10 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems

Travis atkinson.

September 17, 2021

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All relationships and marriages go through periods when they face problems. The secret to a healthy and growing relationship is your ability to overcome these problems. The moment you turn your back on your relationship when you encounter marital issues, it will quickly fall into despair. Solving marriage problems will not only make your relationship healthier, but also more resilient.

10 Top Strategies for Solving Marital Problems

All couples have problems, but not every couple is able to work through them. These are the top strategies to solve your marriage problems, no matter what it is that is causing the troubles.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is the secret to a lasting relationship. All healthy and happy marriages keep their communication lines open.

If you are trying to solve your marital problems, you should not stop communicating with your spouse. Openly discuss the issues you are having so that you can come up with a resolution together. If you just sweep it under a rug, it will only develop into something more serious in the long run. 

strategies to help solve your marriage problems

2. Recognize when you’re in a gridlock

One of the most common hurdles to solving marriage problems is when you and your partner don’t see eye to eye when it comes to your marital issues. One spouse is willing to discuss the problem and the other doesn’t find it a big deal. 

When you’ve reached an impasse, it’s important to take a break. Forcing your opinion on things won’t change the situation. By taking a break, you allow time for each of you to put things in perspective.

3. Express yourself constructively 

When you are in an argument with your spouse, it is easy to let your emotions take over. You could end up saying hurtful things that only worsen the problem instead of fixing them. Try to avoid this route whenever possible. 

When discussing your marital problems, focus on being constructive. It is also important to stay on-topic and not to bring up previous issues. 

4. Break the curse of familiarity

Married couples that have been together for a long time have this false belief that they know each other deeply. However, this can often be the root of the problem in a relationship. 

Never stop asking questions or attempting to get to know your partner. This will help you understand their needs better and help avoid conflict, or understand their perspective when it comes to discussing issues within your marriage. 

There will be less conflict in your relationship if you know where your partner is coming from.

5. Make decisions together

When you are solving marriage problems, you need to approach them together and decide on the best solution as a couple. One spouse cannot be authoritarian and make decisions for the both of you. In fact, this is something that causes marriage problems in the first place. 

By making decisions together, you can both be at ease knowing that you’ve considered your partner’s feelings and concerns. Avoid the urge to insist on what you want or doing things your way. Keep an open mind and encourage your spouse to voice their opinion.

If things start to get heated between you in an argument, think of ways to deescalate the conflict and try to keep things light.

6. Acknowledge your spouse’s feelings

Have you ever experienced opening up about your feelings and then having those feelings shut down or dismissed? It’s not a good feeling. It makes you feel undervalued and unnoticed. 

You don’t want your spouse to feel this way. If you are trying to resolve conflict within your marriage, you need to encourage one another. Give your spouse a chance to speak up and make their feelings known. Even if you don’t agree with them, don’t dismiss their feelings. Instead, try to put yourself in their shoes and understand why they feel that way. Look at what you can do to address those feelings. That is what couples in healthy marriages do. 

how to fix problems in your marriage

7. Understand that it’s not a competition

It is not uncommon for spouses to feel the need to ‘win’ an argument. It feeds their ego and makes them feel good about themselves when they prove their spouse wrong about certain things. 

You should not solve your marital problems with this kind of attitude. Often, if you win an argument, your relationship loses. This should not be about who wins or loses; focus on fixing issues in your marriage so you can both be happy and healthy. 

8. Keep a positive attitude

This might sound like an obvious tip but most couples who are fighting find it difficult to stay positive. Successful couples are the ones that can maintain a positive perspective throughout their relationship even when dealing with marital issues. 

The fact that you and your partner are taking steps to address your problems is a good sign. This should inspire you to stay positive about the future of your relationship. Hold on to that positivity and find ways to save your relationship, especially if you both agree that it’s worth saving. 

9. Give your partner space

Most spouses are so desperate to resolve issues within their marriage that they end up smothering their other half. However, taking this approach when you are dealing with marriage problems will only make things worse.

Give your spouse the space to think and reflect. It will also give you the opportunity to look at things from their perspective. When you give each other space, you don’t act based on emotions but rather on logic and reasoning. 

solving marriage problems

10. Get counseling.

Counseling is a great way to solve marriage problems. It will involve a few sessions only, and is a great way to address issues within your relationship on a neutral ground. You can also get the guidance of an expert so you can work out the cause of the problem. 

The secret to success with counseling is to follow through with the plan. Any consultation you’ve done with a therapist will be of no use if you have no accountability and don’t follow through with it. It is important that both spouses take accountability for fixing their marital problems. 

If you think counseling is expensive, it’s definitely cheaper than divorce! Plus, if you are serious about solving marriage problems, this is one of the best ways to go about it. 

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how to fix problems in your marriage

Home » Articles » Marriage » 10 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems

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10 Strategies to Help Solve Your Marriage Problems

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Many good marriages slip into crisis because we don’t or won’t believe how much work it takes to keep relationships healthy and thriving. It’s just like when you stop investing in the house you are living in. It will easily fall into disrepair. Think back to when you first started to pursue your wife. It required commitment, hard work, and imagination. If winning her required that back then, why does it surprise us when neglect creates marriage problems after we walk down the aisle? She wouldn’t have married you if you took her for granted. Why risk everything now?

There are many good strategies if you want to restore your marriage. We suggest these 10 strategies to help solve your marriage problems.

1. Surround yourselves with people in healthy relationships.

Some of those negative patterns may have involved friends. Surround yourself with people who value marriage and where there’s widespread support for making yours work.

2. Choose to love.

Love is as much a choice as it is an emotion. Love may have come easy when it was brand new. Love is as much a choice as it is an emotion. Choice is an act of maturity and it has a much better track record than emotion left to make its way on its own.

3. Act as if your spouse’s happiness is more important than your own.

Putting our spouse first nurtures trust, gratitude, generosity, and affection. It can also lead to physical intimacy.

4. Put the relationship ahead of everything, including your children.

It’s unfortunate, but time has a way of eating away at our priorities. “You’re the most important thing in my life” gives way to “my work… the family business…the children… my aging parents… even golf, football or drinking…” Marriages don’t work well when our partner plays second fiddle to anything – even the children. It’s a fact – the happiest kids are those with parents who love one-another best.

5. Start over from scratch.

Ask her out. Make sure you remember why you did the first time and build from there. When did you last talk for hours, hold hands at a movie, or give her a kiss when she wasn’t expecting it? Get silly about one-another. If you don’t feel like it, do it anyway- then you’ll remember why.

6. Stop taking one-another for granted.

Say “thank you” for that cup of coffee. Celebrate obscure anniversaries. Tell her how much it means to you that she cooks a great meal – or vice versa. Notice the haircut. Ask her out. Clean her car. Pay attention to the little things and act like someone who values the relationship.

7. Pray for your spouse.

Chances are you launched your marriage with both promises and prayers. Pray for your spouse , and ask for guidance as you pledge to make the kind of effort that simply won’t float without turning to God every day.

8. Get counseling.

You say you can’t afford it? Believe us, it’s cheaper than divorce. Most counseling simply involves a few sessions to get the communication flowing again. For guys, a willingness to talk in that context sends a huge, positive message to your spouse.

9. Follow the counseling with an action plan.

Just like a personal fitness program, counseling comes with homework and an action plan over time. Draw up the plan, ask friends you trust to help hold you accountable, then follow through. When both spouses take responsibility, anything is possible.

10. Change the patterns.

Do you always come home angry? Then stop the car a block away and pray about it first or do whatever else it takes to change your attitude. Does she always nag you when you leave dirty clothes on the floor? Try getting changed in a different room and initiate a new reflex. Do you always fight about discipline? Try agreeing with her decisions and supporting her 100% – you may find the kids act better because you’re not fighting. You’ve heard the old joke:

Patient: “Doctor, it hurts when I do that…”

Doctor: “Well, don’t do that anymore.”

Huddle Up Question

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are some strategies you can use when you are having a difficult time getting along with someone?”

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Marriage Problems? Here's an 8-Step Rescue Plan

Looking back, was your marriage once happier than it is now.

Posted March 18, 2013 | Reviewed by Devon Frye

  • Making Marriage Work
  • Find a marriage therapist near me
  • Marriage problems should not be ignored.
  • Steps to address problems include making a list of your disagreements and learning how to express your concerns constructively.
  • It’s also important to learn to make decisions cooperatively and increase positive energy toward your partner.

Am I Heading for a Bad Marriage? My Spouse Is So Annoying By Susan Heitler Ph.D.

