How to Conquer 6 Common Marriage Problems Today
Reading Time: 9 mins
Marriage problems and solutions
How long has it been since you said, “I do” and pledged your love and life to each other?
Six months? Six years? Sixteen years?
In reality, the time you’ve spent together doesn’t matter when the marriage is facing serious problems.
Don’t be the one that insists, “I’m not the one with the problem,”.
If there’s an issue in the marriage, the problem belongs to both of you.
Remember, no marriage is exempt from problems. In fact, conflict is a normal part of marriage, but constant conflict is a broken marriage.
However, help is at hand…
In this post, I will help you identify the common causes and warning signs of marriage failure. I will also share workable advice you can apply today to overcome your marriage troubles.
Before we start, here’s a beautiful quote from Mignon McLaughlin to remind you of the true meaning of marriage:
“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person,”.
I hope this heart-warming quote inspires you to work together to fix your marriage problems.
But before you can fix the problems, you need to understand the effects of marital stress on your home.
The devastating effects of a troubled marriage
According to an in-depth study by Fincham and Beach, among other things, marital conflict can lead to serious health issues:
Couples in a constant state of argument are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and eating disorders.
The study also found:
Both individual and family health can suffer. Children may get sick more often and bicker more than usual with siblings.
Parent-child conflict can also arise from marital conflict. You might notice your children talking back because they also feel the tension in the home.
It comes as no surprise the study also found distressed couples are more negative towards each other. And have negative attitudes that escalate not resolve conflict.
For instance, when couples are in a fierce argument, it’s common for one partner to say “You never listen to me,”. This is usually countered with “You never listen to me”, in an irritated voice, and then around and around we go.
These types of responses make it difficult to break the cycle of negativity.
However, you both need to make an effort to resolve your marriage problems like adults.
So, let’s take a closer look at some of the issues that could be the root cause of your marriage problems.
Communication can solve your marital issues
The granddaddy of all marriage problems is poor communication.
It’s impossible to listen to your spouse without giving them your full attention. This means the TV isn’t blaring, your phone is off and the children are asleep.
How do you improve your communication?
For a start, set up an appointment and keep it. If your usual style of ‘communication’ is screaming at the top of your lungs, go to a public place such as a library.
A public setting is the best way to ensure neither of you loses control. In like manner, set ground rules such as not to interrupt, play the blame game or call names.
It’s also important to realize that body language is a big part of conversation. In fact, a famous study shows that body language accounts for 55% of our communication.
So, practice body language that shows you’re paying attention and listening. Simple gestures such as nodding your head in agreement or leaning in, show your spouse you care.
During your chat keep your hands in a neutral place and avoid giving off hostile signals. Actions such as hands on hip, crossed arms or shaking your head, imply a hostile attitude.
Further, don’t jump in straightaway when your spouse finishes talking. To give yourself time to prepare your response, paraphrase what your spouse has said.
For instance, if your spouse says “You don’t care about me like you used to,”. You can rephrase and make sure you understand by saying, “You feel like I don’t love you as much as I used to,”.
This not only gives you time to plan your response but your spouse will also feel heard and validated.
Above all, keep it civil and agree to work on the problems troubling your marriage.
Don’t let sex cause your marriage problems
Your sex drive will fluctuate throughout your life.
Sometimes you and your partner will be at different ends of the spectrum. Other times your sex life will be passionate and healthy.
So, what do you do when one of you has a high interest in sex, and the other has it at the bottom of their priority list?
Talk it out. Many people feel awkward discussing sex, but it’s the only way to work through your issues. Sex isn’t a ‘dirty’ subject, it’s one of many parts that make up a healthy marriage.
If you’re the one not in the mood for sex, think about how your silence and behavior affects your partner. Your spouse might feel confused, neglected and unloved.
So, don’t keep things bottled up. What gets you in the mood for sex?, Candlelight bubble baths?, A Long kiss? Whatever it is, let your partner know how to set the stage.
If you have the higher sex drive, create the setting your spouse describes. With the higher sex drive, it’s natural to focus more on sex. But, sometimes your spouse just won’t feel like a midnight rendezvous.
When this happens, don’t blame yourself or your partner. It’s natural for your sex life to fluctuate. Instead of feeling miserable, take up an activity that gets your endorphins going.
Also, don’t get so hung up on sex. Focus on being near each other without sex being imminent. Hold hands, cuddle, create a safe place where neither of you is under pressure.
With the pressure off, and your spouse relaxed, you can put your energy towards love and affection.
Before you know it, a spark might ignite, and off you go.
Divide chores to solve your marriage problems
Once upon a time, the wife worked in the home, and the husband went off to work and arrived home to a hearty dinner.
The wife’s heart was full of gratitude, for he was a good man and a provider for the family.
And they lived happily ever after. The end.
Although some would disagree that fairy tale ended years ago. And thankfully we now live in more enlightened times.
