The subject of marriage could sometimes be just as fascinating to those who hope to get in as it is frustrating for those who are now looking for an opportunity to get out. When a couple gets into a certain level of emotional intimacy while dating, the one thought that usually fills their minds is the hope of getting married as soon as possible. But emotions at this level could seriously cloud the minds of couples who should actually be preparing for marriage. Needless to say, almost 50% of those who get in are sooner or later considering a divorce. But getting through a breakup or dealing with divorce could sometimes be more frustrating than being in a struggling marriage. The most common excuse given by couples who seat in front of a counselor and are willing to sign the divorce papers is “we do not love each other anymore”. However, what they are referring to is a feeling of warmth and romance towards each other that once filled the relationship but seems totally absent at the moment.
It is important for us to start out by saying though loss of passion and romance in marriage is something to think about, it is far from the main problem. To say one is ready to be divorced because of feelings is like a student declaring his desire to be dismissed from college on the grounds that he or she does not feel like attending classes anymore. There are definite reasons why marriages breakup and if couples really know which of them is the problem with their marriage and are willing to deal with it as a team, they would not even need marital counseling. The case or cause is not the same for every couple so each have to consider and discover what their specific problems are and apply the recommended solutions.
Inadequate foreknowledge of each other
It is important for couples to sincerely get to know each other before getting married. Sometimes, even those who have been married just a few months are surprised at the behavior of their partners as they begin to portray attitudes and character traits which seem strange and unappealing. In relationships, there are different levels of knowing and relating with people; spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, intellectually, and physically. As wonderful as it feels to know someone emotionally, it is actually one of the least levels of knowledge. But come to think of it, how many of us have gotten married to someone simply because we were emotionally connected to them? And that is usually the case because marital counseling is sometimes totally out of the picture before couples say I DO.
There ought to first be some form of spiritual compatibility and knowledge of each other, then intellectual, emotional and physical. That is why relationships that begin with pure friendship sometimes succeed better than those which sparked out of love at first sight. Marriages are bound to have problems if couples get married just based on an emotional connection with each other. Those emotions will definitely fade sometimes and when they do, there better be a spiritual and intellectual connection that keeps you two together. Sadly, for some couples, there isn’t.
When two people get married, they still have a chance to know each other better, the difference is, at this level, that knowledge will simply help you cope with certain issues which you may not be able to change. From the time couples get married, they must begin to grow more intimate with each other. This can only be done consciously and intentionally. Make efforts to understand why your partner acts or says the things he or she says rather than simply taking offense because you don’t like his or her actions. The less you know each other, the stronger the force that pulls you two apart. The more you know each other, the stronger the force that pulls you two together. That is one of the best ways of preventing divorce or marriage separation. It is also sad to know that most people who are getting through a breakup or dealing with divorce could think that getting into another relationship or marriage as fast as possible will be a way out of the hurt. While someone is getting through a breakup and dealing with divorce, they are simply vulnerable and it could be difficult for them to wait long enough to properly know the next person before getting married.
Of course this is the twenty first century and never has the subject of gender equality been more popular. From every sphere of life, women have risen to defend the notion that men should, in all aspects be treated equally with women. With regards to relationships and especially marriage too, the subject of equality has long touched a very sensitive cord and since then, the music has never been the same again. A few years back, women were considered the home keepers in a family setting while the men where expected to provide for and defend the family. In those days, it would have been a strange thing for a wife to expect her husband to cook or clean around the house, and especially not as an obligation. The man on his part would not have expected the woman to work on a job or two in order to support the family. Such fine lines which clearly defined the roles of husband and wife in the family setting have faded a great deal with only a few people still holding on to them.
The mistake too many couples make these days is getting married without discussing this issue at length. Alternatively, a few marital counseling session could have put things in perspective, but that too is often ignored. There is still too much assumption, which are of course disappointed once the wedding is over and the marriage starts. Who washes the dishes and cleans the house, including the toilet? Who goes grocery shopping? Who takes the kids to and back from school? And the list goes on and on. When these things are not discussed, each partner will walk into marriage with their own assumptions. Then tension starts, which could lead to breakup of the marriage.
