By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
4 things you need to fix in your marriage now
Divorce doesn't happen overnight, and neither do strong marriages. Fix these common pre-divorce problems to solidify your marriage. - photo by Wendy Jessen
You're in love. You get married, enjoy a honeymoon phase of your relationship and then things slowly begin to change. You and your spouse have disagreements, even arguments, about different aspects of your life together. It's normal to fight a little -- as long as you work it out and make up with each other.

Arguments stem from all sorts of issues, so it's important to try to solve the problems before they become the basis for divorce. If not remedied, these common pitfalls frequently lead to divorce:

One or both partners feel like they are taken for granted.

Familiarity can sometimes lead to complacency. We get used to each other and it becomes easy to not make the necessary efforts in our relationships that we did when we were dating. You fall into a rhythm and expect certain things from each other on a regular basis.

This is normal; but don't let you partner feel unappreciated. Saying thank you and expressing appreciation for everyday things will help you remember to not take your spouse for granted. Don't let your comfort level in a relationship leave your spouse feeling like you don't care about him or her anymore. Spend time close to one another and discuss the things you are really grateful for about each other. Make sure your spouse feels loved, appreciated and needed.

Using your children as pawns.

This is probably one of the most inappropriate things you can do. When you let anger and frustrations prevail in front of the kids, you put your children in an impossible situation -- and it's manipulative. Making children take sides is never OK.

Additionally, the fighting is damaging to kids' sense of safety and well-being. This also sets up a negative model for your children to follow in their own marriages. If you must have a discussion with your children present, keep it calm and civil and let them see you resolve it. They will learn that you can work together through problems and still love each other even when you disagree.

Communication ceases.

Communication can stop in a relationship over time because of busyness, an argument, complacency or other various distractions. When this happens, couples don't spend time together talking, which is so vital to a relationship. When communication ceases, husbands and wives make assumptions about what the other is thinking, feeling or doing, and jumps to often harsh and incorrect conclusions.

Combat this with regular times to talk to each other. Whether it's after the kids are in bed or during regular date nights, communication is necessary. You can clear up misunderstandings, discuss what is going on in your lives and connect on an emotional and spiritual level. You didn't date each other and fall in love in silence, so you can't expect to stay in love without communication.

Your sex-life is non-existent or rare.

Dissatisfaction with your sex-life is often directly correlated to what else is going on in your marriage. If you're fighting all the time, not communicating, your spouse feels unneeded and unappreciated or you're not treating each other like equals, neither partner will be in the mood for something as vulnerable as sex.

If you want to improve your sex life, you have to fix the other problems first. "The best way to get busy again is talking through your non bedroom-related problems," according to this marriage article. Sex is not a casual act; it involves emotional, spiritual, physical and mental connections. Both partners need to feel mutual love and appreciation to desire bedroom activities.

Avoid leading your marriage down the path of divorce by doing daily relationship maintenance. Working together, listening to each other and overcoming rough patches are all parts of marriage. You shouldn't just give up because it's temporarily not working. Discuss problems together and find solutions. Remember why you fell in love in the first place and strive to rediscover that and many other reasons why you're in love with your husband or wife.
Sign up for our E-Newsletters