Are you and your partner constantly fighting about something? (maybe even multiple things?)
An increase in the number of fights you've been having or a tendancy to keep having the same fight over and over again are both signs that you and your partner are caught in a power struggle.
A Power Stuggle is when you and your spouse are fighting to get (or keep) your way. It's part of human nature and a totally normal occurance in relationships.
Usually it catches us by surprise because at first we're just having fun being together in love.
Arguments start cropping up over how to spend (even whether to spend) money.
Or what to have for dinner.
Or what to watch on TV.
Instead of enjoying each other you're jockeying for control.
Marriage is a partnership and partnerships are based on trust and collaboration. When conflict starts cropping over and over it isn't long until trust and collaboration go out the window and, often, the relationship winds up going out the window shortly thereafter.
But there IS a solution.
The solution has two parts.
1 Understand it's normal
First you both have to understand that it's completely normal to go through this phase. In fact, experiencing a power struggle and working through it makes your relationship stronger and opens the door to fuller, deeper, freer love.
2 Appreciate each other
Appreciate that both you and your partner each bring something important and special to your relationship and that by sharing you can build a better life together than you'd otherwise have apart.
3 Fulfill the Deeper Need
Get to the bottoms of what's really causing the conflict. That is, all fights are the result of a need not being met or a response to the threat of a need not being met.
For example, fights about money are really about what money means to each person. That is, do you (and your partner) see money as a means to feel secure? Or feel important? Or feel free? Or as an ability to contribute to others? Or as a way to grow by studying and experiencing new things? If you see money as a means to Significance you might be inclined to spend it on fancy clothes, homes and vacations, while if your partner sees money as a means to Security they'll be inclined to save it, sometimes even horde it. Until you understand each other's underlying need you'll just be triggering each other, feeling critical and getting into fights.
There are six basic human needs that we all share (although in different priorities), and they are Love, Significance, Security, Excitement, Growth and Contribution.
When you meet each other's needs the fights magically disappear.
And from that new place of deep trust and fulfillment you can explore what's hurts are behind the needs you personally have and then heal those wounds for each other.