Building a life together can come with a few bumps in the road. But if you can recognize and acknowledge the trouble spots ahead of time, you’ll have a much better chance of getting past them.
Remember that giving your spouse grace when they make mistakes goes a long way to maintaining a good relationship – even when times are hard. Every relationship has its ups and downs. But successful couples learn how to manage the bumps and keep their love life going. They hang in there, tackle their problems, and learn how to work through the issues of everyday life that may arise. Here are a few of the toughest relationship issues along with a few ways to deal with them.
5 Relationship Problems and How to Solve Them
“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.” Proverbs 25:11 ESV.
Most relationship problems start with poor communication. Becoming a better communicator, and a better listener, can help to nip most problems in the bud.
Try making an appointment with each other to talk. Put the cell phones on silent, put the kids to bed, and let voicemail pick up your calls.
If you can’t talk without raising your voices, go to a public spot like a park or restaurant where you’re more likely to keep your voice down.
Set some rules. Try not to interrupt until your partner is done talking. Ban phrases like “You always …” or “You never ….”
Be an active listener by making eye contact and nodding your head in affirmation.
“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Money problems can start even before the wedding vows are exchanged. They can start to come up early on from the expenses of dating or from the high cost of a wedding. Finances are the number one cause of relationship problems so they really need to be dealt with head on.
Be honest with your partner about your current financial situation. If things aren’t good, continuing the same lifestyle is unrealistic.
Don’t approach the subject when things are tense. Instead, set aside a time that is convenient and non-threatening for both of you.
Acknowledge your differences and understand there are benefits you both bring to the table. Don’t hide income or debt. Trust each other enough to put it all out in the open. Don’t blame or judge each other.
If you can’t completely agree, try to find a compromise that you can both live with.
Allow each other to have some independence by setting aside money to be spent solely at his or her discretion.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9
These days, most spouses work outside the home so it’s important to fairly divide the household chores so one person isn’t doing all the work. Stay at home moms work very hard all day long and husbands should be willing to help out with some things when they come home from work – but don’t expect your hard working husband to do all of the chores you could be doing during the day when he gets home.
Be organized and clear about each person’s responsibilities for helping out. Create a list. Compromise on things that neither of you want to do. Or take a look at your budget and see if you can afford to hire someone to take care of it so you have more time to spend together enjoying each other’s company. I would totally hire a maid if I had the resources!
Not Prioritizing Your Relationship
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8
If you want to keep the romance alive, you need to make your relationship a priority and that shouldn’t end when you say “I do.”
Plan date nights, show your appreciation for each other, complement your partner, show an interest in what may be going on in their life. Let your partner know that they matter.
“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13
Occasional conflict is a natural part of life. But if you feel like you’re constantly having the same arguments and the same situations keep arising, it’s time to break free from this toxic routine. Abuse comes in many forms and emotional abuse is real. When you make the effort, you can let go of the anger and take a much calmer look at what’s really going on. If your marriage is very difficult, but you aren’t sure your spouse is abusive, you can learn more about emotional abuse here.
Remember, it is your choice whether or not you react and how you react. If you are constantly blaming or being hurtful, it may be time to take an honest look at your responses and start making a change in how you approach your partner during conflict. Just one little shift can often make a big difference. If you usually interrupt to defend yourself before your husband is finished speaking, hold off for a moment and take a deep breath. You’ll be surprised at how such a small shift can change the whole tone of an argument.