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So, what do you do if you think your spouse’s friends are hurting your marriage? 

It’s essential to proceed with great care. Your goal is to voice your concern in a way that’s respectful to your spouse. How you approach the subject can move you toward resolution or, in the opposite direction, toward conflict. 

Proceeding with care means you need to ask yourself some crucial questions before talking with your spouse about it. 

What exactly am I seeing, hearing, and experiencing that makes me feel this way? 

  • Can I name something specific which makes me think my spouse’s friends are bringing harm to our relationship? 
  • What are my spouse’s friends’ marriages like?
  • Is this a new friend that concerns me?

Is what I’m seeing in my spouse’s friends hurting my spouse as a person? 

  • Have I seen this person have a negative impact on my spouse? 
  • Is it causing my spouse to be someone they aren’t? 
  • Do these friends care about my spouse’s well-being? 

Is there something going on within me (rather than my spouse) causing these negative feelings to be triggered? 

  • What are my own friendships like? Is there anything lacking that may influence how I’m feeling about my spouse’s friends? 
  • Am I taking care of myself? Am I trying to be my best self in my marriage? 

Is there something between my spouse and their friends going against what we stand for in our marriage? 

  • Do my spouse’s friends know how things work in our marriage? 
  • Do they openly support our marriage? 

Having a good, productive conversation with your spouse means you will need to consider the answers to some of these questions. The hope is for you to approach your spouse calmly and respectfully with your thoughts and feelings. Can you come to a common understanding of what is causing your sentiments and agree on how to move forward?

★ Here’s how to do that. 

Try to approach your spouse when neither of you is feeling stressed. It might help your spouse focus more on the conversation if you ask them to set aside a time to talk. 

Be specific with your spouse about what you’ve observed that concerns you. Use “I” statements to own your own feelings. People usually respond better when they don’t feel like they are being accused and put on trial. Approach the conversation with a calmpaced… voice.

This is the message you want to communicate: I’m concerned for you and our marriage because… [Avoid making blanket accusing statements like, “Your friends are ruining our marriage by doing such-and-such.”] Be sure to let your spouse know your ultimate goal is for your marriage to be as healthy as it can, and you don’t want anything to stand in the way of that. Acknowledge you realize how important it is for your spouse to have friends—but friends that are for you and your marriage.

This is important: Allow your spouse to speak about this subject. Naturally, they might be on the defensive; that’s okay. Simply hear them out and calmly reinforce your primary concern. 

The place you want to get to is the security that your marriage is no longer being threatened. So, you and your spouse need to come to an agreement as to how that can happen. 

  • Does a particular activity with friends need to be modified or stopped altogether?
  • Maybe time with friends needs to be limited?
  • Does my spouse need to have a conversation with their friends about what our marriage stands for?
  • Does my spouse need to distance herself from one of her friends?
  • Do I need to change something in my own mindset to help me feel better about my spouse’s friends? 
  • Do my spouse and I need to spend more time together? 

Friends are important. But they should never cause a problem for your marriage.

Take time to ask yourself the important questions and plan a calm, conversational approach. If needed, seek professional help to determine a solution, preferably involving both you and your spouse. Remember, these conversations aren’t always easy, and it might not all be settled in your first talk. Hard conversations, handled well, are well worth having for a stronger marriage.

How to Have More Meaningful Conversations With Your Spouse

What to Do When Your Spouse Lacks Empathy

My Friends Are Getting Divorced and It’s Affecting My Marriage

***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 your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

Have you had to navigate this in your marriage? What suggestions do you have? Be sure to leave them in the comments section below!

Friendships are a valuable possession. Without them, you have an increased risk of loneliness. With them come connection and support. But what about when there’s a question mark as to whether the friendship is helping or hurting your marriage? 

Friendships can play a crucial role in the health of your marriage. I’ve had friends support my wife and me through some extremely difficult times. I look back and wonder how different our marriage would be if not for some of those amazing relationships. On the other hand, I’ve listened to friends do and say things that can cripple or sabotage a marriage. 

