Dear Divas: Common Marriage Questions

The Divas Respond to Your Top Marriage Questions

As a group of women dedicated to strengthening marriages any way we can, it’s inevitable that we get questions from our readers when they need a little advice or even a few creative ideas. We started to notice that we are hearing similar questions repeated over and over again, and we realized that lots of people are struggling with some of the same challenges. It can be comforting to know you’re not alone, but even better to help each other learn from these shared experiences. We decided it would be amazing to have one go-to place to get answers to all of the most Frequently Asked Marriage Questions we receive. So, we’ve compiled solutions, ideas, and even just some compassion for the questions YOU have most often. Check out marriage advice and tips from the Divas and our readers! Just remember that each and every relationship is different, and while we may have some similar experiences, and we’re always happy to chat with you about them, it doesn’t mean we’re marriage experts – we’ve just got some experience! Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if your marriage needs it!

Frequently Asked Marriage Questions

Financial Challenges in a Relationship

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We have different views on finances, so we disagree about budgets and how money is spent. How can we come to a compromise where we’re both happy?

You’re already on the right track because you know you’ll need to compromise. After all, marriage is always about the ‘give and take.’ Sit down together and make sure you come to some clear decisions about exactly how much money you each think should be spent on specific categories. Create a budget that you both feel comfortable with and stick to it as well as help your spouse stick to it with a positive attitude! It’s also a good idea to include some ‘fun’ money in your budget each month. This can be as small as $5.00, but it gives you the opportunity to have just a little bit of freedom.

If budgeting and finances are a super sticky subject for you and your spouse, check out the Reclaim Your Marriage Program which walks you through the steps to a happy financial marriage. We’ve also got 18 Financial Tips for Marriage and 100 Go-To Budgeting Resources to help you out. Plus, this topic comes up on Facebook pretty often and our readers have had some great insights on Spending Money Differently, Making Purchases without Consulting Each Other, and Couponing!

Jordan Paige also has a fantastic budget bootcamp program out that is absolutely amazing! Enter code DIVAS at checkout for 10% off!

My in-laws are too involved and my spouse doesn’t get why that bugs me. How do I help him/her see why it’s an issue?

Preventative communication is key! Talk about issues that may arise ahead of time and general challenges that all couples face when dealing with their new, extended families. If you wait until an incident has already occurred, your spouse may go on the defensive about their family and have more trouble supporting you. Try to speak to your spouse calmly before visiting in-laws or having family come over, so that everyone’s expectations are clear. If you want your spouse to communicate those expectations to their family, make that clear as well. Hopefully you can decide together that your relationship and your own family come first. For more details and ideas on dealing with these kinds of challenges, see what Caroline had to say about In-Laws, Not Outlaws.

Dealing with extended family members is a common obstacle in many marriages and some of our readers contributed their ideas and solutions on Facebook about Setting Boundaries, handling Unsolicited Parenting Advice and Not Seeing Eye-to-Eye with in-laws.

Our marriage lacks intimacy, how do we get it back?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a quick and easy solution to this marital challenge. The good news is that we have TONS of Intimacy Ideas to help you along the way! It’s important to make sure you understand how and what your spouse thinks about sex, so we suggest starting out by taking our Sexy Survey {and talking about it afterward!} to make sure you both know what the other person expects out of your intimate moments. If you want a few hints, read about What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew about Sex and What Husbands Wish Their Wives Knew about SexThen, once you know exactly what your spouse wants, and you’ve opened the lines of communication, you can get busy making time to give each other what you want {and need}! To help you make intimacy into a good habit and jump start this fun aspect of your marriage again, you could try The Great Sex Challenge or some Scheduled Sexy Time {we know, it doesn’t sound super romantic, but it’s a great start!}.

We’ve also got some great, specific tips on Overcoming Varying Sex Drives and Overcoming Obstacles in Intimacy. To hear more about how others have dealt with issues like having Physical InsecuritiesSelf Image and Intimacy and Comparing Your Relationship to Others, join us on Facebook and look out for our reader questions! 

Being a newlywed is harder than I thought, we’re having trouble adjusting to living together and I don’t know what to do. How can we learn to make compromises and create a life together?

