In a society where things have changed so much that something as inconceivable in your grandparents’time as divorce has become something almost natural and commonplace to do at the first sign of marital conflict. Throughout the yearsthere have been countless couples and marriage renewal seminars to help couples resolve issues but this year instead of going through the same routine, Apostle Raymond Wells and his wife co-pastor Olivia Wells have decided to approach this common issue differently. They say that there is not a better time than now to explore why so many marriages are failing
Pastor Wells who has been married to his wife for 19 years and has been a marriage counsellor for more than 10 years has faced many challenges within his own marriage and seen avoidable blocks in those of many other couples time and time again. Because of this he and his wife were inspired to write a book”In it 2 Win it”that summarizes the top 10 sources of marital discord that can lead to divorce in hopes that many couples realize their errors so that there is a chance to repair their relationships before it is too late. The top reason the pastor says many marriages are struggling is financial woes.
POOR MONEY MANAGEMENT OR FINANCES
“For most people getting money is not the problem–managing it is the real source of difficulty. Now think, if there is a relationship where one party is responsible money-wise and the other is not, or even worse, imagine if both partners were poor financial managers then there would be peace and joy when the money is flowing and discord and hatred when it goes. There will be division and an endless blame game and no one will be happy because you cannot accomplish what you need much less what you want. This is not the way to be in a lasting relationship like marriage.”
Apostle Wells says to correct this problem the best thing to do is to seek to have agreement and equal focus on how to manage the money. You should both sit down and establish your goals and the order in which you want to accomplish them, and once you agree on what you want to do then do not get distracted by other things that come along. It is important to just do it and finish what you start so that you will see step by step that as you get what you need you also get what you want. If something should change along the way feel free to make a new agreement but do not go out on your own without consulting your partner because it is both your money and does not belong to only one person within a marriage.
LACK OF COMMUNICATION
The second most common deteriorationof marriages is a lack of communication or rather the poor interpretation of everyday communication between married couples. Wells says that it is easy to talk to your partner everyday, day in and day out but it is more important to know if they truly understand you and if you understand them.
“We all have our quirks and gestures that we make that only people who really know us or take the time to notice will understand and as a couple you need to be able to understand words as well as actions. If you do not, always ask and learn more about your spouse so that when you see it again you know better and don’t just assume. Doing this simple thing can eliminate so many instances of misunderstanding and miscommunication that can lead to senseless problems. It is all about caring and ensuring that everyone is fully understood not only on the surface but also at a deeper level.”
It is also valuable to use other forms of technology to add variety to your communication, says the senior pastor. Not everyone is a good face-to-face communicator so it is important to sometimes alternate your messages by using texting, voicemails, letters or e-mail. Your spouse may be a lot more open to speak with you in this way if they are more technology savvy or spend a lot of time on devices. So it is also about compromise and trying different things to ensure you are understood, says the apostle.
LACK OF RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER
An absolute must in having a good marriage is to always have respect for your partner, something that the marriage counsellor says that he sees too many couples failing to do on a daily basis.
“You cannot expect for the love in your relationship to last if you have no respect for the other person or even worse, continue to publicly humiliate them. Men, you are showing disrespect by not paying attention to your wife when she asks you to do something or tries talking to you but you ignore her as though her thoughts or needs are not important. Women disrespect their husbands by not honoring their husbands or fulfilling their roles as wives. The situation is made worse when a husband or wife is cruel or disrespects one another in the presence of others. This not only shows how little the person is valued but also that it is okay for others to treat this person the same way. If there is a problem deal with it behind closed doors and even so in a respectful manner. You both will love each other more in being able to deal with problems respectfully at the end of the day.”
LACK OF INTIMACY
Intimacy or a lack thereof can also damage a relationship beyond repair for many people committed to one another. The senior pastor says that not being able to be intimate with one’s partner can lead to someone who is usually good natured and level-headed to become unreasonable and irrational. He says he has seen many good men turn to prostitutes or other women to fill in their need for intimacy even though they know that they can offer them nothing compared to their wives.
“Often times it is not at all that a man is wicked that causes him to commit adultery. It’s just a strong sense of not getting what you need on an intimate level that drives many men and women to the edge. It isn’t right, but it happens. You should look at it this way. God gave us as human beings three appetites–one for food, one for Him and one for intimacy. If we are starved of any one we fall into trouble. With food, we starve or get sick. Without God we fall into sin and die. Without intimacy we lose rationality and also fall into
wrongdoing. No one wants to starve so as spouses we need to keep feeding one another so that there is no breakdown due to this deficiency.
While you may think intimacy only means sexual relations Pastor Wells says it is much more than that. For women especially, he says before you can make love to the body you need to nurture the mind. He says that this means helping her with her chores, looking after the children, surprising her every now and then, and just listening to her when she wants to talk. If you can keep her happy by making her life easier and showing concern, he says this speaks a lot more than other forms of intimacy. And if you can master this level other levels that are more enjoyable to you as a male will come more naturally because she is being fulfilled. According to the pastor this goes for females as well as they should also be cognizant of their partner’s intimate needs.
Another deal breaker for many marriages is one or both partners being dishonest with one another.
