There are marriage killers that can take a marriage down if not taken very seriously. They must be avoided to the best of your ability. And if they can’t be avoided then they must be tended to immediately so they don’t deal fatal blows to your marriage.
Below is a list drawn up by popular Lagos Marriage Counsellor, Pastor Bisi Adewale.
(1) POOR SPIRITUAL LIFE
I discovered that when couples grow towards God, they also grow towards each other. When they get tired of God, they are likely going to get tired of each other.
That is why backslidden couples are always the most difficult to handle in counselling. A lack of prayers, absence of the word of God, refusal to fellowship with the children of God, unproductive or zero quiet time, secret sins and lukewarmness can destroy marriages any day.
Therefore, the best thing you can do for yourself is to guard your spiritual life jealously if you want a blissful marriage.
Self is another thing that can destroy any marriage. Self is the mother of self-justification, self-glorification, self-centeredness, selfishness, self-absorption, self-interest, self-knowledge, a self-opinionated attitude, self-seeking, self-will, and stinginess.
It is also the pioneer of “I”, “me”, “mine” and “myself’ syndrome, which is a poison in the bowel of matrimony. JOY in marriage means: Jesus – First. Others – (Wife/children) follows. You – Later.
If couples obey Romans 12: 10, no marriage will have any problem.
“Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love; in honour giving preference to one another.”
Failure to understand what marriage is or what it should be is the bane of many marriages today.
Most couples got married with little or no knowledge about marriage and parenting. Therefore, they resort to the trial and error method to make their marriages work. Couples should attend marriage schools, marriage seminars and read books and magazines on marriage.
They should not be too proud to visit a marriage counsellor when they have problems. Learners are winners.
What you don’t know is greater than you and may even kill you. You can’t build your home by fighting. You can’t build it by crying. You can’t build it by running away but you can build it by learning because:
“Through wisdom is an house build; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. . A wise man (woman) is strong; yea a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war and in multitude of counsellors there is safety”.
(4) WRONG FOUNDATION
Most marriages are based on wrong foundations. Many people married because of money, position, sex, pressure, beauty, wealth, age, gains, children among others.
Marriage should be based on God’s leading, love for one another, godly character, godly counsel, divine wisdom, openness, pure courtship, acceptance, right motive, right conception, preparation, patience and prayer.
Building a lasting marriage needs a deep foundation, carefully prepared for better effect, not a shallow foundation based on ungodly motives.
(5) BAD CHARACTER
Ungodly characters like pride, anger, dirtiness, nagging, criticism, vengeance, laziness, drunkenness, night crawling, stubbornness, strife, talkativeness, negative thoughts and malice can destroy any marriage no matter how strong it is.
Therefore, people with these should deal with themselves if they desire a better marriage. There is no bad marriage ‘anywhere; what, we simply have are bad characters. A bad character is like smoke; no matter how hard you try to cover it, it will find a way of oozing out. That is why we must deal with it before it deals with our marriage.
In marriage; unfaithfulness is prevalent in two major areas: sex and money. The most difficult one to handle however is sexual unfaithfulness. It is called adultery or infidelity.
This is wrong, ungodly and unscriptural. Get all the sex you desire from your spouse; never make the mistake of sleeping around. What you are looking for outside is loaded in your spouse with security.
Couples that cannot forgive will ultimately resort to vengeance and retaliation, thereby continuing the evil cycle. Never consider vengeance; it is wrong, childish and ungodly. Two wrongs cannot make a right.
Sensitivity to criticisms unforgiveness, vengeance, perfectionist tendency, outburst of anger, wife battering, malice, sulking, shouting during misunderstanding, silence treatment and fighting over little things are all signs of immaturity. Grow up! Stop being childish.
(9) WRONG COMMUNICATION
Nagging, criticisms, lying, murmuring, cutting remarks, shouting, condemnation, comparison, murmuring, failure to listen, jumping to conclusions.
Assumptions, abusive words and gossiping are all forms of bad communication that can be barriers to any marriage.
(10) INTERNAL ATTACKERS
These are things that cannot be seen but can affect your marriage negatively. They are: fear, bitterness, assumption, negative feeling. Hatred, Resentment, anger, lack of trust, and suspicion.
These should be handled with aggressive prayer. We should also open ourselves to the word of God. If you meditate on the word of God daily, you will overcome these wrong inner feelings.
(11) THIRD PARTY
External influences can destroy any marriage without much effort. A marriage should be between two people, not three as this will destroy the divine pattern for the home. Children, parents, siblings, friends, in-laws, neighbours, colleague and house girls can also constitute external influences if they are not handled carefully.
Never allow them to take over your marriage. Never allow any of them to be closer to you than your spouse. Your spouse should be the number one in your life, not anybody else. Your parents and siblings may be blood relations but that does not put them above your spouse.
Blood is only thicker than water it is not as thick as the divine covenant. You are related to your family by blood but you are related to your wife or husband by covenant.
“Therefore shall a man LEAVE his FATHER and MOTHER, and shall CLEAVE unto his wife and shall be one flesh.”
(12) LACK OF TRUST
Do everything to build Trust in your marriage. Trust is the foundation of love, which is the comer stone of marriage. Without trust, your marriage cannot go far.
Each party in the relationship should try their best to be trustworthy. Avoid lies, infidelity, stealing, deceit and hanky panky. These vices destroy trust.
A lazy man cannot provide for his house, while a lazy woman will build a very dirty home. Laziness will destroy any home and it makes a man look worthless. Marriage needs hard work, all hands should be on deck to make it work lest it becomes a war.
Distance can also affect marriage. Demands of modem day life has introduced another “killer” to marriage. A situation where husbands and wives live in different cities or countries does not augur well for a meaningful marital life as it breaks communication, destroys understanding, gives room for suspicion, misunderstanding, wall-building and encourages infidelity.
It is a dangerous game in marriage. It is known as “presumed intention” and it may not be true. Positive thinking and open communication are the best answers to assumption.
(16) BLAME SHIFTING
In the counselling room, it is common to hear things like “If only my wife or husband would do (or not do) so and so, then I would do (or not do) this too”. That is the essence of blame shifting. Everybody has somebody .to blame; nobody is ready to take responsibility for the problem.
From the days of Adam and Eve, blame shifting has been part of the human family. Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed God and Eve but that did not stop the judgment of God. Blame shifting cannot help your family.
One Chinese proverb states that, “When the wife is wrong, the husband cannot be innocent.” Your spouse may be wrong but check how you reacted. It is not your spouse’s action that causes problem but your reaction.
(17) SEXUAL DENIAL
This is another formidable marriage killer.
Failure to change, adjust and deal with bad habits, characters, and mannerism is another killer of marriage.
(19) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
Most singles have a lot of expectations as they prepare for the altar. Majority of these however are unrealistic. Some of them are: .. I will have access to sex 24/7 after my marriage.”
“My partner is too good; he can never hurt me.” “He or she will always be there for me.” “My husband will meet all my financial needs.” “We can never misunderstand each other.” “Life will be easy now.” “Love will keep us together.”
These and many more are expectations of singles. Many got married’ with the hope that these expectations would be fulfilled, but when their hopes were dashed, they began to misbehave.