Just like a virus, your friends can spread their values, priorities, and attitudes. Research shows that the tighter the friend group, the more easily these things spread. This can be a positive or a negative depending on your friends.

Are friends important? Yes. Can friends influence your marriage? Studies have found that being friends with someone who gets divorced makes someone 147% more likely to get divorced themselves.

When you’re in that uncomfortable place of trying to determine if a particular friend is hurting your marriage, here are some things to consider.

  • Is your friend for your marriage? Are they for marriage, in general? Some people have a sour outlook on marriage; they are generally cynical toward marriage and have difficulty believing that it won’t eventually end in pain. Does your friend encourage you to turn away from your marriage or lean into it? 
  • How do they talk about their own spouse? If your friend is constantly complaining about their spouse, unless you are intentional about doing something different, it becomes easy to join in. Therapist and author Michelle Weiner-Davis says the more you complain about your spouse, the less likely you want to go home and be more loving to them. And while she was specifically talking about wives, the same is certainly true the other way around.
  • Are you discussing things with your friends you should be discussing with your spouse? It’s ok to bounce ideas off your friends. But this should never replace intimate or tough conversations with your spouse. 
  • Is your friendship helping you be a better person? Is your friendship encouraging you to be more thoughtful or selfish? Are they encouraging you to look out for you regardless of the impact on the ones you love? Yes, there are times when a friend must help you focus on yourself. Your good friends will help you be healthy, not self-centered.
  • Does your friend always take your side? Friends who only tell you what you want to hear aren’t going to help your marriage. Good friends of your marriage will help you better communicate with your spouse. Instead of saying things like that, “I can’t believe your spouse would do something like that,” they ask questions like, “Have you asked your spouse about it?” They use some discernment to help you see things clearly. 
  • Do they respect your spouse? Your spouse may not have been who your friend would’ve picked for you. Even amid the differences, friends should learn to respect your decisions and the differences between them and your spouse. After all, you married your spouse, not your friend.

As you reflect on your friendships, it should be clear whether your friendship is supportive of you being the best version of yourself.

Not just as a spouse, but as a person. Good friends can help you see whether you’re just trippin’ or if you’re missing something important. Overall, they should help you be closer to your spouse while also helping you know if you’re losing yourself in your marriage in a negative way. 

Don’t be afraid to make necessary adjustments to your relationships. As you go through different seasons of life, what you need from a friend may change. There’s nothing wrong with that. Letting some friends go can be helpful. Adjusting the amount of time you spend with friends may change. And holding tight to some friends may be imperative. 

In all this, keeping your marriage as a priority is a must. A friend that helps you do that is a friend that’s helping your marriage, not hurting it. The study, Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample did discover something extremely hopeful. “Interestingly, only outside support from friends and family predicted marital success in the time period examined.” 

My Friends Are Getting Divorced and It’s Affecting My Marriage

Can A Friendship Make You Thrive?

3 Keys to Deeper Friendships

***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 your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

How much do I need to have in common with my spouse for our marriage to be healthy and happy? Do we need to like all the same things for this to work? 

These are valid questions faced by many engaged or newly-married couples. We all want to be compatible with our partner, we want to share interests and likes, but do we need to have everything in common? 

You should have some things in common with your spouse, but it doesn’t have to be everything. There is beauty in our differences. Marriage thrives even when we are different.

Here are some things you should have in common with your spouse:

Goals.

It is vital to have some shared goals, such as family size and career aspirations. You don’t want to get three years into marriage to find out you have different plans for children. You also don’t want your marriage to suffer because one person desires to climb the corporate ladder while the other does not. It doesn’t mean you both need to be ambitious in your career, but you need to discuss those ambitions and have a common goal that addresses what you both want. The same goes for family goals.

Values.

Values are critically important as you are establishing your marriage. When you share common values such as honesty, loyalty, transparency, faith, etc., you have a foundation upon which to build your marriage. You don’t have to share all the same values, but you need to share core values. 

Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously.

I’m gonna share a secret with you. Ready? Marriage is hard. Doing life with someone isn’t easy. Injecting humor into the relationship helps alleviate stress. Have a shared understanding of what humor is. Do you see humor as jokes, pranks, sarcasm, goofiness? Talk about what humor means to each of you and make sure you are on the same page. You don’t want one spouse’s humor to be insulting to the other. A fun marriage is a happy marriage.

Boundaries.

Boundaries are crucial to your marriage, but what are boundaries? Think of a guardrail on the highway. Why is it there? To keep you out of the ditch. Boundaries work the same way. Do you both have the same boundaries on opposite-sex friends? This will be huge for your marriage. Talk about it now. Here is a resource for you: How to Talk to Your Spouse About Opposite-Sex Friends.

Friends and Family.

Friends and family are important. Have a conversation early about this. Do each of you continue to maintain all of your friendships and habits with friends? Do you come to an agreement about how often each of you hangs out with friends? Where does family fall in your marriage? Family is important, but the family you are building is more important. Agree on some common boundaries for friends and family that keep your marriage at the forefront.

Help! My Spouse and I Have Nothing in Common

We’re Total Opposites! Can Our Relationship Work?

5 Things To Do When You Feel Disconnected From Your Spouse

You and your partner aren’t going to have everything in common, and that’s okay. Relationships can thrive in our differences. Your marriage will be fuller when you both embrace what makes you unique. You should have some things in common with your spouse, talk about these, and lay the groundwork for a happy, healthy marriage.

For more marriage resources, check out our Marriage Shop.

***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 your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

There are some people you should not trust: Those who don’t like pizza. People who don’t find puppies cute. Those who laugh way too loud or for no apparent reason. 

Your spouse shouldn’t be someone you can’t trust. Marriage is built (at least in part) on a foundation of trust. And trust is meant to grow over time. 

And yet, it’s not uncommon to find marriages with trouble in the trust department. Somewhere in the journey, one person lost the confidence to see the other as reliable. Trust issues hijack the process of growing together, causing discord and disunity rather than closeness and connection. Trust issues drive a wedge in the intimacy shared between two people. 

How do you know you have trust issues in your marriage? And if you do, what can you do about it? 

Here are seven signs you have trust issues in your marriage: 

  1. You assume your spouse is going to let you down. It’s just inevitable and a matter of time. They’re gonna disappoint you.
  2. You hold your spouse at arm’s length. You want them close, but not really and you find it difficult to be emotionally or physically vulnerable with your spouse.
  3. Maybe you feel the need to hold the remote control in the relationship. You need to know where your spouse is, what they are doing, who they’re with. Every. Single. Moment.
  4. You feel alone, even when you’re with your spouse. Your lack of trust keeps you from feeling connected. 
  5. You have a hard time forgiving genuine mistakes. Those little things we do because we’re human — you take them as a personal attack and surefire evidence of how unreliable they are.
  6. You had a really bad experience in a former relationship. After all, if it happened once, it’s bound to happen again, right? This experience has made you self-protective to a fault. 
  7. You see signs of trust issues in other current relationships. If you experience these trust issues with friends or other family members, you could very well have trust issues with your spouse.

Do any of these sound familiar? Is there a chance you are dealing with trust issues toward your spouse? You are not alone. And trust issues can certainly be overcome when you begin to consider why you struggle with trust in the first place. 

Three things could be happening if you have trust issues in your marriage. 

You have trust issues because of…

  • Something that happened between you and your spouse. 
  • Something that happened before you and your spouse were married. 
  • Both

None of these situations are hopeless. Each may require a slightly different approach to overcome trust issues. Regardless, working through the problems will most certainly require honest conversations with your spouse and will take time. 

I’ve seen couples become impatient with this process. They expected instant results. The healing or forgiveness offered was usually shallow at best (since forgiveness is itself a process). The marriage was in worse shape than before. 