(c) photography33/fotosearch

Marriage problems need fixing, not ignoring.

I am a psychologist who specializes in marriage rescue for couples facing marital problems. When couples first contact me for help with their marriage, they typically feel distressed—even hopeless—about their relationship. If they can look back and remember good times that occurred earlier in their partnership, however, that usually signals that the marriage can be saved. In fact, this kind of marriage still has the potential to become exactly the kind of partnership the couple had hoped for when they said, "I do."

What transitions couples from desperation about their difficulties to delight in sharing their lives together? Here’s the 8-step pathway along which I guide my therapy clients—and which you are welcome to take as well.

1. Make a list of all the issues about which you have disagreements.

This includes the issues that you refrain from talking about out of fear that talking might lead to arguing. Your self-help treatment will be complete when you have both found mutually agreeable solutions to all of these issues and have learned the skills to resolve new issues as they arise with similarly win-win solutions.

If the list seems interminable because you fight about everything—from where you should live to the time of day—odds are, the problem is less that you are facing some extraordinarily challenging differences; rather, it's more likely that your manner of talking with each other needs a major upgrade.

2. Fix your focus solidly on yourself .

Attempts to get your partner to change invite defensiveness. No one likes being told they're doing things wrong—or, far worse, that they are a bad person. It's better by far for both of you to each use your energies and intelligence to figure out what YOU could do differently.

Here's a question that can get you started: What would enable you to stay loving and good-humored even if the frustrating pieces in your spouse’s repertoire never get an upgrade? That's how to become “self-centered” in the best sense. If both of you are seeking to facilitate your own upgrades, the marriage will blossom.

3. Cut the crap.

Pardon my language. But the point is that negative muck that you give each other is totally unhelpful. It only taints a positive relationship. That means no more criticism, complaints, blame, accusations, anger , sarcasm, mean digs, snide remarks…get it?

No more anger escalations either. Stay in the calm zone. Exit early and often if either of you is beginning to get heated. Learn to calm yourself, and then re-engage cooperatively.

Research psychologist John Gottman has found that marriages generally survive if the ratio of good to bad interactions is 5 to 1. Do you want to barely survive? Or do you want to save the marriage in a way that will make it thrive? If thriving is your goal, aim for 100,000,000:1. That means: don’t sling mud at all. Cut the crap.

4. Learn how to express concerns constructively .

A simple way to do that in sensitive conversations is to stick with the following sentence-starter options. In my clinical work, I give couples a handout that includes these starter phrases. I encourage them to use the handout frequently, checking how to start each comment that might be sensitive or on topics that they know could be prickly. Please feel free to download the full 6-sentence-starters guide; click here and scroll down .

  • I feel... [followed by a one-word feeling such as " anxious ," "sad," etc.]
  • My concern is…
  • I would like to… [note: NEVER use "I would like you to…"]
  • How would you feel about that? or What are your thoughts on that?

5. Learn how to make decisions cooperatively .

I call collaborative decision-making the “win-win waltz.” Win-win decision-making aims for a plan of action that pleases you both. No more insistence designed to “get your way.” Instead, when you have differences, quietly express your underlying concerns, listen calmly to understand your partner’s concerns, and then create a solution that's responsive to both of your concerns.

Practice this skillset on all the issues you listed in step 1. You may be amazed to discover that, even on issues that seemed intractable, you will be able to co-create solutions that will work for both of you.

6. Eliminate the three A’s that ruin marriages.

A ffairs, A ddictions, and excessive A nger are deal-breakers. They are out-of-bounds in a healthy marriage. Fix the habit—or it's game over.

how to fix problems in your marriage

If you or your spouse has these problems, saving this kind of marriage could be a mistaken goal. Better to end a marriage than to continue a marriage with these hurtful habits. Better yet is for each of you to figure out what you can do differently in the future. The one with the A-habit needs to figure out how to end it. The partner needs to heal, and also to learn alternatives to tolerating the habit.

Most importantly, especially if you have children who need you to learn how to be more emotionally healthy as individuals and as a couple, is for the two of you both to commit to building a new kind of marriage.

That is, end the old marriage. Build a new one with the same partner. Build a marriage where there are zero affairs, addictions, or excessive anger and instead, abounding love and trust.

7. Radically increase the positive energies you give your partner.

Smile more. Touch more. Hug more. More “eye kisses.” More sex . More shared time and shared projects. More appreciation. More dwelling on what you like about your partner.

Respond more often with agreement in response to things your partner says that in the past you might have answered with, “But...” Listening is loving—especially when you are listening to take in information, not to show what's wrong with what your partner says or to show that you know more.

Help out more. Give more praise and more gratitude . Do more fun activities together. Laugh and joke more, do new things, and go new places together.

The best things in life really are free. And the more positives you give, the more you’ll get. I wrote above about Gottman's 5:1 ratio. Increasing the positives is every bit as important as decreasing negatives to hit a 100,000,000:1 ratio.

8. Look back at your parents' marriage and assess its strengths and weaknesses. Decide what you want to do differently.

When people marry, they bring along a recording in their head of how their parents treated each other, as well as how they were treated by their parents. These relationships are where folks learn patterns of interacting for intimate relationships. Decide consciously what to keep from your folks and what to do differently.

Ready to Get Started?

Would you expect to drive a car without first taking drivers’ ed? Search out books and marriage courses to learn the communication and conflict resolution skills for marriage partnership. Then in addition to ending your marriage problems, you’ll make your partnership a loving success.

(c) Susan Heitler, Ph.D.

Susan Heitler Ph.D.

Susan Heitler, Ph.D ., is the author of many books, including From Conflict to Resolution and The Power of Two . She is a graduate of Harvard University and New York University.

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12 Strategies to Cope with Common Marriage Problems

Last Updated: March 10, 2023 References

This article was written by Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden . Moshe Ratson is the Executive Director of spiral2grow Marriage & Family Therapy, a coaching and therapy clinic in New York City. Moshe is an International Coach Federation accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC). He received his MS in Marriage and Family Therapy from Iona College. Moshe is a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), and a member of the International Coach Federation (ICF). There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 19,906 times.

When you’re dealing with problems in your marriage, it can sometimes feel like you’re all alone. Fortunately, there are many ways you can communicate with your spouse and come up with solutions to solve your problems together. We’ve compiled a list of ways you can cope with your marriage problems to talk with your partner and work toward fixing your relationship, one step at a time. This article is based on an interview with our licensed marriage and family therapist, Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC. Check out the full interview here.

Communicate about issues in your relationship.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 1

  • You can bring up issues in the relationship by saying something like, “Hey honey, could we sit down and talk later this evening? I have a few things I’d like to chat with you about, just to make sure we’re on the same page.”

Focus on one issue at a time.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 2

  • For example, if you want to talk about your intimacy (or lack thereof) but also about your stress levels, pick one and save the other for a different time.

Try to understand your partner’s perspective.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 3

  • Show that you’re listening to your partner by asking follow-up questions like, “Interesting. Can you tell me more?” or, “I’m not sure I understand. Could you explain that again?”

Come up with solutions together.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 4

  • For instance, if the issue is that you feel you do more chores around the house than your spouse does, you might create a chore list that you both work on throughout the week. That way, you can both see how many chores the two of you are doing, and you both feel like you’re equally contributing to the household.

Accept the things you can’t change about your partner.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 5

  • For example, maybe you like to clean up the house at the end of each day, while your partner prefers to do a big cleanup at the end of the week. You two might discuss this a lot over your relationship, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing—it’s just a difference in preferences.

Forgive your partner if you can.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 6

  • Remember that forgiveness isn’t telling your partner that their actions are okay—it’s allowing yourself to move on instead of hanging onto old feelings.

Divide household tasks.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 7

  • It might help to make a list of what the both of you do day by day. That way, you can see how many tasks each of you are doing throughout the week.

Talk about your parenting styles.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 8

  • You could say something like, “I think it’s important that we talk about how we’ll raise our child. Do you want to discuss some things with me?”

Show love to your partner every day.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 9

  • It helps if you know your partner’s love language . For instance, if their love language is physical touch, they might appreciate a shoulder rub or a massage. Or, if their love language is acts of service, you might do some chores around the house.

Make romance part of your daily life.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 10

  • Have breakfast in bed together
  • Surprise your partner with small gifts
  • Plan a weekend getaway trip
  • Give your partner compliments
  • Have a candlelit dinner at home

Remind yourself of your partner’s positive qualities.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 11

  • If it helps, you could even make a physical list on paper to look at every time you need a pick-me-up. For instance, your list might say: makes me breakfast on Sundays, is a great parent, is very patient with the kids, is an awesome cook.

Work on yourself.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 12

  • For instance, if you and your spouse often fight when you have to stay late at work, you may be dedicating too much time to your job and not enough time for your spouse. You could work on that by reevaluating your schedule and prioritizing quality time with your partner.

Commit 100% to your spouse.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 13

  • It’s not uncommon to start looking for a “way out” of the marriage when things get tough. Keep in mind, though, that almost all long-term relationships go through rough patches at one point or another, and most of them make it through to the other side.

Focus on other things that make you happy.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 14

  • You can also focus on self-care and do things that don’t take much time at all. Spend 10 to 15 minutes soaking in a bubble bath, reading a good book, taking a walk, or listening to music.

Go to couple’s counseling if you need to.

Image titled Cope with Marriage Problems Step 15

  • A couple’s counselor can also give you real, concrete tips to help you work through your specific problems as a couple.

Expert Q&A

You might also like.

Stop a Verbally Abusive Husband

  • ↑ Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC. Marriage & Family Therapist. Expert Interview. 18 September 2019.
  • ↑ Jin S. Kim, MA. Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist. Expert Interview. 14 May 2019.
  • ↑ Moshe Ratson, MFT, PCC. Marriage & Family Therapist. Expert Interview. 7 August 2019.
  • ↑ https://smartcouples.ifas.ufl.edu/media/smartcouplesifasufledu/docs/pdfs/10-Rules-for-Constructive-Conflict.pdf
  • ↑ Raffi Bilek, LCSW-C. Licensed Certified Social Worker – Clinical. Expert Interview. 15 October 2021.
  • ↑ https://smartcouples.ifas.ufl.edu/married/coping-with-problems-and-challenges/coping-with-change-in-your-marriage/
  • ↑ https://www.gottman.com/blog/10-things-try-giving-marriage/
  • ↑ https://ideas.ted.com/how-to-split-the-chores-with-your-partner-minus-the-drama-and-fighting/
  • ↑ https://www.parentingcounts.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/information-for-parents-parenting-styles.pdf
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/blog/how-to-survive-in-an-unhappy-marriage-and-thrive#survival-tips
  • ↑ https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/could-your-marriage-benefit-from-counseling

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10 Ways to Strengthen a Marriage and Avoid Divorce

Wayne's background in life coaching along with his work helping organizations to build family-friendly policies, gives him a unique perspective on fathering.

Carly Snyder, MD is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist who combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments.

how to fix problems in your marriage

Commit to Your Relationship

Forgive quickly, honor and respect your partner, communicate regularly, share financial expectations, give each other space, work on wellness, have date nights.

  • Don't Try to Control Your Partner

Marriage takes work, and it isn't always easy. It takes effort to protect, nurture, and grow a marriage. Between work schedules, children, and other obligations, sometimes it can seem impossible to maintain that partnership.

When problems arise, some couples find it healthier to divorce and go their separate ways. For others, it's a better choice to work on the relationship.

If you want to build a healthier relationship that can withstand the test of time, there are proactive measures you can take to make your marriage stronger. From improving communication to infusing more romance into day-to-day life, here are ten ways to improve your partnership.

When times get tough, it isn't uncommon for people to start thinking that the grass might be greener on the other side. However, toying with the idea that you might be better off outside of your marriage can put a major strain on your relationship—even if you never voice those thoughts.

Ruminating about what your life might be like outside of your marriage can make it harder to commit to your relationship. It can also leave you feeling less motivated to try to improve your marriage.

To combat the risk to your relationship, decide ahead of time that divorce is not an option . Making the commitment will help you focus on making your partnership stronger rather than thinking about what life might be like outside your marriage.

Marriages often begin to fall apart when one person is holding a grudge. Research has shown that feeling contempt toward your partner almost always festers and can lead to divorce if it's never resolved.

"Forgiving is one of the most important and also one of the most difficult things for couples to do," says Aura De Los Santos , a clinical and educational psychologist at NCHC. "When couples forgive each other, they can move forward because forgiveness is a window that allows them to look to the future and not get stuck in the situations that caused them pain."

Try to forgive your partner as quickly as possible. Remember that forgiveness is just as much a gift you give yourself. Holding a grudge takes up mental and emotional space and almost always impacts your health and stress levels.

Be Willing to Apologize

If you have wronged your partner, sincerely apologize and ask for their forgiveness. Listen to what they have to say and try to understand why they are upset. Let them know you will work on how to do things differently in the future.

People inevitably change over time. Understanding, appreciating, and adapting to those changes is critical for any relationship. Start by making a list of your partner's best qualities to remind yourself of the wonderful person you married. This exercise will help you remember why you fell in love with them in the first place.

It also helps to vocalize how much you appreciate your partner's quirks and eccentricities.  

Let your partner know every day—through compliments or thank-yous—that you appreciate all that they do.

These little expressions are like deposits in the bank. You don't want to make withdrawals from your marriage without ever making any deposits. So, be sure you are doing things that honor your partner for who they are.

In the age of smartphones, Netflix, and work-from-home lifestyles, it's easy to get distracted. You might find that you often go days without having a real conversation with your spouse.

"Constant communication allows couples to express their feelings and not hold grudges. Many times, grudges originate because one of the parties feels that their partner does not listen to them and minimizes their feelings."

Communicating openly about your life, interests, dreams, frustrations, and feelings is an important way to foster intimacy in a relationship.

It's also crucial that you also listen to your partner voice their thoughts. It can be helpful to set aside 30 minutes each day—free from interruptions or distractions—where you can talk.

Many marriages are fraught with disagreements over finances . Couples often bring different expectations about money to a relationship. Each partner can find it difficult to see the financial situation from the other person's perspective.

Agreeing about how your money will be handled is a critical component of a successful marriage. Agree on a budget, an approach to debt, and make a plan to live within your limits.

It's also important to differentiate between needs and wants. While both are legitimate, couples can face problems if they try to fulfill all their wants without considering their budget.

Incorporate some flexibility in your budget to allow for entertainment, gifts, vacations, and other activities that will strengthen your marriage.

One of the hardest things to balance in a marriage is the right amount of time to spend together. Too much can feel like smothering while too little can be interpreted as inattentive.

When your partner needs space or a night out with friends, offer to watch the kids or run the errands to ensure they can get that time. On the other hand, you also want to make time to spend with your partner. If babysitting issues or financial constraints make that difficult, plan a fun, cost-effective date night at home.

The key is that you both make a concerted effort to spend quality time together while allowing each other the space to have an outside community.

It's easy to get into a routine of being overly casual, especially if you've been with your partner for many years. An easy way to rekindle romance is to think back to those early days of dating—preparing for date night with an at-home manicure, getting a fresh shave and haircut, or choosing a fun outfit.

There are plenty of ways to feel attractive and energized. Keeping up with your physical fitness boosts your confidence and sense of well-being.

It can also double as a way to spend time with your partner— whether you're trying a new workout class, training for a 5K, or prepping healthy meals together.

Another way to keep the flame burning in a marriage is to continue courting your spouse. Make time for a date night every week—even to get ice cream or cook a new recipe together.

De Los Santos says that quality time together is essential. "Quality time means taking time for the couple to go out and share. This helps to combat monotony, allows people to get to know each other better, and enjoy more as a couple," she explains.

If money is a concern, consider trading babysitting with another couple looking to have a date night. You can also just put the baby in a stroller, walk around the mall, or visit the local park.

Continue doing the things you did when you were dating. Small, thoughtful gestures can help couples feel like newlyweds . Try leaving your partner little love notes where they will find them, make them coffee in the morning, or buy their favorite snack at the grocery store.

Don't Try to Control Your Partner 

In healthy marriages, both partners have mutual respect for one another and don't demand their own way. This can mean different things to different couples, but here are some core tenants to keep in mind:

  • Don't try to monitor or control each other
  • Give your partner room to be the person they are
  • Learn to collaborate on big decisions (such as spending money and raising children)
  • Let your spouse have the freedom to come and go without having to ask your permission

Partners who attempt to control one another risk becoming emotionally abusive . They might display signs of financial abuse —which frequently leads to divorce .

If you're still having challenges in your marriage or fear that divorce might be imminent, consider counseling or couples therapy. This can be a helpful way to work through problems you might have and develop new skills that will strengthen your marriage.

"Seeing a psychologist can help them resolve conflicts effectively, get to know each other better, and set new goals as a married couple," De Los Santos says.

If you aren't sure where to look, ask your primary care provider for a referral to a qualified professional in your area.

