13 Common marriage problems after 20 years

There are problems couples still face after so many years of marriage. Having a long-lasting marriage is every couple’s dream, especially those who have taken a step forward to say I do.

Still, in most cases, some couples need to remember that a marriage is not always blissful, that they may be married or must have been friends for a very long time. There may be issues in the relationship.

According to research from 1990 to the present, couples in their fifties who have been married for 20 years and above are more likely to get divorced than partners who have been together for less than 20 years. This is because these couples have more unresolved issues than couples dating for under 20 years.

13 Common Marriage Problems After 20 Years

Thirteen common marital issues have been identified due to research and questions are given to partners who have been together for 20 years and above.

1  Pattern Of Communication

Communication is one of the fundamental pillars that help a relationship stand the test of time. There are spoken and unspoken communication patterns, as men and women communicate their feelings and thoughts differently.

In the long run, when a marriage is going well, sometimes both partners lose interest in how they communicate with one another because they are interested in other things, like their children or jobs, or because they may have grown tired of one another.

Due to the lack of proper communication over the years, the tends to be constant misunderstanding, toxicity in the relationship, resentment towards each other, and emotional insecurity, which might lead to separation or Divorce.

In the long run, when a marriage is going well, sometimes both partners lose interest in how they communicate with one another because they are drawn to other things, like their children or their jobs, or because they may have grown tired of one another.

2. Absence Of Attention

Giving your partner the proper attention goes a long way in improving the state of the relationship, as it brings in the feeling of importance and value. This helps both partners easily identify the odds in the relationship or any problem that may arise.

But due to the constant and unavoidable distractions that come with marriage, such as work, parental attention, goals, projects, and third parties, research has shown that such couples tend to have just 10% of their time for each other, which is typically insufficient to be able to resolve underlying issues.

With this, couples have less time for physical intimacy and bonding. Having them lose connection, weakening the marital bliss, putting them in place of neglect, and giving them the option of quitting.

In most cases, couples suffer mentally and emotionally as they relieve less attention from their partner, especially if the attention is one-sided. Do you desire to fix it? Then start by being conscious about your partner’s presence, ask them about their day, and pay attention to every little detail about them.

If the engagement is one-sided, nagging about it isn’t a solution, but understanding their love language, no pressure correctly, and spending time together more often will do the magic.

3. Unresolved Past Hurts

Unresolved past hurts are one of the sparks that causes a constant conflict or problem between married couples.

This is caused by behavioral patterns, background, individual trauma, and environmental factors before and after marriage a spouse or both spouses have experienced.

This affects the cause of the marriage and disrupts the marital bliss as it fuels misunderstanding and disagreement by partners who had to let go of the issue in the past to avoid having any conflict then, causing them to develop the hot and negative feeling that has been created by the malice that was built up then towards their partners.

This tempers the longevity and quality of the relationship between spouses, leading to a mental breakdown and resentment.

To restore the bliss in marriage, partners need to learn to be open to each other more about their hurts and fears. Listen to the other’s perspective or view on the matter, don’t try to force your opinion on them, but rather align your thought either your partners.

One of the best pieces of advice given to couples is to try to calmly resolve their issues before going to bed at night and not avoiding each other.

4. Falling Out Of Love

There’s a saying that relationships or marriages do not pieces of survive on the feeling of love alone, which is true as there are attributes and actions that need to be taken to make them work, like the five love languages.

Falling out of love with a partner is a thought we least have in the bloom of the experience and one of the scary thoughts when we think about our spouse’s feelings.

This usually happens when there is a need to have a proper understanding of your spouse’s love language. However, this is an aspect that cannot be avoided since we are human and lack adequate attention to detail and always think of ourselves.

This is a high percentage of falling out of love with our spouses.
We should spend time with our partners more often, learn their Dos and Don’ts, and communicate more vulnerably and openly as it helps the intimacy between spouses.

According to Michelle Herzog, LMFT, a Chicago-based couple therapist and AASECT certified therapist Shar believes that couples can Fall back in love with the proper thought and partnership.

5. Thought Processing Difference

When couples have the same thought process, they can see and understand each other more accessible and faster it usually happens when both partners have been together for a long. Though it’s only sometimes the case.

In most cases, spouses have different thought processes due to behavioral patterns, individual uniqueness, orientation, perspectives on life, and environmental factors before and after the marriage.

This has led to several issues in marriages as one partner believes us view right and has the upper hand over the other.

When this happens, it causes distancing and a lack of bond between both spouses as they will tend to avoid each other or speak less to prevent any form of fight or misunderstanding as one spouse will want to force his thought on the other.

But here is the beauty of the difference in thought processing. Marital life is not a burden as there are so many exciting things you can learn and know from each other.