But the couples I have seen who come out stronger on the other side of trust issues are the ones who kept putting one foot in front of the other. They recognized this kind of thing takes time. And they kept at it. I encourage you to do the same. 

  • Honest and respectful conversation is vital. Using “I” statements helps your partner be a much better listener and focuses on your own feelings and behavior: I am having a hard time with trust because… I have a hard time being vulnerable because… I think this part of my past has caused me to…
  • Working toward building trust may require moving toward healing and forgiveness rather than placing blame. You cannot reestablish trust if you continue to hold your spouse in contempt. 
  • Practicing vulnerability with your spouse helps locate the source of trust issues. What may have been the trigger that began your trust issues? Your family upbringing? A bad experience with a former romance? An experience with abuse? Opening up to your spouse about these issues can be difficult. But doing so can begin to reverse the lack of trust, which divides your relationship. 
  • Consider seeking the help of a trusted professional. Counselors can help resolve trust conflicts between you and your spouse or help you work through prior life events, which contributed to your trust issues. 

Building trust with your spouse is vital to your healthy marriage. The good news is there is hope in working through trust issues. Begin the conversation with your spouse. Put one foot in front of the other. Don’t get in a hurry, and seek help where needed. What lies on the other side is a stronger marriage and a deeper connection with your spouse.

★ Working through trust issues in marriage will require healthy communication. Build better communication in your marriage with these tools!  

MARRIAGE COURSE | 5 Days To Better Communication In Marriage

The Magic of Communication In Marriage Ebook

***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 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.***

Why can’t we just talk about it?” Couples should know: communication is essential in any relationship, but communication is at the core of marriage. Poor, unclear, or sporadic communication in marriage is its own problem, but unhealthy communication also makes it difficult to work on other marital issues like disagreements related to finances, sex, and dealing with in-laws. 

Communication Is So Simple, So Why The Communication Breakdown?

Communication occurs when both spouses effectively talk and listen to each other. One spouse says what they are thinking or feeling while the other spouse not only hears but listens. No one feels the need to ramble on. Spouses take turns without interjecting or interrupting. They provide verbal and nonverbal feedback, which lets their spouse know they were heard. Sounds simple enough, right? Why is the breakdown so easy?

What Is And What Should Never Be.

Often, we care more about being right than we care about our spouse or working together to solve the problem at hand. We speak when we should be listening; we hear but don’t really listen. We’re too busy thinking of our comeback. We let things escalate. We don’t feel safe being honest. Soon, it isn’t even communication; it’s a laundry list of past hurts, raw feelings, defensiveness, pride, snark, sarcasm, raised voices, or people withdrawing altogether. 

The Song Remains The Same.

How do you break this cycle? We communicate differently. Recognize how you both communicate and change the tune. You may be more assertive at speaking while having trouble listening. Your spouse may be great at listening but have difficulty sharing what they are thinking or feeling. All isn’t lost if you discover you communicate differently. It’s important to remember that communication in marriage is a skill that can grow, develop, and flourish over time. When you find your groove, it can actually build intimacy in your marriage.

Four things couples should know about communication in marriage:

1. Communication is a Process.

No matter how good you get at communicating with your spouse, you will both still occasionally miscommunicate. There will always be good times and bad times sharing. When miscommunication occurs between you, recognize it, acknowledge it, and hit reset. It’s not a big deal or the end of the world. Focus on the process of communicating and building a stronger connection. You’ll both feel less dazed and confused.

2. Communication is a Skill.

We often think communication is easy because we have a mouth and ears. It’s true, however; healthy communication is a skill we learn and can continue to develop. 

How we learned to communicate does impact our communication in marriage. What communication patterns were you and your spouse raised with? If a lot of yelling was modeled, it could become a default communication setting. Additionally, one of you may have observed how sharing thoughts and feelings was met with criticism and sarcasm. It might be hard to say, “The way I feel…” 

You can learn new ways to communicate and change the patterns that lead to miscommunication and create distance between you and your spouse.

