How You Can Side-Step The Most Common Marriage Problems (& Be One Of Those Blissfully Married Couples)

Photo: getty
happy marriage happy couples marriage problems

Happy couples follow these rules.

It isn’t true that happy couples don’t have problems. ALL marriages have challenges — even happy marriages. In fact, they all have many of the same struggles. The difference between blissfully married couples and ones that aren’t is how they handle these issues.

To paraphrase Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina: Happy marriages are all alike; every unhappy marriage is unhappy in its own way.

RELATED: How To Stop 'He Said, She Said' Fights In Your Relationship

Couples who have strong, successful and happy marriages have figured out how to deal with their individual differences in healthy, productive ways. They don’t ignore their differences or try to make one into a carbon copy of the other. Instead, they celebrate the differences and use them to balance each other and make the relationship stronger than either individual on their own.

The struggles that most couples have are often based in pushing against each other instead of pulling together. There is a lot of focus on the negatives of how the two of you are different and a lot of energy expended trying to change each other. How focused each of you are on remaining independent and doing things your way will define where and how you will be challenged.

The level of confidence you feel in any given area will determine how much of an issue it will be for you as a couple.

The common things married couples struggle with — intimacy, money, time, household chores, parenting, etc. — are just reflections of deeper uncertainties. Because you aren’t comfortable with your partner’s position, you try to impose yours on them. They are doing the same to you and this negative cycle of behavior goes on and on resulting in unhappiness in your marriage for you both.

Happy couples have learned how to agree to disagree when they can and successfully negotiate issues when it matters. Because only a third of disagreements actually have to be resolved, these couples spend most of their time enjoying each other’s company.

Happy couples have learned what it takes to succeed at marriage. The good news is that this knowledge is available to anyone who wants it.

Here are the 5 key skills you two need as a couple to side-step marriage problems and have the happy marriage you deserve:

RELATED: 5 Simple-Yet-Powerful Ways To Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

1. Communication

Capable of articulating expectations, needs, and desires in a clear, calm manner. Knowing how to make requests instead of complaining or being critical. Being able to listen to each other’s positions with an open heart and without defensiveness.

2. Comprehension

Understanding each other’s perspective without having to agree with it. If you had to, you could present your partner’s position clearly and completely to a third person and they would get it.

3. Consideration

Happy couples matter to each other and see each other as equal partners. What one partner wants and needs in the marriage is important even if it doesn’t matter to the other. What is a necessity for one person becomes a necessity for both.

4. Compassion

Blissful couples show compassion for each other. They protect each other from harm, both from outside forces and from inside the marriage. They are kind, caring to each other most of the time and are willing to help as often as possible. They know how to apologize effectively and do it freely.

5. Commitment

The marriage vows, whatever they were, are important principles successful couples live by daily. They recognize the ultimate success of each depends on the success of both. They don’t sacrifice or compromise themselves for the marriage. They make intentional choices that benefit their relationship, knowing that if the couple is healthy and strong, the two individuals will be as well.

These are the secrets all happy couples know and practice!

RELATED: 3 Reasons You Did NOT Marry The Wrong Guy (Even If It Feels Like It Right Now!)

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Lesli Doares is a therapist, couples coach, and the founder of a practical alternative for couples worldwide looking to improve their marriage without traditional therapy. Call Lesli at 1-919-924-0463 to schedule a free 1-hour consultation. If you want to learn more about how to stop settling for a “not bad” relationship, read 3 Secrets to a Kick-Ass Marriage today.