Couples can experience problems in a marriage for many reasons. But the most common reasons for marital problems or conflicts are: infidelity; sexual incompatibility; poor communication; and money.
Infidelity on the part of one or both partners can be especially challenging to overcome. It is in many relationships “the deal breaker.” But it doesn’t have to be. In some instances the crisis created by an affair can be the impetus needed to do some individual soul searching and reframing of the marital relationship.
Sexual incompatibility can be the factor that leads a spouse to the decision of having an affair. However, it doesn’t cause an individual to cheat on a spouse. Many times, one or both partners will become resentful of one another for what is perceived as an unwillingness to meet the other’s sexual needs.
The inability to communicate effectively can be a great source of tension in a marriage. Conflict is inevitable. Having conflict isn’t as much a problem as the inability to effectively communication and resolve conflicts as they arise. As with sexual incompatibility, over time a lot of resentment can build up between partners.
One other common source of problem within a marriage is money. People have the tendency to project a lot of meaning onto green paper. Some people withhold money to have a sense of power. Some individuals spend recklessly. Most times not having enough money is a great stressor within a marriage.
Ways to repair marriage
While the source of your marital difficulty will dictate different solutions, there are some things that you and your partner can do that will increase the likelihood that you are able to resolve whatever issues you are having and move in a positive direction.
Admit there are problems
Pretending that everything is okay doesn’t help. The problems are still there and will reveal themselves in other ways.
Take some responsibility for your own actions
No matter what is happening there are two people in the relationship. A relationship is a dance. Don’t blame your partner for everything. Also, don’t blame yourself for everything either.
Be honest or get honest
This is especially true if you have had an affair. The most hurtful part of learning that a partner has had an affair is the betrayal of trust. Even if you haven’t had an affair, you should be honest about your feelings as it relates to the conflict that you and your spouse are experiencing.
If you are honest, it increases the likelihood that your partner will also be honest.
Try putting yourself in your partner’s place
Stepping away from your own perspective and trying to see things from your partner’s point of view will help you feel more compassion and less anger. This emotional shift will make it more likelihood that you will be able to move beyond the conflict.
Remember why you got together in the first place
If you can remember what connected the two of you in the beginning of your relationship (if it was positive) may help both of you to be more forgiving and willing to commit to doing the tough work to save your marriage.
A lot of people-especially males may find this recommendation “corny.” However, there are a lot of really useful self-help books on relationships, sex, communication, how to survive infidelity, finances, and more.
Consider couples counseling
There is still a stigma associated with seeing a counselor. But who really has to know? Committing to couples therapy for 3-6 months may be the only intervention that will give the two of you what you need to move beyond this difficult time in your marriage.
To learn more about relationships check out Dr. Laura Berman’s website http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/dr-laura-berman/relationships.aspx and Dr.Phil’s website http://drphil.com/articles/category/5/.