Many challenges are faced by married couples in today’s world and in each relationship there will be different tests and pressures. However there are a number of common challenges that most couples must confront in their bid to survive and grow in their relationship.
- Change: Throughout marriage, each partner will go through different changes and cycles. How both partners accept and grow with these changes is a big challenge for the relationship. You start off marriage as a newly-wed when everything is fresh and exciting. Things that change from then can include: different living circumstances, new jobs, addition of children to the family unit, changes in health status and retirement. During times of change a marriage can experience bad patches. Happily married couples realize that these bad times will pass and good times will return. They accept change and are flexible with how they cope with it.
- Children: Bringing children into the world is one of the fundamental reasons why people get married (although not always). The desire to procreate is strong in most couples and having children brings its own unique set of challenges to the marriage. A huge transformation happens in the relationship and the dynamics of a two-person family becoming a three-person family (and so on) can be challenging.
- Learning to care about someone other than yourself: This is what marriage challenges us to do. Being involved in a relationship means the focus has to be on someone other than you. For some people this is an enormous test.
- Money: We never have enough of it, or so it seems and within a couple and a family, money issues present huge challenges. There are many financial benefits in becoming married as opposed to living alone, but with becoming married, couples tend to take on extra economic burdens such as mortgages, school fees and other living expenses. How a couple is able to cope with money, (or the lack of it) will be one of the biggest trials in their marriage.
- Sex: The needs of each person in the marriage for intimacy may differ and this can be a challenging situation for any happy couple. Couples who are open about their sex life and discuss their needs and desires cope better than those who are unwilling to talk about their sexual relationship.
- Interfaith marriages or Cultural differences: Unless potential problems are discussed prior to marriage the difficulties that could occur with these particular challenges may be insurmountable.
- In-laws: When we marry someone, we don’t get involved with just one person, but we get their family and all its nuances as well. Understanding your partners family and how it differs from your upbringing can be difficult.
If you and your partner can deal with the challenges of marriage in a positive way you will have a happy and healthy union.