You can also check with your workplace. See if you (or your partner) have access to an employee assistance program (EAP), which can often direct you to initial help or provide a referral.

You can also use the therapist locator offered by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) to look for a qualified professional in your area. 

If you and your partner share faith, your might also consider meeting with a trusted religious leader.

Navigating issues in a marriage can be challenging. To persevere in the relationship and prevent divorce, both partners need to commit to doing the work and putting in time and effort. While the goal is to save the relationship, you will ultimately have to decide if staying together is the right choice for both of you.

If you and your partner need more help, consider working with a marriage counselor or a religious leader if you share the same faith. These individuals can help you get a new perspective and can point you toward additional services if needed.

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Nemati M, Behmanesh F, Kheirkhah F, Geraili Z, Pasha H. Marital commitment and mental health in different patterns of mate selection: A comparison of modern, mixed, and traditional patterns .  Iran J Psychiatry . 2022;17(4):418-427. doi:10.18502/ijps.v17i4.10691

Schriber RA, Chung JM, Sorensen KS, Robins RW. Dispositional contempt: A first look at the contemptuous person . J Pers Soc Psychol . 2017;113(2):280-309. doi:10.1037/pspp0000101

Lichtenfeld S, Maier MA, Buechner VL, Fernández capo M. The influence of decisional and emotional forgiveness on attributions . Front Psychol . 2019;10:1425. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01425

Bloch L, Haase CM, Levenson RW. Emotion regulation predicts marital satisfaction: more than a wives' tale . Emotion . 2014;14(1):130-44. doi:10.1037/a0034272

Lavner JA, Karney BR, Bradbury TN. Does couples' communication predict marital satisfaction, or does marital satisfaction predict communication ? J Marriage Fam . 2016;78(3):680-694. doi:10.1111/jomf.12301

Ryu S, Fan L. The relationship between financial worries and psychological distress among U.S. adults .  J Fam Econ Issues . 2023;44(1):16-33. doi:10.1007/s10834-022-09820-9

Lampis J, Cataudella S, Agus M, Busonera A, Skowron EA. Differentiation of self and dyadic adjustment in couple relationships: A dyadic analysis using the actor-partner interdependence model .  Fam Process . 2019;58(3):698-715. doi:10.1111/famp.12370

Zamani sani SH, Fathirezaie Z, Brand S, et al. Physical activity and self-esteem: testing direct and indirect relationships associated with psychological and physical mechanisms . Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat . 2016;12:2617-2625. doi:10.2147/NDT.S116811

Flood SM, Genadek KR. Time for each other: Work and family constraints among couples . J Marriage Fam . 2016;78(1):142-164. doi:10.1111/jomf.12255

Hewison D, Casey P, Mwamba N. The effectiveness of couple therapy: Clinical outcomes in a naturalistic United Kingdom setting .  Psychotherapy (Chic) . 2016;53(4):377-387. doi:10.1037/pst0000098

By Wayne Parker Wayne's background in life coaching along with his work helping organizations to build family-friendly policies, gives him a unique perspective on fathering.  

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eddins counseling group mental health therapists and counselors



February 8, 2021

How To Fix Your Marriage: 11 Strategies To Heal Your Marriage

Written by Sara Lane

Posted in  Relationships, Couples, Marriage and with tags: connection , marriage , relationship repair

how to fix my marriage

Our relationships have incredible impacts on our everyday life. 

Unless you’re a recluse, your life will include relationships with other people, from your parents to your significant other, children, friends, co-workers, and much more.

Naturally, relationship problems happen. We are human , after all.

We’re individuals with our own personalities and quirks, and keeping interpersonal connections strong and smooth isn’t always easy, especially in romantic relationships.

When you’re dating, it can be easy to make a new relationship the main focus of your life . But many of us know firsthand that in marriage, you have to juggle a lot–kids, jobs, chores, finances, and so on.

How you and your partner feel about each other can get swept aside as daily life makes demands on your time.

But your partner is your number one priority, so it might be time for you to address some of your problems and find out how to fix your marriage .

Common Causes of Marriage Problems

We are all problematic, one way or another. We, each of us, have flaws, and the person who deals with you the most is likely to address them.

At Eddins Counseling, we see a LOT of couples, and we have determined some of the most common issues that arise in any given relationship.

1. Poor Communication

Lack of good communication is the root of many relationship problems. It doesn’t just hinder building strong relationships; it has the potential to turn a conflict situation into an all-out disaster.

2. Money Disputes

Problems involving money can range from high wedding costs that keep affecting your marriage to keeping up with the Jones’. Being frustrated about earnings compared to others or not sticking to agreements when borrowing from family can turn conversations about money into no-fly zones.

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.mejs-container:not(.mejs-audio) .mejs-mediaelement,.uabb-adv-accordion-content .mejs-container:not(.mejs-audio) .mejs-mediaelement {position: absolute;top: 0;right: 0;bottom: 0;left: 0;}.uabb-tab-acc-content .mejs-overlay-play,.uabb-adv-accordion-content .mejs-overlay-play {top: 0;right: 0;bottom: 0;left: 0;width: auto !important;height: auto !important;}.fl-row-content-wrap .uabb-row-particles-background,.uabb-col-particles-background {width:100%;height:100%;position:absolute;left:0;top:0;}.uabb-creative-button-wrap a,.uabb-creative-button-wrap a:visited {}.uabb-dual-button .uabb-btn,.uabb-dual-button .uabb-btn:visited {}.uabb-js-breakpoint {content:"default";display:none;}@media screen and (max-width: 992px) {.uabb-js-breakpoint {content:"992";}}@media screen and (max-width: 768px) {.uabb-js-breakpoint {content:"768";}} What Are Your Relationship Needs? Take our Relationship Attachment Style Quiz and find out. Take The Quiz

3. housework hassles.

Living with others may present problems with different opinions about cleanliness and orderliness.

  • One of you may be a lot messier than the other.
  • One may not like making their bed; the other tends to drop clothes everywhere on the floor.
  • Often you may be too tired to handle housework.

4. Fickle Priorities

There always seems to be a tug-of-war about who gets the most attention. You may feel pulled in various directions — your marriage, children, parents, and work.

There are all kinds of things that can throw your priorities off balance. Time and attention become a luxury.

5. Lack of Trust

Without trust, you can’t have close relationships.

Maybe something happened that makes your partner mistrust you — your decision, your choice of friends, your love for them. Or perhaps unresolved issues from the past prevent you from trusting anyone.

6. Keeping Score

When you’re stressed, it’s easy to think, “why am I the one cleaning up the kitchen right now?” Maybe you’re cleaning the kitchen, but your partner’s schedule makes it easier for him to stop at the store.

The most important thing isn’t that you each have the same workload, but you’re both invested in making your relationship work.

how to fix my marriage

7. Expecting Your Partner to Make You Happy

Long-term, committed relationships are so wonderful partly because of the joy that intimacy brings into your life. Even though it’s important to be happy in your relationship, if you’re not happy with yourself, to begin with, another person can’t make you happy .

8. Making Promises You Can’t Keep

You truly want your spouse to feel happy and supported. It makes sense that you might make promises about upcoming vacations or spending time with your in-laws; however, promises can cause problems in your marriage if they’re promises you can’t keep.

9. Expect Your Partner to Change

Sometimes, the things you first thought were endearing about your partner bother you when you depend on them daily. Maybe you start to think about all the ways you’ve changed, but to you, your partner doesn’t seem to be maturing.

10. Expecting Your Partner to Read Your Mind

When you’re both busy juggling work and family, it’s easy to feel like you’re on the same page when you might not be. Maybe you drop the kids off at school, believing it’s implied that your spouse will take the dogs for a walk.

If the dogs are still itching to go outside later on in the day, you might start to feel angry.

Relationships are beautiful, but they are not without their problems. Once you have identified what issues may be ailing your relationship, it will be much easier to distinguish what steps to take next.

how to fix my marriage

5 Daily Habits for Maintaining a Healthy Marriage

Every day is an opportunity to participate in your relationship actively. Perhaps you have a good thing going, but you could use a bit of a refresher.

Here are 5 therapist approved tips to help you maintain a happy and healthy relationship.

Just like our car needs a tune-up now and then, our relationship can use a tune-up to keep a healthy marriage . When things seem to be going ok without major disagreements, it can be a great time to sharpen your relationship skills.

how to fix my marriage

Free e-Course Improve Your Relationships Learn how to better communicate and coexist with your partner. " * " indicates required fields First Name * Email * Name This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Δ

1. show appreciation.

