There are lots of reasons people fall in love and get married as there are surely lots of reasons that split them up. Every relationships goes through hills and valleys and every couple has those issues that stop them up, that keep rearing their ugly head again and again. Of course not every couple has the same issues. But by and large the things that generally break up marriages are the same. It’s those difficult issues that husbands and wives are bound to lock horns over. Here are the most stressful aspects of a marriage. The first one are communication problems. Certainly if there isn’t good communication in a relationship then everything else sooner or later breaks down. It goes without saying that you should feel as though your spouse is on your side and vice versa. But oftentimes couples revert to combative or oppositional models of communication rather than cooperative models. They try to win arguments rather than try to find the best solution to the problem. There shouldn’t be a “his side” or “her side”. It should only be “our side”. Of course transgressions will occur and you have a right to be angry. But forgive and forget too or else it will not only haunt you but hurt the marriage as well. Try to find ways to make both parties happy as much as possible. Be giving and expect your spouse to be just as loving. Be open and honest and expect the same in return. You can’t keep secrets and expect your spouse not to. In fact, opening up to one another is a great way to build intimacy and trust.
Couples fight about money. It’s something that seems to have existed since its invention. Learn what your style of handling your finances is and what your spouse’s style is. Are you a saver or a spender by and large? If you are a saver who married a spender or just the opposite, you are bound to not see eye to eye on this issue. How we handle money often comes from how our parents handled money. We learned either from them or from observing them. Remember too that the same is true of your spouse. In knowing this, find ways to compromise. Write a budget together and stick to it. Decide on what each person’s discretionary spending should be and at what mark the other person should be consulted before a purchase is made. Fifty dollars? One hundred dollars? How much should be given to savings every month? Remember to love your spouse and remind them of this. Tell them how certain words or actions make you feel during the proceedings, what they mean by what they say, and what is a nicer way to say it. Keep communicating and don’t stop until some ground rules are set. If you two can’t automatically see eye-to-eye just like anything else, you’ll have to work at it. But with the right intentions it gets much easier over time. If you find yourself growing apart, find things that you two can reconnect on; hobbies, interests, the kids, TV or movies, and pursue those things together. Infidelity is another thing that splits up couples. Should it always? What are the particulars? Lastly, substance abuse can split up a couple. Be there to get your spouse help but leave when the time is right. For more marriage advice, read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love by Richard and Kristine Carlson.