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Published on September 17, 2020

How to Deal With the 15 Most Common Marriage Problems

How to Deal With the 15 Most Common Marriage Problems

All the movies we have seen growing up—from Snow White to Titanic—have given our world a glimpse into what real love should look like. Women are looking for their Prince Charming because our world tends to glorify marriage.

As a result, marriage seems like a good idea for most people. After all, why shouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after?

But the movies make it look easy. And as any married person can tell you, marriage in real life is sometimes anything but easy. In fact, for many couples, it can be downright miserable if they don’t know how to work through their problems.

And think about it—no one teaches us how to have a happy, healthy marriage. If our parents didn’t model it for us, then we have no idea how to do it ourselves.

Because of this, almost all marriages have problems. Some couples are better at working through the ups and downs through the years than others, but they all have them.

Regardless of whether your problems lead to divorce or you work through them effectively, most married couples have similar issues. So, let’s take a look at 15 of the most common problems most marriages face.

1. Division of Labor

Research shows that even when both spouses work outside the home, the woman is usually the one who does more of the housework and chores.

Obviously, this creates more stress for her. But what’s even more stressful beyond these daily chores is called “psychological responsibility.” In other words, women are expected to remember things like “Johnny has a doctors’ appointment on Tuesday,” or “We have to go to Jane’s soccer game on Saturday at 2:00.”

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While it’s not always the woman who does more of the work, lack of balance with the division of labor can cause a lot of issues.

Learn more about how to tackle this problem here: Average Couples See Chores as a Cornerstone, Happy Couples See Them as the Gem Stone

2. Finances

Some people are spenders. Others are savers. So, if you get a spender and a saver together in a marriage, you can see how that would become a problem.

Maybe growing and investing money is important to one person, but the other couldn’t care less about it. Fighting over money and how it is spent is one of the most common problems in marriages.

3. Children and Parenting Differences

Let’s face it—children can be stressful! The crying/sleepless babies, temper tantrums, and rebellious teenagers are not a lot of fun sometimes, regardless of how much you love your kids! And that can cause a lot of stress to a couple. Even differing parenting styles like how to punish a child can cause a rift in a married couple.

4. Personality Differences

If one person is an introvert and the other is an extrovert, then there may be constant tension regarding how often to socialize.

The extrovert might feel unloved that the introvert never wants to go to a party with them. But the introvert might feel rejected because the extrovert always wants to socialize with people other than their spouse. And this is just one aspect of personality differences that can cause problems in marriages.

5. Fighting and Communication Style Differences

Maybe one spouse grew up in a family where they yelled and screamed at each other when they were angry, while the other spouse grew up in a family that turned their anger inward and would give people the silent treatment. Having different fighting or communication styles when it comes to conflict can be a huge obstacle to having a happy and healthy marriage.

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6. Different Love Languages

Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages. In it, he defines five different ways people give and receive love (acts of service, touch, time, giving of gifts, words of affirmation). If you both speak very different love languages, you might not feel loved by your partner, which may lead to marriage problems.

For example, if you want to be given gifts to feel loved but instead your partner would rather do acts of service for you—like fixing your car or rubbing your feet—then you might not understand that they really do love you.

Here’s Why You and Your Partner Don’t Need to Speak the Same Love Language to Stay Together

7. Sex

Everyone has different sexual needs—both in frequency and type. Some people love having sex as often as they can, while others could live the rest of their lives without it. And others need a lot of kinky stuff to be satisfied. Regardless of what you want, most couples have a problem with their sexual compatibility.

8. Jealousy and Infidelity

Many people are naturally insecure and unfortunately, many people are also tempted to cheat on their spouse. So, whether or not someone actually cheats, there can be jealousy that exists within the relationship.

Infidelity isn’t just limited to physical cheating either. Emotional infidelity is running rampant these days because of technology, such as phones and dating apps. They make it so easy to hide what someone is doing and whom they are talking to.

9. Boredom

Relationships are always exciting when they are new. Everyone feels like they are walking on cloud 9 because they are so in love. But then as time goes on, the newness and infatuation wear off. As that happens, many couples fall into a slump. Their relationship stagnates and seems to get boring. It takes effort to try to keep the love alive and to keep doing exciting things together.

Learn Why Your Relationship Has Become Boring (And How to Fix It).

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10. Power Inequity

Power can come in many forms—from financial power to parenting power. If one spouse makes more money than the other (or perhaps one is a stay-at-home parent), that creates an imbalance when it comes to who brings in the money. And this imbalance is a common marriage problem.

Who has more decision-making power? Many times, it’s not equal. So, that definitely causes problems because one of the spouses could start to feel powerless over time.

