Have you been sitting and wondering why is marriage hard? Have marriage problems made you question your relationship and whether or not it would last?
Marriages can be challenging for most people as it involves melding your life and goals with someone else’s. Marriage problems after kids or other major changes can be challenging to deal with and can lead to resentment and feelings of disappointment.
Marriage problems, however, are often a result of complacent behavior and oversight. These problems can be resolved with the right approach and openness to reflect.
Here are some conflicts that plague married couples and ways you can solve them:
25 marriage problems and solutions
There are many common problems in married life, and many of them can be avoided, fixed, or resolved using many different methods and techniques.
Take a look at the most common marital issues married couples face, and learn how to solve marriage problems before they cause irreparable damage to your relationship.
Infidelity is one of the most common marriage problems in relationships. The mostrecent data suggests that about 20 percent of interviewed men admitted to cheating on their partner compared to 10 percent of women. It includes cheating and having emotional affairs.
Other instances included in infidelity are one-night stands, physical infidelity, internet relationships, and long and short-term affairs. Infidelity occurs in a relationship for many different reasons; it is a common problem and one that various couples are struggling to find a solution to.
Solution: How to fix marriage problems pertaining to infidelity?
Infidelity can happen when the connection in your relationship is not strong and can cause a breakdown of trust.Research reveals that maintaining a strong emotional bond, sexual intimacy, and respecting boundaries are the three key ways to combat infidelity in your relationship.
In this video, relationship expert and broadcaster Lucy Beresford talk about infidelity and its effect on relationships.
2. Sexual differences
Physical intimacy is indispensable in a long-term relationship, but it’s also the root cause of one of the most common marriage problems of all time, sexual problems. Sexual problems can occur in a relationship for several reasons paving the way for subsequently more marriage problems.
Studies reveal that sexual compatibility, along with sexual satisfaction, was cited as the most crucial factor in determining relationship satisfaction for couples.
The most common sexual problem within a marriage is a loss of libido. Many people are under the impression that only women experience issues with libido, but men also experience the same.
In other instances, sexual problems can be due to the sexual preferences of a spouse. One person in the relationship may prefer different sexual things than the other spouse, making the other spouse uncomfortable.
Solution: Communication and keeping an open mind are key to getting through any form of sexual incompatibility. It can reestablish the crucial physical and emotional bond for sexual intimacy to flourish.
3. Values and beliefs
Certainly, there will be differences and disagreements within a marriage, but some differences are too significant to ignore, such as core values and beliefs. One spouse may have one religion, and the other may have a different belief.
Differences in values may lead to an emotional chasm, among other common marriage problems.
As you may have guessed, this could cause significant trouble when one spouse gets tired of doing things separately, such as going to different places of worship.
Such marriage problems are widespread in cross-cultural marriages. Other differences include core values.
These include the way children are reared and the things they were taught during their childhood, such as the definition of right and wrong.
Solution: The only solutions to conflicts arising from different values are communication and compromise. And in matters where compromise isn’t possible, the best solution is to be understanding and agree to disagree on these matters.
4. Life stages
Many people do not consider their life stages when it comes to a relationship.
In some instances, marriage issues occur simply because both spouses have outgrown each other and want more out of life from someone else.
Growing apart with time is a common issue among married couples who have a significant age gap, whether it is an older man and younger woman or older woman and younger man.
Personalities change with time, and couples might not remain as compatible as they once might have been. Couples with an age difference who are in different phases of life face this common marriage problem.
Solution: Take regular stock of your relationship to ensure that you and your partner grow together and don’t grow apart with time. Try to love and accept the different changes that life brings for both of you individually and as a couple.
Another thing to try out is an activity. Try to pick up new hobbies that give you both a chance to rediscover each other and develop your bond.
5. Traumatic situations
When couples go through traumatic incidents, it adds more challenges in marriage.
Traumatic situations are other problems that couples may experience. A lot of traumatic events that occur are life-changing.