Marriage could be so complex that one may not even realize these are the issues until things have gone really bad. For example, a wife who is disgruntled because her husband does not help out around the house may say he does not love her. She says that because acts of help is one of her love languages but unless she clearly tells him what she expects, the problem will never be fixed. If couples do not discuss these things while dating, it is important to discuss while married and come to an agreement on what role each person should play in order to avoid conflicts. This will help a great deal as far as preventing divorce or marriage separation is concerned.
Loss of First Love
I believe there are many couples who do not understand how important the passion and excitement that characterized their dating day is to their marriage. Although that first love has a tendency to wear out during marriage, it can actually be guarded and kept. It will take some effort and sacrifice but the results will be worth it. When that passion and zeal you once had for each other fades, the couple will definitely feel distant from each other, despite the fact that they live in the same house or even sleep in the same bed. Without that first love, things quickly become boring and conflicts are more likely to spark up and develop into something worse. How many times have you heard couples who are ready to divorce say, I don’t think we still love each other? But those same couples are most times willing to stay married. It is not that they don’t love each other anymore, the problem is, because of pressures from family and other aspects of life, their focus has been taken off from each other. Now both partners may blame each other for the things that go wrong in their marriage and life because while everything is happening, they do not feel the love and support from the one person that means a lot.
There are so many things couples do in their dating days together and for each other. These things helped developed such a strong bond between them that made them want to spend their lives together. Such things like going out on dates, buying gifts for each other, supporting each other with your time, energy and finances etc. If you can keep doing those things even when you don’t feel like it but because your partner is worth it, the marriage is definitely going to work out just fine. The fact that you don’t do these things anymore is a subtle sign that you have begun taking each other for granted. Maybe the man does not pay compliments as often as he used to, does not appreciate his wife like he did while they were still dating or the wife does not dress as well as she use to before getting married to him.
Sometimes, because they are married, couples could begin having a sense of entitlement to each other which tends to be destructive in nature rather than productive. The sense of entitlement to your spouse should make you cherish them as your own, not neglect them because you have “already won the price”. So make it a commitment to keep yourself and your spouse excited about the relationship. If you will consistently play your part in love, no matter how far you may have gone from each other, it is only a matter of time until your partner begins to respond positively. There is no easier way of preventing divorce or marriage separation when a couple has lost their first love. Don’t wait too long when you realize that first love seems to have gone cold. Most people who are getting through a breakup or dealing with divorce today made that mistake and their marriages did not recover from it.
Wrongly Prioritizing Kids
I am glad we came to this particular subject. Kids! Aren’t they so much fun to have around? Having children is the ultimate goal of every married couple. But unless there is proper understanding and balance in the attention given to kids, they may become a distraction to the couples. Let me make one thing crystal clear. Children came because there was a union and not the other way round. Therefore we can be sure that their welfare depends on the success of that union from which they proceeded. The mistake too many mums, especially, make is letting the affection they have for their children dominate their commitment to the marriage. If you are serious about preventing divorce or marriage separation, you cannot afford be so busy with the kids that your husbands begins to starve of your love and affection. Same thing for fathers.
What couples should do is learn to have some alone time together or go for marital counseling. Make it a routine to go out on dates or vacations exclusively meant for you two. No kids disturbing or interrupting. Your marriage is the foundation of the children’s welfare. If that foundation is tampered with, the children will be hurt. So pay attention to the kids but don’t let them distract you from the real deal.
Ineffective communication patterns
It will not be an overstatement to say that all forms of marital problems have ineffective communication as one of its roots. Couples who communicate effectively have all their problems half solved. It is not profitable to assume that you know what the problem is without trying to understand your spouse’s point of view. Effective communication in marriage means that for every matter, both spouses understand the thoughts and needs of each other. Effective communication is essential to keeping love alive. If the wife does not feel understood, no matter what the husband does, she will hardly be satisfied. From raising the kids to how finances should be spent, there must be effective communication and understanding. Building effective communication patterns is a great way of preventing divorce or marriage separation. This is another area where marital counseling could help if both partners are willing to make things better.