After years of living together, you find comfort in familiarities and routines. It’s natural and, to some degree, healthy. But they can be dangerous.  Show your appreciation for the comforts you enjoy by adding a little extra passion and appreciation to your routines.

Considering couples counseling? Find out more here .

how to fix my marriage

2. Give and Take

As time goes on, some things that used to be easy for you and your loved one to accomplish will become more difficult. Make your loved one’s life a little easier by being a good partner. Lend a hand if you can.

By the time you have been married for years, the idea of finding a balance between giving and taking seems to be an old habit. But as you get older, you may find that what’s important to give and take gradually changes. You may need to learn to apply the idea differently.

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3. Maintain Your Own Life

Some couples are inseparable and happily so. More often, though, maintaining happiness involves enjoying a life of your own. Maintain your own relationships with friends. Engage in your own hobbies and past-times.

Be social on your own terms, not always as a couple. It’s one marriage of two people.

Also, your spouse looks at you more than you look at yourself, probably. Your appearance may not be all that important to you, and that’s fine, but a little effort once in a while can go a long way.

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4. Natural Disagreements and Challenges

Who wants to be married to a wet rag?

You don’t have to agree about everything, always, and having disagreements at times is healthy. It shows you’re still alive and that you are still your own person.

how to fix my marriage

5. Mind the Small Things

Sure, some routines may have developed over the years. Maybe they have made you coffee every morning for years, or they shovel the sidewalk and mow the lawn. Practice good manners. Say “please” and “thank you”—every time.

As you have likely learned, small things add up. Paying attention to the small things adds up, too. Attending the small things shows you care.

how to fix my marriage

How to Fix Your Marriage: 13 Pro Tips

If “daily habits” are not enough to fix a broken marriage or revitalize your partnership, that’s okay. Sometimes, we need to look at the fabric of our bond and make some fundamental adjustments.

Your partner is your number one.

They are the person that will see you through the ups and the downs of life, and if you are in it for the long haul, but that requires work.

Each relationship is not without turbulence, and things will go right just as they will inevitably go wrong. Here are 13 therapist-approved strategies to help you revitalize your relationship.

how to fix my marriage

1. Be Trustworthy

Demonstrate your reliability. Carry your fair share of the workload, be consistent and keep promises. Don’t lie. Be sensitive, never say things you can’t take back, and don’t discount anyone’s feelings.

2. Value the Little Moments

Remembering to say “I love you,” for example, goes a long way in clearing the cobwebs that can sometimes accumulate in any long-term relationship.

Flashes of physical affection or a short note left in a coat pocket tell your spouse you’re thinking of him or her amidst the bustle of your day-to-day lives. It’s often in these small moments that we feel most loved and supported.

Eventually, you’ll look back and realize that the little moments meant more than the big ones.

how to fix my marriage

3. Take Time for Yourself

For couples who feel bogged down by life’s demands, taking time for yourself to do something you love can help you return to your partner feeling refreshed and ready to give love.

Nurturing your own interests and friendships can increase your happiness and make the time you have with your spouse even more special.

You might also find that having new things to talk about and share is an exciting way to fall in love all over again.

From the Love Lab

Dr. John Gottman is a psychologist who has been researching couples for over 35 years. His research has included extensive videotaping of actual couples interacting day to day in his “love lab” and the Gottman Institute he founded with his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman.

As a result of his research, he is 94% accurate in predicting divorce . His work is used frequently in relationship counseling . These tips are what he has found happy, stable, and successful couples do:

4. Ratio of 5:1 positives to negatives. 

If you say or do one negative thing, it must be followed up with 5 positive comments or behaviors.

Three things he found this trick creates lasting change:

  • (1) increasing overall positive atmosphere,
  • (2) increasing positive thoughts, words, touches, looks, and actions during the conflict, and
  • (3) decreasing negative thoughts , words, touches, looks, and actions during a conflict.

Work to hold a positive image of your partner. Do this, especially in the midst of a fight.

Think of and relate to your partner as if they are your best friend .

5. Create a “Love Map.” 

Take time to know your partner, what they believe, what they desire, what their dreams are. For example, know details such as their favorite color, best friend, what they care about, their favorite food, what makes them laugh, and their most painful or joyous experience.

A love map looks something like a collection of intimate details about your partner through regular communication. For example, who is their favorite aunt? What was your favorite song when you were 16?

Even deeper questions can be included, too. What are your love languages? What are their deepest desires? What makes them feel seen?

how to fix my marriage

6. Use a “soft startup.” 

When beginning to talk about upsetting things, start the conversation gently, especially by the female partner. Males’ physiology goes up and stays up for hours even after a mild disagreement. Gottman refers to this as “flooding.”

Both men and women experience this. It is very stressful and damaging to both , but males’ blood pressure, heart rate, and physiological alert responses (flooding) stay elevated for hours afterward.

A “soft startup” is saying 30-60 seconds of appreciation about your partner or the relationship before bringing up the difficulty, or whatever it takes to make your partner feel safe enough with you to keep from flooding.

7. Allow yourself to be influenced by your partner .

how to fix my marriage

8. Don’t criticize, attack, or hold your partner in contempt .

Complain instead. “I’m upset because…” is a complaint. Whereas “You never…”You always, You’re…” is an outright criticism and is attacking your partner. An example of contempt is feeling superior to your partner, rolling eyes, sighing, not liking, valuing, appreciating, or saying nasty put-downs.

9. Learn how to repair things when there’s been an upset .

how to fix my marriage

10. Guard against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

These behaviors are predictors of divorce and include criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt.

The antidotes are:

  • (1) criticism – change to gentle complaints,
  • (2) defensiveness – hear what your partner is sharing as information instead of an attack, and accept responsibility quickly for your part,
  • (3) stonewalling – learn to soothe yourself so you won’t feel so unable not to pull away, and
  • (4) contempt – create a culture of appreciation for your partner.

11. Share your visions, dreams, and hopes with one another. 

Then explore to find the meaning underneath for each of you. Consider their point of view of your future together and work to enrich it.

Support each other’s dreams, and create shared meaning in your relationship.

In the end, there will always be problems, but we can always work to improve our relationships. You can do your part to help prevent and minimize them (that includes seeking  couples therapy ).

Remember, stay realistic, recognize that other people have faults just like you do, and be willing to work on your relationships.

how to fix my marriage

How to Fix Your Marriage, with Couples Counseling

If you and your partner have been engaging in these patterns for some time, you may benefit from an outside perspective. It can be hard to change these behaviors for a variety of reasons.

Maybe you’re uncomfortable asking for what you need , or you’re keeping score because of a perceived imbalance in your relationship. It can make a big difference once you recognize a behavior pattern, but you also need to do things differently.

If you and your partner are feeling stuck, marriage counseling might be the best option. Through marriage counseling, you both can express your perspectives and needs and negotiate changes together with the assistance of a facilitator.

You may also choose to come in on your own to explore your resistance to doing things differently in your relationship. Individual counseling can help you explore your needs and help you get unstuck in your relationship.

how to fix my marriage

To save your marriage, you may require a few therapy sessions with a relationship counselor who can help you find the intimacy and connection you desire. To get started now, give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online .

***Eddins Counseling Group welcomes ALL couples, including LBGTQ+ and same-sex couples.

Seeking marriage counseling? 

Recommended Reading:

Ten Lessons to Transform Your Marriage: America’s Love Lab Experts Share Their Strategies for Strengthening Your Relationship – What emerged from the Gottmans’ collaboration and decades of research is a body of advice that’s based on two surprisingly simple truths: Happily married couples behave like good friends, and they handle their conflicts in gentle, positive ways.

The authors offer an intimate look at ten couples who have learned to work through potentially destructive problems—extramarital affairs, workaholism, parenthood adjustments, serious illnesses, lack of intimacy—and examine what they’ve done to improve communication and get their marriages back on track.

The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships – A groundbreaking, practical program for transforming troubled relationships into positive ones.

Why Marriages Succeed or Fail: And How You Can Make Yours Last – Psychologist John Gottman has spent 20 years studying what makes a marriage last. Now you can use his tested methods to evaluate, strengthen, and maintain your own long-term relationship. This breakthrough book guides you through a series of self-tests designed to determine what kind of marriage you have, where your strengths and weaknesses are, and what specific actions you can take to save your failing marriage.

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25 Common Marriage Problems Faced by Couples & Their Solutions

Rachael Pace

In This Article

Have you been sitting and wondering why is marriage hard? Have marriage problems made you question your relationship and whether or not it would last?

Marriages can be challenging for most people as it involves melding your life and goals with someone else’s. Marriage problems after kids or other major changes can be challenging to deal with and can lead to resentment and feelings of disappointment. 

