Many marriages that have collapsed today may have survived if they had avoided the common mistakes that couples make in a marriage. Many safeguards ensure, protect, and make a marriage work and prevent it from crashing during crises. Let us look at five of the common mistakes couples make in marriage.
Lack of understanding you are different but equal partners.
Husbands and wives are equal and created equally to dominate and replenish the earth, but their outward form is different. Male and female God created them. Both males and females carried the same spirit of man and made in God’s image. However, due to the unique need and different roles God wants male and females to carry out, he physically makes them different. A man must understand that the woman is not inferior, but God has caused her to carry the womb and tender so she can nurture her young.
A man must understand that the woman is not inferior, but God has caused her to carry the womb and tender so she can nurture her young.
A woman must know that the man is equal to her but made to be more muscular in physical appearance and mind because he needs to protect, provide and work to meet the needs and carry his family’s burden. When this basic understanding is missing in a marriage, the man may look at his wife as a soft and inferior because she is gentle and cries easily.
Suggested Read: How to be a Loving Wife to your Husband
A woman may feel her husband is not good enough because he does not provide and meet his family’s needs and decides to relegate him or accept that he is the leader both in mind and physical strength. When both disagree, he may punish her mentally, psychologically, and for those who are reckless, they may go all the way to physical abuse. Couples who want to be successful in any marriage must avoid this mistake. We must realise and accept our differences and limitations and accept our equality and partnership to enjoy a peaceful and beautiful union. Your husband is an equal partner in your marriage, but he is different, and you cannot expect to relate with him as you would do to another female.
Your husband is an equal partner in your marriage, but he is different, and you cannot expect to relate with him as you would do to another female.
As a female, you must learn how to connect to a man in a way he understands. How would you do that? You must know how men think and ask for support from a man? How does a man interpret your language and words? And so many other quarks that make a man a male specie. Husband: your wife is an equal partner and has the same spirit of God and creative ability God has given to man. Your ability to recognise and accept your wife as a partner will help you respectfully relate to her. Her body structure and size have little to do with her ability to think and be creative. God created her to support you in all areas of life. Do you know how to relate to a woman? How does a woman perceive your actions? Is there any adjustment you need to make to ensure you and your wife understand each other? Only when a couple grasps this understanding of equality but different can they begin to operate as partners in their marriage. Marriage is a partnership, and when you accept your mutual roles, there will be less of power tussle and less of control and contradiction.
Lack of understanding that marriage is roleless
Marriage is roleless, although there are typical roles that naturally falls on a man or woman in a marriage, these are the headship or leadership and childbearing roles. Every other function in a marriage can be performed by either couple, for example, housekeeping, funding, entertainment etc. Sadly, some of these roles have become stereotypical and hurting many homes. There is a lack of understanding that either spouse can function in any marriage capacity except for the creator’s fundamental roles. We know that most women know how to keep the home, become good cooks, and raise the children. Some men are great at cooking and love to do so but will not cook at home because they think it is their wife’s role to cook.
Some men are great at cooking and love to do so but will not cook at home because they think it is their wife’s role to cook.
Some women are great at doing DIY projects and may love to do so but will resist because they fear that is the job of a man and will not want to explore their talent in that area for fear of upstaging their partner. Some spouses take up a role that people have put a label on as the job of another gender. They met with disapproval from society and exaggerated if the culture around them frowns at such roles. In my home country, if a man loves to look after his children or loves to clean his house, he will be expected not to do so once he becomes married because that is the wife’s job. I heard a story of a mother who frowned at her son who usually cooked for her while unmarried and asked why he made dinner for his wife? We need to begin to remove these barriers and make marriages a beautiful and safe place to be ourselves. If a man loves to cook, please go ahead and do so, cooking is not an exclusive role of a woman.
If a man loves to cook, please go ahead and do so, cooking is not an exclusive role of a woman.
Suggested Read: How to be a loving husband to your wife
A woman loves driving and repairing mechanics; please feel free to do so, do not limit your creativity for the fear and label people placed on marriage roles. I will encourage husbands and wives to carefully consider taking up positions where they have interest, strength, and passion without fearing what people or society will say. It will significantly enhance your marriage; you will be happy doing what you like and have harmony and peace in your home.
