Common Marriage Problems And What You Can Do About Them
Updated March 02, 2020
Reviewer Stephanie Deaver, LCSW
Many people walk into marriage with the expectation that they will have a perfect relationship; a relationship where there are no arguments or conflicts. Unfortunately, this vision of a relationship is not realistic as two individuals are bound to run into problems when they spend time together and share lives. Another common misconception is that these issues indicate a problem between a couple and signal that they cannot withstand the challenge of maintaining the relationship. This is certainly not true! Conflict is to be expected in a relationship, and the way that you handle it as a couple determines the strength and health of the relationship.
If you have found yourself reading this article, and you and your partner are having problems or if you're in a situation where you're not married yet, but you're thinking about it, you will want to look at what some of the most common marriage problems are and what you should be doing about them before they become a problem for you. After all, if you know how to handle the issue and the pair of you are willing to put out the work necessary, it can't be a problem, right? By looking over the comprehensive guide we have crafted below regarding common marriage problems, you can brush up on some of the issues that most couples encounter during their marriage and learn a little bit about what you should do if you run into the same problem down the road.
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's doesn't mean that problems won't arise later on for some individuals, and you may very well find yourself in this situation. Your in-laws are competing with you for the attention of their child, and that can be difficult for them 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
The only way to stop an issue in the marriage that is being caused by an outside party is to sit down with your partner and to have a conversation about the problem with their parents. Their parents may not initially want to listen but when they hear the words coming from their son or daughter, it will carry more weight, and you can successfully 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 or not there's too little money, just the right amount of money, or too much money. However, fighting about the money situation does not serve to solve any of the 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 all 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 and how much you should be making. Are you not making enough? Are you spending it 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're going to set future guidelines that will help to reduce the 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 to 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 quickly becomes an issue that many couples begin arguing about. So, what can you do?
The Solution: Create a Chore Chart or Schedule
Although it can seem rather childish to some, creating a chore chart or schedule is an extremely 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. The best part about 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. That's perfectly fine, but you both need to agree to it and feel comfortable with the deal. Once you've figured it out, you should be able to continue while experiencing little resistance.
The Issue: Poor Sex Life (or Intimacy)
You may think that your sex life is just fine, but 'just fine' isn't going to cut it forever, is it? Some partners may have a terrible sex life but will hide that fact away from their partner as a way to spare their feelings. This will continue until the sex seems to disappear altogether until one of the partners makes their feelings known, or until these issues spread out into other areas of your life. A poor sex life can have a serious impact on a relationship and is often one of the biggest reasons that couples fight.
You and your partner need to be open and honest with each other about what you want and expect in the bedroom. If your needs weren't being satisfied in other areas of the relationship, would you be quick to withhold that information? Honesty and openness are expected, and neither you nor your partner should judge the other for what they may want or how they are feeling about your current sexual sessions. It is important to talk about this and to discuss it in-depth to ensure that each partner's needs are being met. This includes things like how frequently you're going to have sex and how it happens. By being open and honest, you can build your sexual relationship and keep it the way you want.
The Issue: A Lack of Appreciation or Attention
When we first get into a relationship with someone, we are completely involved with that person, and we give them as much attention and appreciation when we have the opportunity. However, over time, this amount of appreciation and attention can wane, 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 to get along with your significant other.
The Solution: Squeezing More Affection into Your Schedule
While other aspects of your life will require an immense amount of time and energy, your loved one is a priority, and it is important that you 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 better idea of what they're looking for, figure out a way 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 is vital to a healthy relationship and, for most couples some issues come up along the way that hinders this ability to communicate. When a couple can't communicate their feelings or one or both individuals involved in the relationship are simply not capable of listening and resolving issues, the conflicts continue to build, and the issues grows larger and larger until it seems insurmountable. After a while, couples may believe that the only viable solution is to separate due to the seriously problematic relationship.
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 that makes 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 to better communicate with your significant other. If there is a will, there is a way, and this applies to learn how to communicate.
The Issue: Differences in Morals and Values
You and your partner will most likely share quite a few similarities that initially brought you together, but this doesn't mean that you aren't different people as well. While striking similarities can present their group of issues, major differences in morals and values can create friction between couples when it comes to leading a certain lifestyle or raising children. For example, if one individual has a religion that is very different from their partner's, this could make it difficult 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 have to be respectful of your partner's beliefs as you would expect them to do for you. Instead of fighting against them or allowing the situation to create a conflict, determine how you can compromise and meet in the middle or trade off every once in a while so that each partner is satisfied. It may be hard, but a compromise can be met if you search hard enough and truly think about potential solutions.
The Issue: Too Much Stress
Let's face it: adult life is hard and juggling the number of things that we have to do in our daily life can create tension in everything we do. When you are extremely stressed, and when your partner either becomes the outlet of this stress or is very stressed as well, it is likely that tempers are much shorter and you have less patience than you normally would. If you allow your emotions to dictate your actions, this stress can quickly turn into expressions of anger, which 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 issues, 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 shouldn't have come up. 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.
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? It is a good question, but one that poses many issues. Jealousy could indicate that there is 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 are justified. The first situation is often much easier to repair than the latter, but both can be taken care of if both partners are looking to continue with 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, jealousy is often 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 the jealousy is stemming from infidelity, then this issue must be tackled, and trust must be rebuilt. You can rebuild trust by forgiving the past, moving on, and making an effort to show your partner that you are truly invested in this relationship. Over time and with the right dedication, the trust and the relationship can slowly be rebuilt.
The Issue: Lack of or Violation of Boundaries
You should have boundaries or expectations for your significant other that they are required to abide by. However, not every partner has established these, or they have a partner that seems to continuously violate these boundaries. 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 you 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 is important to sit down and discuss these with your partner so that they have a clear picture of what you expect. If you've established these boundaries and your partner chooses to still cross those boundaries, then you need to reach out to someone who can help and figure out a solution to their inability to recognize and respect boundaries.
If you and your partner are having a hard time talking about these things or if you don't know how to work through some of the problems you're having, it's time to start looking at finding a therapist. A therapist will be able to help you through the problems you're having and will give you the tools necessary so that you both will be able to help improve your relationship. With ReGain you can find a therapist who is readily accessible. It's a great way to get the help you without having to worry about how to schedule it in. If you believe that you can benefit from this form of help or if you want to get a head start with your loved one, seek it out today and get started on a new life with your partner.