20 Most Common Marriage Problems and Solutions

  In This Article

Even marriages that appear to be perfect, will have problems.

Having problems in marriage isn’t the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is not knowing how to communicate through these problems.

Poor marriage communication is the root cause of many marital problems.

This is why I recommend pre-marriage counseling.

Counseling often provides marriage communication tools couples need to have a healthy marriage.

If your marriage has problems on this list, that are not being worked on consistently, then your marriage may be in trouble.

It’s impossible to name all the most common marriage problems in married life.

However, here is a comprehensive list that you should seriously study.

Study this list to learn the common causes of marriage problems faced by married couples, and learn to consistently apply the solutions offered.

Doing so will ensure that problems in your marriage don’t eventually lead to divorce.

The goal isn’t learning how to, never have marriage problems.

The goal is to learn how to quickly and clearly identify your marriage problems.

Once identified, learn how to fairly and respectfully resolve them.

Keep in mind that many problems in marriage can be eventually solved if you learn how to effectively communicate. 

How to Solve Marriage Problems

1.) Selfishness

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:3-5

marriage communication

If I had to choose two of the most common marriage problems I have observed lead to more divorces than I can count, selfishness, would definitely be tied at #1.

The sad thing about this marital problem is, that we are often barely aware that it’s happening.

After all, if they love you, they should do ‘this and they should do ‘that’ right?

I get it.

I do.

The problem with that way of thinking is, spouses tend to fail to follow the model shown by the relationship between Jesus and the church.

Jesus’s relationship with the church wasn’t based on what He was getting. Jesus’ relationship with the church was based on what He was giving.

A relationship is FOR giving. (pun intended)

There is absolutely no way to escape having marital problems when selfishness is overbearing.

I have to say overbearing since, as imperfect beings, we also can’t escape thinking of the ‘self’ more than the two ‘selfs’ in marriage from time to time.

Communication in marriage is by far, the most important skill spouses need to have a married life with fewer marital problems.

But, can you imagine how difficult marriage communication would be with a selfish spouse?

Husbands and wives are called to mutually submit to each other’s wants and needs.

By submitting, I mean the biblical definition of submission.

A submission where spouses are mutually committed to meeting the godly aligned desires of each other.

What’s the common problem with selfishness in marriage? One spouse usually ends up prioritizing their desires, expectations, or needs over the other spouse.  As a result, the spouse who is not being prioritized tends to feel unloved, unimportant, or even resentful.

What’s the solution? Keep in mind that marriage isn’t solely about you, it’s about you two. Jesus’s relationship with the church is meant to be an earthly example of a heavenly union, seek to copy that.


2.) Pride

“For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”

1 John 2:16

most common marriage problems

Pride ends more marriages than deaths do.

Pride is tied at #1 for the most common marriage problem.

If you ever wondered, “what causes lack of communication in marriage,” pride is definitely a top answer.

Pride leads to many marriage communication problems because pride gets us to blame our spouse, for things we should be solely blamed for.

Pride causes marriage issues because oftentimes spouses refuse to admit their wrongs. When we refuse to admit wrongs long enough, those wrongs continue in our marriage unfixed.

Imagine being married to a verbally abusive wife.

Now imagine that spouse refusing to say, “I’m sorry.”

Imagine the problems you will have in your marriage when you feel that it’s always your fault for issues in your marriage and rarely the fault of your spouse.

Dealing with the problem of pride (solution): Understand that no one who walks this earth’s surface is perfect. Everyone has sins they need to work on by having a relationship with Jesus.

Look at your faults as an opportunity to improve who you are, not an opportunity to make you feel bad about who you are.

If you are dealing with an extremely prideful spouse, put them around groups or a community of people that can hold them accountable.


3.) Unforgiveness

“And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Mark 11:25

common marriage problems after 20 years

It’s amazing to me how unforgiving spouses can be.

Especially, when as imperfect humans we constantly need forgiveness for our sins daily.

As Christians how can you consistently sin against our God and expect forgiveness while stubbornly holding a grudge against your spouse?

If you’re not Christian, you would at least agree that no one is perfect and because of that everyone will make mistakes.

How many mistakes have you made against your spouse?

Here is a better question. How many times have you repeated the same “mistake” that you were asking forgiveness for?

“How do I prevent unforgiveness from causing marriage problems?” 