Infidelity is about the biggest blow that could hit a married couple. If a couple can survive infidelity, they are very much likely to survive everything else. Infidelity attacks the very core of the marriage union, causing so much pain and distrust that is hard to forgive or forget. It is one of the most common causes of marital breakup in the world. So many couples can withstand other marital issues for a long time, hoping that things will get better. But infidelity is too difficult for most to take. We will all agree that it is easier to prevent infidelity than trying to deal with it once it has happened. So lets consider some common causes (or perhaps Excuses) for infertility.
The most common cause of infidelity in marriage is lack of sexual fulfillment. Most people don’t cheat because they want to break up their marriages, they do it because they want something they are not getting from their partners. As selfish as that is, it is nonetheless a reality for a good number of married men and women. Of course there are many other silly reasons people can give for cheating on their spouses but the bottom line is, infidelity is a sure marriage breaker and should be kept as far as possible.
Loss of Sexual intimacy
Marriage is definitely not just about sex, but whether we like it or not, sex is a big issue in marriage. This is especially so for men. When couples are emotionally cold and withdrawn from each other, it is a sign that the marriage is losing it’s sexual appeal and that is not a good thing at all. Romance, cuddling, frequent spontaneous kisses and hugs, sex are all things that build the bond in marriage. They help a great deal as far as keeping couples together is concerned. When sexual appeal and intimacy begins to wear out in a marriage, the couples had better start looking up ways to be intimate again.
Loss of one’s personality
We are all individuals with specific goals and aspirations to attain in life. When one gets married, that longing to build yourself and develop in whatever one is passionate about does not just go away. It has to be nurtured and developed along with the marriage. Too many people seem to loose themselves and their dreams when they get into marriage. This brings about frustration which if not handled on time could lead to divorce. The purpose and dreams of each person are meant to fill a special place in their hearts. Marriage will never fill that place. If one decides to concentrate on marriage and ignore their purpose and dreams, they will sooner or later find the marriage frustrating.
While in marriage, couples must always go back to their dreams and encourage each other to pursue those dreams every day. Fulfilling those dreams is in fact the main reason why people are married. Chase after your dreams and help your spouse do the same. It is going to make marriage a lot easier and pleasurable.
When one or both partners loose sight of who they are, they become critical of each other and the marriage. Little things start irritating them very easily because fulfillment is a distant dream. And to think that one could be married for years and then be separated without pursuing their purpose and goals could make getting through a breakup or dealing with divorce harder.
Financial strains and misunderstanding
Not many couples get married prepared for what financial misunderstandings could cause in the home. But there are two sides of this coin. First, there are marital problems that could arise from the fact that the home budget is not available. Maybe both partners do not earn enough to take care of themselves and the children. Times like these could bring couples closer to each other, but for most people, it takes them apart. Financial troubles, if not dealt with wisely could lead to divorce.
The other side of the coin is the question of what money should be used for. This is usually more serious for couples who have a joint account or dependent on one partner’s income. But even when couples have separate jobs and earn money, how each person uses their income could be a problem if not discussed. In marriage there should not be absolute ownership over anything, and definitely not over finances. Both partners are building a family and it is going to take finances to do so effectively. Before making any major financial move, be sure to discuss it with your partner and have his or her approval. That way, if things do not go as planned, you have their consolation to fall back on, rather than having to face your spouse’s retaliation.
Differences in religious beliefs and levels of commitment
Religion and spirituality is a basic part of every person’s life. It is part of who we are. Like a piece of a puzzle without which the whole thing will simply look awkward. Some religious circles are very strict in the way they adhere to their teachings. However, what is even more important to consider is the individuals level of commitment to a certain religion. People are committed at different levels and sometimes, marrying someone of the same religion who is not as committed as you are could cause serious problems in the home. Your lifestyle and commitment could become offensive to the other person. And if he or she considers you a hindrance or distraction from their spiritual or religious commitment, there are going to be serious problems. You could imagine a committed Christian falling in love with a passionate Muslim. This just ain’t going to work out until one person decides to submit to the other person’s religious believes.
Now that you know some of the issues that cause marital breakup, it is important to pay attention to them in your own marriage so you don’t have to be one of those who are going through the pain of getting through a breakup or dealing with divorce.