Nowadays it’s common for both partners to have jobs and to share the cost of household expenses. Both husband and wife leave early and often arrive home at around the same time.
But, if only one person does the cooking, dishes etc, that person will get angry and resentful, fast. Both arrive home tired, so it’s only fair there be an equal division of labor.
Right?, although it makes sense, the reality is quite different. Now, this is controversial, but there are many modern studies proving this.
‘Most men still view household chores as feminine and the domain of women’. Sweeping statement?, yes, but based on facts. You can find the studies here.
Without doubt, these outdated views have no place in a modern marriage. Not only are these views demeaning but can also cause marriage problems.
Award-winning author and historian, Stephanie Coontz also agrees. This is one quote from her excellent New York Times article:
“The degree to which housework is shared is now one of the two most important predictors of a woman’s marital satisfaction,”.
Now, if you’re a woman reading this, don’t go grabbing your pitchfork. Your husband is most likely a lovely man who helps out around the house.
In all seriousness though, marriage is a team game. So, for the sake of your marriage divide the labor at home in a way that feels fair to both of you.
Constant criticism is a marriage killer
“Not the way I would have done it,”. “Are you sure you know what you’re doing,”? “Are you really wearing that,”? “Stop, here let me do it,”.
Sound familiar? These are some of the milder expressions heard in many married households. But does this lack of respect and tolerance have any place in a marriage?
The answer is a resounding no. The line between occasional snide remarks and emotional abuse is thin. And without question, abuse of any kind can not only destroy lives but also your marriage.
Also, imagine how tedious life would be if we all walked, talked and behaved in the same way. It would be a dystopian nightmare, a soulless society of drones.
We’re not grown in labs conditioned to behave in a certain way (not yet anyway). We’re unique, our personalities and philosophies define us and make us human.
So, the next time you’re about to correct your spouse, pause for thought. Has your spouse really done something wrong?, or is it a matter of same result, different method?
In summary, remember marriage is the sum of many parts. It’s not only a physical connection between two people but also an emotional one. To avoid marriage problems, you need to keep both strong.
With this in mind, think and act in a positive way especially towards your spouse. You’ll not only feel better but also reduce the stress in the home.
When both of you are in a happy place, you are better equipped to resolve your marriage problems together.
Constant conflict is destroying your marriage
Sometimes situations that make us unhappy seem to occur every single day. And no matter how hard you try to let the sadness go, anger and resentment build up inside.
Now you’re in a constant state of irritation. One false move from your spouse, kids, the dog or even the weather will set off a cataclysmic event.
With such a fragile state of mind, your true enemy conflict invades your home. And conflict needs no second invitation to go about dismantling your marriage.
How do you resolve the constant tension?
First, realize that neither of you are victims. You both have the choice to act and react any way you choose. If you choose to play the blame game not only do you both lose, you worsen your marriage problems.
Be honest with yourself and your partner:
In all honesty, when you’re in the middle of a conflict, what are your intentions? Are your comments geared towards ending the conflict? Or are they aimed at hurting your partner for payback?
Learn from your mistakes:
If the tactic you’ve been using during arguments isn’t working, try something new. Remember, if you use tactics that cause pain and anger, you will continue to get pain and anger.
Apologize when you are wrong:
Being wrong is okay. We’re human, we all make mistakes. When you own your attitude and apologize for your behavior, the situation deescalates. Once you are both calm, real communication can begin.
You only hold power over yourself:
Your partner has a right to his or her feelings and it isn’t up to you to change them. The only person you have that power over is yourself.
So, if you continue to do the same thing over and over, don’t expect a different result.
If you’re truly committed to fixing your marriage problems, change your own behavior. Your partner will pick up on this and follow suit.
All marriages go through troubled times. There will be highs and lows and sometimes really bottomed out lows. That is normal.
However, if the lows far outweigh the highs, you must turn it around before you reach the point of no return.
The more you focus on the negative, the more absorbed you become in everything bad about your marriage.
Soon the willingness to fix your marriage problems, by either of, disappears. When the appetite to fight exits the building, your marriage is effectively over.
In other words, stop wasting your valuable energy fighting, bickering and being resentful. Put that energy towards overcoming the obstacles affecting your marriage.
Remember, when you were newlyweds you thought your spouse was a wonderful partner. That person is still there, find your way back to each other and you can fix your marriage problems.
With hard work and commitment you can not only save your marriage but also bring it back to a solid state of happiness.
Free marriage resources
Happy Together is my free book that will better your marriage (guaranteed). Marriage Matters is my free email course to help you overcome your marriage troubles. You can find these and more resources here:
Assess the health of your marriage
The PassionFlames marriage quiz will help you understand the nature of your marriage problems. This quiz uses 10 questions to assess the health of your relationship.
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Now it’s over to you.
How is the division of labor in your home?, and is that a major marriage issue for you?
Let me know in the comments below.
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