Lack of good role models and accountability
Many couples go into marriage without having a role model, a matured couple who are successful in their marriage that they can trust to be their go-to if they need advice and be accountable. In today’s business world, we have seen this importance as having a role model and holding responsibility. Whether small or big, an organisation that wants to succeed will have a board of directors to keep an eye on what the organisation is doing and alert them to risky decisions. Many couples have no one to hold them accountable, and it is even sad that many have no one to look up to as role models. It is a mistake to go into marriage and not agree to have a mentor and be accountable to someone you respect.
It is a mistake to go into marriage and not agree to have a mentor and be accountable to someone you respect.
Why? Marriage is a treacherous journey, and at some point, along the way, the husband or wife needs guidance and someone they respect to correct, rebuke and direct them to make the right decisions. Please do not marry anyone male or female who has no one to admire and will submit to their authority or guidance when facing challenges. The bible says, in proverbs 11:14, “Where there is no guidance, a people fall, but in an abundance of counsellors, there is safety.” Create a safety net and prepare for success in your marriage by looking for a good role model; these cannot be your parents as they will be biased. Find wise matured, God-fearing, and loving couples who excelled in their marriage to mentor you. It is never too late to have mentors, but it is best to have them as you begin your marital journey.
Assuming marriage success happens effortlessly
Marriage needs a lot of work, effort, dedication, resilience, and love to succeed. Loving your partner may look easy while you are just newly married, but experience has shown that no matter how much you may love each other, there will be challenges ahead. There will be days you will wake up and not feel you love this person you love all the while. What will hold you and your marriage together is knowing, understanding, and willingness to make your marriage work. Do not make a mistake believing you will love your spouse forever, or your spouse will always love you. You must be prepared to go through the phase and seasons of love. Just as we prepare for the seasons of life, we are not surprised when winter comes, we may not like winter, but we know it is coming, and we prepare for it.
There is nothing like bad weather the Nordics say, but lousy clothing makes you suffer and not enjoy the weather.
There is nothing like bad weather the Nordics say, but lousy clothing makes you suffer and not enjoy the weather. So, are you prepared for the different phases in marriage? Do you know what these phases will be? Have you put in a place survival kit? Do not make the common mistake that love holds marriage forever. It is a mistake to assume marriage success will happen without putting in the effort, time, and commitment to make it happen. As best as you can, please avoid this mistake many have made, and thousands are still committing as they go into marriage based on love without commitment to make it work.
Lack of having no plan to manage marital crisis
I certainly did not have a plan to manage crisis in my marriage when I married 18 years plus now. We were aware there will be challenges but did not put structures and support help to us manage our crisis. You are guaranteed in your marriage to face not one or two but many critical moments, and you will need to overcome these crises to emerge healthy and well bonded together. Many couples jump out of the furnace of purification during the cleaning process because they can no longer bear the heating and forging process. Every good and robust marriage you see today went though and survived marital challenges.
Every good and robust marriage you see today went though and survived marital challenges.
Are you prepared to manage the crisis in your union? What are the coping strategies you will put in place? One of my mentees has agreed never to leave the bedroom and sleep separately if they ever get into an argument. Another couple decided always to end the day on a good note and try to resolve any misunderstanding within 24hrs. Other agreed, if there is a decision that the couple cannot agree on, they will hold that decision, and none of the couples can go ahead without concluding. These and many more safeguarding statements have helped many couples resolve issues quickly and prevent crises in their marriage. Please avoid having no plan to solve your marital problems; it is better to plan for an emergency than wait until the situation shows up. It will be too late to find a safe place if you wait for the rain to start before you find shelter. What safeguarding statement will you put into place for you and your spouse to manage crisis today?
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Abi Apalara loves sharing insightful information that helps couples flourish in life and their marriage relationship. I have enjoyed both good marital pleasures and challenging times in my marriage. I came to realise, the points where I missed it, were areas I lacked information on how to.
Making it up along the way, only meant I was going the wrong way. Desperately seeking to get back into marital bliss, I started exploring and reading about those areas of challenge. I also reached out to counselors and began to see what I was missing.
After a surprising move into relationship study, I have found peace of mind and happy with my marriage. I have authored the book Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus realty to share my experience and encourage men and women to work on their
marriages, by seeking knowledge and apply it to their marriage relationship.
My latest book, Are you ready? Marriage expectation versus reality focuses on discovering some of the unrealistic expectations we bring into a marriage. It comes with practical advice and a guide on how to get it right before and after getting married. You can also preorder the book here