“You can’t expect God to bless a union based on lies. You can’t expect your partner to want to stay with you if you lie about something fundamental to the relationship. Many people enter marriages without telling their partner something as important as the fact that they are infertile. This is important to know so that you and your partner can decide what you want to do before you commit to one another. There are many clauses in marriages that say that if there is a considerable act of deception the marriage can be annulled. But even if your deception is not something as significant as all of that it is still a lie that was told and found out. Lying or being dishonest in one way or the other weakens the foundation of the marriage no matter how long you have been marriage. If you know your partner continuously lies you will not know what to believe or what not to. You will lose faith and trust in them and eventually the whole relationship will crumble. On the other hand even if you are not found out and you know you have deceived your loved one it will eat at you especially if its a big deception like infidelity. You’ll always wonder if they’ll find out and how or the guilt itself will cause you to drift away from your partner resulting in the same thing, a dissolving of the relationship. You must be honest from the very beginning of the relationship because a warm lie is not better than the cold and hard truth.”
TOO MUCH TIME APART
Time apart is reason number six for the break up of many marriages according to the apostle. Even though it is healthy to be apart it is not good to spend too much time away from one another. He says it is easier to be tempted if you are not always together and this does not mean only being physically apart. As a couple with children it can often be difficult to find time to be alone together but it is something you have to put an effort into. You may choose to specify a day that you plan to do things together away from the kids and other family members. You may also want to take vacations for only you and your spouse so that you have time to really revel in each other again. At the same time it is good to spend some time away from one another so that you can clear your head and appreciate each other and be strengthened in the relationship even more.
“Letting people get too involved in your relationship is also a major source of discord in marriages as well,”says Apostle Wells.”Only you, him and God know what is really going on in the relationship and you need to stand against anyone who wants to enter it to destroy it. There are three groups of people in your life that can influence you for the good or the worse if you let them. Your family, your friends and co-workers. Family, especially parents always feel they know best and will want to butt in and give advice even when it is not asked for. You need to let them know early that they need be observers and not intruders and only if they are invited should they enter. Friends, on the other hand, it is dangerous to have friends who are compromising, dishonest or have a bad reputation by nature. Whether you are like your friend or not your spouse will still think the same of you. So you need to keep a distance for the best.
“It is also important to choose friends on how they value their wives and respect yours. If they cannot show respect to your wife or theirs you do not need them in your life because their attitude can slowly poison your own good relationship. When it comes to co-workers you need not be too close of friends with those who are single or whose goals are starkly different from yours. They will want to go out and have fun and you being married do not need to do the same. Being in one wrong place at the wrong time whether you did anything wrong or not can strain a relationship needlessly. Select people who have the same or a better ambition level than you do and are respectful so that all of it will reflect and influence you for the better too.”
LACK OF FORGIVENESS
The number eight reason for so many marriages ending in divorce is a lack of forgiveness from one partner to the other. The counsellor says that he has seen too many people come in for counselling when one partner or both did something seemingly unforgivable and the slighted spouse cannot get over it. His advice is that if you choose to still be in the relationship after the wrongdoing you need to let it go. This does not mean forget but to simply forgive the person every time you remember. You also need to return to your regular routine of life. If you used to kiss your spouse every morning and evening then continue to do so. Dwelling on the past will only keep the marriage stuck in that point in time. Your spouse may be fully over the incident of weakness but your constant reminder of their wrong will only keep it fresh in their minds and eventually push them to make the same mistakes again. If you cannot get over the incident then you just need to leave the relationship but as long as you are in it for the long haul then you need to show a little forgiveness. You will need it one day too when it is your moment of failure.
Neglect is reason number nine for the deterioration and breakdown of marriages, according to the Living Waters Kingdom Ministries minister.
“It happens on many levels in different relationships, the financial, emotional, sexual and spiritual. When it comes to emotional it means you are not paying attention to the other person or showing concern about their well-being. You don’t wonder why or notice when they are upset. This is important if you want to have an emotionally healthy relationship. Financially you need to be responsible and considerate of your spouse’s needs. If they need money for gas or other things they should not have to always ask for it or feel that you will say no. If you decided that your wife should be a housewife you should be paying her for it. Don’t take it for granted or act as though its a treat or a favor you are doing for her by giving her money. It is inhumane and an act of slavery if you let your wife stay at home and deal with everything yet she still has to ask you for money and be accountable for every dime. You also need to attend church and pray together to not be spiritually negligent. We already talked about the intimate side of things and we say it again because it is so important to satisfy your partner on this level.”
NOT PRAYING TOGETHER
The last reason many couples fall apart is that they fail to pray together. There are many evils out there trying to destroy God’s good work and even if you cannot see it you need to protect yourselves against it. As a Christian couple you both need to always be praying for and with one another. You are starving yourselves and setting your relationship up for disaster if you do not arm each other with the strength and guidance of God. So pray together often and for each other even more so that strength and hope are always present in the relationship. You need to be willing to fight the curses cast against you and yours. There are generational curses and you need strength in faith and numbers to break them. If you are only praying you are not always strong enough so you need the help and assurance of your partner. So pray together and put on the armor of God for there are more invisible forces than ones that are visible aiming to destroy your relationship.”
10 REASONS MARRIAGES FAIL
Poor Money Management or Finances
Lack of Communication
Lack of Respect for One Another
Lack of Intimacy
Too Much Time Apart
Letting People Influence you
Lack of Forgiveness
Not praying together