From an early age, you’re limited to learning about how love and marriage are supposed to work by the adults you have exposure to, like maybe parents or grandparents.
Those images might vastly contrast when you watch Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty find their one and only, learning that relationships can be pure and perfect in these fairytales.
As you grow older, that message is only confirmed in teen novels and doesn’t change when you transition to romantic movies as a young adult. Everything eventually works out, and you live happily ever after; at least that’s what happens when you meet your Prince Charming. Right?
And then you do. Life is not easy, nor is it happily ever after. The partnership takes much work to maintain a semblance of what you had in the beginning stages.
Problems ultimately develop for all couples in long-term committed partnerships or marriages. That’s natural, but the issue is that not many people know how to cope with marital problems, especially if they didn’t have healthy examples growing up.
That can mean a couplehood spiraling into divorce or effectively muddling through the rough patches by finding ways to educate yourself as you go. Let’s take some time to go through a few of the worst marriage problems mates face and learn if there are solutions.
Top marriage problems and solutions
Regardless of what the fairytales might tell you, love and marriage require much effort and hard work. There’s no fairy godmother to guide you through the problems or advise you when you have a rough patch.
Unless you have model examples in your life, you’ll face some challenges knowing exactly how to cope when even minor issues arise. For many, that can mean these will often get swept under the carpet, causing them to grow into significant long-term marriage problems later.
Often this leads down the path toward divorce because the advanced state makes most methods, including counseling, ineffective in helping to fix things. What are some things that lead to this point, and how can you effectively solve the problems? Let’s learn together.
1. Responsibilities are often not equally shared
Often even though each spouse works roughly the same amount of hours in their careers, one handles more of the household responsibilities creating much stress for that partner.
The suggestion is that a greater stressor for this mate is what’s referred to as “psychological responsibility.” That’s the term used for needing to remember who needs to be where and when. How do you resolve this?
It’s essential to sit down and divide the responsibilities equally between mates, so no one feels pressure between career, household, and getting everyone where they need to be.
It should be a group effort. Over time this kind of stress can lead to overwhelming frustration and a desire to break free.
2. Finances are a significant problem for couples, often from the beginning
Typically, you’ll have a spender and a saver in a partnership, which can create significant problems. One mate might want to accumulate investments to grow a retirement, while the other feels there’s plenty of time for that later in life. Even more, some married men keep money hidden from wives through lies which is not good all the way.
Battling over money and handling it is a standard-issue among married couples. How to resolve that is to create a budget allowing an allowance for free spending and one for investments, so each person is happy.
No one person should manage the household expenses. The couple should sit down and work on these together, so both know what’s happening with the finances and how to handle them. Dealing with financial abuse, especially for stay at home moms, is not a comfortable situation which can lead to divorce if not fixed correctly.
3. Parenting styles can create much contention
Children create a stressful environment. We love our kids terrifically. Still, most of us remember the sleepless nights, tears, tantrums, and teenage rebellion.
It’s not all fun and laughter, no matter how much love you share, and it can create tension between parents often because the parenting styles differ.
Discipline specifically is the primary source of contention. Resolving this is a continuous process that requires much communication and compromise and sometimes is still left with contention.
4. Lifestyle differences
In some cases, opposites initially attract, but the differences can create problems in the partnership over time, especially if one person is social and the other is a homebody. Or maybe you’re an extrovert, and your mate is an introvert.
In either scenario, one feels rejected because the other doesn’t want to spend quality time socializing with them. On the other hand, the introvert feels rejected because the spouse won’t spend quality time at home.
In this case, divide the week in half, spending a few nights out as a couple and the remainder enjoying quiet evenings at home.
- Read also: How long to date before remarrying?
5. Battling using individual communication methods
When each of you has a unique communication method, it can be a significant obstacle when attempting to overcome conflict. Someone might be versed in boisterous, loud screaming matches while the other internalizes their feelings and emotions with silence as their technique.
This is one for counseling if you hope to work it out.
6. Sexual incompatibility
When mates have sexual needs that don’t match up, maybe one prefers a particular style while the other anticipates a certain frequency; it can sometimes be a deal-breaker in a partnership or marriage. Unless you take the time to sit down and discuss the situation, expressing what’s important to you and why.
When mates see things from the other’s perspective, it makes a significant difference allowing room for solutions that will satisfy everyone.
7. Insecurities and infidelities
A lot of people feel a sense of personal insecurity. Some find insecurity in their partnership to the point of jealousy when a partner interacts with other people or paranoia when a mate doesn’t text, call, or show up when expected.
In that same vein, some partners create insecurity because they’re flirting or seem tempted to have an affair on their partner or spouse. An affair doesn’t have to be physical. Cheating can be emotional and is a huge problem today with technology and the influx of dating apps combined with mobile innovations.
You can overcome an affair in a relationship or marriage. It takes a lot of work, counseling, rebuilding trust, and the desire to do so, but it is possible.
