What Marriage Issues Are "Normal"? What To Expect For Newlyweds

Updated March 6, 2024by Regain Editorial Team

"And they lived happily ever after." That's how every fairytale ends, and it may be what you expected to happen after you said, "I do," and rode off into the sunset. But reality is not like a fairytale, and "happily ever after" probably isn't going to look like you imagined it. Marriage issues will arise and challenge the life you thought you would experience. Some are normal, and some aren't. Knowing the difference is critical.

What marriage issues are normal?


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When dating someone, you might give in on things they want. It's part of the dating experience. When people get married, their true colors begin to show. They are more likely to start stating their opinions if they disagree with their spouse. 

Disagreements aren't a problem because it's natural for people to have different opinions about things. However, if you aren't used to having disagreements within your relationship, you may feel like it is a problem. You may even start to wonder if you married the right person. How could someone you got along so well with initially be the same person you can't seem to agree with about anything now that you're married?

Don't let this worry you too much. Disagreements are expected, so learning how to communicate with your spouse is essential. Effective communication is crucial to the success of the marriage and the happiness of those involved.

Losing that “loving” feeling

Love is important to people when they get married. While there are other reasons that people want to get married, such as having children and companionship, a Pew Research Center study found that most people get married for love.

But what happens when you get married and start to lose those feelings of love you had in your relationship? This is the point when some couples start working towards a divorce. They mistakenly believe they married the wrong person and aren't "in love." However, love is more than a feeling; it’s a choice. It's normal for the emotions you first experienced to fade over time as your relationship progresses through the different stages of love.

Instead of giving up on your marriage when those feelings fade, lean onto it and learn how to help your marriage move into something deeper than you've experienced in the past.

Mismatched sexual desire


It's not uncommon for couples to have mismatched sexual desires. You might be ready to go at the drop of a hat, but your partner might not be interested. This doesn't mean that they aren't interested in you, and it's not something that you need to take personally. They might just have a different level of desire than you do, or they could have a sexual desire disorder, which are rarely discussed publicly.

Instead of allowing this to cause unspoken hurt and marriage issues within your relationship, it's important to talk about your sex life. Discuss what your needs and desires are. Find out how your spouse feels instead of assuming that you know. These conversations can feel awkward at first, but the more you talk about it, the easier it will become to be politely honest with your spouse.

In-law drama

Even if you have the best in-laws, there's still a chance that a marriage issue or two will arise from them. Chances are good that you and your spouse weren't raised the same way. These differences can play a part in what your and your spouse's expectations are.

One of the common areas where this can lead to marriage issues is how you spend the holidays. For example, you have your own traditions for the holidays. So, you expect to do them, but your in-laws have different expectations. You and your spouse will need to decide together how you will handle the situation, and it might leave one or both families unhappy.

It's important to understand that in-law issues are normal within marriage. The important thing is that you and your spouse get on the same page as each other in how you handle them. The last thing you want is for your parents to come between the two of you.

Division of responsibilities

Another area that couples tend to need help with is dividing up the responsibilities of running a household. We tend to expect things to run as they did in the house we grew up in; for example, if your mother handled all the finances, that's what you will also expect. However, if your spouse grew up in a household where the father handled the finances or the parents handled them together, then it can cause an issue in your marriage.

This is one reason premarital counseling sessions generally address this area with a couple before marriage. They can see what areas they expect to be responsible for and what areas they think their spouse will handle. When both individuals complete this exercise, they can see where they agree and where they need to have discussions to decide how to move forward.

Not every couple will divide tasks and responsibilities the same way, and that's OK. There is no right or wrong. It's just essential that you and your spouse have something in place that you both agree on.

Time management

Schedules are another area that can cause problems within a marriage. You went from being able to control your own schedule to having to mesh two people’s lives together. If you and your spouse aren't on the same page with your schedules and don't communicate about what plans you each have, you're going to run into problems.

This is another area where proper communication is key. You can't expect your spouse to read your mind. Ensure you communicate your plans, so they know what to expect and when.

What marriage issues aren't normal

While plenty of marriage issues are "normal," there are a few that aren't. Things like abuse or any type of infidelity within your marriage are not acceptable behavior. These are issues that demand immediate action.

If you are in an abusive situation, get to a safe location and seek help immediately. Don't allow yourself to think that emotional or verbal abuse is OK or something you should put up with because it doesn't leave a physical mark. No type of abuse is OK within any relationship.

If you are in an abusive situation, seek help immediately. Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or text “START” to 88788. Help is available 24/7.

How to get marriage help

Want to work on your marital issues?

Whether you are facing typical marriage issues or something more serious, a marriage counselor can help you navigate the situation. While some people are cautious about talking to a stranger about their relationship, there are a lot of advantages that come along with speaking to a therapist, such as:

  • They are an outside mediator, so they won't take sides between you and your spouse.

  • They are trained in teaching exercises and skills to help you make improvements.

  • They can help you get to the root of the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.

  • You can address marriage issues without involving the family and friends you see outside of counseling sessions.

  • Therapists don't have a secret agenda. They're just trying to help you arrive at your own decisions.

Where to find a marriage therapist

If you are a newlywed and struggling in your marriage, relax. It's normal to face challenges, and there is no way that you can prepare for everything that will come your way in marriage. If you attended premarital counseling before your wedding, you can reach out to the person you worked with to see if they also provide marriage counseling.

You can also try searching for marriage therapists in your area. If you cannot find someone local or don't want to sit in a therapist's office, online marriage counseling is a convenient and effective option. You can talk with a licensed therapist without needing to leave your home. You can attend sessions from anywhere you have an internet connection, making it easier for you and your spouse to speak with the therapist if you have busy schedules. Research shows that online therapy is effective, with couples consistently reporting that they could connect with their therapist and that a majority found video sessions to be positive and beneficial. If you’re ready to get started, take the next step with Regain.


Remember, plenty of issues will arise in marriage. It doesn't mean that your marriage is over if you find yourself struggling. But it may be time to get some help to improve your relationship. Online therapy can help you learn the skills you need to build a lasting marriage.

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