Every married couple will have problems. They will, at some point, argue and complain about their partner. Within a marriage, there is no question that one spouse will eventually do something the other spouse will not approve of. These problems are natural and happen in every relationship. However, if these actions and negative occurrences become a habit, your relationship will suffer.
There are many different problems any marriage can experience and it depends on the specific people involved and their situation. While some couples have problems communicating, others have trouble with sexual intimacy. Some couples have trouble with respect while other couples have issues with splitting up the chores. The truth is that most problems, no matter what they involve, can generally be solved with hard work and patience. If you are dedicated to your relationship and your spouse, then you have the ability to analyze your situation and improve it. The following are some of the most common marriage problems people face today. Each one can be solved as long as both parties involved practice patience and dedication.
Lack of Communication
Talking to one another is one of the most basic and imperative elements of human interaction and relationships. If you could not speak to your partner, would you have any reason to be together aside from physical attraction? Conversation, listening, and healthy communication are a foundation for a successful marriage.
Many couples, probably most couples, have at least minor issues with communication. Being in a relationship requires dedication, patience, and hard work that can be demanding over time. Fortunately, if you are truly in love and dedicated to the relationship, you can move through these minor issues and actually become closer. It is, however, difficult to be the ideal partner all the time no matter how much you love the other person. It's impossible.
Communication is an important way that couples actually connect with one another. When a lack of communication exists within a marriage, the two people involved are not in tune with the other's emotions or feelings. They will have no idea how the other is doing, how their day went, what they might be planning, or what they are currently aspiring to achieve. This lack of communication creates a distance between the two partners and it only grows wider with time.
Many couples decide to get a divorce simply because they did not take the necessary steps to save their marriage in time. By acknowledging that you have a communication problem, even if it's a small one, you will be taking a step towards making your marriage last through time. Having and diagnosing a communication problems is not a negative thing, but a positive step towards happiness and healthy relationships. Make conscious efforts to talk more, about anything, and open the lines of communication in a comfortable, non-threatening way. A strong foundation of communication will allow you and your partner to successfully deal with many other problems in the future.
Criticism and its Effects
Without realizing it, you and your partner can fall into a cycle of criticism that will seriously hurt your relationship over time. We become more and more comfortable with our romantic partners over time and feel more free to speak openly. When this happens, we also feel more freedom to criticize and be vocal when something bothers us.
The comments that used to begin with "I" are more consistently beginning with "you," turning the complaint into a criticism. For example, instead of saying, "I would like to watch romantic comedies more often," your partner might say "you are always watching crime shows." This alteration in language may seem insignificant, but it actually turns the complaint into a criticism. Instead of your partner simply stating how he/she feels, he/she has now blamed you for the situation completely. The issue is no longer a lack of romantic comedies, but the fact that you are watching crime shows. Again, this may seem insignificant at first, but it will cause problems when it starts to happen every day at every turn. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that criticism leads to other issues.
Criticism eventually leads to feelings of contempt, a desire to purposefully cause non-physical pain to your partner, that begin to repeat over time. When a debate grows into an argument, which then grows into a full-blown fight, the participants are not thinking logically, but emotionally. Often times they are not thinking at all. Instead of keeping focus on the specific problem at hand and attempting to come up with a solution for it, each participant feels the desire to "win" the battle. This is where contempt enters the picture because each participant in the argument wants to "win."
You think that if you say a more biting, witty and critical comment that you have won somehow. In reality, by saying hurtful and critical comments, whether they are true or not, you are creating a distance between you and your partner. When you show contempt for your partner, they will feel that sense of anger and will respond defensively (another common problem in marriages) or will simply attack you back. Instead of discussing the problem, you are now caught in a vicious cycle of accusations, name-calling, and shouting. A problem cannot be solved when contempt exists between two parties because successful communication will rarely occur. Unfortunately, this end result will not work in a long-lasting and happy marriage.
Finally, the result of this contempt, originally caused by the criticism, is a sense of defensiveness that eventually becomes natural. Because you are both simply attacking each other and making one another feel insulted and upset, your natural response is to become defensive. You think that if your partner won't take steps to make things better, you should not have to either. It is easy to be defensive and, when it comes naturally, it is something that keeps you feeling safe. You feel that if you aren't defensive, you will be leaving yourself open to attack and criticism. At this point, successful communication and problem solving will be almost impossible between the two of you.
You can see how the effects of criticism are serious and far-reaching. Instead of approaching your problems with an aggressive, "you" attitude, work on trying to approach those issues with a more self-addressing, "I" attitude. This will help avoid becoming critical and will also help to communicate your issues more clearly.
If you notice yourself feeling contempt for your partner, discuss those feelings. Do not let your emotions fester then explode during an argument. Your partner will be more willing to communicate calmly and productively with you. Keep in mind the fact that every human being is flawed in many ways, including yourself. Nobody is perfect, so why expect your partner to be? Allow them the freedom to make mistakes and avoid criticizing them by keeping their humanity in mind. It may help to think of your own flaws in order to remember that flaws are acceptable in others.
Lack of Empathy
It is very common for couples to have trouble within their marriage simply because they are not meeting each other's needs. Each person has certain needs that need to be met in order to make them happy, but they are usually not the same in both partners. For example, you may find it important that your spouse shows you sexual attention while your spouse finds it important that you are listening. If you yourself don't find listening important, you will probably not listen much. In actuality, you will probably show her more sexual attention, something that you yourself desire.
If we can identify the needs of our partners, we will have a better opportunity to satisfy those needs. Many marriages fail because the partners involved are unwilling to satisfy their spouse in ways they themselves don't deem necessary or important. When you can feel empathy for your partner and understand what is important to them and why, it will be much easier to satisfy them and maintain the happiness in your marriage.
While there are many ways for a marriage to fail, there are usually ways to avoid those pitfalls. Most of the problems arise from a lack of communication because neither partner is aware of how the other is feeling or thinking. From there, many problems can arise.
By being patient, honest, communicative and compassionate towards to each other, a married couple having problems can find out how to truly make themselves happy. If true love and a willingness to work on the relationship exist, success is possible.