Let’s look at 4 of the top marriage problems and solutions to help make your marriage good again. LOVE is one of 12 important aspects of a balanced life, so you will want to nurture your marriage with love, kindness, patience, and understanding while you are working on your own personal growth. With care and compassion, both of you will learn to live your best lives together.
In this article, you’ll learn about effective communication, financial stress, roles and responsibilities in marriage, and nurturing your relationship. You’ll notice that some of the same strategies you use for personal growth will also apply to making your marriage good again.
So let’s move on with the top marriage problems and solutions to make your marriage good again — or maybe even GREAT!
Top Marriage Problems and Solutions
I’m not a marriage counselor or a professional in the mental health field, but I do know something about marital problems. I’ve been married for 41 years and I know all marriages go through difficult times.
Disclaimer: Since I am not a professional, I encourage you to seek appropriate professional help if you feel your mental health is negatively impacted by your marriage or family issues. Do not consider the information contained in this article as professional advice for your particular situation.
There are many reasons why couples have marital problems, especially in today’s fast-paced world. But we are going to focus on 4 of the top marriage problems and solutions.
Being in a difficult relationship only adds stress and overwhelm to your life. Things work out much better if you focus on connecting with your partner in a way that both of your needs are met and both of you feel valued, even when you have differences.
These are the 4 causes of marriage problems we are going to address in-depth.
1. Neglecting Your Relationship
2. Poor Communication
3. Financial Problems
4. Family Responsibilities
You’ll find that these 4 problems are always included in lists of marital problems, along with dozens more. However, a lot of the other problems are directly related to these 4 problems and will resolve if you fix these issues in your relationship.
Other problems and solutions are listed later in this article.
Care About the Relationships in Your Life
Mental health providers believe that love is an important aspect of a balanced life. It may become complicated when you are trying to balance self-love and love for your partner. Your partner may feel neglected.
One of the best ways to build a balanced life is to care for the relationships in your life. Whether it’s making time for your spouse or putting in quality time with family members, love can be one of the most selfless acts you do for yourself and those around you. It can also be one of the most complicated.
Loving your partner does not just mean physical, emotional, or romantic love. It means putting in the time to listen to each other, pay attention to their needs, focus on their interests, and share responsibilities. It requires intimacy of the mind, body, and soul.
Intimacy looks different to different people, and of course most people are going to immediately think of physical intimacy. But intimacy is far more than a physical act.
When there are intimacy issues, a partner may feel unloved and unwanted, which often leads to resentment and distance. It may be a lack of passion, sexual problems, shutting down your spouse emotionally, or lack of commitment to the relationship.
It’s important to nurture your adult relationship with love, kindness, patience, and understanding.
Unfortunately, sometimes we actually treat our partners worse than anyone when life gets busy or stressful. It’s easy to become intolerant, impatient, and short-tempered, especially with the ones we love the most.
Plus, with so many distractions in our modern world that take our attention away from the people and things that matter most, it can be difficult to carve out time for what is most important — like your marriage.
These are some simple solutions to nurture your relationship:
- Speak in a kind tone of voice.
- Spend time together.
- Schedule time each day to TALK (and listen).
- Schedule date nights for just the two of you.
- Express interest in your spouse’s interests.
- Use respectful language and body language.
- Hold hands and be courteous.
- Be sure to say HELLO, GOODBYE, GOOD NIGHT, etc.
- Make a point of complimenting each other.
- Use “Magic Words” with your spouse (please, thank you, you’re welcome, etc.).
- Make time for romance.
Many professionals consider communication to be the most common problem in marriages. In fact, many marriage issues begin with a communication problem.
Many of us are probably guilty of using the silent treatment with our partners at some point during our relationship. Usually, we think of it as a relatively harmless way to deal with a problem, but it can actually be a significant communication issue. Plus, the silent treatment can even be an emotionally abusive form of bullying.
When one spouse shuts down communication, it opens the relationship to many other common marriage problems. Resentment, anger, control issues, refusal issues, pain, disappointment, and more.
Other forms of communication problems in marriages include:
- raising your voice toward your partner
- degrading your partner
- blaming your partner for problems
- body language such as stomping, slamming doors, rolling eyes, etc.
- speaking in a disrespectful and rude tone of voice
- speaking without thinking first
- refusing to listen to your partner
- making decisions or speaking from a “me” perspective rather than a “we” perspective
- toxic conversations
In a relationship where communication is a problem, the smallest problem can quickly and easily become a massive argument where nothing is resolved. You blame each other; you yell and scream at each other; you use sarcasm and jokes to express authentic thoughts and feelings; and subsequently the distance between you grows wider.
If you want to improve communication in your relationship, you can be the change agent. When your partner gets loud and wants to start an argument, be the one who doesn’t raise your voice. Stay calm and rational. Speak with compassion and kindness even if you are angry. This is part of personal growth, too.
Your partner will have no one to argue with if you can maintain your composure and speak in a calm voice. It will be a good START to making change in the relationship. Again, there will be personal growth for your partner.
Here are some other solutions to improve communication in your relationship:
- Be intentional with your words and make time for face-to-face communication.
- Use *I* statements instead of *you* statements.
- Be specific and clear with your words.
- Stop trying to mind-read or predict what your partner is thinking.
- Listen without being defensive.
- Take time to reflect and process the conversation.
- Express your feelings and thoughts in a positive way.
- Be calm and gentle with your tone of voice.
- Let your partner know that you love and care about the relationship.
- Don’t project your opinions on your partner (ie: avoid phrases like, “You’re being dramatic” or “Stop overreacting.”
- Restate what your partner is saying to show that you understand.
- Validate your partner’s feelings with head nods, soft touches, eye-to-eye contact, etc.
- Don’t expect your partner to understand what you’re feeling unless you clearly communicate. (ie: neither of you are mind-readers)
- Avoid passive-aggressive behavior such as, “I’m fine!” and “It’s not a big deal!”
- Be mindful of your body language. Soften your stance. Don’t cross your arms. Be aware of your facial expressions.
- Think and communicate from a perspective of TEAMWORK.
Communication is highly complicated. Sadly, it becomes even more complicated if you are having problems in your marriage. Consider your own personal growth and self-care as valid and substantial reasons to work on the marriage problems in a constructive, productive way.
This is sadly a common marriage problem. Some of the most common issues include: 1) not having enough money, 2) not being able to save money, 3) fighting over how to spend money, 4) not being able to afford the bills, and 5) not having enough money for the extras in life.
Financial problems in a marriage can lead to serious tension and conflict in the relationship. The problems can also cause feelings of insecurity and guilt.
Over time, financial problems can damage the trust between couples and cause divorce. Couples MUST keep the line of communication OPEN and HONET about finances.
If you’re experiencing financial difficulties in your relationship, don’t just ignore the problem and pretend it will go away. The problem should be resolved together.
There’s nothing simple about financial problems, but these are some suggestions to help deal with the stresses of financial problems in a relationship:
- Be open and honest with each other about the finances.
- Create a budget together and work through it together.
- Consult a financial advisor who might be able to help.
- Seek counseling about how to communicate about finances.
- Maintain a joint bank account so both of you can manage monitor finances.
- Discuss your lifestyle choices both as a couple and as individuals.
- Set expectations together.
- Don’t discuss your finances with others.
- Understand your partner’s money mindset.
- Discuss any financial problems from the past but don’t allow these to influence your judgement.
- Develop financial goals and work toward those goals together.
- DO NOT keep secrets about money and spending.
- Consider options for bringing in more money.
- Don’t play the blame game with each other.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Once you have conquered your financial problems, it is important to maintain consistent communication about finances. Have regular conversations about how to use and manage your money to avoid future problems. Always talk about ideas, plans, and goals together.
Family Roles and Responsibilities
In a marriage, both spouses have roles and responsibilities. This can vary greatly based on what is agreed upon ahead of time. It’s important to remember that no two marriages are alike. You should develop a plan that works for you as a couple regardless of what others are doing.
Marriage is a partnership that should be based on trust, communication, and mutual respect. There are many roles and responsibilities in a marriage, and each person should take on the tasks that are most important to them.
Some of the main roles and responsibilities in a marriage include: being supportive, being honest, being understanding, being loving, and being attentive. You should provide these gifts to your partner to the very best of your ability.
Household and family chores are something that should be shared in a way that works for the two of you. Again, this is very different for every couple so do what works for the two of you.
These are some strategies for determining family roles and responsibilities:
- Consider each of your strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
- Be flexible and help each other as needed.
- Remember, equal doesn’t look the same for everyone. Be fair.
- Create roles and responsibilities with a TEAMWORK mindset.
- Extend GRACE to each other when something comes up.
- Don’t get caught up in gender stereotypes.
- Share some responsibilities — it will strengthen your relationship.
- As your family grows, discuss new roles and responsibilities.
