Marriage problems are common, and they take down many couples who would have otherwise had a long and happy life together. If you are having problems in your marriage right now, you need to know that most of the causes are solvable. They require effort, but happily married people are healthier, happier, and live longer, which is a huge reason that you should strive to fix the issues behind the problems when they arise. Following are 9 common causes of marriage problems, and some suggestions on how to fix them.
1. Lack Of Sex
A sexless marriage is defined as having sex less than 10 times per year. If you are in that boat, then you are not alone. Millions of people are living in a sexless marriage, and it is causing all kinds of problems in their marriage. It reduces connection, trust, and attraction, and it can be the death of a marriage if it is left untreated. Thankfully, there are a lot of things you can do to get back on track. And, often it just takes a shift in perspective or routine to get things back on track.
– Seek out a sex therapist to figure out what is going wrong and how you can fix it.
– Communicate with your partner about sex and how to create a more intimate relationship.
– Become more willing to experiment in the bedroom and fulfill your partner’s fantasies.
– Seek help from a doctor to discuss a lack of sex drive to rule out a medical condition.
– Commit to having sex more. Sometimes other things become more important, and sex can be put on the back burner without a commitment to do it.
Whatever it takes, do what you need to do. Fixing your intimacy problems can help keep you connected in your marriage and make working through all other marriage problems easier.
2. Disliking Change In Appearance
Who we marry doesn’t always look the same a few years after the wedding. Weight gain, age, and illness can all cause someone to look differently than they did, and for some people that is a problem. Some people want their spouse to stay the same forever and don’t understand that people change on the outside, no matter how much they work at looking youthful or healthy. This is definitely solvable, but it requires true love.
When you really love someone, it doesn’t matter how they change, you still love them. You are still attracted to their personality, committed to them, and love those qualities that drew you to them in the first place. It’s important to remind yourself of who they are, not what they looked like.
If you can’t accept the change, this will be a marriage problem that you will not be able to overcome because they are never going to stop changing or live up to who they were physically when you first got married. Change will always happen in the body. Accepting that is key.
3. Having Some Different Interests
You may have started out with the same interests, but as time passes on, you have gone down different paths. This can create tension when it comes to doing things with your spare time or money. It can cause conflict when beliefs start to collide about things such as happiness, health, or spirituality.
The truth is that we don’t like it when people are different than us, and when our spouse starts to become different than us, we really want them to see the error of their ways. But, that’s the thing, it is not an error!
Just as appearance will never stay the same, interests won’t either. As we grow, we learn new things about ourselves and the world around us, and we apply what we learn in our lives, which changes our outlook on life as we go. Accepting that your spouse is changing, and having them accept you for your changes, is important.
One way to do this is to get interested in your spouse. Get interested in their point of view and get excited about learning how they see things. Get excited about what they are doing. Allow them to pursue their own interests, while you pursue yours, and then come back together at the end of the day to share, learn, and grow. When you have that kind of attitude towards them and their uniqueness, you will never resent who they are becoming because they will be the neatest person in the world to you.
4. Different Money Habits
Money problems in a marriage are common. It doesn’t matter if one person is working, both people are working, or no one is working, money is always important, and agreeing on what to do with it can be difficult for even the most like-minded people.
It’s interesting that people who are materialistic tend to have more money, but they also have more problems in their marriage. In a study at Brigham Young University, 1,734 couples were asked to evaluate their relationship, and the couples who didn’t rate money as high importance scored much better on their marriage stability – as well as other measures of relationship quality, than those couples that were more materialistic, even if it was just one partner.
But, being materialistic is not the only problem. Money issues come in when one person thinks they have more rights to the money than the other person, can handle the money better than the other person, or is owed more than the other person. Moreover, when a couple does not agree on how to save or spend their money, arguments will definitely be a part of the marriage. This is why money is such a big part of a marriage and why it can cause so many problems.
If you can’t find a cohesive way to live with your money, then you need to agree to seek help from a financial advisor so you can come to some agreements for the big things like the house, emergencies, bills, kids, and retirement. Then, keep your own bank accounts and make sure you each get paid an equal amount throughout the month. This will help limit the fights, concerns, and headaches that come from not being on the same page.
5. Handling Family Issues Differently
When family problems start to arise, and they always do, marriage problems can start when one person wants to deal with it one way and the other wants to deal with it another way. We all grew up in slightly different family dynamics, and it can be hard to see why our spouse is doing what they are doing with their family, but we need to respect that they are doing the best they can with them.
