Marriages fail for many reasons, but knowing these 6 primary reasons marriages fail will help you avoid some of the pitfalls common to most couples.
All relationships, whether romantic or friendly, start with a basic motivation of attraction. This motivation may focus on beauty, sex appeal, personality, wealth, power, intelligence, popularity, sense of humor, or any other source of human attraction.
When a relationship starts with these basic human attractions, it's long-term survival will directly correlate with the ability of these attractions to last through the years. Each spouse must continue to perform at the original attraction level or disappointment will occur.
As soon as sex appeal diminishes or wealth dwindles, or those cute quirks become annoying, the attraction will fade.
Focusing on a spouse's performance to maintain the original attraction does not work over the long-term. Each of us is self-centered, we constantly want to know what our spouse as done for us lately. (? What have you done for me lately...Ooh ooh ooh yeah! ? I digress...)
We often get bored or annoyed with what they are or are not doing.
As time passes we can begin to lose interest or compare our spouse's performance with that of others. Tragically, our preoccupation with performance leads to disappointment, conflict, compromise, lost feelings, martial affairs, competition, pride, abuse, emotional scarring, and ultimately a lukewarm marriage or divorce.
When one spouse focuses on the other's performance, it usually leads to destruction of the relationship.
There are 5 primary reasons that marriages fail:
1) Different backgrounds or views
Couples often fail to anticipate their differences results from diverse cultural backgrounds, differing family experiences, etc.
During the honeymoon phase, many of these differences don't necessarily rear their ugly heads, but as time goes, you have to determine how to handle certain situations like holidays, you have to discuss how to parent, or you need to make financial and budget decisions.
All of these things can heavily influence how you view circumstances, and if you do not community well, they will cause conflict.
This can also apply to differing views on money, sex, and other topics with a marriage. These differing viewpoints can lead to much conflict if we are not careful.
2) 50-50 relationship
For years, people have said that marriage is a 50-50 relationship. You do your part, and I'll do mine.
Couples buy into this notion and each spouse honestly expects his or her spouse to meet them halfway. Unfortunately no one can be sure when a spouse has met them at the halfway point.
Even saying that marriage is 100-100 still tends to put a focus on performance suggesting that if you do your 100%, I'll do my 100%
Regardless, this often results in unmet expectations which causes conflict which causes unmet expectations, and so the cycle continues.
Society has basically taught us that mankind is "good." That we are naturally going to chose the right things to do or say. That we are naturally going to put others needs above our own.
The reality is that we are all selfish and self-centered on some level. We often want what we want, when we want it.
Therefore, couples fail to anticipate their self-centered nature that demands its own way.
At some point, we will all be faced with some kind of trial or difficulty in life.
Couples fail to anticipate the impact of life's trials. When the pain of trials comes into the marriage, instead of standing together through trials, couples tend to blame one another or thing something is wrong with their spouse.
These situations drive them apart to oppose each other instead of pulling them together to support each other.
5) False view of love
Going into marriage, we often have a false view of what "real" love is all about.
Movies, TV, books...they all point to a romantic love that isn't realistic, and we are often fooled into thinking that our relationships will unfold just as the couple in the movie.
This leads to problems with physical and emotional intimacy for both spouses.
We quickly feel "stuck" with an unloving person and become deceived into believing that the "next one" will be better. This is a "fantasy" love, not a "faith" love.
6) Lack of a Deep Relationship with Jesus
God created both you and your spouse with all your strengths, and yes, even your weaknesses. He knows you better than you know yourself.
More than 50% of highly happy couples agree with the statement, "God is at the center of our relationship."
As a Believer, ultimately only Jesus can unlock the deepest dimensions of human intimacy and meet your every need, taking individuals and couples to their truest level of spiritual relationships.
Apart of Jesus, you are living a reduced level of intimacy in your marriage.
A Better Plan for Marriage
Without a better plan, it does not take long to understand why marriages fail. They are falling apart. The good news is that God has another type of relationship which married couples can experience - a relationships based on "faith love" instead of performance.
Find out what that supernatural relationship looks like in the next installment of this series.