There are lots of things that can make your marriage great. Inevitably, your marriage will run into some bumps and cracks in the road that can cause problems. Those problems don’t have to become craters in your journey. Awareness of common marital issues can help you avoid many of them. It can also prepare you to work through them when they seep into your marriage. Here are some of the most common problems couples experience in marriage.
1. Unspoken Expectations
You know the disappointment you feel when your spouse didn’t do something you fully expected them to do. You were coming home late from work and you expected him to have dinner on the table. Instead, there’s no dinner. He expected you to spend all your recreation time with him, yet you made plans with your girlfriends on Saturday night. But the catch is, these expectations were never spoken. They were just running through your mind.
Unspoken expectations are a setup for disappointment. We often don’t realize we have them until they aren’t met. We may expect our spouse to be able to anticipate our every need or know the keys to “making us happy.” They’ve come from our experiences, history, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes they’re informed by what we see through entertainment, social media, or other “seemingly” happy couples. We have expectations about parenting, household responsibilities, money, dealing with in-laws, sex, work, etc.
They become problems when we don’t talk about them. Write them down. Have conversations about them. Communicating about them helps prevent disappointment, frustration, and hurt. It will help you have realistic expectations that will bring you closer together.
2. Poor Communication
If you hear a couple discussing a problem they’re having in their marriage, you can almost guarantee there’s some miscommunication around the issues. What he is saying is not what she is hearing. And what she is saying is not what he is hearing. People hear things differently. Examples of poor communication that have become common in some marriages include: the silent treatment, criticism, listening only to respond, expecting your spouse to read your mind, and talking over one another. Poor communication or lack of communication can lead couples to have negative perceptions of their spouse purely based on a misunderstanding.
Knowing the communication traps that are easy to fall into is half the battle. Learning to hear, communicate, and understand one another’s thoughts, emotions, and desires can turn communication into a strength in your marriage.
It’s been said many times that if a couple can learn how to work together regarding money, then they’ll be able to work through anything. Research tells us that money is the number one thing that couples argue about. Your spending habits reflect your values. Your values are important to you, just as your spouse’s values are important to them. It’s normally not the money itself that causes the issues, though. It’s coming into agreement on what to do with the money that causes arguments and disagreements.
Secret bank accounts and wild spending habits can destroy a marriage. Openly communicating with each other about future plans, necessary purchases, and your goals can help the two of you be on the same page regarding money matters. Working together regarding how you manage your money can set you up to overcome any issue you face in your marriage.
4. Technology and Social Media
With the rise of employees working from home and the increased integration of technology in every facet of our lives, couples are in the same bed at night during the time which used to be designated for pillow talk—but they’re not talking. Instead, they’re connecting with old friends, looking at videos, shopping, playing video games, surfing the net, and generally putting their attention toward their screen instead of their partner. It’s distracting couples from loving one another and causing others to compare their relationships to what they see on social media.
Setting aside screen-free time that allows the two of you time to focus on each other will help both of you feel valued within your marriage. Be intentional to not only nurture your relationship, but also to appreciate what makes your relationship satisfying.
When couples speak different intimacy languages and aren’t able to understand one another, it’s a recipe for marital conflict. Whether it’s understanding each other’s needs for connection and vulnerability, or romance and sex, if you don’t know what arouses your partner, then you run the risk of living with a big intimacy void in the marriage.
Open conversation to discuss what makes each of you feel the most connected. Periodically doing marital checkups to make sure you’re staying connected can strengthen your marital intimacy.
None of these problems have to destroy your marriage. Working together to deal with problems in marriage will create a bond and security that gives you the confidence that your marriage can make it through anything. You don’t have to do it all by yourself. Having other healthy married couples in your lives you can talk to or seeing a good marriage counselor can help you overcome problems that are very difficult for the two of you to solve together. Problems don’t have to be something that you dread. Instead, they can be opportunities to strengthen your relationship and bring positive growth.
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***