A man and a woman meet, they fall in love and get married. They enjoy each other’s company, they do things together, they seek one another’s opinion before taking decisions. They have fun starting their lives together. It is pure bliss during this honeymoon phase in their marriage.
They share good and bad times, have a family, begin to fight, start to argue about irrelevant things, suspicions take over their relationship. They get angry with each other almost all the time and have sex less often as they age.
Suddenly, they feel alone when they are with their spouse. What happened? Where did the love go? Where was the loving man or woman you exchanged marital vows with? What happened to your sweet, caring, accommodating, generous and supportive spouse? Who is this person you are living with now? What is the way forward?
Generally, if you recognize a problem or problems in your marriage and are willing to take steps to change things, you can fix the marriage. However, it takes two to make a marriage work so if one spouse has his or her foot out of the door, it can be difficult to fix a marriage.
There are some common marriage problems that men and women face daily which are often overlooked. If you can’t pin point what is going on in your marriage these days, maybe one or more of the points listed below may be the culprit. Sometimes, when you live with someone for so long, you tend to start taking them for granted. Are you sure you are not taking your spouse for granted?
The first marriage problem on my list is ignoring boundaries. It’s not uncommon for one spouse to try to change his or her partner. Whether it’s how he or she dresses or about fundamental beliefs, trying to change your spouse will feel like a personal invasion and may trigger defensiveness from the other person.
Overstepping boundaries can destroy mutual trust in your marriage. The result is likely to be retaliation or withdrawal from the relationship. Do you respect your spouse’s boundaries? Do you listen when they complain about your attitude and behaviour? Do you talk to your spouse anyhow because you feel you can?
Another common problem in many marriages is for the couple to become emotionally distant. When this happens, it’s likely he or she may start looking around. Emotional infidelity can lead to adultery and cheating is destructive of a marriage. It’s important for married couples to discuss and agree on what constitutes infidelity.
Overtime, every marriage suffers a common relationship problem known as ‘lack of attention’ where a couple, intentionally or unintentionally, redirects their attention to other aspects of their lives.
This changes the chemistry of marriage, which instigates one or the spouse to act out and overreact. This problem in marriage, if not dealt with appropriately, can then spiral out of control.
Selfishness destroys marriages. If one spouse constantly places his or her needs above the goals and interests of the marriage, it’s only a matter of time before the neglected spouse begins to feel rejected and unloved. Getting married involves give and take rather than getting your own needs met all the time. If one spouse dictates the terms of the marriage and won’t compromise, that’s a recipe for disaster.
Lack of sexual intimacy is a serious marital issue. There are many reasons couples lose interest in sex–ranging from medical problems to emotional issues. Sexual problems trigger a vicious cycle where it’s difficult to want sex when you feel emotionally distant from your partner and it’s difficult to feel emotionally attached without experiencing sexual intimacy. To get past sexual indifference, couples need to discuss and resolve their emotional issues.
A lack of gratitude, recognition, and acknowledgment of your spouse’s contribution to your relationship is a problem. Your inability to appreciate your spouse can be detrimental to your relationship. Do you appreciate your spouse? Do you affirm their strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses?
Extreme jealousy is not good for marital relationships. Being jealous can turn a marriage sour, especially if the jealous feelings are unrealistic. Jealous persons can become overbearing and controlling or angry and rejecting. If you are feeling jealous, talk to your spouse about how you are feeling instead of accusing them of things they didn’t do. You may also have an attachment problem that needs to be discussed with a competent professional counselor.
The most common complaint among married couples is lack of communication. Many couples put up with problems rather than try to fix them. In the beginning, they agreed that they will both work and take care of the home but when children started coming, the story changed. The issue is whether spouses can listen to each other’s complaints without interrupting or getting defensive. How do you communicate with your spouse? Do you yell or talk condescendingly?
Lack of trust can destroy your marriage. It can rot your marriage from the inside, leaving no chance of restoring your relationship. Losing your partner’s trust can be detrimental to your union. It puts too much strain on your marriage and when the doubts start to sleep in, problems arise.
Fighting about money all the time strains marriages. Disagreements about money are inevitable in a marriage. One spouse may want to save while the other wants to spend. Disagreements about money usually reflect different core values. To avoid these problems, it’s important to discuss and agree how to handle finances.
When a couple has core value differences, such as religious preferences, that can cause serious problems. They may have major disagreements about what religion to teach their children. Other differences include how to discipline, definitions of right and wrong, or other ethical conflicts.
Everyone doesn’t grow up with the same values, morals, or goals and there is lots of room for debate about right and wrong. If a couple can’t learn to adjust to different values, they may have serious problems in their marriage.
Different life stages can also cause problems in marriages. Most couples don’t think about differences in life stages when they marry, but this can be a significant problem with couples are different ages. Personalities change and a couple may not remain compatible as they transition to different life stages. An older husband may not be interested in beginning a new family while the young bride is anxious to have a baby, or he may be nearing retirement and want to slow down while she needs to stay active.
Boredom is another marriage problem.
Doing the same old thing can get tiresome and it’s hard to make changes in a comfortable relationship until it’s too late. Doing something new from time to time can add spark and spice to a relationship. Married couples need to do different things to keep the spark alive in their marriages.
In conclusion, it takes two willing, committed and teachable people to make a marriage work. If the marriage cannot be fixed because one or both spouses no longer want to be married, then they should go their separate ways before one of them hurts the other. Resentment in marriage can lead to dangerous behaviours and violent endings. When love and respect is no longer served, moving on becomes important regardless of your religious beliefs.