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Marriage is the civil union between two individuals who are partners in a personal relationship (Greenman and Susan 55). Marriage is also known as matrimony or wedlock. It is a socially and ritually accepted union between spouses that provides rights and responsibilities for them, their children, and their in-laws. A lot goes into a marriage, so each of the two people must put in a lot of effort (Berger and Mo 65). The majority of marriages are monogamous, meaning that only two individuals, a husband and a wife, are involved. This is not to say that polygamous marriages are prohibited. There are religions and cultures that allow the union of more than one partner, making it one husband with several wives. What matters most in the union is the understanding of all the parties that are involved.
Two diverse grown up individuals come together to unite and become one. In as much as most marriages do work out till the end where one partner dies, there are issues that arise that make some of the marriages to be cut short thus making the partners go their separate ways resulting to a divorce or separation. This paper will discuss the cause behind why some marriages fail.
There are an array of reasons that lead to marriages being short lived thus ending up in separation and divorce. In the course of a relationship a lot changes even the ones that last a very long time. People’s personalities change, even the person’s physical bodies age and change, the romantic love that was once so sparkling waxes and wanes. These are some of the few issues that take place in relationships that leads to significant change. Conflicts are inevitable when two people live together. For instance, in a family setting siblings who are related by blood get to disagree and even fight sometimes, what about two non-related individuals who have not lived together for most of their lives? Endurance is what keeps couples together and ways of solving conflicts.
The major cause of arguments in a marriage that mostly leads to divorce is money. When people resolve to be legally married they agree to sharing finances that both bring to the table. To some couples who opted to have a joint account, start conflicting when one of them is a spend thrift thus loves to splash a lot of money especially on lavish stuff, while the other is keen on spending less. The solution could be having separate bank accounts but this too has loopholes. In the instance of a house wife with no source of income or even a husband, they would not have any cash at their disposal to use, this too is a potential source of conflict and disagreements (Berger and Mo 68). Career people tend to focus more on the money element when choosing a marriage partner. This is a looming conflict because when the money dries up, the individual would have nothing to continue keeping him/ her in the union thus opting for a separation.
From the money aspect comes trust issues, marriage partners need to trust each other. When conflict arises from money as a result of one of the partners hoarding or hiding cash then trust is lost in terms of finances. Since marriage was established as a respectable institution, men were the sole providers and protectors of the family unit. Things are taking an upturn as more women seek gender equality thus see themselves as equals to the male gender (Gottman and Nan 230). They no longer want to take up their roles thus opt to share responsibilities half by half including issues to do with finances, when the husband does not do his part then an issue arises and if prolonged it becomes a conflict, which when unresolved amicably leads to separation.
Communication is the most essential element is kind of relationship. Every relationship especially marriages encounter problems. Communication is the channel through which people find solutions before the issues escalate and become crises (Fallon 168). Raising an issue and talking to one’s partner helps in dealing with a problem, in the process honesty, trust and problem solving skills are developed, this helps in saving a relationship. Communication helps develop a bond and allows each of the partner in the union to know more about the other. Lack of effective communication between a couple results to lack of understanding.
Another factor that is most important in marriage is sex. A marriage is consummated by sex. The act elevates marriage to a whole new level thus bringing the two united to bond more while keeping the relationship strong and exciting at the same time. In as much as it is a good thing, it can be a cause of marriage failure (Berger and Mo 60). There are many couples who have had arguments that arise from the frequency they need to engage in sex. Most often men tend to desire sex more than women thus makes the lady in the relationship feel cheapened and used just for sex, on the other hand if the man is denied he feels like he is no longer fancied by the wife (Fallon 167). This are some of the causes of legitimate reasons for unhappiness in a marriage. Compatibility is essential for both parties to be satisfied, understanding is key when it comes settling down on a solution between a man and his wife.
A husband should understand that women are emotional beings thus every time they have sex she seeks an emotional connection thus want it to be special. When a wife refuses her husband’s advances regularly and for too long, he often gets tired and looks for an outlet to let out his frustrations, it can be through pursuing a hobby or worse still look for another woman to satisfy his needs. The latter is often the cause and final seal to end a marriage.
Intimate engagement of partners with people of the opposite gender makes one susceptible to emotional experiences that if done for long time leads to triggering a fantasy that leads to physical intimacy with another outside marriage. This often comes as a result of poor boundary keeping. This results in lack of trust from one’s partner, some people do not heal from infidelity. Illicit relationships provide a connection that takes away energy that could have been invested in the marriage.
Selfishness, is yet another factor that forms an ingredient to marriage failure. There are people who are too self-centered, that they put themselves before anything and anyone even if it means jeopardizing the relationship (Gottman and Nan 215). Consistent lack of love actions and issues tends to interfere with a partner’s willingness to unselfishly give their all into a relationship. On a lower scale selfishness includes lack of respect and consideration, while the actions that lead to breakups and separation include manipulation, possessiveness, and even physical abuse.
When entering the institution of marriage both partners have developed respect, acceptance, and appreciation for one another as well as emotional safety. When issues arise through small arguments it is important for a couple to sit and solve without passing disrespectful and critical judgement on one another (Fallon 160). Judgements that destroy a relationship are those that ridicule one’s intelligence, lecture, personality and character attacks. Lack of constructive means of settling issues.
Some people have a tendency of having explosive, and angry outbursts even on small arguments that could be resolved amicably. Expression of anger may deter effective communication, especially when the anger is unpredictable and is accompanied with tempers (Gottman and Nan 210). Lack of emotional intimacy tends to make one partner feel left out. The act of sharing goals, struggles, joys, hurts within a relationship helps in improving and strengthening the bond between a couple, lack of these elements leads to loneliness and lack of partnership.
Destructive habits and addictions have a way of ruining relationships is tolerated over a long period of time. These unchecked habits can snatch the happiness out of a marriage. They are accompanied with anger, feelings of betrayal and pain on the receiving end. Unforgiving spirit is also an ingredient if left unattended to will in the end make one partner tired of trying (Fallon 157). If one is ever obsessing over a mistake even after an apology has been offered then he/she has an issue that they need to look at. Insecurities and worries of the world and situations that surround us tend to get into our relationships.
Having secrets and keeping them from another spouse, the moment they get to learn about it, no matter how small it would break them (Greenman and Susan 50). Marriages are built on mutual trust and every partner should give fully without holding back, when a person is not willing to do everything to be free of secrets then arguments and disagreements tend to arise. Parenting differences too have a hand in why marriages fail. Personal differences are healthy but when prolonged they tend to affect the relationship negatively, marriage is unity that needs most of the time compromise and reading from the same book. Lack of understanding on how to raise children can be a burdensome topic and issue to deal with if unresolved (Berger and Mo, 59).
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Berger, Rony, and Mo Therese Hannah. Preventive approaches in couple’s therapy. Routledge, 2013: 57-68
Fallon, Ian RH, ed. Handbook of behavioural family therapy. Routledge, 2015: 153-170
Gottman, John, and Nan Silver. The seven principles for making marriage work: a practical guide from the country’s foremost relationship expert. Harmony, 2015: 205-235
Greenman, Paul S and Susan M. Johnson. “Process research on emotionally focused therapy (EFT)for couples: linking theory to practice.” Family process 52.1 (2013): 46-61
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