Solution: Learn to apply the same grace given to us by Jesus, to our spouse. How do you do that practically? First, keep in mind that you constantly cause issues in your marriage that your spouse has to forgive you for. Secondly, have patience. It often takes time to get better. It often takes time to do better. Take it day by day. Lastly, pray that God changes your hearts.

Learn the skills necessary to limit these common marriages problems from becoming marriage-ending problems by reading this.


4.) Negativity

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:34

20 years of marriage problems

Here is what sometimes sucks about married life, and what makes it difficult to have a happy married life. Dealing with a very negative spouse.

“Why does having a negative spouse cause marriage issues?” 

Negativity creates an environment that isn’t pleasant to be around.

When married couples no longer enjoy being around each other, the married couples become unmarried couples.

The solution to this common marriage problem: Pray for your spouse. Get them more involved in church.

Put them around positive people. It isn’t wise to address their negativity directly. It is usually an internal issue that the spouse has to deal with.


5.) Denial

“Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

Psalm 86:11

top marriage problems and solutions

No one likes to hear that their baby is ugly!

I don’t mean to be cruel.

What I mean about that statement is, that we usually don’t like to hear the truth about ourselves.

We rather cling to what makes us feel good.

Denial leads to married life problems.

There’s no denying that.

Denial makes you blind to your imperfections.

In a way, you can say denial is a distant ‘cousin’ to pride in the sense that there is a blindness to one’s faults.

When there is that blindness, it becomes impossible to work on it, leading to your spouse suffering.

Working on denial(solution): Becoming a better spouse often means being faced with areas in your life where you are not so great. Learn to embrace truth.



“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10

long-term marriage problems

Troubles in marriage caused by insecurity rarely have to do with our spouse.

Typically, that insecurity that is giving your marriage problems was caused by whoever you dated before your spouse.

Let me guess.

You dated someone that cheated, or lied frequently?

That led to your heart being broken?

What you didn’t realize is that you didn’t learn to fully trust again.

Because of that, you now project your past insecurities in your current marriage. Your dating problem shouldn’t be your married problem.

Solution? Faith Biblically speaking can be defined as, “trust in light of the evidence.” In other words, you trust something based on the reliability of what you have seen so far.

For example, you have a car, get in the car, start the car, and drive that car to work five days a week.

If for some reason, you had to go to work on that 6th day, based on the light of evidence (car starting up the previous 5 days) you have no reason to reasonably believe that your car wouldn’t start on that 6th day.

I say that to say this, you deal with insecurities causing your marriage issues by understanding that it is your spouse’s consistency of character that should ease your insecurities.

Your past should not be projected on your spouse.


7.) Defensiveness

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.”

Proverbs 12:11

what are the five problems of marriage?

Defensive listeningis a poor habit to form in marriage.

Defensive listening has no place in a loving marriage.

You have to be able to tell your spouse that they are doing something that hurts you without them getting defensive.

The challenges many married couples face in marriage are not being able to share a fault with their spouse without their spouse getting defensive and someone turning it around on them.

Turning it around on them may include playing the ‘blame game’, playing ‘victim’, or giving the silent treatment.

All these examples are examples of defensiveness because instead of at least considering what your spouse is saying to you, you immediately go into attack mode.

Prevent this from being your marital problem (solution): 

When your spouse attempts to talk to you about something that you are doing wrong, don’t immediately go on attack mode.

Instead, PAUSE.

Pause, and consider what you are hearing. What your spouse is telling you isn’t an attack on your entire character.

What your spouse is telling you is simply one thing about you that can become better.


8.) Unfaithfulness

“Stop depriving one another, except by agreement for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer, and come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Corinthians 7:5

what are the most common problems in a marriage?

Unfortunately, cheating happens in marriage. It sucks, and in a perfect world, with perfect people, it wouldn’t happen. Cheating shouldn’t happen, no person deserves to feel that type of heartbreak.

However, for this article, I want to take an unpopular approach.

I’m not taking this approach simply to be controversial. This perspective needs to be addressed.

I am going to attempt to defend the person cheating.

The Bible makes it clear that spouses should NOT refrain sex from with each other.


Because then, Satan will tempt you using sex.

Stop. Don’t rebuttal. Just seek to understand.

There is no excuse for cheating, but, there are often reasons people cheat we can empathize with.

It doesn’t make cheating right. It just makes it more understandable.