Marriage problems, however, are often a result of complacent behavior and oversight. These problems can be resolved with the right approach and openness to reflect. 

Here are some conflicts that plague married couples and ways you can solve them:

25 marriage problems and solutions

There are many common problems in married life, and many of them can be avoided, fixed, or resolved using many different methods and techniques.

Take a look at the most common marital issues married couples face, and learn how to solve marriage problems before they cause irreparable damage to your relationship.

1.  Infidelity

Infidelity is one of the most common marriage problems in relationships. The most recent data suggests that about 20 percent of interviewed men admitted to cheating on their partner compared to 10 percent of women. It includes cheating and having emotional affairs.

Other instances included in infidelity are one-night stands, physical infidelity, internet relationships, and long and short-term affairs. Infidelity occurs in a relationship for many different reasons; it is a common problem and one that various couples are struggling to find a solution to.

Solution: How to fix marriage problems pertaining to infidelity?

Infidelity can happen when the connection in your relationship is not strong and can cause a breakdown of trust. Research reveals that maintaining a strong emotional bond, sexual intimacy, and respecting boundaries are the three key ways to combat infidelity in your relationship .

In this video, relationship expert and broadcaster Lucy Beresford talk about infidelity and its effect on relationships.

2. Sexual differences

Physical intimacy is indispensable in a long-term relationship, but it’s also the root cause of one of the most common marriage problems of all time, sexual problems. Sexual problems can occur in a relationship for several reasons paving the way for subsequently more marriage problems.

Studies reveal that sexual compatibility, along with sexual satisfaction , was cited as the most crucial factor in determining relationship satisfaction for couples.

The most common sexual problem within a marriage is a loss of libido. Many people are under the impression that only women experience issues with libido, but men also experience the same. 

In other instances, sexual problems can be due to the sexual preferences of a spouse. One person in the relationship may prefer different sexual things than the other spouse, making the other spouse uncomfortable.

Solution: Communication and keeping an open mind are key to getting through any form of sexual incompatibility. It can reestablish the crucial physical and emotional bond for sexual intimacy to flourish.

3. Values and beliefs

Certainly, there will be differences and disagreements within a marriage , but some differences are too significant to ignore, such as core values and beliefs. One spouse may have one religion, and the other may have a different belief. 

Differences in values may lead to an emotional chasm, among other common marriage problems. 

As you may have guessed, this could cause significant trouble when one spouse gets tired of doing things separately, such as going to different places of worship.

Such marriage problems are widespread in cross-cultural marriages. Other differences include core values.

These include the way children are reared and the things they were taught during their childhood, such as the definition of right and wrong. 

Since everyone does not grow up with the same belief systems, morals, and goals, there is much room for debate and conflict within the relationship .

Solution: The only solutions to conflicts arising from different values are communication and compromise. And in matters where compromise isn’t possible, the best solution is to be understanding and agree to disagree on these matters.

4. Life stages

Many people do not consider their life stages when it comes to a relationship.

In some instances, marriage issues occur simply because both spouses have outgrown each other and want more out of life from someone else.

Growing apart with time is a common issue among married couples who have a significant age gap, whether it is an older man and younger woman or older woman and younger man.

Personalities change with time, and couples might not remain as compatible as they once might have been. Couples with an age difference who are in different phases of life face this common marriage problem.

Solution: Take regular stock of your relationship to ensure that you and your partner grow together and don’t grow apart with time. Try to love and accept the different changes that life brings for both of you individually and as a couple.

Another thing to try out is an activity. Try to pick up new hobbies that give you both a chance to rediscover each other and develop your bond.

5. Traumatic situations

When couples go through traumatic incidents, it adds more challenges in marriage .

Traumatic situations are other problems that couples may experience.  A lot of traumatic events that occur are life-changing.

These traumatic situations become problems for some married couples because one spouse does not know how to handle the situation at hand.

One spouse may not know how to function without the other due to being in the hospital or on bed rest. In other situations, one spouse may require around-the-clock care, causing them to be solely dependent on the other spouse.

Sometimes, the pressure is too great, and the responsibility is too much to deal with, so the relationship spirals downward until it comes to a complete end.

Solution: Take a break! It might seem selfish, but your relationship can benefit from you taking some time to process your feelings. A therapist can help you or your partner through any traumatic experience and give you the tools to help you deal with these challenges. 

Stress is a common marriage problem that most couples will face at least once within their relationship. Many different situations can cause stress within relationships and instances, including financial, family, mental, and illness.

Financial problems can stem from a spouse losing their job or being demoted from their job. Stress from family can include children, problems with their family, or the spouse’s family. Many different things trigger stress.

How stress is managed and handled could create more stress.

Solution: Stress within a relationship needs to be handled, or it can destroy the relationship. You can try to resolve this issue by talking to each other honestly and patiently. If talking doesn’t help, you can try to take up hobbies like yoga or meditation that help you deal with your stress better. 

Boredom is a severe but underrated marital problem.

With time some spouses become bored with their relationship. They may get tired of the things that occur within the relationship. In this situation, it comes down to being bored with the relationship because it has become predictable. 

A couple may do the same thing every day without change or a spark. A spark usually consists of doing random things from time to time. If a relationship lacks spontaneous activities, there is good chance boredom will become a problem.

Solution: Do the unexpected. Whether it is in the bedroom, or other areas of life, to get rid of the boredom in your relationship . Surprise your partner with a gift, an unexpected plan, or some new sexual move, and watch your relationship transform.

8. Jealousy

Jealousy is another common marriage problem that causes a marriage to turn sour. Being with them and around them can become a challenge if you have an overly jealous partner.

Jealousy is suitable for any relationship to an extent, as long as it is not overly jealous. Such individuals will be overbearing: they may question who you are talking to on the phone, why you are talking to them, how you know them and how long you have known them, etc.

Having an overly jealous spouse can strain the relationship; a lot of stress will eventually end such a relationship.

Solution: The only remedy for excessive jealousy is self-reflection to address insecurity effectively. If this is hard to do on your own, you can also take the help of a psychologist who can help you or your partner understand the reasons for your jealousy and how to minimize it. 

9. Trying to change each other

This common relationship problem occurs when couples overstep their partner’s boundaries to mold their beliefs.

It does happen that such disregard for your partner’s boundaries might happen by mistake; the extent of retaliation from the spouse that is being attacked is usually appeased in time.

Solution: Don’t just love your partner, but also learn to respect their boundaries and not force them to change. If you face difficulty accepting certain things about your partner, try to remember that you fell in love with your partner as they are, and so did they. 

10. Communication problems

Lack of communication is one of the most common problems in marriage. 

Communication encompasses both verbal and non-verbal cues, which is why even if you have known someone for a long time, a slight change in the facial expression or any other form of body language can be misunderstood.

Men and women communicate very differently and can fall into a habitat of improper communication. If such relationship or marriage issues are allowed to fester, then the sanctity of marriage is definitely at stake. 

Healthy communication is the foundation for success in marriage.

Solution: Harmful communication patterns can become a habit, and the only way to remedy them is to make a conscious effort towards improvement. Little by little, you can learn healthy ways of communicating that enhance the relationship and the individuals equally.

11. Lack of attention

Humans are social creatures and are avid seekers of attention from others, especially those closest to them.

Every marriage, over time, suffers a common relationship problem, ‘lack of attention,’ where a couple, intentionally or unintentionally, redirects their attention to other aspects of their lives.

Lack of attention 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.

Solution: Listen to your partner, first and foremost. You can also try to take up a couple’s activities like dancing or hiking, which can help you give attention to each other in a refreshing new way. It can help you tune out the noise of daily life and genuinely focus on each other.

12. Financial issues

Nothing can break a marriage faster than money. If you are opening a joint account or handling your finances separately, you will encounter financial problems in your marriage. It is essential to discuss any financial issues as a couple openly.

Solution: Finances can be a sensitive topic, and couples should carefully discuss these problems. Try to come up with a plan that meets your shared financial goals. Also, try to make sure that the motivation is discussed openly if someone deviates from the plan. 

13. Lack of appreciation

A lack of gratitude, recognition, and acknowledgment of your spouse’s contribution to your relationship. 

Your inability to appreciate your spouse can be detrimental to your relationship.

Solution: Try to appreciate all that your partner brings into your life. Leave them a surprise note, or you can give them a flower or spa couple, just to show your appreciation.

If you are the one who feels undervalued in the relationship, try to communicate this to your partner. Without blaming them or making them feel cornered, express your feelings and need for change. 