- Good reading: Tips to get married in your 40s
8. Things become dull
People come out of the honeymoon phase with a slam into reality, which can be harsh. As time passes, comfortability and familiarity lead to boredom and a rut simply because mates stop putting forth the effort.
You have to work to keep that “magic” alive and bring excitement into the partnership. If you don’t, it will gradually die.
9. “Head of the household”
If one person deems themself the “head of the household” or there is a perceived person in charge of the home, it can leave the other mate feeling powerless or controlled, maybe helpless in their position.
Perhaps there’s a stay-at-home partner with the other working full-time, creating an imbalance with one feeling because they bring money to the house, which makes them somehow more valuable.
Communication is key in this situation. If someone feels self-worth is being compromised, it needs to be discussed, even if that means couples counseling.
10. Abuse is intolerable
Whether physical, emotional, or mental, abuse of any kind is an intolerable marital problem. It’s not only damaging to the individual but detrimental to a couple. There is not only a lack of respect but a disregard for the person’s well-being in general.
The individual responsible for abuse needs to get into therapy to work through their issues. The victim needs to relocate to a safe environment and start fresh once healed. There’s no resolve for marriage problems involving abuse.
11. How do you view the world
When your beliefs and values are miles apart, it can create unresolvable issues despite efforts in counseling. Maybe one of you wants kids, and the other doesn’t; your religious beliefs are vastly different, and you don’t share the same political views.
If not comparable, significant world views can create contention in the union.
Many people try to work out these things before getting married, but sometimes people’s views change after being married for some time. Depending on the issue, it can even lead to divorce after 20 years of marriage.
12. Transform your mate
You’ll never find a perfect human. Everyone will have a trait that might frustrate or even aggravate you. Partners tend to forget this, believing that instead, they can change these flaws and imperfections in their mate after getting married.
When that doesn’t happen, instead of acceptance, there’s often much nagging to try to fix the problem, misery for the mate, and eventual separation. If you don’t love someone for who they are, don’t get married.
13. Resentment can ruin a marriage
If you decide to compete at “who does more,” eventually, you’ll develop resentment for your mate because you’ll always notice what they’re not doing compared to all that you do.
For you, your partner will never do enough, even if that perception is skewed. The best solution is battling it out with a counselor as the referee. Attempting to communicate without a referee will see each side believing they’re right.
14. Unreasonable expectations placed on partners
Sometimes spouses put unreasonable expectations on their spouse by using comparisons, whether to an ex, maybe parents or siblings, or a close friend.
Maybe you’re used to home-cooking as you had with a previous partner, perhaps a parent did all your laundry, or perhaps a close friend is a clean freak. Your spouse is an individual with unique talents and strengths. Any other expectations are unrealistic.
15. Growth and maturity in different stages
Mates can simply mature, grow and change as time passes, making them no longer compatible, especially if there is any sort of age difference, particularly when partners are in life stages the other hasn’t reached yet.
In this relationship, it will be crucial to work on growing as a couple throughout the marriage. So changes are not only accepted but viewed as endearing for each mate and within the partnership.
16. Traumatic life circumstances can take their toll
When a traumatic life circumstance happens, it can spiral the marriage out of control, especially when one mate is in the hospital or put on bed rest and the other is responsible for caring for the mate.
It can be challenging assuming all household responsibilities and learning to be functional without your partner, plus having them solely dependent on you. Often the stress is incredible, everything becomes overwhelming, and the marriage begins to turn for the worse.
In this situation, a counselor can offer tools for coping through the trauma plus will likely prescribe a holiday. You might find that selfish, but it’s essential to take some time away to get your thoughts and feelings together, refresh, rejuvenate and de-stress.
17. The problem is stress
Plainly put, stress can strain marriage, often resulting in separation when two people can’t handle the pressures of life circumstances.
Perhaps someone lost a job, extended family is creating an issue, or work becomes overwhelming. There can be numerous triggers for stress, but how it’s managed will determine the response from mates.
It’s vital to communicate openly and honestly but aside from talking, learning different coping methods for de-stressing is vital since stress can create generalized health issues. Exercise is an essential component when feeling unprecedented pressure.
18. Lacking effective communication
One of the primary problems between couples resulting in marriage problems after 25 years or even longer is lack of communication. If you’re still unable to communicate after a substantial marriage, either using spoken or unspoken cues, the union can falter. Effective, healthy communication is key for marriage success.
With adequate therapy, couples can learn healthy communication little by little, making gradual improvements to improve the partnership.
19. You ignore your mate
As social creatures, humans search first and foremost for their closest relationships’ care and attention, especially that of a mate or spouse. Over time, marriages start to suffer when spouses’ attention begins to drift to other components of everyday life.
That alters the marriage dynamics, sometimes resulting in a mate reacting most often in the least appropriate manner making the marriage spiral downward.
Marriage takes effort, always ensuring that you give time and attention to each other regardless of how overwhelming life becomes or how much time passes.