I remember hearing a story about a woman who ended up having 5 children and was forced to give up her life (career and educational pursuits) to be a stay-at-home mom and raise her children.

Fortunately, the father, her husband, was financially established and could support his family with ease.

So, what led to the wife cheating?

The husband worked too much, wasn’t affectionate, didn’t help with chores in the house, rarely provided support with daily tasks involving the kids, and basically had the perception that all he had to do was provide financially.

The husband believed that having his family need for nothing financially was all he had to do.

The wife patiently tried to get her husband to feel how overwhelmed she felt.

The wife constantly expressed to her husband how alone she felt.

She patiently and consistently shared how unloved and undesired she felt.

Her husband gave her feelings no serious consideration.

Wait! That’s no excuse to cheat.

You’re right.

By excuse, we define it to mean something similar to making that “wrong, a right.”

No, there is no excuse. But there was a reason.

And by reason, I mean, “something that causes something to occur.”

Sure she could have just left her husband.

She could have taken her and her 5 kids and attempted to start a life independent of her husband.

It would have been extremely difficult, but it could have been done.

As imperfect humans, do we always think of the most righteous thing to do?

Or do we usually think of dealing with the pain that we are currently feeling with some sort of immediate pleasure?

Husbands and wives cheating is NOT okay, but it happens, unfortunately, and we need to talk solve that marital problem by thoroughly addressing that reason.

Solution? That Scripture speaks loud enough. Husbands shall not deny wives the affection she needs from her husband. Nothing is a substitute for that. Wives shall not deny husbands their physical intimacy. There is no substitute for that.


Marriage Communication Problems

9.) Secrecy

“Would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.”

Psalm 44:21

what are the biggest stresses on a marriage?

Everyone has secrets, right? Since everyone has secrets, why shouldn’t you have yours?

Having that mentality is what leads to marriage problems.

Problems in a marriage are rarely new problems.

Sometimes those problems are problems that never get a chance to be talked about.

Many people think truth ends marriages.

I personally believe that lies have destroyed way more marriages than truth has.

Ending your struggles in marriage may be as simple as preventing yourself from keeping secrets.

After all, if your action is something that has to be hidden, why commit the act in the first place?

Ending secrecy in marriage (solution)- It’s not easy being vulnerable right? It’s not easy sharing a secret with someone knowing that the secret you share can be used against you. I get it. But, married couples biblically speaking are one flesh.

That truth alone reveals a level of intimacy that is to be sought after by married couples.

We may not ever fully arrive at that destination, but we are to head in that direction.

Take it day by day. Perhaps, reveal something new to your spouse every week, and you two talk about it.


Learn the skills necessary to limit these common marriages problems from becoming marriage-ending problems by reading this.


10.) Lies

“Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

Colossians 3:9-10

common marriage problems after 20 years

Lies destroy trust in a marriage. Lies destroy marriages.

“It’s just a little lie,” spouses say. Yet, if that same “little” lie was told to them, they would be outraged.

The solution to lying is simple. Keep in mind that, “honesty is the best policy.”

Honesty doesn’t have to hurt your spouse’s feelings.

Find different ways to approach being honest. You sure can tell your spouse that their breath stinks.

Or, you can say, “sweetie your breath isn’t pleasant right now.”


11.) Sex

How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights!  Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. “

Song of Solomon 7:6

causes of marriage problems

That specific verse in my opinion wisely addresses many common marriage problems relating to sex in marriage. That verse is talking about how excited a husband is about his wife before sex.

I don’t know of one married couple who has ever had marriage issues because their spouse was excited to have sex with them.

Husbands want to be desired by their wives.

Wives want to be desired by their husbands.

How do you solve sexual marriage problems?

Do not deprive each other of feeling desirable.

Simple, yet, pretty deep.

Just in case you missed it, making sure that your spouse consistently feels desired is the solution.


12.) Revenge

“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.””

Romans 12:19

marriage problems

We are such sinful creatures. When we feel hurt, what do we want to do?

We want the one that hurt us to hurt too.

Married couples who are focused on revenge instead of improving themselves in marriage for each other won’t have a happy marriage life.

What do you do instead of getting revenge? (solution) You pray that God removes that urge in you. You realize that if God exercised revenge on you, that you would be in hell. Thank God for His Grace that covers our past, present, and future sins.

13.) Lack of Attention

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”

Ephesians 5:25

marriage communication problems

You focus on the things you care about.