To avoid conflicts of thought, both spouses need to learn to accommodate the further review and understand them from their perspective. Spouses are not meant to think alike but in line with each other. Always remember that one person’s nine is another person’s six.

6. Sexual Interest

Having the same Sexual interest as your spouse goes a long way in building intimacy and closeness between both spouses, especially when there’s an open mind and mutual agreement between them.

Conflicts in Sexual interest arise when there is an increase or a difference in libido exposure or evolutionary interest, especially when both spouses’ reproductive systems are in accord.

Given that there is this discrepancy in sexual desire. Through the years of marriage, spouses tend to accommodate infidelity and disloyalty, leading to insecurity, trust issues, and weakness in the bond between spouses.

In this case, it is advised that spouses should learn to accommodate each other, learn more about the new Sexual interest of their partners, have a mutual understanding and also give room for compromise.

7. Financial Issues

The financial aspect of the marriage is a susceptible aspect of any home as it has a lot of effects on both spouses.

But in a case where it’s just one partner that bears the financial burden of the family or a point where a spouse might have lost their job or retired or experienced bankruptcy in their business, there’s sometimes the presence of pressure, anxiety, stress, and this might lead to verbal abuse of the other spouse or both partners.

It might also cause a rift between both partners if it has lingered for years. It is always essential for spouses to have a heart to heart conversations on the financial aspect of the home and how to work together to make sure one party doesn’t feel the burden alone.

8. Unhealthy Relationship Habit

According to a write-up by Joanna Broda, “A 2005 study showed that staying in an unsatisfying marriage may raise stress and worsen health. Another study showed that people in close yet negative relationships are more likely to get heart disease.”

With this, you see spouses who have been in marriages for a very long time become victims of this sort of relationship and exhibit low self-worth, anxiety, stress, constant fights, disrespect, and so on.

Spouses need to sit and have time to resolve this issue, prioritize their partner, make a conscious effort to have a healthy relationship work hand in hand to be better partners, and watch their relationship bloom.

9. Boredom

After many years of marriage, couples often grow tired of one another, primarily when they have maintained the same routine.

This brings most of them to a spot of calling it a quit to have another adventure with some other people, especially when the other spouse is not open to change.
With this, it results in less attention to each other desire for freedom and decision that may affect the union in the long run.

To fix this, both spouses need to agree to take a new turn in their relationship, go for new adventures together, travel, experience the world and nature together, talk about them, have game nights look for new interests together.

10. Desire For Freedom

When people get married, they tend to let go of their goals, dreams, and aspirations to do what will please the other half, and sometimes they are forced to do so by external families or their spouse.

In the years spent in the marriage, we see those for freedom to explore their capabilities and know how much they could give back to the world, and sometimes, this spouse forces their way through, bringing forth division in the family or more issues in the marriage.

It’s crucial for spouses to understand that marriage is not enslavement but rather the union of two people who come together to support and help one another grow; this is why they are referred to as partners and helpers.

11. Abuse

There is nothing right about abuse, be it mental, physical, or emotional, and there is no excuse for it to be accommodated.

It is believed that it will never occur if a spouse doesn’t show signs of abuse at the beginning of the marriage. It is true, but in some cases, it is the opposite.
Some spouses become abused after many years in marriage due to low self-esteem, substance abuse, history of abuse, etc.

When there is constant abuse in the marriage that has lingered for a long time, it tampers with the other’s self-esteem, making them live in the shadow of themselves or build walls and sometimes, in most cases, death. Victims of such marriages are advised to quit if there is no change, speak out and regain their sanity.

12. Kids

Kids are the lively energy in any union; they always bring hyper energies and life to a home. With the presence of kids in the home, spouses always tend to put all their focus and energy on the well-being of the children while ignoring each other’s wants.

When the children grow up and leave home, there is always this balance and feeling of weirdness between both spouses as they have spent the last couple of years with the children and not having time for each other.

This can also contribute to certain misunderstandings as they are in a place where they have to start all over again with their new views on life.

Fixing this is by having some time alone with your partner, setting your differences aside, and reminiscing on how you both started the beautiful journey of love before the children came. Go on dates and also make consistent efforts.

13. Support

One of the advantages of marriage is that spouses have a support system, one who is ever ready to have their back, pushing and encouraging them emotionally, financially, mentally, and physically.

Without support from a spouse, the other spouse begins to feel alone in your relationship. You prefer to spend time alone vs. time with your partner.
The partner shuts down when you want to talk, you need to figure out what your partner wants from you. You don’t engage in social activities as a couple.

Sometimes most partners need to realize that they are not supportive enough and that something is wrong. Get a constructive conversation with them, let them know where they are lacking, and give them a chance to help.


With the 13 common problems listed above, you will be able to sort out the differences with your partner. Problems are unavoidable in marriages no matter how long the marriages have lasted but what makes it beautiful is the conscious effort from both spouses to make it work.

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