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Marriage Problems that End in Divorce
Okay, so let’s be real for a moment here. Marriage takes work. We’ve all got marriage problems. Just because you’ve found someone to share the rest of your life with, it doesn’t mean that it will be a happy one.
A good marriage requires effort. You see, happily ever after is a choice. No one wants to hear that marriage takes work. Everyone is busy trying to find their perfect Hollywood ending – the kind that offers endless romantic gestures, passionate romance, and giddy serendipity – and I get that. I did too.
For those of you who don’t know, between me and my partner, Wayne, we have a combined experience of 42 years of marriage. We have both been through the manic highs and the devastating lows that come with bringing two human beings who have committed to each other together for life.
One might argue that two people with failed marriages should be last to talk about what works in a marriage… and you might feel the same. But hey – here’s the thing: One of the awesome things about being human, is that we have the great ability to learn from our mistakes. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn. Now, if you go on to make the same mistake twice… well.
- 31 Small Acts That Will Strengthen Your Marriage
- 10 Signs in Your Marriage That You Should Not Ignore
- 15 Signs of Emotional Abuse and Control in Relationships
5 C’s That Will Destroy Your Marriage
Marriage Problem #1: Contempt
Contempt is one of the top destroyers of marriage, or any relationship for that matter. It’s pretty hard to define. If we take the dictionary definition, contempt is the act of despising or lack of respect or reverence for something.
How do you know if there is contempt in your relationship?
So now think about it – does your spouse sneer at you or roll their eyes when you share an opinion? Or do they respond to you with sarcasm?
Contempt is seen in dismissal or disregard for others, whether it be their thoughts, opinions, feelings, or similar.
What to do when there is contempt in your relationship?
If you find that your relationship is suffering from contempt, it is important to sit down and communicate with your spouse. Tell them that you’ve noticed that this is something that is becoming more prevalent in your day to day engagement with each other. Sometimes, we get so used to certain ways of doing things, that we think it is the norm. These signs should never be dismissed as being normal.
Marriage Problem #2: Criticism
There is a big difference between feedback and criticism. Criticism in the form of finding fault in your spouse – whether it be how they dress or how they load the dishwasher is a personal attack.
How do you know if there is criticism in your relationship?
Everything we do in this life is driven by only two things – LOVE or FEAR. When we give feedback from a place that is without love, then that feedback ultimately is a criticism designed to attack the person you are giving it to.
Now this certainly does not mean that you can’t share feedback with your spouse – especially if it’s something that you don’t like or perhaps disturbs you. The difference is in how you give or are given the feedback. Are you yelling? Are they saying it in a manner that puts you down?
What to do when there is criticism in your relationship?
As humans, our ego often gets the better of us; so we see feedback as a personal attack. It’s no surprise that we don’t feel hugely amazing when people are critical of us.
If we want our spouse to listen to what we have to say – we have to first find the place where what we want to say is coming from. Say it with respect and empathy.
Marriage Problem #3: Compromise
A marriage consists of two people who have committed to each other to be together for life. When two people come together, there will always have to be compromises made.
Let’s say you like staying in and enjoying lazy weekends; while he likes going out, keeping busy, and active. At some point, you can expect that contempt for what the other enjoys (or doesn’t) will surface.
He may begin to see the woman he once thought of as a relaxed and chilled breath of fresh air, as a lazy, uninspired sloth. While you, on the other hand, may begin to see the man you once thought of as bright and full of life, as a high maintenance, unfulfilled individual.
How do you know if there is a lack of compromise in your relationship?
Do you find yourself always doing what the other wants? Are you feeling uninspired by being around your spouse?
What to do when there is a lack of compromise in your relationship?
If you feel that you are always having to forgo what you want for what your spouse wants, then it’s time to talk about it. I can tell you this much – chances are, your spouse doesn’t know how you are feeling. None of us are mind-readers, so let’s cut each other some slack and just talk about it.
No matter how generous or flexible may think your spouse it… at one point or another, they are going to expect you to reciprocate the generosity and flexibility they are giving you. And so they should! Relationships work when we are able to both give… and receive.
Marriage Problem #4: Connection and Communication
Communication is a big part of every marriage- or any relationship, for that matter.
Proper communication between couples allows you to see and appreciate your partner in various ways – whether they are excited, sad and vulnerable, or even angry about something that may have happened.
How do you know if there is a lack of connection and communication in your relationship?
Do you talk about things that don’t involve the children or work? Do you laugh together? A lack of laughter shared is a sure sign that you don’t communicate or connect. If you don’t laugh together, this may mean that you have anything in common.
What to do when there is a lack of connection and communication in your relationship?
Once you stop communicating, it’s difficult to try and round this back up without trying to make a conscious effort. (Read the 10 Signs in Your Marriage That You Should Not Ignore)
Try to really make an effort one this one because it is so important. Maybe organize a special evening so that it’s just the two of you? Parents need alone time, together! Go out to dinner together – and make a rule to keep your phones in your pockets.
Marriage Problem #5: Cagey
Being cagey around each other can only mean that you are keeping secrets from each other. No successful marriage can survive keeping secrets. Where there are secrets – there lies mistrust and potential deceit.
How do you know if there is caginess in your relationship?
Open disclosure and communication keeps couples together. Secrets tend to do the opposite, separating us.
Is your spouse avoiding certain discussions? Do you feel that there are things they aren’t telling you? The most common secrets spouses keep from each other are either about money or infidelity.
What to do when there is caginess in your relationship?
Trust is difficult to get back once it is lost, so it’s important not to let this slide. Secrets generally arise when someone feels unsupported.
Make sure that your spouse knows that they have your full support. Talk openly and without fear in your heart.
No Relationship is an Easy Relationship
If your relationship is important to you, then it’s important that you don’t let the 5 Cs destroy it. Awareness and mindfulness is key. Work on your relationship. Here are 31 small acts that will strengthen your marriage.
Go Deeper: Resources to Strengthen Your Marriage
These are great reads for anyone wanting to strengthen their marriage or relationships.
- 47 Little Love Boosters for a Happy Marriage: Connect and Instantly Deepen Your Bond No Matter How Busy You Are
- The 4 Seasons of Marriage: Secrets to a Lasting Marriage