Someone who cares a lot about fitness spends a lot of time at the gym.

Some who care a lot about their career spend a lot of time working.

There is no excuse for the one you are in union with not getting that same attention and focus.

Taking your spouse for granted is how spouses often lose focus on their spouse.

Don’t make this a marriage problem you commonly face in your marriage.

Solution-  ‘shower’ your spouse daily with your undivided attention aka focus.

14.) Lack of Investment

“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”

2 Corinthians 9:6

marriage problems bible

What exactly are you doing to help your marriage flourish?

Solution– Take active steps. You can go to marriage conferences. You could read a marriage book. You can listen to a marriage podcast. All these actions show investment in your marriage.

15.) Lack of Support

“So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Matthew 19:6

marriage problems in the bible

It’s easy for married couples to support each other when there is a death of a loved one.

It’s easy for us as spouses to support each other when something else traumatic happens.

How about we support each other daily, with the simple day-to-day tasks?

Problems in the marriage often occur because one spouse feels like they are alone in the day-to-day upkeep of raising children, or household chores. Don’t make that a problem in your married life.

Solution– Be mindful of what your spouse goes through on a day-to-day basis, and be empathetic. Sometimes just asking, “how was your day,” is enough.

16.) Lack of Self-Improvement

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

Romans 3:23

marriage problems scriptures

You’re not perfect. Neither is your spouse. And guess what? Even if you two go on to be married 40 years, you still won’t achieve perfection. The least you can do for the person stuck with you for four decades is to try to get better every day, in very specific, purposeful ways.

The solution is to consistently ‘upgrade’ yourself for your spouse.

17.) Lack of Empathy

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

Ephesians 4:32

scriptures for marriage problems

Why is it, that when something happens to us, we want to be understood and sympathized with? Yet, when something happens to others, we are quick to condemn?

Jesus, have mercy on us.

Sometimes your spouse doesn’t need or want your judgment, rebuttal, or solution.

They just need you to feel what they are going through.

If they get cut, you say ouch.

That’s the idea behind empathy.

Being understanding is how you prevent the lack of empathy from being a marital problem. (solution)


18.) Lack of Knowledge

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”

James 1:5

marriage problems quotes

Investing in your marriage should lead you to be more knowledgeable about different aspects of your marriage. Would you like to be a more romantic person in your marriage? Do you find being romantic one of the challenges you face in marriage?

Great, you identified a common marriage problem many married couples have.

Watch videos on being romantic in marriage.

Read books that talk about romance.

Go to a conference where the theme is igniting passion in your marriage.

Solution: Keep learning how to turn your weaknesses in your marriage, into strengths.


19.) Silence

“Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.”

Proverbs 17:28

marriage problems counselling

If you keep silent to prevent yourself from saying something unkind to your spouse, then great.

I applaud you for your wisdom and restraint.

However, if you are the type of spouse to keep silent because you don’t’ like, or don’t want to talk about marriage issues, then, your silence is one of the worse forms of common marriage problems.

Solution: Learn when to speak, and when to be silent. Work on developing a healthy balance.


20.) Disrespect

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

Ephesians 4:29

Often, disrespect is a marital issue because one spouse doesn’t agree with how the other spouse thinks or feels about a particular problem in their marriage.

Instead of learning to work through those differences, the spouses choose to disrespect each other’s views.

Who says your view is right, to begin with?

You assume you’re right, and by default, your spouse is wrong then proceed to belittle their viewpoint.

Solution- You need to keep in mind what type of husband or wife you desire to be.

Do you want to be known as a disrespectful spouse?

If not, learn to work through those differences in a way that doesn’t automatically display that your spouse is less than.

Learn the skills necessary to limit these common marriages problems from becoming marriage-ending problems by reading this.

what are the signs of a failing marriage?

One of the most telling signs of a failing marriage is when there is a lack of significant effort by both parties to work on the problems that a marriage will inevitably have.

What are the top 10 reasons marriages fail?

Here's a list: pride, selfishness, lies, silence, neglect, disrespect, ignorance, lack of romance/sex, complacency and last but not least, lack of God.

what are the causes of marriage problems?

Sin. The world probably prefers the word 'imperfection', but the root cause of problems in us as humans, is sin.

What are the top reasons marriages fail?

Marriages essentially fail because of unresolved conflict, and the lack of significant effort to resolve the conflict.

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