More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.
~ Doug Larson
Today I want to share with you what I believe to be the top marriage problems that can affect any marriage and I’m pretty sure that one of these top 4 marriage difficulties will likely affect your marriage at some point in time if you stay together for more than a few months!
Now I’m not going to talk about the biggest marriage problems that I consider deal breakers in a relationship. They are deal breakers because they break the trust, and without trust a relationship is usually on quicksand.
These deal breakers include things like infidelity and physical, mental or emotional abuse.
I’m not a counsellor but I’ve been around the block a few times and I think if we all take a moment to look at things prudently we’ll agree that you don’t always need a degree in therapy to understand what some of the top marital problems are.
Now I know some of you will say that infidelity and abuse can be fixed. And in the rare case perhaps they can.
But let me ask you rather why you would stay with someone who has abused not only you – infidelity is abuse if only emotionally – but the cornerstone of your marriage which is trust in the hopes that he or she might be able to fix themselves? I’ll tell you straight up, you ain’t fixing nobody but yourself and that journey is hard and requires diligence and deep self awareness.
No sirree, when there are now 7 billion of us on this planet I’m telling you that you haven’t found your soulmate in your marriage partner who is willing to cheat on you or abuse you.
In fact I believe that rather in only one soulmate, there are more likely many partners with whom we could spend a lifetime in love and fidelity and companionship with.
Long story short, I’m not talking about the deal breakers, and if you are in such a marriage I urge you to seek professional help. A blog like mine is not what you need to really uncover the answer to whether your marriage can or whether you want your marriage to survive.
So let’s get to the 4 most common marriage problems that most folks might encounter.
Money’s not funny
I’m starting out with this one because it is one of the biggest problems that most married couples will likely encounter and especially under today’s tough economic difficulties.
Money not only allows for more choices but a lack of money is stressful. If you or your partner are recently out of a job you are certainly beginning to experience the stressors that money can bring into a marriage. A lack of money is like tinder to inflame squabbles and arguments. So what can you do about it.
The first thing you need to understand is that your fights are based around the stress that a lack of money is causing in your lives.
Take a moment to remember that you are both in this together. A marriage is a partnership and as such you need to work on the problem together. Perhaps both spouses can start looking for work to supplement their income. In the worst case maybe you can pick up extra work through a temp agency or delivering pizza.
But above all you need to support one another and offer suggestions in a calm and rational manner. Don’t put blame on each other as that is just unhelpful. Seek each other’s input and make each other feel like valued stakeholders in this situation because really, you are.
The apples that fell from your tree
Children are a blessing. But that doesn’t mean they don’t create stress by themselves. As they get older they not only require more things that cost money and more time to be schlepped all over the place but teenagers can actually be unpleasant to be around. Especially if they’re your own.
And babies and toddlers are incredibly needy and as such will steal a lot of time from you and/or your spouse so that finding time together is difficult. Throw in sleep deprivations and it’s no wonder that children stress us out.
So what can you do? The first thing is to acknowledge that your children cause you stress. This is terribly difficult when we live in a society that encourages the nuclear family and the breeding of children. Children are wonderful but they’re also stressful. Allow yourself that truth.
Secondly, let you and your partner tag team with the time needed for the care and watering of kids. If your wife or husband is at home all day with the kids, they might need a breather when you get home from work.
Also, don’t spoil your children, you’re creating children with false expectations of how the world works and you’re creating a rod for your back. A frugal childhood is a more peaceful and tranquil childhood for you and your kids. You aren’t expected to give them the world. In fact, you could do well to lower your expectations of yourself and what is needed to be a good parent.
General stress and mess
Money is a stressor as are kids. But there are just generalized stressors that we deal with on a daily basis. The dog tears up the garbage, the boss barks at you. You get cut off for the umpteenth time in your drive home from work.
The key with dealing with generalized stress is to recognize it for what it is. Take a moment to relax in the car before you walk into the house.
Try meditating for just 5 to 15 minutes during the day. Head into the bathroom if your boss is driving you nuts and take moment then to breathe and meditate. Have a lunch workout. Just doing 20 or so pushups at home or behind your desk is helpful to burn up a bit of the stress.
At home if you’re still feeling the effects of general stress then take a brisk walk. Listen to some classical music.
Lines of communication are broken
Communication can often be a problem for many married couples. But I have found that usually this is due to the many stressors that are present in our lives.
In order to communicate effectively you need to listen to your spouse. As such, distractions, like the dog or the kids fighting will not help you achieve that. You also need to be able to take the time to communicate.
Effective communication takes time, patience and effort. It is an active skill not passive. And most of listen passively and this is where the lines of communication breakdown.
Practice active listening and your marital life will improve in leaps and bounds. Just recognizing the main marriage problems that you are dealing with will help you deal with them more effectively. I hope this short article has helped.