5 Cultural Factors Challenging Marriages: Can Your Relationship Survive?

Save Your Marriage

Cultural Factors that Challenge Marriages

Marriage is tough, there’s no denying that. Two people coming together to build a life of love and commitment is a beautiful thing, but it inevitably comes with its challenges.

In this article, we’ll look into some of the cultural factors that can exacerbate those challenges and cause rifts in relationships.

The Principle of Least Interest

One of the most insidious factors that can impact marriages is something called the “Principle of Least Interest”. This refers to a power dynamic in which one partner holds all the cards in the relationship, while the other is more invested and therefore has less power.

This can often lead to competitiveness and a “break-up, make-up” cycle that can be extremely damaging to a relationship. To combat this dynamic, it’s important for both partners to take an active role in maintaining the relationship and ensuring that power dynamics remain balanced.

This means being willing to compromise and communicate openly about needs and desires.

Romantic Love

Another cultural factor that can challenge marriages is the unrealistic expectations placed on the concept of romantic love. Fairytales and Hollywood movies have led many of us to believe that finding “the one” will solve all our problems and bring eternal happiness.

But in reality, relationships require work and compromise. Additionally, the fear of aging can be a major source of stress in romantic relationships.

Many people worry that as they and their partner grow older, they will lose attraction to each other. However, it’s important to remember that physical attraction is just one aspect of a loving relationship.

True connection and care for each other can transcend physical appearance.

Relationship Stress

Relationship stress is a given in any marriage. Arguments, disagreements, and short-term frustrations are natural and even healthy in relationships.

However, when these stressors become unbalanced and therefore lead to projection, idealization, demonization, and frustration, they can cause damage to the relationship. It’s important to work together as a team to identify stressors and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

This can involve seeking professional help or joining a support group.


Lastly, friendships are an often-overlooked factor that can impact marriages. As they say, “birds of a feather flock together”.

This means that critical mass can often result in bad company, and unhealthy influence. It’s important to choose our friends wisely and be aware of their values and morals.

Additionally, it’s important to communicate with our partner about our friendships. If they’re concerned about a specific friend or social group, it’s important to take those concerns seriously and prioritize our partner’s feelings.

Personal Experience of Marriage Challenge

The above cultural factors can impact anyone’s marriage, but they can be especially challenging for couples with specific pasts and experiences. Below are two examples.

High-Pitch Roar of the Motorcycle

Imagine this: you’re sitting with your partner, enjoying a quiet evening at home, when suddenly, the high-pitch roar of a motorcycle cuts through the peace. For some, this sound might be a minor annoyance.

But for others, it can trigger a deep and intense fear. For one man, that fear was born out of a childhood experience.

As a child, he witnessed a family member suffer a severe injury in a motorcycle accident. That experience left him with a deep-seated fear of motorcycles that persisted into his adult life.

And when he hears that sound of a motorcycle, it triggers a panic attack. In this case, it’s important for his partner to recognize his fear and avoid situations that trigger these panic attacks.

Understanding each other’s pasts and experiences is crucial for maintaining a healthy and supportive relationship.

Aftermath of the Story

Another example of a personal experience that can impact a relationship is unresolved crisis. Imagine a couple who experienced an intense and challenging situation.

One partner feels ignored and unappreciated by the other during the crisis, leading to unresolved feelings of anger and resentment. This unresolved crisis can lead to power dynamics, silence, and withdrawal in the relationship.

It’s important for couples to communicate openly and honestly about these feelings and experiences, rather than simply letting them fester and cause further damage.


Marriage is tough, but by being aware of the cultural factors that can challenge it and being willing to communicate and work together, couples can overcome these challenges and build long-lasting, healthy relationships. By also taking into account each other’s personal experiences and emotions, a supportive and loving relationship can flourish.

Marriage Challenges and Long-term Relationship Problems

Marriage requires significant effort, commitment, and compromise. It is not always easy to maintain a happy and healthy relationship, especially as time passes and partners’ expectations and preferences change.

In this article, we will explore some more common challenges that couples may encounter in establishing and maintaining long-lasting, intimate relationships.

The Principle of Least Interest

One of the most persistent challenges to maintaining a healthy and lasting relationship is often the Principle of Least Interest. This term is used to refer to a power dynamic whereby one partner has less investment in the relationship than the other.

When one partner has “the least interest” in the relationship and the other has more, it can lead to competitive power dynamics and conflicts.

The Principle of Least Interest can be problematic when one partner feels like they are making all the effort to maintain the relationship while the other is doing nothing. This imbalance of power can lead to resentment, lack of communication, and dissatisfaction with the relationship.

It can even lead to emotional distancing and eventual separation. To avoid this situation, couples need to periodically take stock of their roles in the relationship and evaluate if they are equal.

Both parties should strive to contribute to the relationship in various ways that are fulfilling to their partner, and this will help to reduce the power imbalance.

Romantic Love

The concept of romantic love is frequently discussed in relationship counseling and therapy. One of the challenges associated with romantic love is the various, often unreasonable, expectations that it puts on the relationship.

