The day of “I do” is an amazing one, filled with happy moments and plenty of love, but unfortunately, that level of pure joy isn’t sustainable. When the day is over and you come back down from Cloud 9, marriage will have its imperfections and blemishes, just like any other relationship between two people.
Committing to a life with someone is truly incredible, but with it comes a natural tendency to rub each other the wrong way from time to time. Living in perfect harmony isn’t realistic, but by being aware of the bumps in the road, you can do a better job of avoiding them.
Below are those bumps. Read on to find 3 of the most common challenges married people experience, and if you’re proactive, you can turn these challenges into triumph in your marriage.
1. Money issues
Problem: Money is about as taboo to discuss as religion, and there’s good reason to keep it on the hush in most social settings. It can be a ‘hot button’ topic, making people uncomfortable at best and furious at worst.
It’s a social norm to avoid a conversation about money, and most of us carry that norm into our relationships. We try to avoid talking about money with our significant others, and then one day, we get married and we suddenly share the money we never talked about.
Aside from being ignorant of each other’s financial situations coming in, you and your spouse may have different opinions on how to spend the money that you share. One of you may feel that you need to invest it, while the other wants to save every penny.
In both the case of ignorance and different opinions, resentment can linger where there is conflict.
Solution: Take a deep breath, open your mouth, and talk about your financial situation with your spouse. The majority of financial stress is just miscommunication in the first place. Talk about the topic at hand, resolve it together, and move forward as a team.
As far as spending goes, it may be in everyone’s best interest that you both keep a small personal bank account to use at your own discretion. This way, if the husband wants to go golfing or the wife wants to go shopping, no one can complain as long as they’re using their own money.
2. The (Un)eternal flame
Problem: The spark that you shared on your wedding day is hard to keep shining bright as the years go on. With jobs, kids, and everything else that gets tied into your lifelong relationship, the romance doesn’t stand much of a chance if you’re not careful about keeping it alive.
Solution: Be spontaneous. It seems too simple, right? But trust me, it works! As time goes by, you will both know each other’s patterns and habits so well that you could walk through it in your sleep. It would be like watching your favorite sitcom on Netflix for the 43765th time and knowing exactly what each and every line in the script is going to be (Friends, anyone?).
In order to keep things fresh, you need to be fresh. Your moves have gotten stale, so you need to switch things up.
Guys, get your lady flowers, make her dinner, or slow dance with her in your living room just because.
Ladies, cook your man his favorite meal, buy him his favorite beer and let him watch the game, or take him to the game (infinite brownie points here).
We could all do a little better in the ‘wooing’ department. Your attempts at seduction are played out, try something new!
3. Roles and rules
Problem: When entering a marriage, you often only have the model of your parents or other parental figures who came before you to go off of. Fellas, if your dad helped your mom with the household chores, you’d be more likely to do the same with your wife. Ladies, if your mom was super mom and did the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and everything in between, you may end up doing the same.
When the rolls and rules of the house aren’t talked about, you leave the topic open for each other’s interpretation. If your expectation is different than your spouse’s, tensions are kind to surface.
Solution: Before you ever move in together or get married, have a seat and talk about 1) what the roles looked like in your family growing up and 2) how you want them to look within your relationship. It’s all about communication and making sure everyone’s expectations are heard.
If you assume that your way of doing things is the same as your significant other’s, you’re going to run into some problems. Help your relationship avoid this issue by simply talking about these things proactively.
Solving your relationship problems
When it comes down to it, most problems within a marriage can be solved with some proactive conversation. If you can willingly discuss these types of topics before they read their ugly head, you can save you and your partner a lifetime of headaches.
You got married to the person you lay next to each night because you love them. On that day you loved them so much you could burst. That kind of love doesn’t have to die, it just needs to saved and cherished.
- Be proactive
- Be spontaneous
- Communicate well
Do these things and you will find that marriage is a lot easier than you think. Good luck!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
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.