One of the biggest challenges as a newlywed is learning to accept that things aren’t exactly what you expected them to be – but don’t worry, you can still have your fairy tale! A great place to start is our 10 Tips to Prepare for Marriage, even if you’re already married! You should also work toward understanding that the beginning of a marriage is a huge change for both of you and that you can get through it and come out with an even better relationship than when you started! Dedicated marriages grow stronger and even more fulfilling as the years pass by. Take this time to talk openly about what you’d like your marriage to look like. Remember to be positive and notice the aspects of your marriage that are working, in addition to those areas that you feel need some work. Learning how to disagree is an essential part of a strong marriage. No one is going to agree about everything, all the time. What’s important is that you respect each other’s opinions, even when they’re different, so practice Surviving Trials as a Team. Another key to a beautiful marriage is understanding The 50/50 Marriage Myth. Your goal as a new husband or wife should be to do as much as possible for your spouse without expecting a single thing in return. If you’re both giving your marriage everything, it will come out on top! 

Read about what others have to say regarding newlywed challenges like Balancing Your Time TogetherGoing to Bed Angry and Starting Traditions.

Dealing with disagreements in marriage.

It seems like we argue all the time. How can my spouse and I learn how get along and to settle disagreements?

Disagreements are a natural part of any relationship, but they don’t have to {and shouldn’t} be the majority of how you spend your time together. Most arguments stem from not understanding the other person’s point of view, so a good place to start would be our tell-all articles where we surveyed husbands and wives to figure out how they really feel and discovered What Wives Wish Their Husbands Knew and What Husbands Wish Their Wives KnewThen, check out what the Divas have put together as our best tips for handling Disagreements in Marriage – everything from simple reminders to clever tactics! Don’t stress out about the fact that you’re arguing, just work toward a reasonable resolution together. Learning about how to listen is probably the most essential part of settling a dispute. If you spend your entire argument waiting for your turn to talk and “fight back” then the argument will likely never end. Stop trying to make your point and simply hear what your spouse is trying to say. Try to put yourself in their shoes and listen for why they are feeling upset. Try these 10 Tips for Resolving Conflict – it might even be helpful to print them out as a reminder!

If you’re a fan of The Dating Divas on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed that this is one of the most common questions about marriages. We regularly ask our readers to weigh in about topics related to disagreements, like Fighting FairGetting DefensiveFeeling DisrespectedConstant ArgumentsFighting Often, and Being Stuck in a Resentment Rut.

Unromantic Spouse

My spouse isn’t interested in date night, so if I can convince him/her to have one, I end up planning it every time. How do I get them to be involved, too?

If you’ve been around us long enough, you probably know how important we think date night is to marriages everywhere. If your spouse doesn’t see the value in creating this quality time together, help them see Why Your Marriage Needs Date Night. Once you’ve established some reasons WHY date night is important, continue to take the initiative. We know it’s hard, but don’t get discouraged if you’re the only one doing the planning at first. You might feel frustrated, but try to remember these ideas about being in a relationship that feels like a One-Sided Marriage. It may take a while for your spouse to warm up to the idea, but you could try a Date Night Intervention to help get them on board. We’ve also got some tips in case Your Spouse is Not Romantic! If your spouse is on board but doesn’t know where to begin, try creating a Hint Box so they don’t feel so lost and confused!

Many of our readers can commiserate with you about wishing their spouses participated more, so they’ve shared some ways they’ve dealt with Wanting their Spouse to Plan Date Night.

Dealing with Postpartum Depression

My spouse is dealing with mental health issues (depression, PTSD, or anxiety), and I’m not sure how to help!

Often, when your spouse is challenged by mental health issues, you know where they need to go for help {and hopefully they’re going and getting that help}, but you’re not sure where to turn or what to do to actually help them yourself! You only want what’s best and you wish you could make everything better, but you don’t even know where to begin. One of the most important things to remember is that you shouldn’t blame them for feelings. Try not to put added pressure or guilt on your spouse, simply be available for the support that they need. Ask what you can do to help, but keep in mind that their needs may change on a daily {or hourly} basis, so communication is key. Ultimately, you shouldn’t try to ‘fix’ them yourself. Do not be afraid to seek professional help or guidance for you or your spouse. Mental health issues are long-term and cannot be fixed with a simple ‘band-aid’. We’ve done the research, and some of the Divas even have personal experiences with mental health in their families, so we’ve got even more details on Helping a Spouse Deal with Depression and Understanding Postpartum Depression.

It might feel lonely as you deal with these kinds of challenges, but remember that others face similar obstacles as well. Our readers have shared how they deal with Being Ashamed of DepressionFeeling MiserableHaving a Spouse with PTSD and Feeling Disconnected Because of PTSD.

