5 Things You’re Doing that Cause Marriage Problems
Jane and her husband, Todd, have been married for 8 years. At first it was easy; they loved working on their home together, cooking for each other, and doing small favors to make each other feel special. Lately they’ve been fighting a lot about chores, finances, and who is supposed to unload the dishwasher.
Now, when the alarm goes off, Jane gets out of bed without saying good morning. Irritated, she sees Todd didn’t fix their bedroom door like he said he would. She adds this to the list of ways in which Todd isn’t trying in their marriage.
Jane and Todd’s behavior are examples of what can cause common marriage problems. There are a couple of likely culprits at play when it comes to what’s going on with Todd and Jane. Perhaps Jane has begun keeping an “are you holding up your end of the deal” score sheet. Maybe Todd is saying yes to appease his wife, but neglecting to follow through on commitments or communicate realistic expectations.
Causes of Common Marriage Problems
1. You’re keeping score.
When you’re stressed, it’s easy to think, “why am I the one cleaning up the kitchen right now?” Maybe you’re cleaning the kitchen, but your partner’s schedule makes it easier for him to stop at the store. The most important thing isn’t that you each have the same work load, but that you’re both invested in making your relationship work.
2. You expect your partner to make you happy.
Long-term, committed relationships are so wonderful partly because of the joy that intimacy brings into your life. Even though it’s important to be happy in your relationship, if you’re not happy with yourself to begin with, another person can’t make you happy.
You likely chose your partner because he or she made you laugh or because you just generally liked being around him. Share what makes you happy about each other. When you start to feel like you’re taking care of your partner instead of both of you caring for one another, cracks can begin to appear in your marriage.
3. You make promises you can’t keep.
You truly want your spouse to feel happy and supported. It makes sense that you might make promises about upcoming vacations or spending time with your in-laws; however, promises can cause problems in your marriage if they’re promises you simply can’t keep.
Making plans to cook dinner and then cancelling at the last minute isn’t a big deal until it becomes a pattern. In a serious relationship, trust is an essential component. When conflicts arise, you need to be able to believe what your partner is saying.
4. You expect your partner to change.
Sometimes the things you first thought were endearing about your partner bother you when you depend on him daily. Maybe you start to think about all the ways you’ve changed, but to you, your partner doesn’t seem to be maturing.
If you’ve started taking greater note of your partners faults, take some time together to remember why you love and care for each other. Even just five minutes really focusing on your partner can help you remember why you love your partner for who she is.
5. You expect your partner to read your mind.
When you’re both busy juggling work and family, it’s easy to feel like you’re on the same page when you might not be. Maybe you drop the kids off at school, believing it’s implied that your spouse will take the dogs for a walk. If the dogs are still itching to go outside when you get home, you might start to feel a little angry. Taking time to clarify your thoughts and needs can be a big help when it comes to being there for each other.
What to Do if You’re Stuck
If you and your partner have been engaging in these patterns for some time, you may benefit from an outside perspective. It can be hard to change these behaviors for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re uncomfortable asking for what you need, or you’re keeping score because of a perceived imbalance in your relationship. It can make a big difference once you recognize a pattern of behavior, but you also need to do things differently.
If you and your partner are stuck in tit for tat – “I’ll do x if you do y”, marriage counseling might be the best option. Through marriage counseling, you both can express your perspectives and needs and negotiate changes together with the assistance of a facilitator.
You may also choose to come in on your own to explore your resistance to doing things differently in your relationship. Individual counseling can help you explore your needs and help you get unstuck in your relationship.
To start working on increasing the connection in your relationship. Houston relationship counseling can help you find the intimacy and connection you desire. To get started now give us a call to schedule an appointment at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online.
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