All the movies we have seen growing up—from Snow White to Titanic—have given our world a glimpse into what real love should look like. Women are looking for their Prince Charming because our world tends to glorify marriage.
As a result, marriage seems like a good idea for most people. After all, why shouldn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after?
But the movies make it look easy. And as any married person can tell you, marriage in real life is sometimes anything but easy. In fact, for many couples, it can be downright miserable if they don’t know how to work through their problems.
And think about it—no one teaches us how to have a happy, healthy marriage. If our parents didn’t model it for us, then we have no idea how to do it ourselves.
Because of this, almost all marriages have problems. Some couples are better at working through the ups and downs through the years than others, but they all have them.
Regardless of whether your problems lead to divorce or you work through them effectively, most married couples have similar issues. So, let’s take a look at 15 of the most common problems most marriages face.
1. Division of Labor
Research shows that even when both spouses work outside the home, the woman is usually the one who does more of the housework and chores.
Obviously, this creates more stress for her. But what’s even more stressful beyond these daily chores is called “psychological responsibility.” In other words, women are expected to remember things like “Johnny has a doctors’ appointment on Tuesday,” or “We have to go to Jane’s soccer game on Saturday at 2:00.”
While it’s not always the woman who does more of the work, lack of balance with the division of labor can cause a lot of issues.
Learn more about how to tackle this problem here: Average Couples See Chores as a Cornerstone, Happy Couples See Them as the Gem Stone
Some people are spenders. Others are savers. So, if you get a spender and a saver together in a marriage, you can see how that would become a problem.
Maybe growing and investing money is important to one person, but the other couldn’t care less about it. Fighting over money and how it is spent is one of the most common problems in marriages.
3. Children and Parenting Differences
Let’s face it—children can be stressful! The crying/sleepless babies, temper tantrums, and rebellious teenagers are not a lot of fun sometimes, regardless of how much you love your kids! And that can cause a lot of stress to a couple. Even differing parenting styles like how to punish a child can cause a rift in a married couple.
4. Personality Differences
If one person is an introvert and the other is an extrovert, then there may be constant tension regarding how often to socialize.
The extrovert might feel unloved that the introvert never wants to go to a party with them. But the introvert might feel rejected because the extrovert always wants to socialize with people other than their spouse. And this is just one aspect of personality differences that can cause problems in marriages.
5. Fighting and Communication Style Differences
Maybe one spouse grew up in a family where they yelled and screamed at each other when they were angry, while the other spouse grew up in a family that turned their anger inward and would give people the silent treatment. Having different fighting or communication styles when it comes to conflict can be a huge obstacle to having a happy and healthy marriage.
6. Different Love Languages
Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book called The Five Love Languages. In it, he defines five different ways people give and receive love (acts of service, touch, time, giving of gifts, words of affirmation). If you both speak very different love languages, you might not feel loved by your partner, which may lead to marriage problems.
For example, if you want to be given gifts to feel loved but instead your partner would rather do acts of service for you—like fixing your car or rubbing your feet—then you might not understand that they really do love you.
Everyone has different sexual needs—both in frequency and type. Some people love having sex as often as they can, while others could live the rest of their lives without it. And others need a lot of kinky stuff to be satisfied. Regardless of what you want, most couples have a problem with their sexual compatibility.
8. Jealousy and Infidelity
Many people are naturally insecure and unfortunately, many people are also tempted to cheat on their spouse. So, whether or not someone actually cheats, there can be jealousy that exists within the relationship.
Infidelity isn’t just limited to physical cheating either. Emotional infidelity is running rampant these days because of technology, such as phones and dating apps. They make it so easy to hide what someone is doing and whom they are talking to.
Relationships are always exciting when they are new. Everyone feels like they are walking on cloud 9 because they are so in love. But then as time goes on, the newness and infatuation wear off. As that happens, many couples fall into a slump. Their relationship stagnates and seems to get boring. It takes effort to try to keep the love alive and to keep doing exciting things together.
10. Power Inequity
Power can come in many forms—from financial power to parenting power. If one spouse makes more money than the other (or perhaps one is a stay-at-home parent), that creates an imbalance when it comes to who brings in the money. And this imbalance is a common marriage problem.
