Why Every Marriage Has This One Serious Relationship Problem

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depressed couples

Many people believe that marriage should be easy and that if you're dealing with serious relationship problems, something is wrong. But your marriage isn't over just because you and your spouse are having issues.

Sustaining healthy relationships takes work, and learning how to improve communication in marriage is the best way to address your concerns before your relationship falls apart.

You might be asking yourself, "Why is our marriage so hard when everyone else seems to have such healthy relationships?"

This theme is repeated in many marriages, as couples watch their friends when they are together or read their posts on Facebook. It looks like everyone else is doing so well and having so much fun, so what is wrong with you?

Is every marriage this hard? Does any marriage stand a chance of making it or being fulfilling and satisfying, at least part of the time?

Yes and yes! Would it surprise you to know that virtually every marriage has serious relationship problems?

If someone tells you otherwise, they are in denial or are not telling the truth.

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Conflict is inevitable, but doesn't have to be destructive

Put any two people together — even the two most perfect people — and there will be conflict.

Each person will come into the relationship with a different type of background and upbringing. Even when things are similar, there are differences.

Those differences can and will create conflict in a relationship, but married couples can work together, follow smart marriage advice, and make decisions about how to navigate the differences in their relationship.

A couple may be able to discern which characteristics work for them and which do not. It is important for a couple to work together to decide which, if any, characteristics they have brought into the relationship from their growing up years should be kept — and which should be discarded.

These do not have to become a problem or source of conflict. Instead, you need to recognize that what you think about something is just different from how your partner perceives it. Neither is right nor wrong.

Your ideas or ways of thinking are simply different.

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First, decide what is important to you as a couple

Even the most successful marriages have serious relationship problems, but what sets the happiest couples apart is learning how to improve communication in your marriage so you know how to cope with these issues and break through them.

When problems arise within your marriage, it does not mean that you cannot be together. It means that you and your spouse are normal and that you have to figure out what you are going to do together to get over these hurdles.

As long as you live and breathe, there will be problems that come up. You don’t set out believing that bad stuff will happen, but life is filled with difficult stuff, and you will face things that are hard to deal with along the way.

As you work together as a team, you will be able to figure things out, improve your communication with your spouse, and ultimately have a successful and healthy relationship.

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Learn how to communicate

Every couple has to learn how to communicate effectively — this is hard work and does not come easy. You probably thought that because you talked a lot when you were dating, you were never going to have issues communicating when it came to marriage.

However, as you began to do life together, you forgot how to really communicate with each other. You made assumptions about what the other person was thinking and even about what the other person really meant when they said something.

Still, no matter how well you know your partner or how many years you've been married, it is really important to maintain open and honest communication between the two of you, if you want to deal with your relationship problems successfully.

You need to learn how to communicate better so you can talk about what you are thinking and feeling together, as certain situations come up. Learn to listen to the other’s feelings and thoughts before you jump in with what you think or feel about a situation.

Discuss what the possibilities might be for certain issues and outcomes. Be sure to listen to the other’s feelings and determine whether you can give a little to your spouse with respect to their feelings.

You may not agree with those thoughts or feelings, but it's important to acknowledge that your spouse has them.

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Learn to listen and really understand your partner

Learn to listen with your heart, as well as your ears! Really hear your spouse and respect where they are coming from.

Talk about what you hear and how you feel about what you have heard, and talk about when your partner remembers feeling that way the first time.

Talk through each relationship problem, and let the other person really feel the emotions that are there. Then, work together on how to solve the issue.

Life happens — it is best to accept that from the beginning and to know you will have struggles in your marriage. Remember that riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after is not realistic.

In life, there will be pain. You need to be able to work through the pain with your partner to get to the other side of it with your marriage not only intact but thriving.

You can choose to sink into the misery of your relationship problems, but eventually, you will find that you are very alone there.

Know that you will have struggles in life and that, together, you can work to overcome those struggles and relationship problems in your marriage.

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The challenge of the family dynamic

Every family has difficulties. Each person has their own thoughts and feelings about how the family operates and what their place is in that family.

Often, parents believe they are treating each child the same or equally. However, the children may not have the same view. Each child has his or her own way of looking at things.

One may be a rule follower and never really get into trouble. Another may constantly be bumping up against the rules and continually break the rules and receive the consequences for the behavior.

To that one, the parents are “always picking on them,” but the parents don’t see it that way.

Just because someone doesn’t like the rules or the boundaries you set, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have those rules or boundaries. It just means that you should be prepared to face difficulties along the way.

Don’t be afraid of those difficulties — embrace them. And as partners, remember that you are on the same team and you need to work together.

Life as a married couple will not be easy, but that doesn’t mean that your relationship isn't going to make it.

You must learn to work together and support and encourage one another when difficult issues come up — whether it's problems with your relationship, your kids, or something else entirely.

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Doctors David and Debbie McFadden are a husband-and-wife team of marriage counselors who help couples who are struggling to have a smoother, more fulfilling relationship and those who need help before giving up on their spouse.