3. Communication Takes Practice.

The average couple spends 20 minutes per week communicating. For some people, that might sound about right. Studies also showed when couples communicated with each other for just five minutes a day, they felt more connected and understood. Understand that for many spouses, communication in marriage is a significant way they seek connection. Your spouse wants to know all about you to bond with you—your day, feelings, dreams, disappointments, and goals. Their communication needs involve quality and quantity—lots of in-depth communication.

Other spouses need together-time to connect. Talking might be optional. They are content to simply be with you and enjoy your company. Being quiet doesn’t mean anything is wrong. They aren’t trying to be distant or avoid conversation. They bond by being together doing an activity.

Neither is right or wrong. Identify your individual marriage communication needs and, if necessary, meet each other halfway. Find things that are “doing” like going for walks, working in the yard, putting a puzzle together, and then add some “talking” to it. Why not both?

4. Communication: A Two-Way Street to a Whole Lotta Love.

Communication is a two-way street. Your marriage can get somewhere if you learn to stay in your lane and respect the posted signs. Fellas, sometimes, you need to stop and yield some time to just listen. Your spouse isn’t looking for any new construction; she just wants to be heard. Ladies, if you take too many forks in the road and don’t observe the posted speed limit, your spouse can’t keep up and will get lost.

All drivers should use “I” statements (I think, I feel, I need). No sharp “You” turns—don’t make your spouse a defensive driver. No parking in past, settled, healed wounds. Do not enter a mindset where your spouse is your adversary. Put your phone away—no distracted driving. (Use caution if there are children at play nearby.) When you’ve reached a dead end, pick up the conversation later.  

As you both learn how to safely merge with traffic, you will find your relationship traveling to exciting new destinations. There will be less icy road conditions and dangerous curves ahead. You’ll just enjoy the ride to deeper intimacy. 

10 Years Gone…

Invest in some communication tools. MARRIAGE COURSE | 5 Days To Better Communication In Marriage, or The Magic of Communication In Marriage E-book. See where they take you!

Healthy communication in marriage can spur growth and connection. It may take time. Little by little, the levee breaks, and it becomes easier to be transparent and vulnerable. You’re using communication to solve problems together instead of poor or infrequent communication creating problems. Your marriage bond is more robust. You feel free to share thoughts and feelings. You made it a point to improve communication in your marriage, and now you are enjoying the fruits of your labor!

6 Ways Poor Communication Can Affect Your Marriage

Communication Killers

Keys to Effective Communication in Marriage

***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.***

If you’ve been married for a minute you know disagreements are going to come up between the two of you. But, have you ever had one of those disagreements where not only were you on opposite sides of the issue, neither one of you was willing to budge?

Guess what? You’re in good company. Plenty of marriages have experienced this; they may just not be talking about it because what does it really say about your relationship if you can’t figure out how to come to some type of compromise? Asking for a friend, right?

It’s actually possible to agree to disagree without experiencing distress in your marriage. Meaning, both people have accepted the other’s point of view without agreeing on it and they are moving on.

For some couples, this is a very far-fetched idea.

The key to couples learning how to agree to disagree is learning how to be good listeners and knowing how to value and express appreciation for their perspective, even if you have a completely different point of view.  

Typically, what happens in a marriage when spouses disagree is one person shares their perspective. Instead of really listening to what the person is saying, the other spouse is focusing on words or phrases they want to respond to. So, they don’t really hear all that their spouse said. And, while responding, the same thing happens with the other spouse which creates this dangerous downward spiral, leaving both people feeling unheard and not valued.

What if you both agreed to hear each other out?

Scott Stanley, Howard Markman, and Susan Blumberg have been researching couples for more than three decades. One of the things they learned is, it’s hard for couples to slow down long enough to hear each other before jumping in with a response. They came up with an effective way to help couples hear each other called “The Speaker/Listener Technique,” which is also known as “The Floor.”

Here’s how it works.

