stop an issue in the marriage that an outside party is causing, try sitting down with your partner and discussing the problem with their parents. Tell them your concerns and come up with solutions to mend the situation. Then, have a conversation with your partner and their parents. Their parents may not initially want to listen to you. Still, when they hear the words coming from their son or daughter, it can carry more weight, and you may be able to create boundaries that work for everyone involved and prevent conflict from growing.

The Issue: Financial Troubles

Money makes the world go-’round, and when there isn’t enough coming in, or it isn’t being managed properly, it can cause severe strain in your relationship. Financial problems are one of the major issues that couples fight about, and it happens whether there’s too little money, just the right amount of money, or too much money. However, fighting about money typically doesn’t solve any real issues, which brings us to our next solution…

The Solution: Formulate A Financial Plan And Guidelines

When you have the time, sit down with your partner and look over your finances. Look at how much you’re making, how much you need to make, and what kind of bills you are currently paying. Once you have a comprehensive overview of your income sources and how much you spend on your lifestyle, craft a reasonable budget that shows you how much you should be spending according to your income. Are you not making enough? Are you spending on the wrong things? Do you have more money than you know how to use? Take some time to evaluate your financial situation. By talking about money, how to spend it, how much you’re earning, how much to save, and what you want to do with it, you can set future guidelines that can help to reduce conflict, improve your relationship, and cut down dramatically on the number of fights that you have.

The Issue: Helping Out Around The House

While we would all enjoy the ease of having a house that took care of itself and required no maintenance, part of being partners is working together to take care of the chores and make sure that the house is properly cleaned and maintained. However, when you add a busy schedule to the mix, and for some couples, children, it can quickly become an issue that many couples begin arguing about. So, what can you do?

The Solution: Create A Chore Chart Or Schedule

Creating a chore chart or schedule can be a helpful way to break down household responsibilities, assign them to a partner, and make sure that each half is responsible and follows through on their assigned work. A useful aspect of this solution is that you can figure out what you like doing most and then split it, so you both get what you want. Maybe you hate dishes, and your partner hates vacuuming, allowing you to decide on a permanent trade-off. You’ll always do the vacuuming if they always do the dishes. It can be important that you’re both on the same page and feel comfortable with the agreement. Once you’ve figured it out, you may be able to continue while experiencing little resistance.

The Issue: Poor Sex Life (Or Intimacy)

A lack of intimacy in marriage often needs to be addressed to avoid bottled-up feelings or resentment. Some people feel that their sex life is lacking but don’t share these concerns with their spouse to try to spare their feelings. However, this normally means that the issue will continue or even worsen until it’s addressed. Experiencing a poor sex life can spill into other areas of the relationship, making it important to confront when it’s an issue. 

The Solution: Open And Honest Communication

It can be crucial for you and your partner to be open and honest with each other about what you want and expect in the bedroom. If your needs weren’t satisfied in other areas of the relationship, would you be quick to withhold that information? Honesty and openness are expected, and it can be vital that neither you nor your partner expresses judgment for what the other needs in the bedroom. Making sure each partner’s needs are met can be the goal of this conversation. This may include discussing things like how frequently you’re going to have sex, who initiates it, and what types of positions you try. By being open and honest, you can build your sexual relationship into one that satisfies both spouses.

The Issue: A Lack Of Appreciation Or Attention

When we first get into a relationship with someone, we are often completely involved with that person and give them attention and appreciation at every opportunity. However, this amount of appreciation and attention can wane over time, leaving your partner feeling as though they are not cared for or appreciated anymore. While this is rarely the case, this feeling can cause issues between you and your partner and make it more difficult for the two of you to get along.

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The Solution: Squeezing More Affection Into Your Schedule

While other aspects of your life require an immense amount of time and energy, your loved one is a priority, and it can be essential to treat them as such. Take some time to ask them what things they miss that you used to do. What makes them feel loved? How could you better connect during the week? Once you have a clearer idea of what they’re looking for, figure out how you can schedule those small things into your day and make an effort to follow through on them. You don’t want to make your partner feel as though they do not matter anymore, and the smallest things can make a big difference.

The Issue: Problems With Communication

Proper communication can be vital to a healthy relationship, and, for most couples, some issues come up along the way that hinders their ability to communicate. When a couple can’t communicate their feelings or both individuals involved in the relationship cannot listen and resolve issues, conflict may continue to build. These issues may grow larger and larger until they seem insurmountable. After a while, couples may believe that the only viable solution is to separate due to their seemingly irreconcilable differences.

The Solution: Seek Out Communication Tools And Resources

Learning how to communicate can be difficult, especially if a couple has gotten into the habit of fighting and has a lot of resentment, making it harder for them to change their ways. However, there is hope, and there are more than enough tools and resources out there that can help you learn how to communicate more effectively with your significant other. Practice being open and honest with each other, even if there are hurt feelings. Use “I” statements and avoid getting defensive or stonewalling when your partner expresses a concern. Over time, the two of you can learn how to speak with one another clearly and respectfully to get your needs met and ideas across. 

