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problems in marriage

Every couple faces at least a few problems in marriage. Sadly, most couples divorce without knowing that their problems in marriage are actually solvable. Let’s break down the top ten problems in marriage and how they can be addressed instead of leading to divorce.

According to a 17-year study from Pennsylvania State University published in 2003, the two leading self-reported divorce reasons among separating American couples are:

  1. Infidelity
  2. Incompatibility

The following made up much smaller but still significant portions:

  1. Drinking or Drug use
  2. Grew Apart
  3. Personality Problems
  4. Lack of Communication
  5. Physical or Mental abuse
  6. Loss of love

Drinking or drug use are serious problems and may be reasons to divorce. Any physical or mental abuse is also a good reason to leave your marriage. At the same time, the two most common reasons for divorce, infidelity and incompatability, are both fixable problems.

Infidelity tears a hole in the fabric of your relationship and your marriage will never be the same. At the same time, it doesn’t mean your marriage has to be over. Sometimes people do make mistakes, and many mistakes are repairable. (At the same time, if this infidelity is part of a repeated pattern of betrayal, that is a good reason for divorce.)

Dealing with infidelity and recovering from a trust betrayal requires a strong commitment to change in the erring spouse and the full support of the other. Power of Two can help you work through the challenges of rebuilding trust and provide a guide for making sure the behavior never happens again. Also, infidelity is often the result of other underlying problems in marriage, and working through one will help resolve the others. It’s possible for a marriage to come out even stronger!

Incompatibility is the #2 most common reason for divorce. This word probably describes a bunch of different problems in marriage including growing apart, feeling distant, loss of love, increasing arguments, and different interests. Many couples counseling programs will tell you that improving communication is the key to inviting back intimacy, sharing and love in your marriage. Yet few actually tell you how you’re supposed to do this! Luckily, communication is a tangible skill that you can learn. Power of Two can help you develop better communication in marriage to get over the barriers of incompatibility.

Increasing love and intimacy is also possible. If you’ve committed to someone for a lifetime, your feelings for each other will fluctuate over that time. Also, you both will change and grow as people. At the same time, these differences don’t mean that you shouldn’t be married to each other. Power of Two has an entire library fun, easy activities to increase the warmth and positivity in your relationship and help you rediscover the daily joy of being in a romantic partnership.


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I'm Dr. Abigail Hirsch. I lead the Power of Two coaching team. We are here to help you stop fighting and build trust, intimacy and love.

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Dr. Abigail Hirsch

marriage counseling online

Funding for this project was provided by the United States Department of Health Services, Administration for Children and Families, Grant 90-FE-0123. Any opinions, finding, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Department of Health and Human Servies, Administration for Children and Families.