We don’t spend quality time together anymore and I miss my spouse. I think we both want to make time for each other but we’re having trouble making it a priority. What are some ways we can get back on track?

We know lots of things seem to get in the way of spending time together. It’s easy to let the people you care about most in the world lose priority over the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but we also know that strong marriages consist of two people who make quality time together a priority. Don’t be afraid to schedule quality time. If your busy schedules never seem to let up, there’s nothing wrong with penciling it in {or maybe using a permanent marker!}. It also helps to establish simple routines. When you develop daily habits that consist of spending time together, you’ll start having quality time without thinking twice. It can start out simple with a 10 minute walk every night, or always sitting down together for a meal. Find a daily ritual that you already do and make sure you start doing it together. Once you’ve established some simple routines, start making more elaborate plans together! If you still feel totally stuck in a rut, try reading about How to Rekindle the Fire!

Sometimes it helps to hear what others do to Make Quality Time a Habit and Balance Work and Family!

Trusting your spouse after betrayal.

My spouse cheated on me and I’m having trust issues, I’m always worried it’s going to happen again. Is it possible to overcome these issues? What can do I to get back to a healthy relationship?

We all know that trust is an essential part of a healthy marriage. Your relationship really can’t exist without knowing that you can rely on each other. Infidelity isn’t the only reason that you might stop trusting your spouse, but it is one of the more common reasons that trust issues develop. Getting your relationship back on track can be done, but you should know in advance that it’s a long road to recovery. Try these steps towards Learning to Trust AgainIf you and your spouse are both truly dedicated to rebuilding your relationship try these Ways to Protect Your Marriage. We wish you the best of luck on your journey back to a healthy, happy and strong marriage but don’t forget to get professional help if our resources don’t feel like enough or you feel ‘stuck’ in an unhealthy marriage.

Unfortunately, some of our reader friends have had encounters with infidelity, so if you’d like to hear more opinions, read about Moving On after Infidelity and Giving Second Chances.

Are you struggling in your marriage? Check out The Dating Divas Marriage Club for even MORE great ideas for working on your marriage!

 

My spouse’s birthday is coming up and I need gift and/or party ideas!

You are in LUCK! We’ve got a practically endless list of brilliant ideas to make your spouse’s birthday a huge and memorable success! The Divas have put all of our favorite Birthday Ideas up on the blog for your browsing convenience. If it’s a special birthday {like 30, 40 or 50}, check out these ideas for a Milestone Birthday or Special Birthday Ideas. Our readers even have ideas to help you throw a Surprise Party or plan a Romantic Birthday on a Budget

Some of our favorite ideas for showering your spouse with presents they’ll love are our Gifts for Your Guy and the gift ideas in our Spouse Birthday Kit.

My spouse is amazing and I really want to show him/her how much I appreciate them, but we’re on a super tight budget. What amazing and inexpensive ideas do you have?

We totally get having a shoestring budget, so check out our Best Marriage Tip – it’s totally FREE and the perfect way to make sure your spouse knows you care each and every day. If you’re looking for ideas that are sure to make your spouse smile and feel a little more special than the ‘everyday’, you could try any of our Inexpensive Date Ideas. Plus, lots of our Quick and Easy Romance Ideas are budget-friendly, too! Want our personal FAVORITE ideas for those on a tight budget? The Divas agree, we all absolutely love The Week of Lovin, The Spouse Survival Kit, Printable Sticky Notes {or the Sensual variety}, and you could try sending some sweet Text Messages.

My spouse and I have different love languages so we both really struggle with feeling loved by the other. How can we get on the same page?

We’re so glad you love the love languages, too! We think it’s a great way to make sure you know what to do to show your spouse love and make sure that they feel loved. If you know your spouse’s love language, you’re practically already there – now it’s just about reminding yourself as often as possible to do things for your spouse that they can appreciate. The more you force yourself to do it, the more easily it will come to you. Set a goal for how many times you’d like to intentionally show your spouse love in their language. Keep setting goals until it becomes a habit! If you need some ideas to get you started, we have 100 Ways to Show Your Spouse Love in Their Love Language and we have Pinterest boards dedicated to each of the love languages:

Words of Affirmation

Physical Touch

Receiving Gifts

Quality Time

Acts of Service

Marriage Questions on Infertility Support

Our marriage is being put to the test because we are struggling with infertility. Do you have any advice on how to keep our relationship strong in the face of such a difficult challenge?

Know that you are not alone. It definitely feels that way sometimes, but others have come before you and will surely come after you. It might be helpful to seek a support group of friends that have had, or are having, similar difficulties. As hard as it is, do your best to remember that this is a test of your relationship and you will come out stronger in the end – it’s the two of you against the world. The coping skills you develop during this trial will serve you well throughout the rest of your relationship, so work hard to support each other and figure out what your spouse needs to feel loved during such a difficult time. It’s also a great idea to learn your spouse’s emotional triggers. Figure out what outside influences bother them and help them steer clear! For a gigantic wealth of knowledge and support, read all about Infertility Support.

Our anniversary is coming up and I want to do something really special for my spouse, but I’m not the creative type. What are some practical ideas I can use to show him/her how much I love them?

First of all… Congratulations on another wonderful year together! Yay!! Second… No worries! You don’t have to be handy with a glue gun to spoil your spouse this year! We have plenty of Anniversary Ideas and our readers have even suggested a ton of Budget-Friendly Anniversary Ideas. For some fun and easy ideas for the novice, we suggest Candy Grams, Reasons I Love You Posters, Love Coupons, or any of our Printable Love Notes.

Questions about Marriage after Baby

Our kids have become our whole world. We love them and I think we’re being great parents, but I’m afraid we’re having trouble balancing time with each other. How can we nurture a supportive relationship with each other and our children?

If there’s one thing we hear year after year, it’s how much kids can change your relationship. One of the best things to remember is that your relationship existed before kids and it’s going to have to exist after they leave your house, too. It’s so important to make sure you’re not neglecting each other, so talk about how you’re going to maintain a healthy marriage even though the kiddos are taking up a lot of your time. Make time for each other in the little ways, like taking a beat before you leave for work to really look at each other, kiss, and say “good-bye”. Schedule and follow through on big events and weekly date nights. Put bigger things on your calendar and don’t make excuses to get out of them. We’ve gathered up all of our Diva-intelligence and given you solutions to the challenges of Marriage after Baby and some ways to Keep the Romance Alive after Kids.

My spouse and I have different views on pornography. I’m worried that it’s going to destroy our marriage and I don’t know how to approach him/her about it.

Handling a such a sensitive subject is bound to lead to some hurt feelings and difficult conversations, but if you have different views, or are unhappy about your spouse’s feelings towards pornography, you can’t stand by and let it go. It’s worse to ignore your fears and worries than to approach your spouse, no matter how uncomfortable you feel the conversation is going to be. We’ve done all the leg-work and researched as much as we can about How Pornography Affects Marriage and Why Porn Shouldn’t Be in a Marriage, so learn the facts before you start talking. Once you’ve taken the time to calmly think and reflect on your own personal views, and have had a chance to organize your thoughts, you can talk to your spouse about Overcoming a Pornography Addiction. It’s important that you don’t introduce the subject by catching them in a lie or making them feel guilty, which could lead to deception rather than progress. It doesn’t have to destroy your marriage, but it likely will if you don’t handle the situation as reasonably as possible.

I’m in a long distance relationship, but I don’t want our marriage to suffer, so how do we continue dating from different locations?

Just because you aren’t physically close to your spouse doesn’t mean you can be romantic. We’ve got an almost endless supply of Long Distance Relationship Ideas and a few tips for Keeping the Love Alive while Apart. The most important thing to remember? Never stop trying. Just because you can’t see your spouse every day, don’t let that be an excuse to stop showing them the love! Try to do one thing for your relationship each day that you and your spouse are apart. You could write a love letter, send a flirty text, make a care package, or work on a scrapbook of the adventures you’ve had together!

Didn’t find what you were looking for? Don’t worry! We’ve also got tips for dealing with:

Emotional Abuse in a Marriage

Emotional Affairs

The Social Media Marriage Mess

You can also check out our Favorite Marriage Books, written by some really knowledgeable professionals who can give you more in-depth knowledge on most of these subjects and marriage in general!

Still have questions about your marriage? Join us on Facebook and ask your own questions, or read through some of our readers’ Best Marriage Advice.

About the Author: Megan

I find a way to be highly creative and highly organized all at the same time. I love discovering a new favorite book, sitting on my back porch in the mornings, mountain views, and random science facts! I married my high school sweetheart after dating for nearly a decade and I love meeting people who know how to make me laugh, like my husband who can crack me up by just looking at me.

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