Marriage is an institution that is sanctified for the husband with his wife to live together in harmony. It is for companionship and for the two people.
However, there are so many things in marriage that can destroy the relationship with our spouses.
Most of these may seem irrelevant so we tend to take them for granted. These are:
There is nothing that hurts for one to know that his/her spouse is sleeping around with other men/women. When we are making marriage vows, we promise to be faithful to each other. But along the way, some become unsatisfied with what they have and end up defiling their marriage bed. Unfaithfulness causes a lot of challenges like mistrust, resentment, murder, suicide, separation, and worst divorce. Unfaithfulness may also interfere with one’s salvation and relationship with God. Hebrews 13:4 says, “Give honor to marriage and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge those who are immoral and those who commit adultery.”
Prioritising your career
It is good for all couples to advance in their career, but let this not come at the expense of your marriage. I see many wives who get better jobs and they stop respecting their husbands while others choose to go for further studies and pay less attention to their family matters. Ironically, they may be the sole providers and financial sustainers of the family but it is not reason to look down on your husband. It is unfortunate when there is an imbalance between career and family for it causes conflict.
Lack of intimacy
Some couples struggle to meet their spouses’ intimate needs. Oftentimes, during courtship, they were very close friends yet after marriage, love starts shrinking. There are several reasons for this such as bankruptcy emotionally, socially, spiritually yet no one meets one’s love language. Some find it hard to satisfy their spouses sexually, and this may lead to extramarital affairs. Maintain an intimate relationship with your spouse, you will lose nothing.
The ultimate goal of marriage is to get children for they bring joy to marriage. It was not easy for Sarah to remain with Abraham without a child. In 1 Samuel 1:8, much as Elkanah convinced Hannah that he loved her so much, she was always grieved until Samuel was born (1Samuel 1:8). However, when one concentrates more on the children than their spouse, children become a stumbling block in marriage. Some mothers connive a lot with children against their fathers, which creates tension. If children became more important to you than your spouse, then the marriage is headed for disaster.
Conflict in roles
Some spouses cannot differentiate between being a husband or wife and a father or mother. I have interacted with a couple where a man provides everything and he thinks he is doing his best to show care and love to his wife and children. The wife acknowledges his providence but has a problem with his emotional absence. This man is doing well as a father and head of the family (provision), but he is failing as a husband.
A good husband should create quality time for his wife and likewise. She did not get married to money or children and she needs you, as her husband, to be close to her.
When one spouse fails to balance between the two roles, another is left to think he/she is no longer cared for.
Conflicts are inevitable in any marriage, in fact, when well handled, they cement our relationship. When they arise, they should be solved immediately lest they accumulate and create a cold environment that ends up crippling the relationship. When both partners fail to resolve an issue, they should involve a third party like a counselor or pastor because nothing is too hard to be solved. If you don’t share out that conflict with your spouse to seek a solution, chances are that along the way, you will hate your marriage.
Men are supposed to be providers of their spouse and families. When they fail to do their part, it is like they have lost their value in that marriage; they lose their esteem and become withdrawn. On the other hand, when one spouse has either a lot and develops pride or misuses it, it doesn’t help to meet family needs, tension may arise.
Other factors include poor communication, siblings/in-laws, long distance marriages, personal characters, mismatching interests/goals, putting less value in your partner among others.
Couples ought to sit down and talk about everything that may be slowly but steadily killing their marriage. Make a personal reflection on who is in wrong and how you can fight for your marriage before it dies.
I know that God who started this marriage will keep it until death sets you apart. Let your marriage live, enjoy it to its fullness as God is your author and finisher of your faith in this journey (Hebrews 12:2). Know that each day is a day of growth in marriage.
The writer, Dickson Tumuramye, is a child advocate, parenting coach, and marriage counselor.
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