Your honest feelings might make them realize their oversight and compel them to make changes. 

14. Technology and social media

The emerging dangers of social media on marriage and family are imminent.

With a rapid increase in our interaction and obsession with technology and social platforms, we are moving further away from healthy face-to-face communication.

We are losing ourselves in a virtual world and forgetting to love other people and things around us. Such fixation has quickly become a common marriage problem.

Solution: Reserve an hour each day or one day a week when you and your partner go technology-free. Keep your phones and other devices away to try and focus on each other without any distractions. 

15. Trust issues

This common marriage trouble can rot your marriage from the inside, leaving no chance of restoring your relationship.

The idea of trust in a marriage is still very conventional and, at times, puts too much strain on a marriage when the doubt starts to seep into a relationship.

Solution: With the assistance of a therapist, open communication can help a couple understand the reasons for their mistrust and ways that they can resolve them. The therapist could also suggest some trust-building exercises to help you learn how to trust each other.

16. Selfish behavior

Even though selfishness can be efficiently dealt with by making minor changes in your attitude towards your spouse, it is still a widespread marriage problem.

A big part of being in a relationship is melding your life with another person and their priorities. Couples often find this transition difficult as collective priorities can clash with personal ones, which can cause problems.

Solution: Empathy is the only solution for selfish behavior. Try to understand each other’s perspectives and make being considerate a habit. If your individual goals are at odds with your goals as a couple, try to talk to your partner with open vulnerability. 

17. Anger issues

Losing your temper, shouting or screaming in rage, and causing physical harm to yourself or your spouse is sadly a common marriage problem.

With increasing stress due to internal and external factors and in a fit of rage, we might be unable to control our anger, and an outburst towards our loved ones can be very harmful to a relationship. 

Solution: If anger is an issue you struggle with, consider talking with a counselor to learn coping skills to help keep anger at bay so it doesn’t affect your relationship. You can also start by counting to ten before saying angry words that might ruin your relationship.

18. Keeping score

When anger gets the best of us in a marriage, a widespread reaction is vengeful or seeking retribution from your spouse.

Keeping count of battles won and lost within a relationship can set the foundation for an unhealthy relationship . It would make you want to settle the score constantly and lead to resentment. The priority then becomes having the upper hand rather than being there for each other.

Solution: Keeping scores is for sports, not relationships. You can learn to deal with marriage problems by learning not to keep a count of who got their way in fights and disagreements. Focus on the bigger picture and let go of the small battles you might have had to compromise. 

Lying as a common marriage problem isn’t only restricted to infidelity or selfishness; it also comprises white lies about day-to-day things. These lies are many times used to save face and not let your spouse get the high ground.

Couples might lie to each other about the difficulties or problems they might be facing at work or in other social scenarios; such marriage problems burden a relationship. When things get out of hand, it can very much wreck a marriage.

Solution: Analyze the reasons why you or your partner feel compelled to lie instead of being honest. Only once to understand and address these reasons can you attempt to end the lying and dishonesty in your relationship.

20. Unrealistic expectations

To some extent, we all agree with the notion that marriage is forever , but still, we fail to put in the time and effort to understand our partners before getting married.

We draw our inspirations of a perfect marriage from stories that we have heard or from people that we know without even questioning if both of us want the same things in life or not.

A mismatch between a couple about the future outlook of a relationship creates a lot of room for a build-up of unrealistic expectations from our partner.

These expectations, when not fulfilled, breed resentment, disappointments and push marriage down a path from where there might be no recovery.

Solution: Let it go! Face reality and appreciate all that you have in your relationships. Accepting the fact that your expectations are not real and no partner can live up to them. The expectations can set a standard even when the relationship is functioning smoothly.

21. Ignoring boundaries

While it is okay to point out certain things that your partner can improve about themselves, it may not be the best idea to pester them into changing too much or overstepping boundaries they have set. This can become a marriage problem if not checked in time.

Solution: Discuss boundaries. Let your partner know if you want a night out with your friends every two weeks. Explain the concept of boundaries if they have problems understanding the idea. Help them set healthy boundaries for themselves, as well. Respect their boundaries, too.

22. Emotional infidelity

Infidelity can be of various types. However, the one that mostly comes to light is physical infidelity – when a partner has physical relationships with one or multiple people outside the marriage or relationship.

However, emotional infidelity is when a partner develops romantic feelings for someone other than their partner. Emotional infidelity can also become a marriage problem since feelings for someone else can damage your marriage or relationship.

Solution: If you start to develop feelings for another person, check yourself. Introspect to see what these feelings mean. 

23. Division of labor

Are the chores in your marriage divided equally or fairly? If not, it can become a big problem in your marriage. 

Solution: Not to sound repetitive, but really communication is the key. Talk to your partner about the chores, how you feel about them, and how you can divide the chores between the two of you.

24. Power inequality

An inequality of power in your relationship or marriage could become a problem in your marriage. Power could be financial or just about the dynamics of your relationship.

Solution: Discuss the power dynamics in your relationship. While it is okay to have departments that you both look after, it is important to have a fair power distribution.

25. Difference in expression

Do you love your partner? Yes. But does your partner feel loved by you? Maybe.

One of the common marriage problems is when there is a difference in the expression of love. You and your partner don’t need to show love in the same way, and therefore, it can lead to misunderstandings.

Solution: Identify and understand your partner’s expression of love. Maybe they have certain things they do by going out of their way, to show their love to you, but because you have a different perspective to it, you do not notice it. Appreciate them when you realize the same.

5 causes of marriage problems

Have you ever asked yourself, “ Why is marriage so hard?” If yes, then you should know that it is common marital problems such as these that make the marriage tough.

Now that you know the most common marital problems, it is important to identify the causes of such problems as well. The 5 common causes of marital problem s include –

1. Miscommunication

One of the most common causes of marital problems includes lack of communication or miscommunication. If you are unclear about your feelings, boundaries, and expectations in your marriage, you are likely to encounter marital problems.

2. Unrealistic expectations

Not having clear expectations about the marriage, or the partnership, or how things work between the two of you can also lead to marital troubles.

3. Lack of privacy

If you and your partner go out of the relationship and discuss every aspect of it with parents, children, friends, or even siblings, it could cause marital problems. Your relationship does not have to be a secret, but some matters should be private between just the two of you. 

4. Arguments

If you and your spouse only argue and never discuss the problems you are experiencing, it could become a huge cause of marital discord.

5. Dishonesty

If you and your partner are not honest about your feelings, if you lie or hide things from each other, it could cause marriage problems.

How can couples encountering problems in their marriage overcome them?

What are some ways couples can overcome the problems in their marriage? While specific solutions to each problem are mentioned above, here are some tips on making things better between the two of you.

1. Communicate

Communication is really the key. It might sound repetitive, but most things can be solved through communication. You cannot expect your partner to read your mind. You must speak as clearly as you can about your problems, expectations, and needs.

2. Take a break

We do not realize how important it is to take a break from a fight or even each other. Taking a breather can help you recognize what requires your energy or not. Most often, we end up in a heated argument because we cannot think clearly, and taking some time off helps us understand the other person’s point of view.

3. Remember that you are a team

When you fight or argue, remember that you both are against the problem, and not you two against each other. You are a team, and you must make decisions together. 

Wrapping up

Every relationship goes through its relationship or marriage issues; therefore, don’t let these get you down. Every problem can be dealt with if a healthy approach is taken to overcome marriage problems that are bothering you. 

Being respectful, understanding, and open to change can ensure that you can sail through any hurdles that might come up in your marriage. And when in doubt, consult a marriage counselor or licensed therapist for guidance.

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Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships Read more and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together. Read less

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Popular topics on married life.

5 strategies to help solve problems in your marriage

Image: A couple holds hands

Perpetual problems — every relationship has them, but not every couple knows how to work through them.

A perpetual problem endures because you and your partner fundamentally see the situation differently, according to Michelle Peterson, founder of the marriage blog #staymarried .

“It’s one of those things where you bring it up, you try to work it out, and it just stays in your relationship,” Peterson tells NBC News BETTER.

Peterson, 39, is the executive director of a nonprofit, and her husband Tony, 41, is a software designer. The couple live in Somers, Wisconsin, and have been happily married for 11 years with three young daughters.

Like any couple, the Petersons experience perpetual problems, but have learned how to live happily in spite of them. Here’s how.

Michelle and Tony Peterson

They recognize when their relationship is in gridlock

If you and your partner can’t see a disagreement eye to eye no matter how much you talk about it, you’re probably experiencing gridlock, Peterson says.