Who has more decision-making power? Many times, it’s not equal. So, that definitely causes problems because one of the spouses could start to feel powerless over time.
Abuse also comes in several forms. Physical abuse is what most people think of when they hear the word abuse. But mental and emotional abuse is also very detrimental to people and the couple as a whole: The Invisible Violence in Relationships That Destroys People
When one or both people are not respecting each other by laying their hands on them or using horrible language when they speak, that can tear apart a marriage in no time.
12. Values and Beliefs
As the saying goes, “a bird and a fish may love each other, but where will they live?” In other words, when two people have very different ways of looking at the world, it makes it difficult to understand each other. And this may lead to problems in marriage.
For example, if a Catholic is married to a Muslim, they probably don’t share a lot of beliefs and worldviews. Even if one is a Republican and the other is a Democrat, that can cause major tension in a marriage as well.
13. Trying to Change Each Other
No one is perfect. There will always be something about everyone in the world that will annoy you. But when people don’t understand this, then they try to change each other.
They think, “I can’t stand that Bob doesn’t want to go to the gym and work out with me, but when we get married, I’ll change his mind.” No. That NEVER works! You cannot change people.
So, you should just learn to accept each other the way you are. Otherwise, you will be making each other miserable with all of the naggings that go into trying to change a person—and besides, it’s just not possible.
14. Keeping Score
If someone feels like they are doing way more for the other person than they are for them, then it’s natural to keep score.
You think, “I work, and then I come home and cook and clean and take care of the kids. But all the while, Ben is just sitting on the couch, drinking his beer, and not even noticing how stressed out I am!” Then in your mind, you think you have racked up a lot more on the scoreboard than he has. As a result, resentment builds up over time and it can ruin a marriage.
15. Unrealistic Expectations
We all have an idea of how we want other people to act.
For example, maybe you think that when someone is married, they should have sex every day. But let’s face it—most couples are tired from work, kids, chores, etc. So, it doesn’t happen.
Maybe you think your wife should cook gourmet meals all the time just like your mom did. Well, maybe she hates to cook! Putting unrealistic expectations on your spouse will just make you both frustrated and angry.
No one has a perfect marriage—not even the ones who are the happiest! Being happy while being married takes effort, but that doesn’t mean that effort has to be hard.
If you both try to give 100% to work through the inevitable marriage problems that you face, then the marriage can work well. It takes a lot of commitment and love, but it can definitely be done.
More on How to Deal With Marriage Problems
We are given life with many opportunities to make it everything we want it to be and more. If you find that you’ve slipped into living a boring life, it’s time to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing and what you can start doing now to make it more interesting.
Maybe you’ve been doing the same thing and living the same life for too long, or maybe your daily routine is limiting your growth and happiness. Whatever your reason is, the following list can definitely make any day or life more interesting. Some of them are silly, while some are more meaningful, so hopefully just reading the list makes your life less boring and sparks your creativity.
Let’s dive in the list to quit your boring life and start living an interesting (and meaningful) one!
1. Channel Your 7-Year-Old Self
Imagine being a young child. Life was never boring, was it? That’s because children harness every ounce of creativity they have in order to try new things.
What would your 7-year-old self want to do in this moment? Maybe they’d pick up a paintbrush and try to paint the landscape around them. May they would go outside and build something with random materials around the yard. Maybe they would raid the fridge and put together a dish they’ve never seen before.
Just because you’re a grown-up doesn’t mean any of this stuff will be less enjoyable than you remember it. Give yourself permission to play and use your creativity to its fullest.
2. Go Play With Kids
Speaking of little kids, if you have your own (or a niece or nephew), go play with them!
Kids are absolutely hilarious, so it’s simply impossible to be bored when you’re around them. They also keep things so simple, and we can really stand to be reminded of this and stop allowing ourselves to get bogged down in boring details.
3. Play Cell Phone Roulette
You’ll need at least one buddy for this, but this is a great way to avoid a boring life. Scroll through the contacts in your phone, stop on a random one, and (if it feels right) call the person.
You could spark an incredible catch-up session or, at the very least, remind someone that you’re thinking of them. Neither are boring.
4. Fill out a Pack of Thank-You Cards
This is a great part of a gratitude practice. We often forget to thank the people who do things for us, especially if we have come to expect those things. For example, have you ever thought about thanking your mom for that weekly phone call? Or thanking your sister for always sending you a homemade gift on your birthday?
