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88% of Americans marry for love. Most people get married to the person they want to grow old with, someone they picture having children with, or someone they can’t imagine living without. 

With that kind of commitment in long-term relationships, what causes issues? Most people know the oft-repeated statistics: almost half of the marriages end in divorce. 

The truth is that marital issues are incredibly diverse. Whether you’re dealing with a cheating spouse, financial stress, or childcare issues, there’s an endless gamut of challenges in marriage. 

Marital issues aren’t unique. People have had and will continue to have these issues. What makes you and your spouse different is how you choose to handle them. 

That’s why we’ve assembled a guide filled with tips on overcoming common marital issues. Let’s get started!

Addiction 

When it comes to marital issues, addiction can ruin a marriage at record speed. In some cases, addiction can lead to strained relationships, illicit activity, physical danger, and more. When someone is addicted, they don’t act like themselves—much less the person you fell in love with. 

Many spouses aren’t willing to support or enable addiction but don’t know how to reconcile this boundary with the person you know and love. In this case, it’s crucial to develop a multi-tiered support system. A spouse can’t be the main framework of support to pull someone from addiction. 

In this case, communicating with healthcare providers, researching medication-assisted therapy, and openly communicating with your spouse about how their behaviors affect you are crucial. 

Cheating 

Most marriages are closed, which means emotional, physical, and romantic intimacy are reserved for one person only. When people promise ’till death do us part’, they (mostly!) mean it. 

However, life has a way of testing these commitments. Whether you’re dealing with physical distance, emotional strain, or sexual incompatibility, many people cheat with the assumption they won’t get caught. 

For many people, infidelity is an automatic dealbreaker. However, there are many different shades of cheating, which makes it more difficult for some to draw boundaries and make decisions. 

Whether it’s emotional or physical cheating, many people need a marriage helper in the aftermath. It’s crucial to engage in therapy and professional help if you’re able to access it. 

In the end, it’s up to you to decide which issues are forgivable and whether you will be able to trust your spouse again. It’s important to not get caught up in what you ‘should do’, or what everyone else is telling you to do. 

Boredom 

Not every marital issue is the result of a cataclysmic betrayal. Instead, some marriages simply fall prey to neglect and boredom. 

After you’ve known someone for five, ten, or fifteen years, you know them well. You know how they feel, react, and think. However, don’t make the mistake of assuming you “know them like the back of your hand.” 

That’s a recipe for couples to stop adventuring, asking questions, and pursuing each other. There’s always more to learn. Every human being is a bit of an enigma, and your spouse is no exception. 

Your spouse is a puzzle that you have decades to learn about. Don’t give up on learning more, playing more, and investigating them as a complex, multi-faceted person. 

Many experts suggest that you expose your marriage to curiosity and play. Just because you’ve gone on countless dates doesn’t mean that you can’t explore, ask questions, and be constantly surprised.

Arguments 

All long-term relationships encounter conflict. It’s impossible for two different people to agree on everything all the time. As your relationship continues, more complex elements will be introduced: in-laws, children, career changes, cross-country moves, and more. 

However, there’s a way to overcome these common challenges in marriage. Start by assessing how you argue. What’s the end goal?

In many arguments, the goal morphs mid-argument. It’s no longer about your partner running up a credit card bill or forgetting to pick the kids up from school. Instead, it’s a personal attack. 

The issue is no longer the action that was or was not taken. Instead, it’s about their personhood. The goal is to make the most cutting remark, to have the most impressive mic drop moment, and to ‘win’. 

There’s no winning in those arguments. Even if you’re technically right, that score comes at the cost of your spouse. As a lifelong team, what kind of win happens by sabotaging your teammate? 

Make sure that you unite to uncover solutions to the real problem at hand. Sometimes, that might take marriage counseling or therapeutic help. You don’t have to do all of this alone!

Busy Schedules 

In today’s rat race world, it’s difficult to take time to rest. The constant pressures of work, school, and practical matters make it hard to take time to relax. The pressure of monetizing your time and energy is ever-present. 

However, it’s a crucial part of your marriage. When you were dating, both of you made time for each other. It was important to take the time to figure out the other person’s favorite date spots, find their favorite flowers, or find the perfect gift. 

Now that you’re married, it’s important to schedule time for dates, intimacy, conversations, and other activities that make you feel connected as a couple. It’s also important to assess your priorities. 

Fast-tracking your career is a great idea. But what if it comes at the expense of your friends and family? If that’s the case, it may be time to make some changes. 

Dealing with Marital Issues

Many people dealing with marital issues struggle with comparison. It may seem like everyone else has a fantastic marriage. 

You’re not alone. Many married couples deal with conflict, betrayal, boredom, and other issues. There is help out there, which often includes research, education, and counseling. 

Take the time to assess the changes that need to happen in your marriage. Then, make a game plan to see what you can do about them. 

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