The Most Common Sources Of Conflict In Marriage
Marriage is challenging for most couples. Blending your individual values, goals, and dreams with someone else requires hard work and patience. When you encounter problems, you must work with your spouse to work through those problems. Sometimes the process of working through those problems creates disappointment, conflict, and feelings of resentment, hurt, or anger. Over time, it is not uncommon for you to feel like:
- You have grown apart. Most partners experience times when they don’t feel particularly close. However, when you feel like you and your spouse do not spend much time together, you are rarely intimate, you don’t function as a team anymore, or you have little to say to one another, your marriage is in trouble. People are born to need other people. You and your spouse cannot continue together unconnected.
- You keep having the same fights over and over without any resolution. Every couple argues from time to time. However, if you feel like everything you do results in criticism or arguments with your spouse, something is not working in the marriage. Eventually one or both spouses just give up trying to talk about anything with their spouse. They disengage, leave the room or the house, avoid their spouse, or do whatever they can to shut out the fighting. Both partners are left angry and closed off. A marriage cannot continue in this state.
When you see these signs of trouble in your marriage, it is time to take action to restore your marriage. Here are the most common sources of conflict in Marriage and actions you and your spouse can take to improve your marriage.
Children are a gift and can add meaning to a couple’s life. However, Children also take a large time commitment which can detract from your time as a couple. A significant amount of stress is added to the relationship with you have children. Childcare creates demands on the mother, particularly when children are young. Couples have less time to spend together and less energy to devote to intimacy. Parents make sacrifices of the time, their finances, their leisure opportunities, and self-care to take care of children. The demands and stress can suck the romance out of the relationship.
Both spouses must pull together and work as a team. Coming up with a fair distribution of the childcare workload and talking over parenting issues regularly can help keep stress at bay. Planning for sitters and alone time will help keep the spark alive in your romantic life. Create an emotional support system with other couple with children and family members where you can talk about parenting and marriage. Take care of yourselves by eating nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, setting aside time to exercise and play. Work together and find help whenever possible to create balance in your lives.
Healthy communication is the foundation for a successful, long-lasting marriage. Couples who don’t consider the long-term effects of their words may start bickering, arguing, or barely speaking at all. A lack of communication is another sign that your marriage is in trouble.
It’s important for couples to make the effort to maintain clear channels of communication. Both spouses should commit to unplug and discuss any issues in the marriage. Try to avoid criticism and judgmental statements during discussions. Use the “I“ statements such as “I feel this when …” This helps both spouses feel comfortable speaking freely, without fear of repercussions. Once an issue is settled, try to let bygones be bygones and avoid bringing up the past. Being able to talk to your partner means that you'll be able to share your worries, show support for one another, and work together to handle conflict more effectively. When you actively listen to and communicate with your partner, you both will feel valued and loved.
LACK OF INTIMACY
A couple’s sex life may ebb and flow over the years for any number of reasons: physical or mental health issues, having kids, stress, relationship problems or sleep issues. Keeping the romance and sexual sparks going requires consistent effort. If you don’t keep that connection, the sexual dry spells will last longer and longer. It will leave one or both partners feeling unwanted, disconnected, and unloved.
The best way to get back in the saddle is to honestly discuss the issue with your partner. Make regular date nights. Flirt with each other and reach out with thoughtful gestures. Try going to bed at the same time. Engage in playful hugging, kissing, and touching each other outside of the bedroom. It might feel awkward initially, but you need to reorient yourselves to each other’s body. Take it slow and try not to build up your expectations too soon.
Nothing can create problems in a marriage faster than money. If you are opening a joint account or handling your finances separately, you are bound to encounter financial problems in your marriage such as job loss or debt. A difference in opinion about saving and spending habits can create tension. Problems can also arise due to a drastic difference in income between spouses. When one person makes more money than the other, they may start to feel resentful about the hours they put in at work. They may also start to think they have more “right” to the money and can spend it however they want.
Finances are a sensitive topic, and couples should carefully discuss these problems openly. Try to come up with a budget and a savings plan that meets your shared financial goals. If someone deviates from the plan, discuss the issue openly and be willing to make compromises. If might be beneficial to talk to a financial advisor to help get back on track.
There are a host daily, weekly, and monthly chores and projects necessary to keep the home running and your job priorities met. If you aren’t working together, it is easy to fall into the resentment trap. You may feel underappreciated and overworked. Then the stress begins to pile up and anger builds. Before long, you are arguing about who does more or who doesn’t do their share.
Negotiating how to balance the responsibility of earning a living, maintaining home chores and projects, along with raising a family, and keeping your relationship strong requires teamwork and planning. Work together to draw up a plan of who will do what according to strengths and availability. Those things that can be done together as a couple or a family can be turned into fun ways to work side by side.
Learning to turn toward your partner, communicate openly, and keep the romance alive will help you and your spouse weather the challenges and stresses and improve your marriage bond.Learn more about our Couples Therapy Exercises