20. Gratitude and appreciation are neglected
A significant problem in many marriages is one, or each spouse is not acknowledged for all they offer to the partnership. Mates who feel no sense of appreciation, a lack of value and worth from their partner, might see destruction in the marriage.
It’s vital, mandatory, to show a mate how grateful you are for every contribution, big and small, whether you offer small gestures, tokens, make plans, or something to denote how much what they do means to you and for your life.
21. Social networks and the impact on marriage
More and more people are becoming attached to mobile devices and entranced by social networks and technology to the point of avoiding face-to-face interactions.
It’s becoming a terrific marital issue since one or both mates are becoming lost in their digital communities and ignoring the people they love, especially their partners and the activities they used to enjoy.
In order to resolve the issue, people need to put the devices away for a few hours each evening to spend time with their mates, free of distractions or interruptions from the networks, emails, texts, or other communications.
22. Lack of trust can destroy a union
When one mate doesn’t trust the other, it can completely break down a marriage since this element serves as the foundation for a thriving union. Regardless of the reason for the mistrust, when doubt rears its head, the idea of rebuilding that pillar might be too challenging for a partner.
In attempting to resolve the issue, communication is always key, but it’s wise to reach out for therapeutic intervention. The experts can provide tools for “trust-building” you might otherwise not have access to or know how to work towards.
23. A self-absorbed partner can be too much to deal with
A partner who borders on selfishness can generally self-correct some of this behavior if you communicate the problem with them. Still, it is a common issue among married individuals.
The vital thing is to learn how to blend your life with a mate, including their personal priorities. The transition can be challenging since individual priorities might contrast, but talking through the issue and coming to a compromise should settle the problem.
24. Lies never bode well in a marriage
Lies eventually lead to a lack of trust, which we already touched on previously. Still, people tend to forget that even little white lies concerning simple everyday activities can contribute to a spouse beginning to lose faith in your word and you.
Telling a mate you’re coming home late due to a deadline at work when you actually are meeting a friend for a drink, things like this can grow into more significant lies later. The only resolve is to look at why you feel compelled to be dishonest and stop it.
- Read on: Body language of a lier person
25. Ignoring boundaries
Generally, when you become exclusive and choose to commit to each other, you decide to set some boundaries with each other. These will carry over into marriage, with likely a few more added.
These are almost like rules that the other person needs to respect and abide by out of sheer respect.
Overstepping a spouse or mate’s personal boundaries is a significant marital problem that’s often a deal-breaker since it clearly indicates disrespect and disregard for the individual.
26. Goals change over time
In the beginning, couples start with a distinct life path and certain goals they hope to achieve together. Over time, it’s genuinely possible that each might change their mind about what they want from life with a new set of goals and plans for the future.
Maybe instead of starting a career, having a family, and buying a home, one decides they want to travel the world and wait to settle down with kids. That can create problems after a honeymoon or even be common marriage problems after 20 years when someone goes through a midlife crisis and decides to change things up in their life.
An important thing to attempt is opening a line of dialogue to attempt to work through the issue and then try to be accepting and incorporate your goals and plans with your mate’s new ideology or progress forward on a different path.
27. Friends are not desirable
Among the most common marital problems for mates is one or both of the partners’ friends are not acceptable for the other. That’s a source of great contention among marrieds, especially true if friendships seem to be a priority over the partnership.
Each person needs to have individuality, including independent friendships, but these shouldn’t take precedence over the relationship.
If that’s happening, it needs to be discussed adequately to avoid the marriage spiraling downward. Your mate should always be a priority, and if that’s not the case, the friendships need to be reconsidered.
28. Pridefulness makes arguing about winning
When conflict arises in a partnership and couples allow pride into the argument, it can create significant marital trouble. The disagreement becomes about who wins instead of preserving the relationship. No one wins in that battle.
It’s essential to realize in a marriage or partnership that when there’s a disagreement, each person is accountable somehow. There should be no finger-pointing or blame but, instead, an attempt to find a solution for the greatest good of the relationship.
29. Lacking mutual support
Support in a marriage is crucial, whether for something that goes right, a bad day, encouraging and motivating growth, or cheering on chasing after dreams.
When you have that mate in your corner, it makes everything worthwhile. Without that support, it’s more like “why bother” and can create friction in the marriage.
Each partner needs to acknowledge all that their significant other accomplishes or even misses out on the daily. It’s easy enough to do by simply asking how their day was and then actually paying attention to the answer.
30. Self-improvement should be a goal
It would help if you strived to be the best version of yourself every day. The partnership will begin to suffer when you stop trying to grow and improve who you are.
How can a relationship thrive when you no longer care enough to contribute by enhancing the individual you are so the union and your significant other can benefit.
No one is perfect, and no one should try to be, but everyone should strive for the best of who they can be as an individual, not only for themself but for their mate and the relationship.
All marriages have problems. Divorce, in all honesty, is the easiest way to resolve the issues. The strong, courageous person will strive to figure out how to fix those problems instead of running from them. A life lesson you learn when you grow up.