On their wedding day, the bride and groom promise to be faithful to each other “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Sooner or later, all couples face the “worse,” “poorer,” or “sickness” in their marriage. At these times of difficulty, married couples benefit tremendously from the support of their Church family, friends, and relatives.
Below are common difficulties faced by married couples, listed alphabetically, with links to articles and resources from the USCCB.
If you or your spouse in the past month have taken a drink first thing in the morning to help you recover from a hangover you may be dealing with an addiction problem. In addition to the person with the addiction, there is often a spouse who suffers from co-dependency.
Drug Use Can Ruin a Marriage
Career and Employment Issues
At first, it probably sounds simple. Get a job to pay the bills so we can live happily ever after. But jobs take a lot of time and sometimes that time is stolen from the time that the marriage relationship needs.
When Unemployment Hits Home: Seven Ways to Help Your Marriage
Webpage about labor and employment
Prayer for Work
Conflict is normal in marriage. However, when conflicts escalate to contempt and disrespect, or when they seem unsolvable and are causing grief for one or both spouses, there is no shame in reaching out for help. For Your Marriage maintains a list of organizations dedicated to helping couples deal with conflict and work toward a healthier, happier marriage.
Conflict Resolution Skills
Death of a Loved One
Losing a child, family member, or friend can be a heavy weight for a marriage to bear. Losing a spouse is a devastating blow. Grieving spouses and parents need support, love, and time to heal.
A Lesson in Love from Our Dying Son
It Is Well: Life in the Storm
Prayer at the Death of a Baptized Child
Prayer for Mourners
The most common disillusionment often is phrased as “I just don’t know if I love him (her) anymore.” It’s usually accompanied by a general feeling of loss of excitement and passion for your spouse. You wonder, "Is this all that marriage is supposed to be?"
When Rain Drenches a Marriage
Conflict is part of every intimate relationship–that’s why conflict resolution skills are important. Domestic violence, however, has no place in a healthy relationship, whether the couple is dating, engaged, married, or cohabiting.
Web page on Domestic Violence, including the pastoral statement “When I Call for Help”
Prayer for Healing Victims of Abuse
Financial counselors often point to finances as the most common cause of divorce. That’s only partially true. Financial problems are as much a result of how we think about money as to how we spend it.
Living Simply: A Lasting and Fulfilling Way of Life
In studies that measure marital satisfaction, the topic of sharing household duties is one of the primary sources of dissatisfaction for couples, especially in the early years of marriage and when both spouses work outside the home.
Whose Job Is It?
Illness, especially chronic illness, changes the relationship with spouse, family, friends, social network, and God. Illness can bring out the best - and sometimes the worst - in both spouses.
Till Death Do Us Part
When a couple is unable to have children, it causes great pain emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. The feelings of emptiness and loss can be overwhelming.
The Blessing of “Unanswered Prayers”: An Adoption Story
Web page on infertility, with Catholic teaching and resources for couples
Healing a marriage when there has been infidelity takes teamwork. Both spouses must commit to getting the marriage back, or possibly getting to where it never was. This calls for courage.
Getting Past the Affair
In-laws can be a blessing to a couple, but can also bring tension to a marriage. Boundaries and clear paths of communication are key.
The Sandwich Generation
15% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Couples often bear this grief in silence and confusion.
Loving Parents After Miscarriage
Identifying similarities and differences in their personalities help couples understand the dynamics of their relationship more clearly, but generosity towards each other is still the key to personality compatibility.
If Opposites Attract, How Can We Get Along?
Pornography damages the trust and intimacy within the husband-wife relationship and can even lead to the end of the marriage itself. It draws focus away from one’s family life and relationship with God and sets a destructive example for one’s children. In 2015, the bishops published a formal statement on this subject, called "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." Read or order the statement here, in English and Spanish.
How to Strengthen Your Marriage After Porn Addiction
Help for men and women struggling with pornography use and addiction: a list of support groups, books, videos, and more
Faith and Safety: a website with advice for parents on how to protect the home from Internet pornography and other digital dangers
Church teaching on pornography plus three talks on the subject
Daniel Spadaro, "Life Matters: Pornography and Our Call to Love" (Respect Life Program, 2012)
"The Internet and Pornography" (Child and Youth Protection office)