Like other human endeavours and relationships, marriage has its fair share of problems and hardships. As different as people imagine they are, human beings are more similar than they are different. Almost nothing demonstrates this as much as the shared struggles faced by people regardless of gender, race, or even class and the material conditions of their lives.
The struggles faced by individual couples are not unique and the majority are common across the board. Here are a few of the most common marriage problems as well as ways of dealing with them.
1. Division of labour
Studies still continue to find that women regardless of their employment status and earnings continue to do more of the housework. A trend that has been exacerbated by the pandemic.
One British study found that even among the 30% of households in which women earn the majority of the income, they still did the majority of the household duties. The situation for married and cohabiting women is so extreme that women with a heterosexual partner on average do more housework than even single mothers. Eventually, married women feel this pressure and it results in marital stress as it should.
2. Lack of communication
Communication is more than just talking and the health of relationships depends on the ability to communicate effectively. Individuals grew up very differently and therefore communicate differently which means couples can fail to understand each other.
Conflict is inevitable in a relationship. Some people were raised in households where you communicate how upset you are in a fight by raising your voice and yelling while others grew up in households where yelling was frowned upon or leads them to retreat in fear.
Differences in fighting and communication styles can be a real hindrance when it comes to conflict resolution and building a happy union for couples.
Physical intimacy is indispensable in a relationship such as marriage. Sex helps bring the couple closer, building intimacy and releasing hormones that bring feelings of happiness.
Sex-related marriage problems are varied ranging from loss of libido to differences in sexual needs or preferences. The issue of frequency and need also comes into play with most couples experiencing sexual compatibility issues.
Related to this is one or both of the partners stepping out of the partnership to satisfy their sexual needs or lust. Infidelity is not just limited to extramarital sex but also emotional affairs. Infidelity occurs for many reasons and is one of the most common marriage problems.
In a capitalist society, everything is touched and blighted by capitalist ideology and relationships, not even marriage is exempt. Life is more precarious than ever with the cost of living rising with every passing day. Individuals are not exempt from the stress and as a result, no marriage is.
Financial stress can affect either or both of the people and by extension the marriage. Financial stress can lead to anxiety, depression, drug and substance abuse, severe health issues, eating disorders, and even insomnia. Financial stress can lead to less time spent together (as both or one work longer), fatigue, and more bickering or fighting over money spent.
Other money-related issues are linked to how different people deal with money. One may be a spender, more concerned with living a good life now, and the other a saver, more interested in growing and investing money.
How people view and relate to money is emotional and related to their upbringing and the experiences they had in their formative years. The saver may have had experiences of financial lack that filled them with anxiety and make them hold on too tightly to money. The spender may have grown up in a home in which there was little if any worry about lacking. These differences in approaching money are a common source of marriage problems.
Getting pregnant is not nearly as easy people assume. Some couples struggle with issues of infertility that put an exceeding strain on a marriage. If they’re lucky, couples get pregnant without much struggle.
Research however shows that the birth of children can have an immediate negative impact on even blissfully happy couples, raising stress and reducing satisfaction levels of husbands and wives. Consistently, satisfaction levels of both start dropping as soon as children are born.
In today’s sexist misogynist news, you may not be surprised to hear that mothers with daughters had greater decreases in marital satisfaction compared to mothers who had boys. The researchers say those findings are “consistent with previous studies that have shown that male children are associated with lower rates of divorce and higher marital satisfaction, possibly because fathers of girls are less active in childcare than fathers of boys. Father- Daughter Relationships: Why It Is Important To Build A Healthy Bond
Children bring stress to a marriage and this can be exacerbated by different parenting styles that increase marital friction. How to discipline a child can cause a significant rift in a marriage. Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child – Alternatives To Physical Discipline
Taking care of the child or children also reduces the amount the couple spends together working on strengthening the union. In an unintentional yet exceedingly revealing bookend, women take up the lion’s share of child care and housework too which increases stress and dissatisfaction.
Marriage problems are to be expected but they can be transcended if both parties are committed to strengthening the union.