One spouse has “the floor.” The “floor” could be an index card, a piece of paper, anything that is a visible reminder of who is speaking at the moment. That person chooses one topic—only one topic—to talk about from their perspective.

The other spouse does not have “the floor.” They are the listener. Think of this as being an investigator. The goal is for your spouse to feel heard when they finish sharing with you. You’ve asked questions in a way that makes them know you are listening. Your spouse knows you value what they have to say—even if you don’t agree with them

Here are some other strategies to help you when it’s clear you need to agree to disagree with your spouse:

  1. Make sure your spouse feels heard. Sharpen those listening skills.
  2. Guard against allowing the disagreement to create resentment or bitterness between the two of you.
  3. Accept that it’s possible neither of you may be wrong—you just see the situation from different perspectives. It’s like being at the scene of an accident and two people telling what happened from two completely different angles. Neither is wrong, just different. Different isn’t bad. (See #5.)
  4. Make an extra effort to love through the disagreement. In other words, don’t punish each other for not seeing things eye to eye all the time.
  5. Different is good! Don’t forget, differences are like ingredients in a recipe. If you only have one ingredient, it will be a very bland dish. The different ingredients allow your tastebuds to experience the dish in an entirely different way. The same is true in your marriage.
  6. If you’re experiencing great difficulty getting past something that’s causing stress or distress in your marriage, a third party may be able to help you.

It’s not always easy to disagree without being disagreeable. Keep in mind, the one you love is far more valuable than proving your point or being right. Highly happy couples will tell you there are plenty of moments where they’ve agreed to disagree about certain things, but they never lost sight of the fact they were on the same team and their marriage was more important than whatever threatens to come between them. There is a better “right” than being right. 

***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.***

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!

You see things differently than you used to. You’re living a healthier lifestyle. You go out less. You interact differently with people. You’re investing more time into hobbies.

You love the way you feel—happier, healthier, and less stressed—except in your marriage. Your spouse seems agitated with you which just doesn’t make any sense.

Shouldn’t they be glad you’re improving and becoming a better person?

Your spouse may not see it that way, especially at first. Here’s why!

Feelings of insecurity.

Change often feels threatening. They might feel like you’re moving away from them with all the changes. It might be time to sit down and talk with your spouse about your “why” behind all the changes.  

Feeling judged.

If your spouse feels judged by your attitude toward them, it might be time to ask yourself, “Am I actually becoming a better version of myself?”

Feeling Manipulated.

If there’s the slightest feeling you’re trying to change your spouse, you can expect there will be tension. 

Related: My Spouse Has Changed.

★ As you grow and continue to better yourself, it will affect your marriage and your family. Naturally, your spouse may see it from a different perspective.

How can you work through it?

Never stop talking to one another.

Regularly talking to your spouse about what’s important to you gives them the chance to support you even if they aren’t “joining” you.

Understand their concerns.

Resist the temptation to get defensive. Put effort into listening to their concerns. Believe the best about your spouse. 

Don’t try to change your spouse.

There are strengths in your differences. Their path to becoming the best version of themselves will look different.

People respond to change differently. Through one’s eyes, it’s great and through another set of eyes, it’s potentially destructive. The uncertainty leads to unrest. 

The ultimate test is: Does your change have a positive impact on your marriage? 

Patience, empathy, and understanding must be the foundations of your communication with each other to help change be seen as growth to better yourselves and your marriage.

***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.***

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

  • How to establish healthy communication habits
  • The secrets to creating a deep connection through communication
  • Skills to help you (and your spouse) be a better speaker and listener
  • How to celebrate and understand your different communication styles
  • And so much more!

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.

3. Money

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. 

5. Intimacy

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.***

COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR SPOUSE SHOULD BE FULFILLING, NOT FRUSTRATING.

With the right tools, you and your spouse can have the best communication ever!

This easy-to-use virtual 5-day course guides you and your spouse to have the best communication you’ve ever had! Through this course, you will learn:

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