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.
Difficulties Married Couples Face
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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?" Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more:
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. Read more: