5 common marriage problems according to a rhode island divorce attorney

5 Common Marriage Problems According to a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney

Marriage problems often. occur after the honeymoon phase. Both partners must focus their attention on solving difficulties as a unit. But sometimes these issues can grow from difficulties into marital problems that ultimately lead to divorce. Below are the five most common marriage problems couples face before filing for divorce.

1. Communication

People may talk to their spouse every day without effectively communicating. Talking is back-and-forth, without requiring responses or critical thought, whereas communicating requires a response, be it verbal or nonverbal. Often, couples become so comfortable that they fail to respond adequately, which can lead to stagnation and ultimately poor communication. Expressing concerns clearly in a non-accusatory fashion at a time when you’re both not angry can create an atmosphere for open communication, as can planning ahead — date nights, writing love notes or accessing your partner’s love language.

While poor communication can occur organically, technology can augment the issue. What was once date night may become dinner with both people buried in their phones or tablets, or concentrated on social media. Taking time to turn off technology and enjoy your partner’s company can create a safer space for open communication.

2. Infidelity

The cause of over half of divorces is infidelity, but there is more to infidelity than just the sexual. Sexual infidelity may stem from a lack of communication, be that desire for an adrenaline rush, want for a distraction from the mundane or need for sexual satisfaction. Sex in a marriage may seem difficult if you’re feeling emotionally distant, but explaining your feelings and communicating your wants and needs can help avoid marital problems that lead to infidelity.

The same is true for the emotional. Some view sexual and emotional infidelity as equally offensive in a marriage, simply because emotional infidelity appears more intimate. One partner feels unappreciated or unloved, which can lead to resentment and a need for an outlet. Discuss what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior for interacting with a member of the opposite sex, and define the boundaries of communication — recognize this should be agreed upon, not dictated. Acknowledging these feelings with your spouse or with a counselor may alleviate the issue and prevent infidelity from occurring.

3. Lack of forgiveness

Mistakes happen and everyone is human, but that doesn’t make forgiveness any easier. When someone cheats, lies or otherwise breaks the trust in a relationship, it is up to both partners to be committed to rebuilding the trust, which includes forgiving transgressions. It is important to frequently voice emotions when rebuilding trust, and voicing appreciation for each other to bolster a sense of love and belonging in the relationship.

That appreciation shouldn’t just be directed at your spouse, but also at yourself. When something occurs to break trust, both partners tend to blame themselves. Show self-compassion, then turn that forgiveness to your spouse. If both partners genuinely want to rebuild the trust despite the marriage problems, the relationship may be regrown.

4. Forgetting boundaries

Often occurring at the beginning of a marriage, spouses may try to change each other to fit more perfectly into each individual’s life. A husband may try to alter his wife’s fashion, or a wife may try to change her husband’s religious beliefs. Regardless of what is attempted to be changed, addressing the issue of crossed boundaries can prevent a disconnect that may lead to marital problems.

Respecting each other’s differences is fundamental, and sometimes overstepping boundaries can be accidental. If you feel your spouse is overstepping, discuss it calmly. Calling boundaries to your spouse’s attention shows a mutual respect and love that can help the relationship grow instead of tear apart. Remember: The only person you can truly change is yourself.

5. Money

After marrying, some couples join bank accounts. Some opt to keep their finances separate. Regardless, sharing financial burdens or perks can be stressful, as it is unlikely you will both be making the same dollar amount. When one spouse doesn’t agree with the management of the other’s money, it can lead to discord which may seem more like a personally attack rather than a financial concern.

Patience in communication is key here, as both partners will need to be on the same page. Discuss budgets and what each of you is comfortable spending. Mention future goals like new cars, houses or children, and create attainable goals to slowly work your way there.

Attempting to maintain or rebuild a marriage is no easy task, and it requires both partners to look past their marriage problems. After acknowledging these issues and attempting to remedy the situation, intimacy and differences may continue, and divorce lawyers or mediation may be necessary. For more information about these services, please contact Jeremy Howe at

Contact Info.

Contact us

55 Memorial Blvd. Suite 5
Newport, RI 02840
Phone: (401) 841-5700
Fax: 401-367-0192

By Appointment

640 George Washington Hwy
Building B, Suite 103
Lincoln, RI 02865
Phone: (401) 841-5700

  • Ten Best Family Law Attorneys
  • mediate premium

Free Phone Consultation

    We also make ElderLaw housecalls!