No couple is perfect, and there are some issues that nearly every relationship or marriage faces. Instead of letting them be your relationship's downfall, use them as opportunities to make your union even stronger. We've asked the experts for marriage advice on how to fix these common problems.
There are three common problems nearly every couple will face: money, family, and intimacy. No surprise there! Thankfully, dating strategist Jasmine Diaz has a few tips that will help you navigate these issues, as well as marriage advice to avoid conflict and keep your love strong.
"Money is a hot topic for most relationships for three reasons: You either don't have enough, have too much, or don't know how to manage it," Diaz says. "When you don't know how to manage your finances in a collaborative way, conflicts tend to arise over where the money is going." The best way to avoid conflicts over cash is to establish a monthly spending budget. Include bills and necessities like groceries, as well as a little extra for fun things like date nights or travel. "Consider using a prepaid spending card, where you deposit a set amount every month," says Diaz. "This will make it easier to track exactly how much you're spending, as well as provide a healthy new way to address habits and keep the arguments at bay."
Family, of course, can be totally loaded. "This could mean trying to have your own family or dealing with undue stress from your current family; either way, it can be a major source of contention," says Diaz. "It is important to remember that you cannot change the family you are marrying into. If you don't like your in-laws (or if they're a source of conflict), you can either decide as a family how much you will interact with them or you can bite the bullet and deal with it." Diaz cautions that giving your partner an ultimatum and asking him to choose between you and his family is never the answer.
If starting your own family is the issue, communication, compassion, and understanding are essential, whether it's because your partner doesn't want children or you've been struggling to conceive. "Fertility is a major pain point for many, so discussing your feelings and being a great listener will heal a world of hurt," says Diaz. "And keep the dialogue going! Because once the children come, healthy and open communication will be even more necessary."
Last is intimacy (or lack thereof). "Intimacy is what keeps the bond of your relationship together," says Diaz. "Marriage is tough. Life is tough. And when facing that toughness, we each need and deserve a partner who will hold our hand and wipe away the tears. But when you have a partner who doesn't provide the essentials of a healthy and positive relationship, it can be quite isolating." She recommends working to strengthen your intimacy by spending more time together one on one: "Go on a picnic, pack some libido-boosting superfoods like red wine and figs, and have a little fun!"