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Difficulties Married Couples Face


On their wedding day, the bride and groom promise to be faithful to each other “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Sooner or later, all couples face the “worse” or “poorer” or “sickness” in their marriage. At these times of difficulty, married couples benefit tremendously from the support of their Church family, friends, and relatives.

Below are common difficulties faced by married couples, listed alphabetically, with links to pages on the For Your Marriage website or other USCCB resources.


If you or your spouse in the past month has taken a drink first thing in the morning to help you recover from a hangover you may be dealing with an addiction problem. … In addition to the person with the addiction, there is often a spouse who suffers from co-dependency. Read more.

Also see: Drug Use Can Ruin a Marriage


Career and Employment Issues

At first it probably sounds simple. Get a job to pay the bills so we can live happily ever after. But jobs take a lot of time and sometimes that time is stolen from the time that the marriage relationship needs. Read more.

Also see: When Unemployment Hits Home: Seven Ways to Help Your Marriage

USCCB Resources:



Conflict is normal in marriage. However, when conflicts escalate to contempt and disrespect, or when they seem unsolvable and are causing grief for one or both spouses, there is no shame in reaching out for help. For Your Marriage maintains a list of organizations dedicated to helping couples deal with conflict and work toward a healthier, happier marriage.

See also: Conflict Resolution Skills


Death of a Loved One

Losing a child, family member, or friend can be a heavy weight for a marriage to bear. Losing a spouse is a devastating blow. Grieving spouses and parents need support, love, and time to heal.

See also: A Lesson in Love from Our Dying Son and It Is Well: Life in the Storm

USCCB Resources:


The most common disillusionment often is phrased as “I just don’t know if I love him (her) anymore.” It’s usually accompanied by a general feeling of loss of excitement and passion for your spouse. You wonder, "Is this all that marriage is supposed to be?" Read more.

See also: When Rain Drenches a Marriage


Domestic Violence

Conflict is part of every intimate relationship–that’s why conflict resolution skills are important. Domestic violence, however, has no place in a healthy relationship, whether the couple is dating, engaged, married or cohabiting. Read more.

USCCB Resources: 



Financial counselors often point to finances as the most common cause of divorce. That’s only partially true.Financial problems are as much a result of how we think about money as how we spend it. Read more.

See also: Living Simply: A Lasting and Fulfilling Way of Life


Household Duties

In studies that measure marital satisfaction, the topic of sharing household duties is one of the primary sources of dissatisfaction for couples, especially in the early years of marriage and when both spouses work outside the home. Read more.

See also: Whose Job Is It?


Illness, especially chronic illness, changes the relationship with spouse, family, friends, social network, and God. Illness can bring out the best - and sometimes the worst - in both spouses. Read more.

See also: Till Death Do Us Part



When a couple is unable to have children, it causes great pain emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually. The feelings of emptiness and loss can be overwhelming. Read more.

See also: The Blessing of “Unanswered Prayers”: An Adoption Story

USCCB Resource: Webpage on infertility, with Catholic teaching and resources for couples



Healing a marriage when there has been infidelity takes teamwork. Both spouses must commit to getting the marriage back, or possibly getting to where it never was. This calls for courage.  Read more.

See also: Getting Past the Affair 



In-laws can be a blessing to a couple, but can also bring tension to a marriage. Boundaries and clear paths of communication are key. Read more.

See also: The Sandwich Generation



15% of all recognized pregnancies end in miscarriage. Couples often bear this grief in silence and confusion. Read more.

See also: Loving Parents After Miscarriage


Personality Differences

Identifying similarities and differences in their personalities helps couples understand the dynamics of their relationship more clearly, but generosity towards each another is still the key to personality compatibility. Read more.

See also: If Opposites Attract, How Can We Get Along? 



Pornography damages the trust and intimacy within the husband-wife relationship and can even lead to the end of the marriage itself. It draws focus away from one’s family life and relationship with God and sets a destructive example for one’s children. In 2015, the bishops published a formal statement on this subject, called "Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography." Read or order the statement here, in English and Spanish.

See also: How to Strengthen Your Marriage After Porn Addiction

USCCB Resources:


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