“I said the same thing over and over again, and he’s still not budging — that is a symptom of gridlock,” she says.

In the past, Peterson often failed to recognize when her relationship was in gridlock, believing she could change her husband’s perspective or behavior, she says.

“What’s really happening is you’re at an impasse altogether, because you’re dealing with something that fundamentally you’re not agreeing on,” she explains.

When they hit gridlock, the couple takes a break

If a perpetual problem in your relationship turns into gridlock, Peterson says, it’s important to understand that fighting isn’t going to solve anything.

If an argument gets heated, Peterson says, she and her husband take a break.

The rule is simple: When one partner asks for a break during an argument, the other must honor it, she explains. After about 30 minutes, she says, they’ll calmly revisit the issue.

“Usually, you can be more clear headed and understanding once you’ve been able to temper down your emotions,” Peterson says.

Get past “the curse of familiarity”

When the couple realized they needed a third-person perspective, they began seeing a marriage counselor in 2015. Peterson was surprised to hear her husband tell the therapist things she never knew.

“He shared things that were so insightful to me that I never considered asking about,” she says.

Peterson says the “curse of familiarity” had prevented her from asking questions that would have helped her understand him better.

“You’re with somebody long enough, you think you know them, and so you forget to dig a little bit or to ask better questions, or to get curious about each other,” she says.

The truth is, you live with a person, you don’t live with a solution.

Seek to understand each other better

Peterson says she no longer focuses on solving problems in her relationship. Instead, she says she strives to understand where her husband is coming from.

“The truth is, you live with a person, you don’t live with a solution,” she says.

To better understand your partner, it’s important to spend quality time with them alone, says Peterson.

Each night, the couple dedicates 15 minutes to talking alone. They go outside on their deck with no electronics to distract them, she says. Peterson calls it their “nightly debrief.”

“It doesn’t matter what the weather is, it doesn’t matter how cold it is — if it’s super cold we’ll just bundle up extra — but we go outside, no devices, just the two of us, for 15 minutes,” she says.

how to fix problems in your marriage

How to keep the fizz from fizzling out in your relationship

Give your partner space to make up their own mind.

In the past, Peterson would automatically assume certain situations were problems. Now, she says, she no longer makes those assumptions. Instead, she asks her husband what he thinks.

“I’m approaching him not like I already have the answer,” she says, “but [with], ‘Hey, what do you think about this? Does this feel like a problem to you?’”

For example, the couple recently moved into a new apartment that didn’t have a washer and dryer. Peterson wanted to buy their own appliances, but her husband saw things differently. Instead, he takes the family’s laundry to a laundromat once a week on his free time.

Since her husband doesn’t see it as a problem, Peterson decided not to push the issue.

“He needs to decide for himself he doesn’t want to go to the laundromat anymore,” she explains.

She says seeking to understand each other, rather than trying to solve perceived problems, has made the relationship stronger despite their fundamental differences.

“I don’t know any non-corny ways to say this,” Peterson says, “but we like each other.”

How to survive perpetual problems in a relationship

  • Recognize when you're at an impasse. If you are having the same fight over and over, there is probably a fundamental difference you simply can’t agree on.
  • Know when to take a break. Recognize that fighting and arguing won’t solve anything. If things get heated, ask your partner for a break, take 30 minutes, and revisit the issue with a clear head.
  • Get past “the curse of familiarity”. Don’t assume that because you’ve been with someone for a long time that you know and understand everything about them. Be curious and ask questions.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. It’s important to take time each day to talk. This gives you an opportunity to get to know each other’s perspective.
  • Create space. Don’t assume that a situation is a problem that needs to be solved. Instead, talk to your partner to see how they feel about it. If they don’t see it as a problem, give them space to come to their own conclusion.


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how to fix problems in your marriage

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Common Marriage Problems and How to Fix Them

a couple having marriage problems

  • Relationships
  • April 5, 2021

Fairy tales give the illusion of a ‘happy ever after’ when getting married. Reality check: all married couples experience problems and challenges. Marriage problems can strengthen the relationship of couples if they are committed to spending their lives together and starting a family.

If you’re reading this because you’re facing a marriage problem, keep reading with an open mind. Explore first what causes your problems so you can come up with solutions on how to fix them. Remember that relationship issues take two to make the marriage work. Sit down and talk with your partner, have open communication, and make the necessary compromise. 

Solutions to the Most Common Marriage Problems

For spouses wanting to make an effort to address their marriage problems, the first step is to know what the common marriage problems are. Here are some of the most common reasons why spouses fight:  

1. Money Problems

One of the most common marriage issues is fighting over money. With mortgages, car payments, school expenses, health insurance, bad spending habits, credit card debts, and daily expenses, money problems may become overwhelming to some people.

The Solution: To overcome money problems, sit down with your spouse and make a financial plan. Some couples have a ‘my money is yours, and yours is mine’ policy, while some couples set a monthly budget on how much they can contribute to the household. It’s best that you both are on the same page regarding expenses, monitor your payments, and stick to your allotted budget to avoid fights about money.  

2. Intimacy Issues

Intimacy issues may come in many forms. It may be from lack of passion, sex problems, shutting down your spouse emotionally, or lack of commitment to the relationship. When there are intimacy issues, a partner may feel unloved and unwanted, which may lead to resentment in the long run.

The Solution: A dry spell during a relationship is an issue every couple goes through, especially when the honeymoon period is over. To confront this issue, sit down and talk to your spouse.

Be open about what you feel. If you feel like you do not have enough moments to be alone to have sex and be intimate because of your busy schedule at work or with the kids, take time to go on trips to rekindle the connection. Go on date nights and vacations without the kids and explore ways to be physically comfortable with each other.  

3. Bad Habits

Married couples still have individual habits, beliefs, and behaviors that may lead to arguments. Not helping with the household chores, being insensitive about your partner’s needs, or smoking inside the house are bad habits that may cause you and your spouse to fight.

The Solution: Bad habits may be easily addressed when there is open communication and empathy between you and your spouse. If there are issues with the household chores, make a schedule and split the tasks. If you’re having an issue with your partner’s bad habit like smoking or drinking, sit down and discuss this with them.

Ask if your partner is going through a problem, as problems can make people engage in negative behaviors. Talk it out, help your spouse overcome their problem, and support them in avoiding these bad habits. Encourage your partner to lead a healthy lifestyle and help each other by exercising together.  

4. Infidelity

In the United States, 20–40% of divorce is caused by infidelity. Examples of infidelity in the marriage are cheating, one-night stands, and short-term affairs.

When your spouse cheats, do you give up easily? No one can really answer this question but you. Some people will give their partner a chance, while this may be a tipping point for others, especially when it’s recurring. But then again, this all depends on you and your spouse.

The Solution: If you and your partner are committed to fixing your marriage after the infidelity, here’s what you need to know: it takes two to tango, and it won’t be easy.

Of course, talking with your spouse is important. But if your conversations are not getting anywhere and your arguments hinder you from repairing your relationship, seek help from a licensed marriage therapist. You’re going to need a professional mediator to guide you through the process of talking about this marriage problem.  

5. Fertility Issues

Starting your own family is the goal of married couples, including having children. Unfortunately, some couples experience fertility issues, and this causes an argument. Aside from fertility issues, miscarriage or the death of a child may cause couples to fight. Sometimes, your plans on starting a family or having a baby may not go as planned.

The Solutions: Fertility issues may be addressed by seeing a doctor, resorting to in-vitro fertilization , or opting for surrogacy or adoption. Talk to your spouse about which options may work the best for you. When you and your partner are fighting over the same issue , talking to a therapist may help as well.

Abuse may be physical, mental, emotional, sexual, psychological, or economic abuse, a common problem in marriage. Both men and women are affected by abuse. Your partner hitting you is physical abuse; an example of emotional abuse is through unhealthy jealousy; forced sex is sexual abuse, even between married couples. Mental abuse through jabbing insulting words is a form of abuse that leads to marriage problems.

The Solution: When there is physical and sexual abuse involved in your marriage, the first thing you need to prioritize is your safety. Get support and protect yourself from this situation. When other forms of abuse are present in your marriage, a professional therapist can help you dissect the root of the problem and explore ways to stop the abuse. 

Where to Find a Relationship Coach

If you’re having marriage problems, finding a marriage counselor is one of the best things you can do to save your marriage. Kentucky Counseling Center has a large network of mental health professionals who can help you and your partner resolve your issues. The marriage therapy offered by Kentucky Counseling Center aims to strengthen your marriage and guide you on how you and your partner can love and cherish each other, even through the hardships.

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