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Pay attention to things that may destroy your marriage

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When a marriage goes bad, partners begin to ignore each other (Photo/Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County)

By Dickson Tumuramye

Marriage is an institution that is sanctified for both a husband with his wife to live together in harmony. It is for companionship and for the two people.
There are so many things in marriage which can destroy the relationship with our spouses.
Most of these may seem irrelevant and we tend to take them for granted. These are:

Unfaithfulness
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.
Unfaithfulness causes a lot of challenges like mistrust, resentment, murder, suicide, separation and worst divorce.
Unfaithfulness also may 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 career
It is good for all couples to advance in 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. Ironically, they may be the sole providers and financial sustainers of the family.
But it is unfortunate when there is an imbalance between career and family which causes conflict.

Lack of intimacy
Some couples struggle meeting their spouses’ intimate needs.
During courtship, they were very close friends but after marriage, love starts shrinking.
There is a lot of emotional bankruptcy, socially, spiritually and no one meets one’s love language.
Some find it hard to satisfy their spouses sexually, and this may lead to extra marital affairs.

Prioritising children
The ultimate goal of marriage is to get children. They bring joy in 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 children than the spouse, children become a stumbling block in marriage.
Some mothers connive a lot with children against their fathers and this 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 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.

Unresolved conflicts
Conflicts are inevitable in any marriage. In fact, when well handled, they cement our relationship. When they arise, they should be solved immediately.
But when there is no immediate resolution, they accumulate and create a cold environment which 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.

Finances
Men are supposed to be providers for their spouses and families. But 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.
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 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 (Hebrews12:2). Know that each day is a day of growth in marriage.

The writer is a child advocate, parenting coach and marriage counselor.

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