Marriage is hard. It can be even harder when intense stressors result in marital problems. Many times a couple has underlying issues that haven’t been worked through, but as stressors arise everything comes to the surface.
Even though I am a therapist, I have walked through several of these stressors with my husband over the past 16 years of marriage. The hardest stressors for us have been job changes, moving out of state, and adding to our family by becoming foster parents. Through these hard times we had to be intentional to not allow the stress to create a big divide. Some moments were easier than others.
When marital problems strike, it is important to prevent resentment from setting in. If you are facing any of these stressors, be proactive to protect your marriage from hardship.
Even when something is a great thing, it can bring a lot of stress. Marriage can be strained as you walk through parenthood. It is important to keep your marriage a priority by taking regular kid free breaks to invest in keeping your connection.
Every time I have clients doing big house projects, there is more stress. The fights increase as the big decisions have to get made. When your home is in disarray, your marriage will reflect it. Be sure to take a break from the stress and do something fun if you are walking through this stressor.
Decisions. Lots of decisions. We have moved from Indiana to Florida and from a rental house to a home we bought in a 2-year period. The stress was high. Where to live? What to get rid of? What house to buy? So many things to decide which can mean lots of different clashing opinions. For us the biggest thing to remember was that this is just a season. We refused to let the impact of a short season of our lives have a long lasting effect on our marriage.
Career stress can be difficult on a marriage and family. Remember to be a listening ear and supportive if this stressor is present in your marriage.
This is a huge stress for many couples. If this problem is an issue for you, it is important to not ignore it and get help from trusted people. This issue will not go away on it’s own.
Communication issues and conflict
This is usually a stressor that comes along with other stressors. Healthy communication and fair fighting will help decrease marriage stress and allow you to work through other issues.
Not all families and in-laws have an easy relationship. Remember to keep focused on your marriage and kids first. You may have to set boundaries and have some hard conversations to help extended family know where you stand and what you need from them.
Kids becoming teenagers, becoming an empty nester, retirement and many other milestone life changes can be hard for couples to adjust. Don’t forget that you are in it together and on the same team as you experience this change together.
Life often hits us with unexpected battles. Having health issues can be a hard stressor in a marriage, especially if you are already disconnected. Being empathetic and having a servant’s heart is a great way to be supportive.
When sexual fulfillment is lacking in a marriage, it can bring loads of stress that will cause marital problems. As a therapist, most of the couples I’ve worked with avoid talking about it, which makes it even worse. As hard as it may be, you have to start with a conversation in order to start on the road of problem solving with this issue.
What stressors cause roadblocks in your marriage?