You have heard that money issue, infidelity crisis and incompatibility brouhaha are the major causes of marriage failures. But there are other silent killers of marriage that need to be taken care of to ensure that marriage does not go stale or suffocate.
1. Inability To Apologize
In the past, the assumption used to be that inability to apologize when wrong was a male problem. That was an era when it was truly a man’s world. Marriage was treated as a relationship between a master and a servant. But modernity has changed everything. Today, women are competing with men over who should take the trophy on the inability to say: “I’m sorry”.
Inability to apologize or make amends is a big problem that weakens marriage gradually. The people who have this serious problem think that it diminishes them to apologize. Most times, they are also the people that believe that they can say or do anything that pleases them. Ironically, they love to receive apologies with a passion. They love to find others guilty by all means. Yet, they hate to apologize.
Rather than apologise verbally, they would prefer to apologise in their hearts or get generous or become playful and friendly. But that may work the first or second time. But when it becomes a trend, it becomes irritating.
Apologising does not demean or belittle the person who does it. On the contrary, it elevates the person. It soothes the person that has been hurt. It shows you have respect for the person you have hurt, especially if the person usually apologises to you when he or she hurts you. It shows you care for the person’s feelings. The person naturally loves you the more.
2. Verbal Abuse
Marriage is not a contest of who wins and who loses. Both either lose or win. Using scathing words against each other during misunderstandings is senseless. It is even worse when one says nasty things about one’s father-in-law or mother-in-law just to get at one’s spouse.
The truth is that if you call your spouse horrible names when you are angry, even after you have apologised, you cannot wipe off the words. If you say to your spouse: “I have never seen a more wicked, stupid, selfish person than you,” do you expect it to be seen as just a joke? Your spouse may forgive but may not forget. Such words leave a scar in the psyche. Your spouse starts believing that the love you profess is false. A rift develops between you two. Little matters are accentuated. The gap between you widens.
Remember that the same “useless man” runs a company successfully and is the leader of many societies. The same woman that has “tissue paper for brain” leads other women and men in her office and other societies. Buy a sheath for your tongue or sew up your mouth if it is only venom that jumps out of it.
It is better to respect your spouse than to love your spouse. When a wife insults her husband at will because she knows he cannot beat her, she is destroying her marriage. The man who shouts at his wife or belittles her before other people is making a fool of himself and destroying his marriage.
Think of all those you hold highly either in the office or within your social circle: when they do things you don’t like, do you shout at them in public or call them aside and talk to them in a respectable tone and manner? So why treat your spouse differently?
You can never claim to love someone you do not respect. So if you don’t treat your spouse with respect and dignity, stop deceiving yourself that you love him or her.
4. Taking each other for granted
You see your spouse every day. You make love as often as possible. Nothing is novel anymore. So you unconsciously start to take your spouse for granted. When others do little things for you, you thank them. You compliment others for their clothes or shoes. You smile at others, play with them, treat them with courtesy and dignity. But not so when your spouse is concerned. You only see the faults and never the good sides. You raise your voice always. You fly into a rage at every word or action. Every discussion becomes a quarrel. You are simply killing the joy in your marriage. And when a marriage loses its joy, it seizes to be a marriage but a prison.
Once “nagging” is mentioned, women come to mind. But all that has changed with modernity. Why do people nag? People nag when they cannot do anything else over an action that is repeated annoyingly. If the person can punish the culprit, there will be no need for nagging. Imagine a woman having a heart-to-heart discussion with her husband over hanging out in bars at night. He promises to stop. A week after, he is back to the bar, not caring what happens. She feels frustrated and helpless. She can’t beat the husband or lock him up in a room. So she complains and it is called nagging.
If a person continuously takes actions that hurt the partner or the marriage or endangers the family, rather than complain about nagging, the person should take a second look at that matter and see what can be done to stop it.
It is a different ball game when a spouse tries to change the other. A person who hates fish hates fish. You can’t force or preach the person into liking fish. If your spouse likes to sing in the shower, let them be. If you hate the sound, move away to the sitting room or kitchen.
6. Sexual Frustration
Sex is a two-way thing. Once it is made a one-way affair, it becomes rape or masturbation. A married person should be concerned more about satisfying the spouse than oneself. When it comes to sex in marriage, it should be spouse before self. It is like two hands washing each other. The left hand is concerned about washing the right hand while the right hand is concerned about washing the left hand. In that selfless process, they both become very clean.
But when a partner thinks of only self, it leads to frustration and anger. It creates a gulf. Also, when sex is used as a negotiating tool in marriage, it becomes a brothel relationship, which also suffocates marriage.
7. Arrogance and Stubbornness
If your spouse cannot get you to change your mind through discussion or pleading, then you should have remained single. If you do only things you want, then you made a mistake by getting married.
Your spouse is different from every other person on earth, and should be “specially special” too. If your spouse does not like an outfit you are wearing, but you insist on wearing that outfit, then the message you are passing across is that you are cheating on your spouse: there is obviously someone else you are dressing to please.
Once your spouse complains about anything you are wearing, there should be no argument from you: just take it off. The only excuse is if your spouse wants you to go about half-naked and it runs against your principles. Then you need to have a discussion with him or her.
When you make your spouse see that he or she cannot get you to change your mind on any issue, what you have said is that there is nothing special about your spouse. It is even worse if you will never budge when your spouse talks to you on an issue, but will budge when another person talks to you on the same issue. The message gets into the psyche of your spouse and a gulf begins to develop.
Technology has become the new contemporary silent killer of modern day marriages. Many spouse are now competing with technology(social media, TV, video games, phones, laptops etc) for the attention of their significant others.
A husband will be talking with the wife but she be busy on social media liking, commenting, snapchating and uploading pictures. Husband will be busy with the TV, video game and laptop at the expense of the wife. This gradually leads to frustration and emotional gap will soon develop.
Technology is good and bad at the same time. It what you do with it that determines whether or not it’s good or bad. Learn to create balance and spend time with your spouse!
9. Unrealistic Expectations
These are expectations that are not realistic. Expecting your spouse to turn an angel overnight. Unrealistic expectations lead to dissapointmentand frustrations! Let it go and be real!
When couple becomes too busy to have for each other,emotional gap will soon develop which if not well handled can lead to cheating and cheating can lead to breaking up of such marriage.
No matter how busy you are, create time for your partner!
Happy Reading! Happy Marriage!
Dynamic Marriage Ministry
Pastor Ayodeji Adesola