Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from the ladies at http://wivestribe.com/

Do you ever feel like you have a struggling marriage? How do other couples find solutions to common marriage problems?

First and foremost, you should know that you are not alone. I felt lonely and secretive about my marriage problems for years, until I started collecting stories from real wives about their marriages.

Read these story excerpts to learn about some of the most common marriage problems and solutions that could really work for you.

1. Spouse spends too much time with family
2. Having a different love language than your partner
3. Money issues in marriage
4. Dealing with depression in a relationship

If you’re having problems with marriage today, these honest stories might help you have a better marriage tomorrow.

1. Spouse spends too much time with family

If you live near your spouse’s family, you know how it feels to share your spouse with his other loved ones. One of our anonymous writers shared this story about her husband stretching himself too thin between important people in his life:

I had just climbed into bed when our newborn woke up. I was frustrated and angry when I was finally climbing back into bed… and of course that’s when our toddler woke up. After finally getting our toddler to go back to sleep, that’s when our newborn woke up to be fed.

At that point, I was exhausted and livid at my husband. I felt like he should have been home helping me instead of out playing with his family.

I remember texting him quite angrily, and he responded by saying that he was having a “heart to heart” with his sister…

That conversation was when I finally realized that my husband is being “pulled” in many different directions while living here. For the first time, I realized that he felt a lot of pressure and obligations from so many people to be present because he grew up in this city…

Once I was able to understand our situation from that new point of view, my perspective changed and I was able to approach my husband with an understanding of what he was feeling and experiencing. I approached the conversation by expressing to him that I understood a little bit better what it was like for him to live here, and for the first time in years, we were able to talk about this conflict without arguing like crazy…

Everything changed for us when I was willing to put in the effort to understand what my husband was experiencing rather than assuming the worst, and my husband was able to start trying to understand my feelings without immediately getting defensive.

When your spouse spends too much time with family, try opening the lines of communication. If you or your spouse has trouble being vulnerable, try starting with a note or text, or schedule a date or car ride to have a discussion.

2. Having a different love language than your partner

Do you wish your husband would bring a thoughtful gift home to you, or take the time to write a short love note? When you’re not getting what you want from your spouse, you may want to take a closer look at the love languages in your marriage.

This writer shares her struggle with feeling loved by her husband and making her husband feel loved in return.

My love languages are WORDS OF AFFIRMATION and ACTS OF SERVICE. The very lowest on my list? Quality time.

My spouse’s love languages are QUALITY TIME and PHYSICAL TOUCH. Rock bottom on his list? Words of affirmation.

Classic, right? I could go weeks without being with my friends or family so long as they text me and tell me how awesome I am. My husband feels awkward about compliments so he avoids them. Instead, he feels loved when we sit and watch TV together in the evenings, and it bothers him when I want to spend some time by myself.

Here are a few tools we use to improve this huge gap between our love languages:

1. I do what I can to speak his love languages. It’s easy enough to cuddle him or give him a kiss, and that makes him happy (physical touch.) I watch shows with him when I can stand it, and occasionally I plan a date or night out (quality time.)

2. I try to be expressive about my needs. When I’m feeling low, I tell him I really need a compliment or some help around the house. The conversation can be hard to navigate but usually leads to him telling me something uplifting, like his best effort at a compliment or a little extra assistance the following day.

Remember, even if you don’t understand the other person’s love language, it doesn’t make it less valid than yours.

Having a different love language than your partner can be the root of common marriage problems. Take it upon yourself to take the love language test with your partner and make goals to make one another feel more loved.

3. Money issues in marriage

Naturally, financial issues are a top cause for disagreement and divorce. Caroline may only be in her twenties, but she and her spouse have already figured out the finance dance. Here’s just a part of her article about stopping financial arguments in marriage:

If you fear that secretive spending habits, unwise investments, or insufficient income is wearing on your marriage, it’s time to communicate. The two of you are in control and can come to a happy place together.

A lot of people feel a budget constricts them and is telling them how to use their hard-earned money. Really, though, you and your spouse set the budget, so you are in control!…

Knowing beforehand your priorities helps with the temptation to break your budget, and helps you stay grateful for the things you can afford. Discussing these goals with your spouse and coming to them together helps so much in achieving them!

My husband has reminded himself of this already. He would love to go out to eat every day for lunch, and has a lot of co-workers who do. Instead of blowing the budget and going out anyways, he reminds himself that one coworker who eats out daily has an hour commute. For him, it’s more enjoyable to eat out and save money on housing. We made the choice to live downtown in a nice apartment. Thinking through why you’re making the sacrifice makes swallowing it (the leftovers for lunch) a lot easier.

The need to manage money with your spouse never disappears with time or a bigger income. So, I give you the challenge of discussing money with your spouse for the year. Make a budget, set financial goals, and enjoy the sacrifice of saving together. We’ll be right there with you reassessing how to reach those financial goals. I guarantee in a year you’ll be glad you started that conversation today!

4. Dealing with depression in a relationship

Anxiety and depression are some of the primary silent assassins in marriage today.

BriElle writes about postpartum depression and how it sapped her feelings of love and affection towards her partner, and how she and her husband teamed up to overcome it.

I was not as easily excited. Things that used to make me happy gave me no feeling at all. Things that would normally make me sad did not make me shed a tear.

I felt numb and lifeless. I felt dull, like the spark inside of me had gone out…

What I did not notice was how drastically this affected my marriage. I knew I loved my husband. I knew I needed him because how on Earth could I raise these kids without him?…

But I couldn’t feel anything for him. I wasn’t excited by his presence. I wasn’t thinking of him during those “in-between” moments throughout the day.

He once described it to me… he felt he was being “tolerated” and not “wanted.” And he was right.

I was completely void of romantic feelings during this time, and it took me a long time to notice how bad things had really become…

My doctor suggested that all those things were related to an imbalance of brain chemistry – that my depression was actually not as well-managed as I thought. He suggested changing my anti-depressant, and I figured it was worth a try.

Within days, I felt my emotions pour back into me. It was as though I had been seeing life in black and white, and all of a sudden, I could see in color. The light and the joy came back.

I was finally able to look at my husband adoringly and feel all the love that I knew I had in me. I felt the rush of emotion when we kissed. I felt loved in his embrace.

I was amazed at the difference, and that I could have gone on for so long without noticing how much of our relationship I was missing out on. I cried realizing this, but it also felt good to be able to cry again.

My husband and I decided that we needed to work together and be a united front in the face of my depression. We felt the best thing we could do was to seek counseling as a couple so that we could both understand my depression better.

Don’t hesitate to visit a doctor or therapist to deal with depression. If you’re unsure whether the problem is your marriage or your mental health, we recommend checking out this Psych Central post.

BriElle’s words can resolve almost any problems with marriage today: “be a united front.” When two people are united, their marriage can succeed.

For more stories from real women, common marriage problems and solutions, and resources for married couples, visit wivestribe.com.

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