Good news! Most marital issues can be fixed—really! It only seems like they’re broken beyond repair. The key to fixing marriage issues is the combo approach of wanting to fix them and actually taking the steps to fix them.
The key to fixing marriage issues is the combo approach of wanting to fix them and actually taking the steps to fix them.
Let me explain it this way. A while back, the knobs on our kitchen cabinets kept coming unscrewed, which would make the knob come off when pulled. After experiencing this about 100 times a day, I felt f-r-u-s-t-r-a-t-e-d. I wanted to fix the problem, but did I take the steps to fix it? Not right away. Instead, I put it off. I would hurriedly find the washer to spin back onto the screw and secure the knob, and tell myself I’d deal with the real problem—that the screws were too short—some other time. That’s the “I’ll live with it and deal with it later” approach we often take with these fixable marital issues.
Instead, lose the frustration and tackle these 5 fixable marriage issues today:
1. Parenting Differences.
The key here, as with all of the fixable marriage issues, is respectfully listening to your husband’s opinion. Even if you disagree with him, let him have his say. This applies to all discussions about your children. Next, as we suggested before at iMOM.com, sit down together and each of you writes down the main things you want to teach your children—the values you want to instill in them and what you hope they’ll be like as adults. Finally, discuss what you and your husband have in common regarding what you want for your children.
Be sure to discuss where you differ out of earshot of your kids. As much as you can, present a united front. If you just can’t agree on issues that are too important to let go, you’ll need to discuss these with a trusted friend, family member, or counselor.
Problems with sex usually involve how often to have sex and what sex should be like. Fixing this marital issue starts with accepting that, according to research, men think about sex more than women do and want sex more often than women do. So if “fixing” the sex problem in marriage simply involves having sex more often with your husband, that’s a pretty straightforward solution, right? Well, yes and no.
Sure, you can have more sex, but if it makes you angry and resentful toward your husband because you feel like you have to, that’s not good. Take a minute or two and look at these four things you can do when you’re not in the mood. Again, the goal here is to fix the issue, not just cover it up. So to reach a real solution, you and your husband will need to talk about what you each want in this area.
3. Who Does What in The House.
Be very clear about what you expect the other to do. Using this list of basic household duties is a straightforward way to divvy things up. And, as a caveat here, the overriding theme in fixing all of these issues is to think of yourself as a team—what helps one of you, helps the both of you.
4. Hidden Anger and Disdain.
It starts with something small your husband does to irritate you. You don’t say anything, but inside, you hold it against him. Pretty soon you’ve built up a stockpile of things you’re angry about, things you never tell him. That’s when the anger affects the way you treat him. Sure, you’re not outrightly mean, but there’s a certain disdain there, an Oh, brother, there he goes again way of looking down at him. For the good of your marriage and your home, this issue needs to be resolved.
How do you do it? Examine what you’re holding against your husband. Let the little things go. They are history. They are water under the bridge. Forgive. Move on. (Need help here? These are basic steps for basic forgiveness.) And before you talk to your husband about the big things you just can’t let go, be sure to examine yourself, and be prepared for him to share from his stockpile of unresolved anger, too. The goal here? Don’t blast your husband, but address the issues causing anger so that you can see your husband through loving eyes instead of hateful eyes. (If there are some truly big things that are fueling your hidden anger, this is great advice for how to forgive your husband when it’s hard.)
5. The In-Laws.
When my husband and I were newly married, my parents lived about a mile away; my mom invited us over quite a bit. In my husband’s opinion, it was too much. In my opinion, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t want to spend a good chunk of his free time with my family. Uh-hum. I was in the wrong on this one.
Sure, you love your parents, but it’s not really fair to expect your husband to love being around them as much as you do. So consider how he feels. On the flip side, if his parents are driving you crazy, especially his mom, we can help you with that. Take a look at these five things to think about when it comes to understanding your mother-in-law. At a minimum, try to be kind to her. You also want to be very careful about talking unkindly about her to your husband or in front of your children.
The important thing with all of these issues in that they are fixable. What other marital issues can you think of that are fixable?