Responsibility in Marriage

Avoiding Unhappy Marriages

Kim Faith, Marriage, Relationships 20 Comments

Unhealthy Marriage

The dating process and the engagement period are there for a reason: to get to know someone.

It seems we have forgotten this and gone right from introductions, followed by a rush to sleep together, then living together. Finally (if ever) people get married.

It’s so sad that so many couples are looking for ways on how to survive in an unhappy marriage. If they would take a little time in the beginning, many of these problems can be avoided. They wouldn’t have to ask themselves years down the road, “Should I stay in an unhappy marriage?”

Did I miss Evelyn Wood’s Relationship Guide? No wonder our divorce and poverty rates are so high. ENOUGH ALREADY!

There is no time to build trust when moving at warp speed. You should be learning about one another during this important time of dating and getting to know each other; building this initial friendship bond that will last a lifetime.

Here are my tips on avoiding Unhappy Marriages and Relationships

  • When you immediately have sex with someone, the dynamic changes. You have left a part of yourself with that person. You cannot build a friendship as you previously could have because you have added a physical element. When things start to go bad in the relationship from this point on, it’s because the important parts – the foundational parts that make a relationship last were not put into place first. Trust is so easily broken at this point. You either have to go back and try to put them in place, or the relationship fails.
  • Early in the dating cycle you should be learning if you even LIKE one another. You should be meeting each other’s families, and find out if you share similar interests, similar character traits and morals. Meeting one’s family can tell a lot about someone. Perhaps your mate is very different from their family, but many times the apple does not fall far from the tree. You get to see how they treat each other; how they treat their parents. These are all important things you will want to know.
  • Things you want to see in any mate (dating or a spouse): kindness, gratitude, generosity. Many things can be overlooked in a relationship when there is love. But can you imagine living with a mate who is consistently ungrateful for the things you do for them, whether it is the hard days you put in at the office, the special meal you’ve spent all day cooking, or always making sure their needs are met?
  •  What about living with a mate who is always willing to take whatever you have to give, but never willing to give anything in return? This could be highlighting a big character flaw or selfishness on their part. If your honey is always up for a good time as long as you are the one providing it, it might be time to have an honest conversation about where your relationship is going. Taking advantage of someone’s kindness is not only immature, it is selfish. Relationships can’t grow unless both partners carry out their own responsibility. 
  • Once you have been dating for a while, you should be sharing details about your background, your finances, your future goals. This is not only true of younger people, but especially true of people marrying for the second (or third) time who have children. Before you ever walk down the aisle with someone, you should know what their financial situation is. This should be a non-negotiable and any accountant worth his salary will tell you so.
  • Your marriage vows  said (or will say) to love, honor, and cherish, for richer or poorer. How can you honor someone (and, quite frankly, honor God) if you A) did not trust your mate enough to be honest with them about your financial picture before marriage, which will now become a joint problem, or B) did not trust your relationship enough to have an open discussion about your bills? In either scenario, the relationship was not mature enough to move forward with marriage.
  • Nothing can tear a couple apart faster than money problems. It is the number one thing couples fight about in marriage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met couples engaged, living together, and even couples who are married who have no idea what their spouse’s financial picture was, how much they owed going into marriage. In several cases, they realized too late how much debt they were now responsible for after saying I Do. Share your bank accounts and your credit reports. If someone refuses, you should run in the other direction as fast as you can. If you are already married, don’t run, but this needs to happen immediately or there is no honesty and respect being shown in this marriage. Someone is hiding something.

