What are common issues in marriage counseling? What in marriage counseling causes a lot of troubles? Well, if this was your question, then this article is for you.
A marriage counselor is a trained individual who mediates the affairs of a couple. Marriage is usually challenging, and if problems are not tackled as they arise, they could blossom into even bigger problems that may be more difficult to resolve.
As more couples look toward therapy to address problems in their marriage, certain patterns have emerged, showing that marital problems are not peculiar. Many couples seek counseling for similar issues, and marriage counseling is not exclusive to problematic relationships.
17 Common Issues In Marriage Counseling
Even in healthy marriages, marriage counseling can guide the couple to do things better. Below are some issues counselors regularly tackle behind closed doors.
1. Issues Of Finance
One of the leading causes of disagreement in marriage is money. Problems can arise when the couple needs to earn more to cover their expenses or when one person is secretive about how much they earn and how they spend it.
When a couple is not earning enough, it can quickly descend into chaos if partners blame each other instead of working together to figure out a solution. Being transparent with money is not a common attribute.
Some partners understate their earnings so they can have extra money to spend without their partner’s knowledge. All this shady behavior around money eventually results in problems for the couple.
Also, when one person is frugal while the other is extravagant, it can lead the couple to a marriage counselor.
2. House Chores Problems
It is common for the wife to take care of chores in many homes. Problems can occur if she needs help but still needs to get it. She can also grow resentful if her husband does not do his part as agreed.
It is difficult for the modern woman to combine running a home and doing a full-time job. Housework is more challenging than it seems; frankly, more husbands must be involved. Leaving the task of cooking, cleaning, and caring for children to one person is unfair.
They could suffer breakdowns due to stress and end up resenting their partners for not being attentive to their needs. Counselors spend time helping a couple figure out how to manage this part of their lives.
3. Extended Family Issues
When a couple wants to run their marriage without external interference, there could face pressure from extended family members who may or may not have the best intentions. If both partners agree on the best course of action, this problem gets resolved quickly.
Most times, this doesn’t happen. One partner may want family members around, while the other would appreciate more privacy. This leads to squabbling about who gets what and whose views are correct.
The truth is that the right answer depends on many factors. Marriage counseling can help couples to sort out issues like this.
4. Problems Of Communication
Imagine how problem-free marriages would be if couples found a perfect communication method. Communication is about more than just talking. Many couples talk to each other but need to understand the words their partners say and what their partners mean.
Communication is difficult to figure out because people marry from diverse cultural and family backgrounds where communication rules differ. Marriages would be if we all knew how to communicate properly.
Communication problems can arise in two ways. In the first instance, the couple is not talking to each other. Maybe one person desires their partner to be more open and vulnerable and to say what they feel, but the other person is not comfortable or willing to do so. In the second instance, the couple does not understand each other.
There could be a variation in what is said and what the other person understands. Some people are good at understanding implied statements while others are not. All these nuances impede proper communication. Counseling enables couples to learn new habits and communication methods that will benefit them.
5. Issues Of Physical Intimacy
When one partner is not having sex as much as they desire, there is bound to be a problem especially if they feel that the other party is withholding sex or using it as a manipulation tool.
Sometimes, a person can have a demanding job that stresses them such that all they want to do at the end of the day is sleep. In other instances, a person may be uninterested or withhold sex to punish the partner.
Sex is a big deal in marriage. A sexless marriage can lead to frustration for both parties and it is particularly a big deal for husbands. When couples are not enjoying physical intimacy at a frequency acceptable to both parties, this is a problem. This can be because medical issues prohibit one from engaging in regular sex.
Often, couples get engrossed with other aspects of their lives that they neglect this one. Also, one person can withhold sex to manipulate or punish their partner. Whatever the cause, this is a big deal for most people and can wreck a marriage if left unaddressed.
6. Infidelity As A Problem
While there are diverse theories explaining what causes infidelity, most people agree that it can break a marriage, and many marriage counselors hear their clients confess this act to them. Unfortunately, many cheat on their spouses for various reasons, leading to more work for marriage counselors.
Cheating hurts many people. Perhaps it challenges their notion of being the only one suitable for their spouses, or people get appalled when someone vows to do certain things and takes a break from such vows.
This issue is deep and couples hardly recover from infidelity. Infidelity can involve being physically intimate with someone who is not your spouse, and it could also be emotional. Picture a man who spends inordinate amounts of time with a lady he is not married to at the detriment of his wife.
He may not be sleeping with her or even planning to. The fact that his relationship is hurting his wife and has the potential to grow into something else is enough infidelity for some couples.
Sooner or later, many couples will deal with the fact that their lovers were with other people for some time and will use counseling to get over it and decide how best to proceed.
7. When Partners Are Ignoring Boundaries
We often think of marriage as two people becoming one. The truth is that we all want to maintain our individuality even while working as a team. As individuals in a union, it is normal to draw the line on some things.
When one partner violates those boundaries on the premise of marriage, the other person can feel unseen and unimportant. Boundaries do not mean that your partner is not one hundred percent in. It just means they love you but do not want to live in your skin or have you living in theirs.
No matter how close a couple is, there should still be some room for individuality. If your partner sets boundaries, it does not mean they do not love and want you. People enjoy their agency, and marriage does not mean they should throw it all away.
People can ignore their partner’s boundaries when they become over-familiar. This leads to problems because people tend to assume that their partners will tolerate everything they do because they are married. Boundaries are good but if one person feels otherwise, it can lead to problems in a marriage.
8. Unseriousness With Responsibility
Marriages thrive when responsibility is shared. A couple can decide to clearly state what each person is responsible for or choose to do it indirectly, allowing themselves to figure out what works best for them.
Once a wife or a husband begins to ignore their responsibility or treat them as an afterthought, a problem is brewing in the corner.
In a marriage, the man and his wife have responsibilities to each other and their children. This responsibility may be implicit or clearly stated and can change depending on many factors.
When one person needs to do what needs to be done or expects the other partner to take care of everything, it can cause problems. Marriage is teamwork, and if one person is bent on leaving a team’s work to one player, it can lead to resentment in the marriage.
9. Selfishness As A Problem
Married couples should work as a team and make decisions for the team’s well-being. When one person makes a personally favorable decision that can hurt the team, there is a problem.
Since couples are a team, they should make decisions that favor both parties in the long term. This only sometimes happens. If a partner is selfish, they may make personally favorable decisions that hurt the collective interest.
Selfishness is also manifested in the unwillingness to do things except those beneficial to the selfish partner. In ideal situations, you assist your partner because you love them and not for what you stand to gain. You are slowly wrecking your marriage if you constantly put your needs first.
10. Differences In Values
In a perfect world where we do not make decisions based on how we feel, people with different values would not be getting married because it is a recipe for disaster.
We do not exist in that world, and people marry others who do not share their basic views. Perhaps, love convinces us that we can adapt and tolerate, but time always proves us wrong.
If you marry a career-oriented woman while you are a family-oriented man, you will be arguing about why she should refuse to work overtime to spend more time with her family. You will always argue about basic things until you find a way to make it work.
11. Different Life Stages
Large age differences between couples could mean that one person is going through a crisis that the other cannot understand.
There could also be generational differences such that what interests one person may be boring and ridiculous to the other person. A counselor can be useful in helping the couple to realize that it is a phase that will also pass.
12. Issues Of Boredom
It is a bore to keep up with the same routines year after year, and being with one person for the rest of your life can sometimes be unexciting. If a couple does not improve their marriage, they will soon tire of each other.
This is only natural because variety is the spice of life, and it keeps us going and willing to try different versions of the same thing.
A counselor will offer exercises aimed at helping the couple to try out new things and introduce excitement into their marriage.
13. Parenting Issues
Nobody learns how to be a perfect parent from birth. Often, the journey is filled with bumps that can affect the marriage. One partner could insist on a particular method of parenting and refuse to listen to input from the other person.
For other couples, kids take up all their time that they do not have time for themselves and their marriage. Or the couple could be figuring out ways to deal with a difficult child. These issues have their way of straining a marriage.
14. Fertility Issues
An inability to have kids when needed can shake the foundations of a marriage. A trip to the doctor often determines where the fault lies. If your partner is unsupportive and the fault lies with you, they can choose to act in ways that hurt the marriage.
Even if they are supportive, dealing with the fact that you are the reason for the problem can be draining. Fertility treatments can eat deep into a couple’s finances and the stress of child hunting can be tough to bear.
In extreme cases, a partner who wants children has to deal with the problem of not being able to have kids with their partner and the problem of looking outside the marriage for solutions.
15. Spousal Abuse As A Problem
If a marriage deteriorates to a point where one person starts hitting the other, a problem may be hard for even a professional counselor to solve. However, abuse is not always physical.
It can be verbal, sexual, economic, etc.; when a partner asserts undue authority over the other party in harmful ways, it harms the marriage.
When one person is hurting the partner they vowed to protect in this manner, a counselor may help discover the problem’s root cause and find a solution.
16. Issues Of Personal Problems
Because we bring our individuality to our relationships, our problems are free to join us for the ride. When one partner is facing problems like addiction, trauma, anxiety, depression, etc., it could affect the relationship profoundly because they are unable to bring their best game to the table.
Problems like this can hinder people from making the best decisions, which is worsened if the partner keeps this hidden to the detriment of the other party.
Sharing the problem may not solve it but it makes your partner more emphatic and understanding.
17. Significant Changes
Change is constant in life. When individuals change their lives, it can affect their relationships. Change of career, developing a terminal illness, losing a child, or moving to a new country can impact a marriage.
Sometimes, a counselor is needed to guide the couple to process some of the emotions accompanying these changes.
Eventually, all marriages encounter their share of problems. Turning to a counselor for help is one of the best courses of action a couple can take.
If you are interested in finding out common issues in marriage counseling, above list are few common issues in marriage counseling, how ever if you still are interested in more information on this topic, you can watch this video.