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9 Reasons Why Your Marriage Is Failing (and 5 Ways to Revive It)

Carole is a writer and blogger for hire. She is married and understands the challenges of marital relationships

Marriages are made to last

Marriages are made to last

The State of Marriages

Data shows us that divorce is as prevalent now as ever before. The Encyclopedia of Psychology states that 40-50% of married couples in the United States divorce. Crisp and Co Solicitors provide similar statistics for England and Wales, where 42% of marriages end up in divorce.

It is against this backdrop that we examine marriage with a view of saving it.

Whether in a rocky relationship for years or just beginning to clash with your partner, if you are going through a rough patch in your marriage you are not alone. Occasional conflict is a normal part of a healthy relationship, and it doesn't mean that things are over.

Here we will explore nine common points of conflict in a marriage, and how you and your partner, together, can work through them to come out stronger on the other side.

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, often with the same person.

— Mignon McLaughlin

What is Ruining Your Marriage?

These are nine ways your marriage could be on the decline (either knowingly or unknowingly):

1. Disrespect

Whether pronounced or subtle, disrespect is just that.You may not notice that you are being disrespectful because there are many issues going on in both your lives. Little by little, cracks start occurring.

You don't share as much time together. You are not sensitive to one another's feelings any more. Words fly between you two without a second thought. Either or both of you demean each other in public or in private.

Disrespect puts a strain on your marriage because you stop having loving thoughts towards one another. If you are the disrespected one, you will feel hopeless and unloved. The one disrespecting will be careless with their words, not caring if they are hurting their partner or not.

2. Competition

Competition in this context is in regard to arguments, behaviors or actions where one or both couples try to win. You feel you must win at all costs. If both of you are like this or one of you has to win or keep going on and on, then know that this will have a repercussion on your marriage.

Competition dissipates harmony in a marriage. Here's why: any time you contemplate acting, you will always ask yourself if that action is going to lead to arguments. You end up being discouraged, moody and demoralized.

3. Lack of remorse

It is normal to make a mistake in marriage. To err is human. What you do after the mistake is what matters. If you find that you or your partner never say sorry as frequently as should happen, then this is going to affect your marriage.

Lack of remorse hardens the couples hearts to the point of losing feelings for one another. With time each drifts into their own worlds.

No. This should not happen to your marriage

No. This should not happen to your marriage

4. Revenge (Grudges)

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When a partner is uncaring or always out to hurt you (whether knowingly or unknowingly), vengeful thoughts start forming in your mind.This is what goes on in your mind, "Is this what he/she is doing to me? Well, next time, I will do this or that. I will behave this way or that. I will withhold one thing or another from them."

Revenge is unhealthy in a marriage as you can never be sure which actions or words will hurt your spouse. This will cause fear and mistrust to set in.

5. Suspicion

Being suspicious is when one spouse thinks the other has done something wrong or offensive without any solid evidence. Nothing destroys a marriage faster than suspicion. If your partner is always suspicious of you or vice versa then know that your marriage is going to experience tricky times. How do you live with a person who is always suspecting you?

There is hardly anything you can do without its motive being questioned. Suspicion occurs where there is no full trust. This can come about if you did something bad that was not expected of you or if you have an insecure partner.

If you are the insecure one, you will always be itching to know every little detail about your partner. Just about anything will spark suspicion. This will not be beneficial to the marriage because its foundation should be based on trust.

6. Lack of secrecy

Marriage is an institution that should be respected. Since it involves two individuals from different backgrounds, there is bound to be friction. You two are living together under one roof. You will get on each others nerves. You will not like one another's habits. And that is as okay as it is normal.

What you do after is what will determine the direction of your marriage. If you choose to stand on your roof top and let everyone know what's going on in your marriage, then be ready to reap the resultant fruits.

Not knowing what to share about your marriage, when to share it and with whom can put a great strain on your relationship. You can never be sure what will be revealed at any one moment.

7. Infidelity

Infidelity is when one or both spouses cheat by having affairs with other people. Extra marital affairs are the last straw for any marriage. They pierce the aggrieved partner's heart to the core. They have no place in marriage, no matter the reasons behind it.

Such affairs cause pain and betrayal which turn to hatred, resentfulness and self-pity. The marriage may or may not survive depending on how strong the affected partner is and how remorseful the wrong doer is.

8. The silent treatment

It can be daunting when a spouse decides to go silent on their partner. Rather than address an issue promptly, one or both spouses may decide to keep quiet and not talk to each other. They do this either as a way of avoiding to address the issue or as a way of expressing their displeasure at the occurrence of the matter at hand.

This creates bitterness, anger and animosity. This is what often aggravates an already bad situation. It leads to self-doubt because you do not know what either of you is thinking. You may find that your are always second-guessing yourself.

9. Finances

Finances are extremely important and sensitive at the same time. In the context of marriage, any cash earned by either or both spouses is to be used responsibly for purposes of paying bills, food, school fees, development and acquiring of assets.

If couples are not in agreement about their finances, they are bound to have problems. If they do not make wise financial decisions as a couple, they are bound to misuse money, have wrong priorities or not undertake development projects.

From the very onset of their marriages, they must agree on how to spend money so that they are on the same level when it comes to expenditure, savings and development.

It helps to say sorry to your spouse

It helps to say sorry to your spouse

How to Salvage Your Marriage

The following solutions can help save your marriage and inject love into it. Therefore remember to add the element of love in each of the points below. That is to say, do everything in love and love will surely flourish.

1. Forgiveness. You need to say sorry (and mean it). This should be done more often whether you feel like it or not. Similarly, accept apologies when they are offered. This way, there will be no awkward moments when both of you are silent.

2. Communication. This is vital to the survival of any marriage. With open channels of communication, you will be on the same page with your partner since it will be easy to convey any news you receive and to resolve any arising issues.

3. Prayers. The cornerstone of any successful marriage is prayers. Pray unceasingly. Put God first in all your undertakings. He will not let you down.

4.Humility. Humility here should not be mistaken for a door mat. Be humble in the way you relate to one another and love will blossom. Respect will also find its way into your marriage.

5. Wisdom. With wisdom, you will know when to talk and when to be quiet; when to vent and when to hold back; when to be firm and when to reach a compromise. With wisdom, you will understand how to navigate these murky yet refreshing marital waters.

When marriage goes awry

When marriage goes awry

When To Let Go

Marriages are different and unique. You may be a good person but your spouse may be totally opposite. Rather than die physically or from depression, you may need to make that hard decision of walking away.

In case of abuse in your marriage and probably you have hope that things may change, you could seek marital counselling. There a several resources that you can access depending on your area of residence.Below are some of them:

  • USA, call the hotline number 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for help on abusive relationships
  • In the UK, call 0845 122 8606 for help in domestic violence
  • In Canada, seek help through 9-1-1 or find specific help here.
  • In Australia, call 000if there is danger as a result of domestic violence. If in need of a listening ear, call 1-800-737732 any time of day or night.
  • You could also call Niskize on 0-900-620800 if you are in East Africa for a listening ear and to let out your feelings without being judged.

The above list is by no means exhaustive. There are many avenues in different countries worldwide that you can seek help from. This is in case you are trapped in an abusive marriage and are not ready to quit just yet.

However, there are certain pointers that your marriage is beyond salvage. Some of them are as follows:

  • Persistent fights without resolving underlying issues.
  • Constant threats of killing or suicide.
  • Open affairs with no guilt.
  • Wasting of finances.
  • Bitterness,sadness, resentment and ill will that refuse to go away.
Marriage is bliss

Marriage is bliss

Final Thoughts

At times it pays to play deaf, blind and dumb just to avoid unnecessary issues cropping up in your relationship.

Always use wise judgment in any decision you make in marriage.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Carole Mireri


Carole Mireri (author) on May 17, 2020:

Thank you Anitha, Jenny and Katherine for taking your time to read the article. Hope it has added value to your lives.

Katherine on May 09, 2020:

Very empowered article! Your writing is true and beautiful.

Jenny on May 09, 2020:

communication!! My hubs and i have never had such great communication until just recently and IT IS EVERYTHING. A huge change we should've made forever ago. Great article.

Anitha Menezes on May 09, 2020:

That was informative. Thanks for posting

Carole Mireri (author) on March 29, 2020:

Laurinzoscott, thanks for your comment. The article is informed by the many struggles married couples all around us have. I would really appreciate your sharing it out there.

Laurinzoscott from Kanab, Utah on March 29, 2020:

Very awesome article on a very touchy occurs to me many people should read this im gonna share it...well done Carole

Carole Mireri (author) on March 14, 2020:

Thanks James and Getup for taking your time to read. on March 14, 2020:

Well written article. Appreciated

James Mireri on March 14, 2020:

Great read and lessons there!

Carole Mireri (author) on February 13, 2020:

Well said, dashingscorpio. I wonder why many end up with "non-soul mates." as marriage partners. It is true that the choice of partner does determines how solid one's marriage foundation is.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on February 13, 2020:

My #1 way for how to kill your marriage fast would be:

{Choosing the WRONG mate!}

Ideally you want to choose someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the marriage as you, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least have a mutual depth of love and desire for each other.

Compatibility trumps compromise.

Like attracts like and opposites attract divorce attorneys!

There is no amount of "work" or "communication" which can overcome being with someone who does NOT want what you want.

There are only two ways to experience joy and peace of mind in relationships. We either get what we want or we learn to be happy with what we have. Accept them (as is) or move on.

Life is too short to be trying to change water into the wine.

The goal is to find someone who (already is) what you want.

Your objective should be to have a "soulmate" not a cellmate.

No one is "stuck" with anyone! Suffering is optional.

"Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary."

- Oscar Wilde

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