It is interesting to talk to lots of different married people. The chronic issue that seems to arise is: lack of respect.
It is amazing how many women feel that they do not get enough (or indeed any) respect from their husband. It can be as simple as him answering his cell phone mid conversation because he considers the call more important that the conversation with his wife. Or it could be as complex as the wife trying to discuss an important matter and the husband completely ignoring her.
The social stigma attached to being a stay at home Mum is horrific. It almost seems like some kind of disease: become a Mum and become instantly stupid, valueless and boring.
Being a Mum is a tough job, demanding more patience than many Saints have ever possessed, and yet it is totally unrecognized and unappreciated. Do we expect our children to appreciate what we do for them? No, not really. At least, not until they themselves are adults. Our job is to raise the children, and it is not conditional upon them saying thank you. We raise our children because we love them.
The husband, traditionally, goes out to work, brings in the money while the woman raises the children, and takes care of household responsibilities.
But, never forget that these Mums were once vital members of the work force. They are not stupid people. They gave up work to raise the family, they gave up the opportunity of career, position and money because they saw the greater value in raising the children--and in doing the job well.
Husbands, don't ignore your wife when she speaks to you. Don't dismiss her arguments as stupid. Don't walk away when she is speaking to you. Don't take all that she does for granted. She washes and irons your clothes, cooks your meals and cleans your house, and she does this as a show of appreciation for what you do, and because she takes pride in her job. Do you show her an appreciation of all she does for you and the family, or do you take it for granted and consider that your role is the greater and more difficult role? If that's your attitude, then you are arrogant and at risk of losing that very thing you take for granted.
Wives all over the place are tired of being taken for granted, being given no respect whilst they are expected to give respect. As their children grow up, and they face re-entering the work force (now in menial low paying jobs because they have been out of the work force) they are realizing some important things: they don't need their husbands, and they just might be happier and more peaceful as a divorcee.
Husbands your job is no tougher or more vital that the job of raising the next generation. And as much as you think your wife needs you, you need her too. Without her you will have to cook, clean, wash, iron, shop and vacuum for yourself, things you are unused to doing, whilst without you she will get a job and continue to do all those things she has always done. You need her as much as you think she needs you.
Marriages fall down over lack of respect, and there is a saying that by the time the husband realizes there is a problem in the marriage the wife has left long ago.
Respect each other. Appreciate each other. Speak nicely to each other (that may sound obvious, but that surly tone, the lecturing voice merely slams the door on open communication).
Don't lose what you have because you didn't appreciate it and value it when you should have.