Take time to think of at least 5 people you would like to say thank you to and write out a card. You could even write them out for random people in your neighborhood, like the local librarian, a teacher at your child’s school, or the accountant at your bank.
Anyone and everyone appreciates being thanked for their efforts.
5. Sign up for a Class
Nowadays, there are classes for everything. To make it as interesting as possible, try finding one that you wouldn’t normally consider doing, like salsa lessons, improv, or boxing.
Otherwise, try to find a course on something you’ve always wanted to learn, like pottery, photography, or a foreign language course.
What’s good about joining an interest class is that you will also meet new people, which will add even more interest to your life!
6. Talk to Your Grandparents About Their Lives
We often underestimate how interesting the elderly are. You can rest assured that any elderly person you talk to will not have had a boring life! Take some time to talk to them and hear their interesting stories. You may even find that this motivates you to go out and find your own interesting experiences.
7. Get up on Stage at an Open Mic Night
Whether you’re funny or not, get up on stage. If you’re not into comedy, find an open mic that focuses on reading poetry or short stories and bring your own. These groups tend to be incredibly supportive for anyone who is willing to be brave enough to get up and try.
8. Do Something for Someone Else
Showing kindness automatically makes you feel good, but doing these small acts will also help to ensure that you don’t have a boring life. Try doing one or two things each week that are outside your normal routine.
For example, you could make a batch of cookies for the mailperson or help your elderly neighbor organize one of their rooms. There are a million ways to show kindness to those around you. Tap into your creativity and find your own or use some of the ideas from the image below.
9. Start a DIY Project in Your Home
If you have your own place, there is always a project that needs to get done. Many people simply pay for someone else to do it in order to avoid the hassle, but taking on a DIY project can make a boring life much more interesting.
It doesn’t have to be super complicated. Maybe you repaint an old vase or build a spice shelf out of used pallets.
If you need ideas, you can also check out these 30 Awesome DIY Projects that You’ve Never Heard of.
10. Plan a Weekend Trip or an All-Out Vacation
This will give you something to look forward to. One study actually found that most travelers are happiest before a vacation. Therefore, simply planning a trip will boost your mood, even if you can’t actually take the vacation right now.
Even if you don’t have the time or money to go on a vacation, plan for a staycation, which is also fun and relaxing!
11. Go People Watching
Find a bench in a crowded area (centers of transportation like airports, bus stops, and train stations are great for this!) and just observe.
People are infinitely interesting. Try to imagine what their lives are like, what they’re thinking, or where they’re going. You’ll never know if you’re right, but it will give you something to focus on and also help you practice empathy.
12. Eat Something You’ve Never Eaten Before
You can try that new Moroccan restaurant down the street and pick the most interesting dish on the menu. Or, you can raid your own fridge and throw together a dish you’ve never made before.
If you’re up for a trip to the grocery store, try picking up a new fruit or veggie from the produce section. You may find a new food that you love!
You can get your friends together for a night on the town or just pull up a video on YouTube and bust a move from your own living room.
If you’re feeling extra brave, you can even dance in public or join a flash mob.
14. Pick up a Book and Start Reading
Reading a good book can keep you occupied for hours. It will also transport you to a life that isn’t your own, and one that likely will be the opposite of a boring life. You’ll be amazed by what you can learn from those pages.
Pick on of these inspirational books to start reading:
15. Spend Some Time With People You Care About
Facebook stalking doesn’t count as real social interaction. Call up a friend you haven’t seen in a while, or bring a coffee over to your parent’s place and catch up. They’ll appreciate the gesture, and you’ll avoid boredom.
16. Check out a Museum You’ve Never Been to
Some people are bored by museums, so if that’s you, skip to the next one. However, if you love art, history, or culture, this one is for you!
17. Write a List of Things You Desire and Truly Want
This is a great way to help you figure out the real reason why you’re feeling bored about your life. Maybe you haven’t really done things that you truly enjoy? Maybe what you’ve wanted to do all the time has been left behind?
Think about the list of things you really want to do, and ask yourself why you aren’t doing these things (yet). Then, start taking your first step to make it happen.
Now, go make your life interesting and live your dream life!