Discussing Difficult Topics in Your Marriage

Discussing difficult topics in your marriage

Every couple must try to attain as much openness and honesty with each other as possible. All healthy relationships require trust, and being able to talk to one another about anything is the foundation of trust. A married couple should be comfortable discussing an array of issues or contexts, and they should not mind expressing their opinion, regardless of the topic of discussion or conversation. It is the difficult talks that are avoided that become the root of many problems.

There are many sensitive issues that couples do not want to talk about. It could be the fault of one spouse or both. Past life experiences can prevent one spouse from talking about certain kinds of issues. It could be the lack of opportunity, time, or space. Even the relationship can be blamed if difficult issues are not discussed. However, the purpose is to not pin blame or to find out what or who is accountable. There has to be a concerted effort to ensure that difficult issues are discussed. Otherwise, the relationship may slowly succumb to growing differences and misunderstandings.

Here are two of the more important issues that couples find difficult to discuss due to their sensitive nature:


There are couples who work very hard for the wellbeing of their family

In the process, they compromise their health, time spent together, doing hobbies they had love or would like to do and, more importantly, working on their relationship. A relationship is not a self-fueled engine that will forever tread on the right track. When work becomes top priority or when both spouses are immersed in work, one or both needs to pause for a moment and take a holistic look at the entire scenario and discuss what needs to be done so they do not end up jeopardizing the relationship. We work to have a better life, but that life will not be better if we lose our loved ones in the process.

Have this difficult conversation with your spouse: are we working to live, or living to work? What can we do together to improve this situation?

Friends/Social circle

Few couples are lucky enough to share the same group of friends or have similar opinions about their social circles. Spouses should not compel each other to stay away from their friends or social circles. Friends are an integral part of everyone’s life. However, one needs to draw that fine line where friendship becomes a priority over marriage or the relationship. It is extremely difficult to discuss issues like professional commitment, friends, and similar contexts where one becomes more important than the relationship, but discussing such difficult issues will strengthen your relationship.

Have this difficult conversation with your spouse: how is our social life? Does one of us need more? What can we do together to improve this situation?


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David McFadden
Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT, LCPC, MSMFT, DMin
Dr. David McFadden is a co-owner and Clinical Director at Village Counseling Center. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor. Dr. McFadden has been helping adolescents and adults for over 30 years, specializing in marital affairs.

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