Below is a list of common sources of marital stress and conflict; consider how you are currently dealing with these issues, and how you could better deal with these issues:
- Money problems. Most couples argue over bills, debt, spending, and other financial issues. How you decide to deal with money problems in your marriage will determine whether those problems has a negative or positive effect on your marriage.
- Children. Discipline, diet, and other parenting issues can be sources of disagreement between couples. A child is the number one stressor in a marriage and can accentuate differences in beliefs on issues like how to discipline, who is responsible for most of the child care or what educational options to choose.
- Sex. Frequency, quantity, quality, and infidelity are all common sources of stress and disharmony in a marriage.
- Time apart. Time apart and a lack of quality time together serves to get people out of sync with each other.
- Household Responsibilities. - Many couples argue over equitable distribution of household work, and how to do it. Instead of sitting down and dividing household chores fairly they quibble over who did or didn’t do what.
- Friends. - Not all friends are helpful to relationships some of them are toxic. Be sure you know the difference between a friend who will enhance your relationship and one who will break it down.
- Irritating habits. Many people are married to someone who has one or more habits they find undesirable. My ex never got angry with me. I ask him once why and told him there had to be things I did that irritated him. He responded by telling me he “loved everything about me.” This was shortly before he decided he no longer loved me! So, don’t be afraid to point out habits that irritate you, just be sure you do it in a non-defensive way.
- Family. In-laws, siblings, children and step-children can all create stress within a marriage. When coping with negative issues because of family step gently. Our spouse should come first but there are times you have to be willing to take a backseat and bite your tongue.
- Expectations. We all go into marriage with certain expectations. Most of the time, marriage is the opposite of what we expected. We romanticize marriage and become disillusioned once those romantic expectations aren’t met. Unmet expectations are a major source of conflict in marriages.
- Personality conflicts. Is your personality ruining your marriage? There are personality traits that can doom a marriage to failure. Are you a conflict avoider? Do you like to “one-up your spouse? Do you bend over backwards to please your spouse, neglecting your needs in the process? If you answered yes to any of these, your need to work on changes these negative personality traits.
Each of the above is a very common problem dealt with in a marriage. Although they are problems, they can also be opportunities for growth, learning and accord. Whether these issues remain problems causing stress in your marriage or become an opportunity for growth is up to you.