Responsibility in Marriage

  • Selfishness is another big problem in marriages today. Not just in first marriages either. Your spouse is an individual with their own life. Sometimes this is forgotten by a partner in marriage. This can be especially true early on in first marriages when one half of the couple is excited to have someone to do everything with and the other half is not so excited to be dragged places they’d rather not be going. They start to resent it.
  • For couples who have been married before, a fine line needs to be walked. Many times children from previous marriages are involved. When, where, and how often they spend time with each family, who gets what gifts (or no gifts at all), can send hurtful messages that can break families and marriages apart. For these couples, they need to remember they each had families before and make sure one spouse’s selfishness is not taking the other away from their children, either intentionally or unintentionally. With children (and our grandchildren), our actions always speak louder than words, and the biggest thing we can give them is T.I.M.E.
  • It’s never too late to work on an unhappy marriage or relationship. The best way to start – go to your spouse and admit where you have failed. Be humble. Then be willing to do what it takes to change. Be open and honest about everything in marriage. Marriage cannot survive without honesty and trust.
  • Another great way to have a healthy marriage – invite God in. He created you. He created marriage. Live a God-centered life and watch how He transforms you both from the inside out. Prayer should be one of the #1 things in your relationship tool box.

Want to learn more on avoiding unhappy marriages and relationships? Communication Breakdown, Two Reasons Marriages Fail, and Living in an Unhappy Marriage are all great posts to read to help you go from an unhealthy marriage to healthy marriage. It just takes a little hard work and humility.

Did you transform your unhappy marriage or relationship? 

I’m linking up here with these great blogs.

Keep the Faith,

Kim Adams Morgan

 

Comments 20

  1. Pingback: Women Logic in Relationships - Kim Adams Morgan

  2. Pingback: Addiction Threatens Marriage - Pouring Down Like Rain

    1. Post
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      Kim

      Linda, Thank you so much for this. I have such a heart for saving marriages, but also for getting it right the first time around. I’d like to broadcast to singles. :-) Thank you for visiting. Blessings to you.

  3. Melissa Hopper

    Money seems to the be the root of all evil. That is the biggest thing me and mine fight about. Its horrible and being a blended family. I am so glad you pointed that out. I do my best to treat all of the kids equally and so does my significant other. Its the grandparents that have trouble with this.

    #ThursdayFavoriteThings
    Melissa Hopper recently posted…The Little Things Become Favorite ThingsMy Profile

    1. Post
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      Kim

      Melissa, It certainly does. We all seem to “misplace” perspective when it comes to it…unless we are looking at someone else’s life. We never can see it when it is ourselves. We have all been here.

      Pray that your parents will see the error of their ways and that the Lord will soften their hearts. Children (grown and little ones) are very perceptive, they know when one child or family is being treated differently than another. It can leave scars.

      Praying for you and your family, Melissa. Have faith and keep God in the center of your marriage. Thanks for visiting.

    1. Post
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      Kim

      Jean, Thank you for your kind words. I have such a heart for God-centered marriage and keeping marriages together. Thank you for stopping in today. Congrats on your book. So exciting.

  4. Ceil

    Hi Kim! This is really thorough review of keeping a healthy marriage. I sensed a theme of respect for self here. Protecting your precious body and soul until you get to know someone else really well. I truly connect to those thoughts. So many of us don’t have healthy self-esteem, and become swayed by a stronger personality. We are all ‘enough’ and should try to understand how precious each and every one of us is. If we really knew that, we’d respect ourselves and others too.

    God gave us our gifts of humanity and soul. They ultimately belong to him. How right it is to protect them!
    Blessings,
    Ceil

    1. Post
      Author
      Kim

      Thank you, Ceil. You are right. If you don’t have respect for yourself, you will just let someone else walk all over you and your boundaries. When that happens, it can quickly spill into all kinds of issues, including the finances, even other family members and lead to control. That would not equal love and respect in a healthy marriage.

  5. Jen

    Hello! I’m stopping by from Wedded Wednesdays link-up. You shared some great advice above. I especially like the advice you shared at the end to keep your marriage Christ-centered. My husband and I both notice a big difference in how we relate to one another when one of us (or both!) isn’t walking with the Lord!
    Jen :)
    Jen recently posted…Fat Girl Insecurities and #TheLoftMy Profile

    1. Post
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      Kim

      Hi Jen, Great to see you here. It doesn’t make a big difference when God is at the center of your marriage. My husband and I notice the same thing.