11. Abuse

Abuse also comes in several forms. Physical abuse is what most people think of when they hear the word abuse. But mental and emotional abuse is also very detrimental to people and the couple as a whole: The Invisible Violence in Relationships That Destroys People

When one or both people are not respecting each other by laying their hands on them or using horrible language when they speak, that can tear apart a marriage in no time.

12. Values and Beliefs

As the saying goes, “a bird and a fish may love each other, but where will they live?” In other words, when two people have very different ways of looking at the world, it makes it difficult to understand each other. And this may lead to problems in marriage.

For example, if a Catholic is married to a Muslim, they probably don’t share a lot of beliefs and worldviews. Even if one is a Republican and the other is a Democrat, that can cause major tension in a marriage as well.

13. Trying to Change Each Other

No one is perfect. There will always be something about everyone in the world that will annoy you. But when people don’t understand this, then they try to change each other.

They think, “I can’t stand that Bob doesn’t want to go to the gym and work out with me, but when we get married, I’ll change his mind.” No. That NEVER works! You cannot change people.

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So, you should just learn to accept each other the way you are. Otherwise, you will be making each other miserable with all of the naggings that go into trying to change a person—and besides, it’s just not possible.

14. Keeping Score

If someone feels like they are doing way more for the other person than they are for them, then it’s natural to keep score.

You think, “I work, and then I come home and cook and clean and take care of the kids. But all the while, Ben is just sitting on the couch, drinking his beer, and not even noticing how stressed out I am!” Then in your mind, you think you have racked up a lot more on the scoreboard than he has. As a result, resentment builds up over time and it can ruin a marriage.

15. Unrealistic Expectations

We all have an idea of how we want other people to act.

For example, maybe you think that when someone is married, they should have sex every day. But let’s face it—most couples are tired from work, kids, chores, etc. So, it doesn’t happen.

Maybe you think your wife should cook gourmet meals all the time just like your mom did. Well, maybe she hates to cook! Putting unrealistic expectations on your spouse will just make you both frustrated and angry.

Bottom Line

No one has a perfect marriage—not even the ones who are the happiest! Being happy while being married takes effort, but that doesn’t mean that effort has to be hard.

If you both try to give 100% to work through the inevitable marriage problems that you face, then the marriage can work well. It takes a lot of commitment and love, but it can definitely be done.

More on How to Deal With Marriage Problems

Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on April 19, 2021

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

How to Deal With Anger (The Ultimate Anger Management Guide)

We all lose our temper from time to time, and expressing anger is actually a healthy thing to do in our relationships with others. Expressing our differences in opinion allows us to have healthy conflict and many times come to an agreement or understanding that works for everyone. However, there are times when anger can become overwhelming or damaging, and during these times, it’s important to learn how to deal with anger.

Expressing anger inappropriately can be harmful to relationships, both personal and professional. You may express too much anger, too often, or at times that are only going to make things worse, not better. In this article we will look at anger management techniques that will help you better control your emotions.

Let’s take a deeper look at how to deal with anger.

Expressing Anger

Anger is a natural and normal part of almost any relationship. This includes relationships with your significant other, kids, boss, friends, family, etc. Anger provides us with valuable information if we are willing to listen to it. It clues us in to areas where we disagree with others and things that need to be changed or altered.

Unhealthy Ways to Express Anger

Here are some common yet unhealthy ways to express anger that you should avoid:

Being Passive-Aggressive

This is a term many of us are familiar with. Passive-aggressive behavior happens when someone is angry but uses indirect communication to express their anger.

Some of the more common passive-aggressive behaviors include the silent treatment, making comments about someone behind their back, being grumpy, moody, or pouting, or simply not doing tasks or assignments that they should.

This is a passive-aggressive person’s way of showing their anger. It’s not very productive but extremely common.

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Poorly-Timed

Some people get overwhelmed and express anger in a situation where it can’t really do any good.

An example would be getting angry at one person in front of a crowd of people. All that does is make people uncomfortable and shuts them down. It’s not a healthy way to express anger or disagreement with someone.

Ongoing Anger

Being angry all the time is most often a symptom of something else. It’s healthy and normal to express anger when you disagree with someone. However, if someone is angry most of the time and always seems to be expressing their anger to everyone around them, this won’t serve them well.

Over time, people will start to avoid this person and have as little contact as possible. The reason being is no one likes being around someone who is angry all the time; it’s a no-win situation.

Healthy Ways to Express Anger

What about the healthy ways[1] to adapt? When learning how to deal with anger, here are some healthy ways to get you started.

Being Honest

Express your anger or disagreement honestly. Be truthful about what it is that is making you angry. Sometimes this will entail walking away and thinking about it for a bit before you respond.

Don’t say you’re mad at something someone did or said when it’s really something else that upset you.

