From money issues to the typical in-laws tussles, most marriages suffer from common types of issues. Yet as HEALTH learns, it’s how you, as a couple, manage these issues that can make or break your marriage.
Dr. Vanessa Bokanowski, Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist at Wellbeing Medical Centre explains the issues that couples have to overcome to access fulfillment and harmony in their relationship and are as follows:
THE SEVEN ISSUES
1. The Problem:Communication
According to Dr. Bokanowski, men and women are different in the way they communicate. Women enjoy normally talking more than men while men normally don’t talk so much about their emotions and prefer to talk about their work or areas of interest. “Therefore, this can create conflicts, as women will have the impression that men don’t listen to them or are not receptive to their emotions when they talk; it’s true that men will have the tendency to withdraw themselves when the conversation will become too personal for them,” she says.
Solution: It is paramount that each member of the couple finds other sources of communication outside the couple and don’t expect that the couple will fulfill all of their communication needs.
2. The Problem: Free time /Time for Home
Frequently couples disagree on how to manage their free time and the amount of time dedicated to the couple and family, tells Dr. Bokanowski. “For some people is important that they perform better at work while for others, it is more important to be involved in their family life,” she says.
Solution: Common and solitary activities have to be discussed and organized by the couple. By doing so, they can together define what they think is acceptable for each of them on a regular basis. This will avoid feelings of frustration and exclusion.
3. The Problem: Domestic Tasks
Who is going to do what, tells Dr. Bokanowski, can be a massive issue if is not organized at an early stage.
Solution: “In fact, the habits of some people can become a nightmare for another person, therefore it is important to discuss with one another what is acceptable and what is not and define clearly together how you want this to be managed,” she notes.
4. The Problem: Your Choice in Friends
It’s possible that your spouse will find that the best friend you have had since college is really not that interesting. However, Dr. Bokanowski explains that it is important that you respect each other’s mutual friends and reserve your judgment.
Solution: Each member of the couple must make an effort in order to create a heterogeneous circle of friends that matches each one’s preference.
5. The Problem: Time Together
In each couple, a time only dedicated to you as a couple to maintain the romance is very precious, says Dr. Bokanowski. “Many couples forget to allow this time and this can lead to miscommunication, frustration and arguments,” she says.
Solution: This is a key moment for every couple and each member of the couple has to dedicate time and availability for this moment. Therefore, it is suggested to schedule a weekly date night.
6. The Problem: Children’s Education
Children’s education can be a pivotal point of discordance, tells Dr. Bokanowski. “The education we received is modulating the idea of education we want to give to our children,” she says.
Solution: It’s very important to have an ongoing discussion with your beloved regarding the kind of education you want to give in order to be consistent. Tolerance is also the master word as you and your partner will not agree on everything and of course you will have to agree on certain points that might be far from your initial point of view.
7. The Problem: The Mother In Law
This, tells Dr. Bokanowski, is a huge topic of disagreement for couples especially concerning women. “Most of the time, the mother-in-law thinks that you are not good enough for her beloved son and will never miss an occasion to remind you of that,” she says. “Quite often, your spouse will not want to take sides and pretend as if there is any no problem.”
Solution: Even if he doesn’t want to, the only person that can lead the situation to a consensus is your husband and an acceptable consensus has to found and respected between each party.
Advice: According to Dr. Bokanowski, the key that can allow couples to overcome issues and live in harmony is communication. “A fluid communication has to be set at an early stage in the couple’s life as good communication is a good success predictor,” she says.