  6. Bonny @oysterbed7

    Kim, Great points! I especially like the challenge to figure out if you like who you are dating, in spite of loving them. Lusting and loving and liking can be a confusing trio. They aren’t the same things at all. A strong marriage requires friends who are passionate about each other. Lust won’t carry you through the mud of trials, but a solid relationship will built on Christ, will.

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      Kim

      Bonny, So true. There sure are days when you better love your spouse…cause you may not like him/her. That’s when Christ does the loving through you.

      I hope those reading this who don’t understand it will ask me what it means. Lust and attraction wears off. Agape love will last a lifetime. Thank you for stopping in to see me.

  7. Loralu James Conville

    OH Kim, following the end of my LONG time marriage–I have looked around and thought “WHAT!”. I would never even consider another mate–unless God was the center of their life. All the other you can work through–this is NON-compromising! You have good and valid points. I was so shocked when a friend told me having sex would be expected early in any relationship. I told her–I guess I will be alone–but never alone with God in my life. Good post!

    1. Post
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      Kim

      I can’t imagine being single now. I’m with you – I’ll never be alone with God in my life! Thank you for visiting me.

  8. Joe Pote

    Kim,

    I see a healthy recurring theme in your “avoiding and unhappy marriage” list. Each item in your list points to the importance of seriously thinking through deal-breakers and being willing to follow through on them.

    Too often, these are completely neglected, both in courting and after marriage. Consequently, conflicts are never recognized and dealt with, and continue to fester and erode.

    Too often, our Christian culture seems to discourage thjnking through and enforcing deal-breakers and/or setting and defending healthy boundaries. We often over-emphasize love, grace, forgiveness and reconciliation to the point that wisdom and discernment are neglected and untaught.

    Thank you for sharing these important truths!
    Joe Pote recently posted…Biblical Word PlayMy Profile

    1. Post
      Author
      Kim

      Joe, I could not agree with your statement more. We do have to give love, grace, forgiveness, and reconciliation (almost always, I believe)…but wisdom and discernment AND COMMON SENSE have got to play a part in here somewhere. Thank you for visiting. I so enjoy your wisdom.

  9. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Well, yes. We married in 2002, divorced in 2003, and remarried in 2004. Still married, too.

    But there are issues – big ones. They won’t kill the marriage, but they do limit things.

    And most of them lie squarely on my shoulders, because I married without really understanding how my past made me what I am.

    I worked in a violent and unforgiving profession, in parts of the world you’d probably prefer to avoid. Saw things I would not care to describe. Did what was needed to survive.

    After I retired and took up an academic career, I still kept one foot in the door. Stayed in top shape (something like a Navy SEAL), and my life was littered with some of the former tools of my trade.

    When we got married, I tried to put that part of me away,and it blew up in my face. I had been holding PTSD mostly at bay by never allowing the “post”-traumatic part to develop; but when it did go into the past I lost my identity, and became a nightmare to live with.

    Years of therapy later, I understand myself better, and can be something like an OK husband. Not great; I almost never smile, much less laugh, and I relate to dogs much better than people.

    I do have a good and solid relationship with the Almighty, but it’s not a “shared” relationship; my God is the God of Battles, the God of the 144th Psalm. It doesn’t translate well for my wife.

    But it doesn’t really matter, because I’m dying, or so they say. That’s not a request for pity, or even sympathy. Everyone dies, and for those who are left, life goes on.

    I ran my race. Good enough. Let it stand, because I certainly can’t go back and do it over,

    What I can do is love my wife solidly, and do what I can to help her find a happy road after I’m dead. I can give one last, lovely gift to a person whom I happen to love.

    Whom I happen to love with all my heart.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Do You Have Time To Be Married?My Profile

    1. Post
      Author
      Kim

      Andrew, I know a small bit about the world you describe, as a former DoD contractor, but I never had to be there. Having war be a part of your daily world (at any level) is something you can’t shake. I’m glad you and your wife are back together and making it work. Sometimes us girls just need our men to sit there beside us and say, “Thanks for hanging in there with me through this.” No other words are required. It’s just the acknowledgement and maybe a kiss for good measure. God takes over from there. Blessings to you, friend.

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