Things that can harm a happy marriage

So a couple of weeks ago on the blog we talked back-and-forth about our marriage. Today we are just picking that up and sharing a little more about our marriage and all things marriage by discussing things that can harm a happy marriage.

We talked last time about how we are wedding photographers and we love weddings. But what we love most is that our couples are entering this stage of their lives of hopefully having a really happy and long lasting marriage. We would just love to be able to support them with as many resources as possible. All while keeping in mind that we are not experts!

That can’t go understated.

Things that can harm even a happy marriage

But what we thought we would do today… Recently we have stumbled across a couple of different lists of things that could potentially be harmful to even a happy marriages. 

Things about marriage problems, some podcasts, some Instagram posts and other things that have popped up. Probably just Google hearing us talking about marriage.. hahaha

So we found one that was a list of 15 of the most common marriage problems (Things that can harm a happy marriage). And so we just thought we would kind of talk through them today. We would just go through and pick a couple relating it to our marriage and whatever sort of insight we could offer (*not experts).

Feel like we kind of talked about this last time but what do you think is one of the greatest struggles in our marriage. 

I mean we’ve talked about this a lot.. It comes down to communication. And understanding what each of us need when we enter an argument. 

Please tell Michael that he should take a debate class so that I could help him articulate his thoughts a little better. I come from a family of arguers and he always takes a while to get his point across so we can create struggles when we’re trying to debate a topic.

a list of 10 things that can harm even a happy marriage discussed by a husband and wife

Things that can harm a happy marriage

Unrealistic Expectations

Going along with that.. on this list of 15 things that could be detrimental to your marriage, the one that hit me the hardest. Of like ‘yes I think that that is a really good point’. Is having unrealistic expectations. And I think that that goes along with what we struggle with when it comes to communication. 

So often when we have an argument it’s very rare that one of us did something wrong. It’s rather that one of us felt like it should have been done a certain way and it wasn’t. It has to do with what our expectation for that situation was.

That we go back to that a lot trying to talk through why we’re doing something a certain way so that we can alter that expectation.

Keeping in mind that so much of an argument has to do with your preconceived notion’s of how things should happen.  

I think so much of that is you. The internal perspective. It’s like your schema of how you think things should be done that creates an argument or a problem.

So I think that was a really good part of the list. 

Things that can harm a happy marriage


Second one that I thought was really applicable to our marriage (not necessarily to us now but to us when we very first got married). Like brand new newlyweds. Is finances.

We didn’t have joint bank accounts before we got married. I think having these different perspectives of what we value when it comes to spending money. And again it goes back to his expectations of how you feel like money should be spent. And the differences can create issues. 

Figuring out how to balance who pays for what and we both make different amounts but now it’s our money because we’re sharing our lives now. And trying to navigate and figure all of that out was difficult when we first got married.

It’s really important, especially if you’re not living together already, to sit down and figure out who is going to be in charge of what, how are you going to do your finances, who’s going to pay bills, who’s going to be in charge of what. Are you doing a joint bank account or are you keeping your bank account separate? 

We first got married we were not as financially independent as we are now. When we first bought our house we had some unexpected expenses come up and we had a navigate dealing with that. 

I think just sitting down and talking through a budget could help with this. Just talking through what is your expectation for where your money is going to go and if you were going to spend money on X I’m going to spend money on Y.. and that can create some balance. 

And also talking through debt.  Reading through Dave Ramsey is super helpful with that.  

Things that can harm a happy marriage

Division of Labor

Another thing moving on through this list that can create problems in a happy marriage is the division of labor. And this is something that was actually brought up in our marriage counseling and then again when we were about to have a baby. 

One thing that was suggested to us that we didn’t end up doing but could be helpful if this is something that you feel like could create a problem. Is sitting down and creating a list on paper in black-and-white of who is in charge of white. 

The thing that we decided in the very beginning of our marriage was that Michael would always do dishes and I would always do laundry. Now that doesn’t necessarily always happen but we at least have baseline of who is in charge of what. 

For someone who is prone to feel like you are doing everything and your partner isn’t helping, I would definitely recommend sitting down and creating a very detailed list of all the tasks that happen in your home and sitting down and dividing them between the two of you.

It goes back to that same thing of expectations like if you expect that your wife or husband is going to do certain things for you regularly and then she doesn’t do those things that’s where problems can be created. Sit down and talk to each other about what your expectations are and that can solve a lot of problems before they happen.

tips for a happier healthier marriage from a husband and wife

Things that can harm a happy marriage

Keeping score

Another thing on this list is keeping score. It’s something that we kind of do but it’s more like a joke.. 

I think that that came in to play again when we were having a baby. It’s almost like you have to redo everything from the large life change of getting married to the large life change of having a baby. 

It’s just figuring out the division of labor for what goes on in your household. So in our house it’s not always that one of us is necessarily doing the same task but if one of us does some thing than the other one is in charge of something else. So for example if one of us is putting Niles to bed and the other one is in charge of prepping and making dinner. 

Things that can harm a happy marriage


Then another one on this list of things that can harm a happy marriage was boredom. How do you feel like we tackle that in our marriage?

We are definitely people who keep our schedule very full and always have something to do. So I don’t really think boredom is an issue for us. 

I think that one thing that does really help our marriage is projects. We both really love doing projects together. I am crafty, you are handy. It’s something that incorporates both of our skills and passions and we can do together.

It allows us to do things that are different not always the same. And it gives us different things to talk about and try together.

We tried and then the pandemic hit to do a date night once a month. So hopefully once the world is back together we can start that up again.

And then with that we were altering who had to plan. So one month, Michael would be in charge of planning and getting everything together for a date night and the next month I would do it. So again it’s not balancing of power, expectations, making decision making.  Talked a lot of potential problems, by just talking about that one detail. 

Tips for a happy marriage – Dreaming together

I also think that that idea of dreaming together is so important. You want to live in the moment but you also want to know that you’re headed in the same direction. 

Spend an embarrassing amount of time dreaming. Talking about the future talking, about big goals, and dreams together. We bring it up.. a lot. 

I’m going to link the whole list so that you can take a look at it and read through the whole thing.

Also follow a couple of marriage related things on Instagram and I think that’s really helpful. Following different relationship counselors or marriage people can help infuse these ideas of working towards a better marriage into your daily life. 

Sample this one girl I follow posted the other day go the entire day today without criticizing your husband once. And if you fail try again tomorrow until you get it. 

But I think it’s just encouraging to have those little nuggets of wisdom pop up onto your daily school of social media as a reminder of checking into your marriage and working to make it better.

Do you think that after this big high of marriage in the honeymoon phase, that it’s easy to get into the routine and kind of go on auto pilot. 

Promptly journals also posts things every once in a while. They have a couples journal and that would also be a great way to do a daily check in with your spouse working on your marriage. 

marriage advice from a husband and wife


Article we reference:


1. Division of Labor

2. Finances

3. Children and Parenting Differences

4. Personality Differences

5. Fighting and Communication Style Differences

6. Different Love Languages

7. Sex

8. Jealousy and Infidelity

9. Boredom

10. Power Inequity

11. Abuse

12. Values and Beliefs

13. Trying to Change Each Other

14. Keeping Score

15. Unrealistic Expectations


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10 things that can harm a happy marriage


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