That said, let each person deal with their own family members, but still take a stand for their marriage. For instance, if a sister is acting out and affecting your marriage, then she needs to know that it is not alright to affect your marriage, no matter what, and then she needs to be dealt with by the sibling in his or her own way. As long as it doesn’t affect the marriage, it shouldn’t matter how one person decides to deal with their own family member.
Having that kind of respect is important to let your spouse maintain their relationships with their family in the best way they can. If you don’t, then you will become the focal point of anger or frustration, which will just cause more problems in the marriage.
6. Division of Chores
Unfortunately, coming from different families means that chores were likely split up differently between one parent and the other, and this can affect beliefs about how chores should be split up. This can cause a lot of problems in a marriage when one person has to take on more than the other person.
The mentality that will fix this is ‘our home, our chores’. It doesn’t matter who works at home, who works outside of the home, or anything else, if you share a home, you have to share the responsibility of the home. The trick is to do chores you don’t mind doing and allow your spouse to do chores they don’t mind doing. When you split up chores based on preference, it is much more likely that you will both be happy, even if you both have some chores that you don’t like.
And, as a general rule of thumb, if one person is not working – which means not looking after kids, not working from home or out of the home, or making money in any way, then they should take on more of the household chores. They have more time, so it is fair that they do so. However, if they are at home watching kids, then that can be considered a job (the job of keeping the kids alive, fed, happy, entertained, educated, etc.) and the chores should still be divided up fairly.
7. Failure To Have Kids
For married couples who expect to have kids, the failure to have them can be devastating and cause many marriage problems. It can cause the person incapable of having kids to feel bad about themselves and the other person to feel bad for a variety of reasons. The future plans of a family can feel crushed, and that can be hard on a couple who had a specific vision for their future.
Changing your perception is key here. No, you cannot have kids of your own, but you can do other things, such as adopt. You can give a child a loving home and family and raise them exactly as you would your own child. They won’t have your genes, but they will still be yours, and that is an important perception to take on when you can’t have kids. You don’t need to have a kid from your own body to love them. You don’t need to create them for them to be amazing and light up your life. You just need to love them.
If you have found out that you are not going to have kids of your own, don’t be devastated. There are more than enough kids looking for a home where a couple like you can take care of them.
8. Inability To Communicate Or Understand
This is a bad one. When a married couple cannot communicate properly, the whole marriage – in every area, can feel hard and painful. Two people coming together need to be able to communicate properly. They need to be able to discuss issues, share feelings, work through problems, and understand where each other is coming from. Without the ability to do that, the trust will be broken, and it will become everyone for themselves because nobody is capable of understanding what each person wants, needs, or desires in life.
To communicate properly, it will require work. Usually professional help is the best way to go. It may be painful to go to a marriage counselor, but if you are not able to get through to your partner, then someone else may, so it will pay off big time. Someone else with the right words, knowledge, and insight can help you and your partner understand how to speak to each other in a way that makes everything very clear. No one will feel unheard and no issues will be left up in the air.
9. Lack Of Respect
Along the way, you can lose respect for your spouse. They seemed to be great in the beginning, but after you’ve seen all their faults, annoying habits, mistakes, and continuous problems, you can easily lose respect for them and hold them in such low regard that you don’t even view yourself on the same level as them anymore. You may start to despise them if you have so little respect for them, and, of course, that is a one of the causes of marriage problems that will likely result in divorce if you are not careful. Why would you want to stay with someone you don’t value?
Respect often comes from our values and from our opinions. If we feel someone is being less than they should be, we lose respect for them. If we feel as if someone is hurting themselves and can’t gain strength to do better, we lose respect for them. If we don’t think someone is living the ‘right’ way, we lose respect for them. But all of those things are based off our values and opinions, not theirs.
In other words, you have no right to say what is right or wrong in their life, even if you are their spouse. If they are doing something to obviously hurt themselves, such as drugs, drinking, or gambling, then you do have the right to let them know and express your concern, but you can’t treat them like less than a person because of what they are doing, especially if they are supposed to be the person you love.
If they are hurting you, then that is a different story. That lack of respect has been earned by them, so you have every right not to respect them. This doesn’t have to end in divorce, but you should leave the relationship until they have sought out help to fix themselves and earn your respect back.