These traumatic situations become problems for some married couples because one spouse does not know how to handle the situation at hand.
One spouse may not know how to function without the other due to being in the hospital or on bed rest. In other situations, one spouse may require around-the-clock care, causing them to be solely dependent on the other spouse.
Sometimes, the pressure is too great, and the responsibility is too much to deal with, so the relationship spirals downward until it comes to a complete end.
Solution: Take a break! It might seem selfish, but your relationship can benefit from you taking some time to process your feelings. A therapist can help you or your partner through any traumatic experience and give you the tools to help you deal with these challenges.
Stress is a common marriage problem that most couples will face at least once within their relationship. Many different situations can cause stress within relationships and instances, including financial, family, mental, and illness.
Financial problems can stem from a spouse losing their job or being demoted from their job. Stress from family can include children, problems with their family, or the spouse’s family. Many different things trigger stress.
How stress is managed and handled could create more stress.
Solution: Stress within a relationship needs to be handled, or it can destroy the relationship. You can try to resolve this issue by talking to each other honestly and patiently. If talking doesn’t help, you can try to take up hobbies like yoga or meditation that help you deal with your stress better.
Boredom is a severe but underrated marital problem.
With time some spouses become bored with their relationship. They may get tired of the things that occur within the relationship. In this situation, it comes down to being bored with the relationship because it has become predictable.
A couple may do the same thing every day without change or a spark. A spark usually consists of doing random things from time to time. If a relationship lacks spontaneous activities, there is good chance boredom will become a problem.
Solution: Do the unexpected. Whether it is in the bedroom, or other areas of life, to get rid of the boredom in your relationship. Surprise your partner with a gift, an unexpected plan, or some new sexual move, and watch your relationship transform.
Jealousy is another common marriage problem that causes a marriage to turn sour. Being with them and around them can become a challenge if you have an overly jealous partner.
Jealousy is suitable for any relationship to an extent, as long as it is not overly jealous. Such individuals will be overbearing: they may question who you are talking to on the phone, why you are talking to them, how you know them and how long you have known them, etc.
Having an overly jealous spouse can strain the relationship; a lot of stress will eventually end such a relationship.
Solution: The only remedy for excessive jealousy is self-reflection to address insecurity effectively. If this is hard to do on your own, you can also take the help of a psychologist who can help you or your partner understand the reasons for your jealousy and how to minimize it.
9. Trying to change each other
This common relationship problem occurs when couples overstep their partner’s boundaries to mold their beliefs.
It does happen that such disregard for your partner’s boundaries might happen by mistake; the extent of retaliation from the spouse that is being attacked is usually appeased in time.
Solution: Don’t just love your partner, but also learn to respect their boundaries and not force them to change. If you face difficulty accepting certain things about your partner, try to remember that you fell in love with your partner as they are, and so did they.
Lack of communication is one of the most common problems in marriage.
Communication encompasses both verbal and non-verbal cues, which is why even if you have known someone for a long time, a slight change in the facial expression or any other form of body language can be misunderstood.
Men and women communicate very differently and can fall into a habitat of improper communication. If such relationship or marriage issues are allowed to fester, then the sanctity of marriage is definitely at stake.
Healthy communication is the foundation for success in marriage.
Solution: Harmful communication patterns can become a habit, and the only way to remedy them is to make a conscious effort towards improvement. Little by little, you can learn healthy ways of communicating that enhance the relationship and the individuals equally.
Humans are social creatures and are avid seekers of attention from others, especially those closest to them.
Every marriage, over time, suffers a common relationship problem, ‘lack of attention,’ where a couple, intentionally or unintentionally, redirects their attention to other aspects of their lives.
Lack of attention changes the chemistry of marriage, which instigates one or the spouse to act out and overreact. This problem in marriage, if not dealt with appropriately, can then spiral out of control.