Individuals frequently buy into unrealistic ideas shown in the media, such as “love at first sight,” destiny, “happily ever after,” or so-named “The One.” Such problematic beliefs can lead to disappointment and disillusionment with one’s partner, which over time erode and diminish love intensity. When they confront their partners at the moment, reality may set in, and they may lose their passion, reducing the commitment and intensity of love.

Therefore, it is necessary to be realistic about your relationship, your partner’s behavior, and the challenges that you are bound to face over time.

Relationship Stress

When a couple experiences daily or severe stress, it can take a toll on the relationship, generating conflicts and challenges. Researchers have identified some of the most common stressors in relationships, ranging from work and financial problems to affairs and emotional baggage from the past.

Challenges that are an inevitable part of a lasting relationship’s dynamics generate some degree of conflict and frustration. If couples become preoccupied with these problems, it can lead to projection, idealization, resentment, denial, isolation, and lack of communication.

One solution is practicing mindfulness and communicating regularly with one another without attacking, blaming, or ridiculing each other.


Friendships may seem harmless, but they can also be challenging in a long-term relationship. Unhealthy influences, healthy vs.

unhealthy critical mass, and stability vs. miserable friendships can lead to significant issues and conflicts in the couple.

Moreover, individuals often carry unforgettable emotional baggage from previous relationships and might either get influenced otherwise or are reluctant to accept change. In such circumstances, it’s necessary to identify those factors that are against your relationship and to have a frank and healthy discussion.

Sociologist Willard Waller’s Findings

Sociologists have gathered significant insights into the Principle of Least Interest through conducting surveys on romantic relationships. The findings reveal that when there is inequality in the relationship, the partner with the least interest is often the least happy and invested, leading to a dissatisfaction on both sides.

The effect of such relationship power dynamics is so powerful that it can destabilize the relationship and lead to tension and conflict. If the inequality continues or is not addressed in the relationship, it often leads to a breakup.

Romantic love is difficult to maintain due to the multiple expectations people have from their relationships. Sociologist Waller observed how unrealistic expectations from romantic or emotional commitments lead to difficulties that can gradually lead to regret and disillusionment.

Moreover, relationship stress can have long-term negative effects if couples do not engage and communicate healthily. The same applies to friendships, and couples must pay attention to the stability and potential negative consequences of having friends, as well as the positive aspects.


Couples encounter various challenges in establishing and maintaining a long-term-intimate relationship. The key to maintaining a healthy relationship is understanding that every relationship requires effort and commitment.

By being aware of the challenges listed in this article and those that come up from personal experiences, we can learn to build a bond of mutual growth and understanding. By committing to open conversation and regular dialogue, couples can prepare themselves by facing any challenges that arise in the future.

Conclusion and Summary

Marriage is a beautiful thing when it works, but it can also be complicated, challenging, and even difficult when things get rough. In a marriage, there will be hidden intruders that you may not anticipate sometimes.

Still, the key is to prepare yourself by being aware of the specific challenges surrounding intrinsic cultural factors and personal experiences. In this article, we have explored cultural factors and personal experiences that pose challenges to marriages, as well as long-term relationship problems.

These challenges often come with power dynamics and create a negative impact on the relationship, which leads to unhappiness on both sides.

The Principle of Least Interest can cause a power dynamic in which one partner holds more power than the other and leads to competitiveness, lack of trust, and conflicts. Managing this power dynamic requires both partners to take on responsibilities and commit to open communication.

Romantic love, on the other hand, can create excessive expectations that set couples up for disappointment and disillusionment. Both partners must maintain a healthy balance between passion and rationality to avoid such pitfalls.

Stress can also affect relationships and lead to conflicts such as projection, idealization, resentment, and denial. Couples need to understand individual stressors and help each other cope by communicating without judgment or criticism.

Friendships can also have a significant impact on marriages. Having unhealthy friends in relationships can often lead to conflicts and instability.

Couples need to understand their partner’s relationships and step in when needed. Personal experiences, such as fear or unresolved crisis, can also challenge marriages.

This challenge can stem from past experiences, and both partners need to be aware of each other’s pasts and how it might impact their relationship. Sociologist Willard Waller’s findings on the Principle of Least Interest add further insight into this power dynamic.

The relationship’s health is often determined by how equal the power dynamic is, and it must be addressed for mutual satisfaction. In summary, marriages come with challenges, but an understanding of cultural factors and each other’s personal experiences helps build a lasting, healthy relationship.

This requires a commitment to open communication, respecting each other’s past, and addressing any power dynamic in the relationship, which will ensure long-lasting, healthy relationships. In conclusion, maintaining a healthy and happy marriage is not without challenges.

Cultural factors, such as the Principle of Least Interest and romantic love, can lead to power dynamics and unrealistic expectations that can strain relationships. Meanwhile, relationship stress and the influence of friends can also put strain on relationships.

Personal experiences and unresolved crises can also impact relationships. However, being aware of these challenges and working together to overcome them is critical to building a lasting, healthy relationship.

By understanding these factors and supporting one another through difficult times, couples can build a lifelong connection that withstands the test of time.

Popular Posts

Sign up for free email updates: