Saving this kind of marriage could be hard. In some cases, it is better to end a marriage than to continue a marriage with these hurtful habits.
Couples should know that marriage problems need fixing, not ignoring. When couples have marital crisis, they feel distressed and even hopeless about their relationship. But that is not the time to ignore each other and expect the problems you are facing to magically fix themselves.
If the issues are not life threatening such as domestic violence or abuse of any kind, couples can look back and remember the good times they enjoyed earlier in their marriage. That usually signals a marriage that can be saved.
In fact, a marriage with the normal misunderstanding and squabbles has potential to become the kind of partnership the couple had hoped for when they said, “I do.” I am not an advocate for praying for violent and abusive spouses. If you are in a violent marriage, run away with your life intact.
Marriage is hard work. Marriage is not child’s play. It is not a partnership that is all rosy. Sometimes, you feel so in love with your spouse that you want to cuddle him or her from morning till night. At other times, you just can’t stand each other.
Many good marriages slip into crisis because couples don’t know how much work it takes to keep relationships healthy and thriving. It’s just like when you stop investing in the house you are living in. It will easily fall into disrepair.
Men, think back to when you first started to pursue your wife. It required commitment, hard work, and imagination. If winning her required that back then, why does it surprise us when neglect creates relationship problems after you walk down the aisle? She wouldn’t have married you if you took her for granted. Why risk everything now?
Women, think about how much effort you put into making yourselves look beautiful and irresistible to your man. Remember how you made him a priority and made him feel like the only man in the world. Why do you now take him for granted or tear him down with hurtful and negative words?
If you are having marital issues, take steps to settle them before this year runs out. Don’t go into the New Year with anger, bitterness, grudges and unforgiveness. In this season of love, joy, happiness and togetherness, talk to your spouse about what is bothering you and settle things.
If you are having marital challenges, fix your focus solidly on yourself. Attempts to get your partner to change would make them defensive. No one likes being told they are doing things wrong or, far worse, that they are a bad person. Both of you need to use your energies and intelligence to figure out what you could do differently to make your marriage blissful.
Cut out negative talks from your relationship. They do more harm than good. No matter how angry you are with your spouse of how much you feel they have wronged you, refrain from throwing negative and hurtful words at your spouse. That is a marriage killer and many couples don’t know this. You may apologize later for those hurtful words but the effects remain in the mind of your spouse.
This season, do away with negative words and attitude as they are not helpful to you and your spouse. It will only taint your marriage. That means you and your spouse should make conscious efforts to avoid criticism, complaints, blame, accusations, anger, sarcasm, mean words, and snide remarks.
There should be no more anger escalations either. Stay in the calm zone. Exit early and often if either of you is beginning to get heated. Learn to calm yourself and then re-engage cooperatively. Marriage is partnership and the two people involved have to work together to make it a success. It is not only a women’s duty to make their marriages work, men take note. Men, do your part to make your marriage heaven on earth and with serious commitment too.
One of the solutions to marriage issues is to learn how to express your concerns constructively. Avoid the blame and accusatory option when confronting your spouse about your concerns. Men, stop commanding your wives like you are talking to slaves. If you need something from your wife, ask politely. No woman responds harshly to politeness.
Couples should learn how to make decisions cooperatively. This is also known as the collaborative decision-making. You don’t do something and then tell your spouse later. That’s disrespectful. You discuss issues with your spouse and when you both have agreed on what to do, you execute your decision. That’s how an ideal marriage should be.
Couples should always use the win-win decision-making aims for a plan of action that pleases them both. No more insistence designed to get your way. Instead, when you have differences, gently express your underlying concerns, listen calmly to understand your partner’s concerns, and then create a solution responsive to all the concerns of both of you.
Affairs, addictions, and excessive anger are deal-breakers and they ruin marriages. They are out-of-bounds in a healthy marriage. Fix the habit or end the marriage. I am not a fan of praying for a cheating man or one with addictions and anger issues to change.
If you must pray, do that away from them before they take you down with them. Men who are chronic cheats don’t change. They continue inflicting emotional and psychological pains on their wives until these women start to die slowly.
If you or your spouse have these problems, saving this kind of marriage could be hard. In some cases, it is better to end a marriage than to continue a marriage with these hurtful habits.
Both of you need to figure out what you can do differently in the future. The one with the A-habit needs to figure out how to end it. The partner needs to heal, and also to learn alternatives to tolerating the habit.
Most importantly, especially if you have children who need you to learn how to be more emotionally healthy as individuals and as a couple, is for the two of you both to commit to building a new kind of marriage.
That is, end the old marriage. Build a new one with the same partner. Build a marriage where there are zero affairs, addictions or excessive anger and instead, abounding love and trust.
If you are having marital issues, radically increase the positive energies you give your partner. Smile more. Touch more. Hug more. Have more sex. Enjoy more shared time and shared projects. Give each other more appreciation. Dwell more on what you like about your spouse.
Help out your spouse more. Give more praise and more gratitude. Do more fun activities together. Laugh and joke more, do new things and visit new places together. They say the best things in life really are free and the more positives you give, the more you will get back from your spouse.
Surround yourselves with people in healthy marriages. Some of those negative patterns that keep reoccurring in your marriage may have involved some friends. Surround yourself with people who value marriage and always go where there’s widespread support for making your marriage work.
Stay away from friends and family that magnify your spouse’s weaknesses and those who talk badly about their own spouses. They will only teach you how to treat your spouse badly.
Men, stop listening to those beer parlour buddies who claim they control their wives with iron fists. They will ruin your home. Face your marriage and treat your wife with the respect she deserves and watch how peaceful your home will be.
Finally, choose to love your spouse. Love may have come easy when it was brand new. Love is as much a choice as it is an emotion. Choice is an act of maturity and it takes consistent efforts to love the one you married. So, love your spouse and treat them right.
RE: THE IMPORTANCE OF SETTING RELATIONSHIP STANDARDS
Kate, ladies and women solicitor, when will men be free from your damaging, one sided so called antagonizing write up on weekly basis? I pity ladies and women who learn from you. Well, being single is a choice and self inflicted suffering at times but my prayer is that God will soften your hardened heart and make you a vessel of honor and not a vessel of destruction.
-Olubayo Samuel, Ado Ekiti
Why do you always write immoral things? I am sorry for the man who married or who will marry you. Going by the weekly advice in your column, you will not make a good wife. I pity your man. You are destroying homes mind you! You are a man haram.
You only write about how women are suffering in marriages. What about men that are passing through hell at the hands of their wives, you have nothing to say about that right? -James
Sister Kate, you such a blessing to our generation. God will continue to enrich you with wisdom and fill your pen with more ink. Don’t mind your accusers, they lack what God gave you. My prayer is that they will not perish in ignorance.
Kate, your write up last week leaves much to be desired. While I may agree with you that there are men whose contributions to the marriage world cannot be celebrated, there are equally women who have contributed in no small measure to the ruins in our families today. Instances abound where women are the harbingers of STDs by virtue of having multiple sex partners. In marriage, all hands must be on deck to make it work, that’s my take.
May God almighty heal your bitter heart against Nigerian men and give you a husband so that you will stop attacking other people’s marriages with your satanic articles. You are just an angry, frustrated old maid. You need a husband quickly before your madness escalates. Maybe when you get married, and have tasted the sweetness of being a wife, you will stop judging all men as wicked and heartless. Kate, change before God’s judgment will descend on you for breaking people’s homes. -Pastor Tony, Abuja
Kate, I admire your courage for always speaking up for Nigerian women. The truth is that many Nigerian men don’t know what it means to be good husbands. They have also refused to learn and that is why I love what you are doing with your column. Believe me, your message is spreading like wild fire and women are learning a lot from you. Thank you for refusing to be silenced by chauvinist men. You are blessed.