Solution: Listen to your partner, first and foremost. You can also try to take up a couple’s activities like dancing or hiking, which can help you give attention to each other in a refreshing new way. It can help you tune out the noise of daily life and genuinely focus on each other.
12. Financial issues
Nothing can break a marriage faster than money. If you are opening a joint account or handling your finances separately, you will encounter financial problems in your marriage. It is essential to discuss any financial issues as a couple openly.
Solution: Finances can be a sensitive topic, and couples should carefully discuss these problems. Try to come up with a plan that meets your shared financial goals. Also, try to make sure that the motivation is discussed openly if someone deviates from the plan.
With a rapid increase in our interaction and obsession with technology and social platforms, we are moving further away from healthy face-to-face communication.
We are losing ourselves in a virtual world and forgetting to love other people and things around us. Such fixation has quickly become a common marriage problem.
Solution: Reserve an hour each day or one day a week when you and your partner go technology-free. Keep your phones and other devices away to try and focus on each other without any distractions.
15. Trust issues
This common marriage trouble can rot your marriage from the inside, leaving no chance of restoring your relationship.
The idea of trust in a marriage is still very conventional and, at times, puts too much strain on a marriage when the doubt starts to seep into a relationship.
Solution: With the assistance of a therapist, open communication can help a couple understand the reasons for their mistrust and ways that they can resolve them. The therapist could also suggest some trust-building exercises to help you learn how to trust each other.
Even though selfishness can be efficiently dealt with by making minor changes in your attitude towards your spouse, it is still a widespread marriage problem.
A big part of being in a relationship is melding your life with another person and their priorities. Couples often find this transition difficult as collective priorities can clash with personal ones, which can cause problems.
Solution: Empathy is the only solution for selfish behavior. Try to understand each other’s perspectives and make being considerate a habit. If your individual goals are at odds with your goals as a couple, try to talk to your partner with open vulnerability.
Losing your temper, shouting or screaming in rage, and causing physical harm to yourself or your spouse is sadly a common marriage problem.
With increasing stress due to internal and external factors and in a fit of rage, we might be unable to control our anger, and an outburst towards our loved ones can be very harmful to a relationship.
Solution: If anger is an issue you struggle with, consider talking with a counselor to learn coping skills to help keep anger at bay so it doesn’t affect your relationship. You can also start by counting to ten before saying angry words that might ruin your relationship.
When anger gets the best of us in a marriage, a widespread reaction is vengeful or seeking retribution from your spouse.
Keeping count of battles won and lost within a relationship can set the foundation for an unhealthy relationship. It would make you want to settle the score constantly and lead to resentment. The priority then becomes having the upper hand rather than being there for each other.
Solution: Keeping scores is for sports, not relationships. You can learn to deal with marriage problems by learning not to keep a count of who got their way in fights and disagreements. Focus on the bigger picture and let go of the small battles you might have had to compromise.
Lying as a common marriage problem isn’t only restricted to infidelity or selfishness; it also comprises white lies about day-to-day things. These lies are many times used to save face and not let your spouse get the high ground.
Couples might lie to each other about the difficulties or problems they might be facing at work or in other social scenarios; such marriage problems burden a relationship. When things get out of hand, it can very much wreck a marriage.
Solution: Analyze the reasons why you or your partner feel compelled to lie instead of being honest. Only once to understand and address these reasons can you attempt to end the lying and dishonesty in your relationship.
20. Unrealistic expectations
To some extent, we all agree with the notion that marriage is forever, but still, we fail to put in the time and effort to understand our partners before getting married.
We draw our inspirations of a perfect marriage from stories that we have heard or from people that we know without even questioning if both of us want the same things in life or not.
A mismatch between a couple about the future outlook of a relationship creates a lot of room for a build-up of unrealistic expectations from our partner.
These expectations, when not fulfilled, breed resentment, disappointments and push marriage down a path from where there might be no recovery.