Being Direct

Similar to being honest, being direct is a healthy way to express anger.

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Don’t talk around something that is making you angry. Don’t say that one thing is making you angry when it’s really something else, and don’t stack items on top of each other so you can unload on someone about 10 different things 6 months from now.

Be direct and upfront about what is making you angry. Ensure you are expressing your anger to the person who upset you or you are angry at, not to someone else. This is very counterproductive.

Being Timely

When something makes you angry, it’s much better to express it in a timely manner. Don’t keep it bottled up inside of you, as that’s only going to do more harm than good.

Think of the marriages that seem to go up in flames out of nowhere when the reality is someone kept quiet for years until they hit their breaking point.

Expressing anger as it occurs is a much healthier way of using anger to help us guide our relationships in the moment.

How to Deal With Anger

If you feel angry, how should you deal with it right at that moment?

1. Slow Down

From time to time, I receive an email at work that makes me so angry that steam is probably pouring out of my ears.

In my less restrained moments, I have been known to fire off a quick response, and that typically has ended about as well as you might imagine.

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When I actually walk away from my computer and go do something else for a while, I am able to calm down and think more rationally. After that happens, I am able to respond in a more appropriate and productive manner. Doing things that helps you learn how to release anger can make an uncomfortable situation more manageable before it gets out of hand.

2. Focus on the “I”

Remember that you are the one that’s upset. Don’t accuse people of making you upset because, in the end, it’s your response to what someone did that really triggered your anger. You don’t want to place blame by saying something like “Why don’t you ever put away your dishes?” Say something more like “Having dirty dishes laying on the counter upsets me—can you work with me to come to a solution?”

When you are accusatory towards someone, all that does is increase the tension. This doesn’t usually do anything except make your anger rise higher.

3. Work out

When learning how to deal with anger, exercise is a great outlet. If something happens that angers you, see if you have the opportunity to burn off some of the anger.

Being able to hit the gym to get a hard workout in is great. If this isn’t an option, see if you can go for a run or a bike ride. If you are at work when you become angry and the weather permits, at least go outside for a brisk walk.

Besides working some of your anger out through exercise, this also helps to give your mind a chance to work through some ways to address what it is that upset you.

If you’re not sure where to start with an exercise routine, check out Lifehack’s free Simple Cardio Home Workout Plan.

4. Seek Help When Needed

There are times when we could all use some help. Life can be stressful and overwhelming. It’s perfectly fine to seek some help from a mental health professional if it will help you get back to a healthy balance.If you find that you are angry all the time, it might be a good idea to go talk to an expert about learning to control intense emotions. They can give you some sound advice and ideas on how to get your anger to a more manageable and healthy level.

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5. Practice Relaxation

We all seem to lead incredibly busy lives, and that’s a good thing if we are loving the life we are living. That being said, it is very beneficial to our physical and mental well-being to take time out for relaxation.

That can mean spending time doing things that help us calm down and relax, like being around people we enjoy, practicing deep breathing or listening to music. It could be making time for things that help bring us balance like a healthy diet and physical activity.

Many people incorporate techniques such as yoga and meditation to calm their minds and release tension when learning how to deal with anger. Whatever your choice is, ensure you take time out to relax when warning signs of anger start to bubble up.

6. Laugh

Incorporating humor and laughter on a regular basis will help keep anger in check and help you get over a bad mood and feelings of anger more quickly. This isn’t part of formal anger management techniques, but you’ll be surprised by how well it works. Remember, life is a journey that’s meant to be enjoyed fully along the way through healthy emotion. Make sure you take time to laugh and have fun.Surround yourself with people that like to laugh and enjoy life. Don’t work at a job that just causes you stress, which can lead to anger. Work at something you enjoy doing.

7. Be Grateful

It’s easy to focus on the bad in life and the things that cause us negative emotions. It’s vitally important to remind ourselves of all the wonderful things in life that bring us positive emotions, things that we easily forget because we get caught up in the whirlwind of day to day life.

Take time out each day to remind yourself of a few things you are grateful for in order to help you learn how to release anger and invite in more positive feelings.

Final Thoughts

Life can be overwhelming at times. We seem to have constant pressure to achieve more and to always be on the go or motivated. People we are around and situations we are in can cause stress, anger, and negative emotions. At times, it can seem to be too much, and we get angry and our emotions start to get out of control.

During these times, keep in mind that life is an incredible journey, full of wonder and things that bring you joy. When you find yourself angry more often than is healthy, take time out to remember the good things in life—the things that we seem to forget yet bring us so much positive energy and emotions.

Use some of the tips included here to help with how to deal with anger and better control your emotions.

More Resources on Anger Management

Featured photo credit: Andre Hunter via unsplash.com

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