- Come to an agreement how your extended families will be factored into your relationship.
- Communicate. Communicate. Communicate.
Are you seeing a pattern here with communication? A lot of the problems that arise over roles and responsibilities in a marriage come down to effective communication.
When there are issues about roles and responsibilities, sit down together and lay everything out on the table. Brainstorm ideas to resolve the problems. Keep in mind that you should do what works for you, not what works for other couples. Develop your own rules, as a couple, if necessary. And get creative! But solve the problems together rather than let distance come between you.
List of Other Common Marriage Problems
There are far fewer newlywed marital problems than 15 year marriage problems — as you might imagine. In the beginning, both of you are living your fantasy and loving it! Nothing is going to interfere with your happiness.
Fifteen years later, you have struggled with real-life challenges and you’re more comfortable in your marriage, so you might not use the same care and common courtesies that you used with each other in the beginning.
The curse of familiarity is the cause of many problems over time in marriages. You become too comfortable and familiar with each other; you know how to push each others’ buttons; you forget to be kind to each other; little things become big things, and you become disinterested in your life together.
You must try to avoid the curse of familiarity if you want to avoid common marriage problems.
However, at some point down the road in your marriage, you might experience these common marriage problems in addition to the top 4 marriage problems we’ve already discussed:
- Your personal growth journey has taken you on a different path and you feel less compatible.
- You start neglecting to make decisions together or consider the perspective of your partner because of the curse of familiarity.
- You begin to compete with each other in non-productive ways that weaken your relationship.
- You develop a negative mindset toward your partner or your lives together.
- You neglect to be kind to each other because of the curse of familiarity, thus you express yourself with less care and consideration.
- You develop such a level of comfort that you don’t feel the need to be compassionate and caring because your partner will always be there for you regardless of your behavior.
- You develop a pattern of behavior that lacks emotional and physical intimacy.
- You allow the daily stressors of life to interfere with your relationship.
- You feel less connected because of hectic, busy schedules and suddenly you’re not working as a team.
- You fall into a pattern of bad habits such as lazy personal hygiene, negative communication practices, and functioning on autopilot because of the curse of familiarity.
- You are no longer invested in your relationship and one of you becomes disrespectful, revengeful, defensive, and/or insecure.
- You or your partner develops a lack of loyalty and begins to be secretive, unfaithful, and/or selfish.
Even marriages that appear to be perfect, will have problems. If you are feeling hopeless about your marriage, consider all your options and potential solutions. Even if just one partner wants to save the relationship, it is possible to resolve the problems with dedication and hard work.
Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems
Many good marriages slip into crisis because people neglect to remember how much work it takes to maintain healthy and thriving relationships. Think back to when you first began your relationship. It required commitment, creativity, effort, and attention to keep it fresh and welcoming.
These are some general strategies you can use to help resolve many relationship problems:
- Surround yourselves with other couples who are in healthy relationships so you can observe how they interact and behave with each other. Learn from others.
- Develop a mindset of LOVE. As we age and mature, we realize LOVE is a choice. You can choose to love your partner the way you did in the early stages of the relationship, or you can choose to hate. Look for the reasons you first loved your partner.
- Put your relationship ahead of everything else, including your children. This is especially important during times of crisis while you are trying to fix things.
- Get professional counseling together, and/or separately. Follow-up with an action plan and stick to it.
Even if just one partner consciously wants to make a change, it will bring about a shift in the dynamic of the relationship, which can bring about positive long-term results.
Final Thoughts: Top Marriage Problems and Solutions
A happy marriage takes work and commitment. Married couples everywhere will attest to this fact. These are 5 simple solutions that everyone should be practicing to avoid many problems:
- Address problems early.
- Communicate openly and honestly.
- Spend time together.
- Don’t go to bed angry.
- Have patience and understanding.
If you are struggling with your relationship, but your partner is indifferent, remember that someone in the relationship needs to decide enough is enough and must want to make a change.
Before you decide the marriage will not work, I encourage you to ask yourself:
Am I better off with or without this person?
Truly take time to reflect on your options before making a life-changing decision to divorce. You deserve to fully understand all the marriage challenges and solutions before you give up.
Marriage can be a beautiful and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging. By understanding the top marriage problems and solutions, you can work to create a happy and healthy relationship while also focusing on your own personal growth and self-care.
I hope you’ve received valuable and real-life solutions to marriage problems in this article. Mending a marriage takes dedication and personal growth from at least one partner. That partner could be you.
Love to ALL! ~ Susan
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