Solution: Let it go! Face reality and appreciate all that you have in your relationships. Accepting the fact that your expectations are not real and no partner can live up to them. The expectations can set a standard even when the relationship is functioning smoothly.
While it is okay to point out certain things that your partner can improve about themselves, it may not be the best idea to pester them into changing too much or overstepping boundaries they have set. This can become a marriage problem if not checked in time.
Solution: Discuss boundaries. Let your partner know if you want a night out with your friends every two weeks. Explain the concept of boundaries if they have problems understanding the idea. Help them set healthy boundaries for themselves, as well. Respect their boundaries, too.
Infidelity can be of various types. However, the one that mostly comes to light is physical infidelity – when a partner has physical relationships with one or multiple people outside the marriage or relationship.
However, emotional infidelity is when a partner develops romantic feelings for someone other than their partner. Emotional infidelity can also become a marriage problem since feelings for someone else can damage your marriage or relationship.
Solution: If you start to develop feelings for another person, check yourself. Introspect to see what these feelings mean.
23. Division of labor
Are the chores in your marriage divided equally or fairly? If not, it can become a big problem in your marriage.
Solution: Not to sound repetitive, but really communication is the key. Talk to your partner about the chores, how you feel about them, and how you can divide the chores between the two of you.
An inequality of power in your relationship or marriage could become a problem in your marriage. Power could be financial or just about the dynamics of your relationship.
Solution: Discuss the power dynamics in your relationship. While it is okay to have departments that you both look after, it is important to have a fair power distribution.
25. Difference in expression
Do you love your partner? Yes. But does your partner feel loved by you? Maybe.
One of the common marriage problems is when there is a difference in the expression of love. You and your partner don’t need to show love in the same way, and therefore, it can lead to misunderstandings.
Solution: Identify and understand your partner’s expression of love. Maybe they have certain things they do by going out of their way, to show their love to you, but because you have a different perspective to it, you do not notice it. Appreciate them when you realize the same.
5 causes of marriage problems
Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is marriage so hard?” If yes, then you should know that it is common marital problems such as these that make the marriage tough.
Now that you know the most common marital problems, it is important to identify the causes of such problems as well. The 5 common causes of marital problems include –
One of the most common causes of marital problems includes lack of communication or miscommunication. If you are unclear about your feelings, boundaries, and expectations in your marriage, you are likely to encounter marital problems.
2. Unrealistic expectations
Not having clear expectations about the marriage, or the partnership, or how things work between the two of you can also lead to marital troubles.
3. Lack of privacy
If you and your partner go out of the relationship and discuss every aspect of it with parents, children, friends, or even siblings, it could cause marital problems. Your relationship does not have to be a secret, but some matters should be private between just the two of you.
If you and your spouse only argue and never discuss the problems you are experiencing, it could become a huge cause of marital discord.
If you and your partner are not honest about your feelings, if you lie or hide things from each other, it could cause marriage problems.
How can couples encountering problems in their marriage overcome them?
What are some ways couples can overcome the problems in their marriage? While specific solutions to each problem are mentioned above, here are some tips on making things better between the two of you.
Communication is really the key. It might sound repetitive, but most things can be solved through communication. You cannot expect your partner to read your mind. You must speak as clearly as you can about your problems, expectations, and needs.
2. Take a break
We do not realize how important it is to take a break from a fight or even each other. Taking a breather can help you recognize what requires your energy or not. Most often, we end up in a heated argument because we cannot think clearly, and taking some time off helps us understand the other person’s point of view.
3. Remember that you are a team
When you fight or argue, remember that you both are against the problem, and not you two against each other. You are a team, and you must make decisions together.
Every relationship goes through its relationship or marriage issues; therefore, don’t let these get you down. Every problem can be dealt with if a healthy approach is taken to overcome marriage problems that are bothering you.
Being respectful, understanding, and open to change can ensure that you can sail through any hurdles that might come up in your marriage. And when in doubt, consult a marriage counselor or licensed therapist for guidance.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.