The Issue: Differences In Morals And Values

While striking similarities can present their group of issues, major differences in morals and values can create friction between couples leading a certain lifestyle or raising children. For example, if one individual has a very different religion from their partner’s, it may not be as easy to do certain things together.

The Solution: Come To A Compromise

In a relationship, you can’t expect one partner to completely abandon their values, morals, and beliefs in exchange for your own. You must be respectful of your partner’s beliefs as you would expect them to do for you. Instead of fighting against your partner or allowing the situation to create conflict, determine how you can compromise and meet in the middle to satisfy each partner. It may be hard, but a compromise can be met if you search hard enough and think about potential solutions. 

The Issue: Too Much Stress

Let’s face it: adult life is hard, and juggling the number of things we must get done in our daily lives can create tension in everything we do. When you are stressed, your partner may become the outlet of your stress. When they are also experiencing more stress than usual, the two of you may take it out on one another. Your tempers may be shorter, and you might have less patience than you normally would. If you allow your emotions to dictate your actions, stress can quickly turn into expressions of anger, which may create unnecessary conflict and leave you and your partner fighting more than usual.

The Solution: Find Stress-Relieving Activities

When you let stress become a driving factor in your relationship, you are allowing something you can’t control to take the wheel. The truth is that there are plenty of ways to reduce your stress so that you can take control of your life and avoid relationship issues that can often be avoided. Whether this comes in the form of meditation or taking more personal time, there are plenty of stress-relieving activities out there that can help you accomplish this. You could meditate, find a hobby, exercise, or spend time with friends, as a start.

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The Issue: Jealousy Or Infidelity

We typically enter a relationship with someone because there was a physical attraction to them, but many couples wonder, what if my partner feels that same way about someone else? This may be a valid question, but one that could pose many issues. Jealousy could indicate a lack of trust in the relationship, and in the case of couples where one partner has cheated on the other, this lack of trust and jealousy may be justified. The first situation may be easier to repair than the latter, but both can be taken care of if both partners continue strengthening the relationship.

The Solution: Determine Where The Jealousy Is Stemming From And Fix It

If your partner has not been unfaithful and trust has not been violated, the jealousy you’re experiencing could be a personal issue. Ask yourself, why am I jealous? Why do I not trust my partner? What insecurities are driving these feelings, and what can I do to stop them in their tracks? If jealousy stems from infidelity, it can be important to tackle this issue and work on rebuilding trust. You can rebuild trust by forgiving the past, moving on, and making an effort to show your partner that you are truly invested in the relationship. Over time and with the right dedication, the relationship can slowly be rebuilt.

The Issue: Lack Of Or Violation Of Boundaries

Most people have boundaries or expectations that their significant other is required to abide by. Think of boundaries as a fence. Fences are built to prevent people from crossing lines in an unacceptable way. Without these fences, individuals can step on your property whenever they want. Whether that comes in the form of your partner acting inappropriately or making you do things you don’t want to, this violation of boundaries can cause a significant amount of stress in a relationship.

The Solution: Set Unbreakable Boundaries

If you have yet to set boundaries or if your partner has not yet learned of your boundaries, it can be important to sit down and discuss them so that they have a clear picture of what you expect. If you’ve established these boundaries and your partner chooses to cross those boundaries still, it could be a red flag. In this case, you may want to reach out to someone who can help and figure out a solution to their inability to recognize and respect your boundaries.

Online Counseling With Regain

If you and your spouse are having a hard time talking about or fixing the problems in your marriage, it could be time to consider involving a professional. A marriage therapist can equip you and your partner with the tools you need to identify the issues in your relationship and make changes accordingly to fix them. With Regain, an online couples counseling platform, you and your spouse can meet with a licensed therapist from anywhere you have an internet connection. Life gets busy, but online counseling can allow you to still get the support you need for a healthy, fulfilling marriage. If you believe you could benefit from this form of help or want to get a head start with your loved one, reach out to begin a new chapter in your marriage. 

The Effectiveness Of Online Counseling 

Couples needing to fix the problems in their marriage could benefit from online counseling. One study showed how a web-based couples therapy intervention taught participants how to identify the issues in their relationship and make concrete changes, ultimately allowing them to empathize with and understand one another on a deeper level. Couples experienced an improvement in their relationship satisfaction as well as a decrease in their distress. By learning how to take steps to address the problems in their relationship, they were able to move past these issues and grow as a couple.

The Takeaway

Every marriage experiences some form of conflict at one point or another. It may not matter so much what the problem is, but rather how you and your partner address and fix it. If you’re facing challenges in your marriage and don’t know how to work through them alone, confiding in a licensed marriage therapist could be a beneficial next step. Regain can match you with an online therapist to equip you with tools for dealing with conflict and support you and your spouse in building a strong foundation for a lasting marriage. 

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