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One most common reason for the lack of understanding between couples in a marriage relationship

I have discovered that the primary reason for the lack of understanding between couples in a marriage relationship is spouses do not value each other in many ways.

 My children and I would disagree with or clash when they want to watch a television programme that I have no interest in or do not enjoy as they do. My children love to watch animes, superheroes like avengers, and then the other kinds of stuff teenagers appreciate. Often, I wonder why they love to follow those types of programmes. On the other hand, I love to view foreign-language movies with cultural references and clothing; my children and hubby would not join me. They tolerate and allow me to see them, but none of them would sit with me. There was a time my daughter felt something and said, mummy, I wouldn’t say I like watching this film, but I will keep you company. It shows she may not like what I fancy, but she is willing to go along with me for love sake; it brings me to the idea of value. To esteem what someone else values may be easy when it sits within what we like or can accommodate; on the other hand, appreciating what is not a priority or significance requires understanding, love and commitment.

To esteem what someone else values may be easy when it sits within what we like or can accommodate.

As Husband and wife, most of us have been raised in two different environments and have standards instil in us by our parents and culture. We learnt those values and culture, whether spoken or unspoken, in the environment, we grew up. Most of the time, culture develops over time, and they are unspoken or unwritten rules that people observe and respect in that environment. It can be challenging for a newcomer to an environment because they will not be aware of the culture and unspoken rules that exist; people will frown when they break those rules, which often we don’t communicate in the first instance. It can take years or multiple errors and consequences before someone realises or learn those unspoken rules.

It can take years or multiple errors and consequences before someone realises or learn those unspoken rules.

It is a shame that this is one of the great contributors to stress and misunderstandings in marriage relationships. What we don’t know is called ignorance, and ignorance is not bliss. Becoming aware of the factors that make marriage hard work can significantly enhance the journey to merge the two individuals into one. When a couple realises and appreciates their spouse preferences, even though they may not believe or like it, they will accord the respect, space, and reverence that will communicate love and understanding to the other spouse. However, most partners unknowingly tread and disrespect their spouse’s constructs, norms, and culture, which causes significant friction between them. The most bizarre thing is that even the spouse that is hurt cannot articulate or put into words why they are hurting because, as said earlier, these are unspoken rules or ideals that they hold and not realise until someone breaks that rule.

These are unspoken rules or ideals that they hold and not realise until someone breaks that rule.

For example, I grew up in a home where you can serve yourself meat or fish and take whatever is ok for you as long as you are not greedy. When the pot of soup finishes, we get on and make another one, no investigation or query. However, I have friends who cannot go in and merely take whatever they want from the pot of stew without permission. They are required to ask and get permission before taking out a piece or two. In this home, I went to spend a few days of my holiday, and as I was not aware, I went in to take a piece of meat for my lunch without request or permission, and I indeed got into trouble. When I got into this house, no one told me, you are not allowed to serve yourself unless you take permission. It is a rule but an unwritten and unspoken one. You only get to be aware of it when you break the law. For example, if I had not served myself lunch, I’d probably not be aware, and if I didn’t stay long enough, I wouldn’t have been in trouble.

So getting this awareness of unspoken rules, unconscious bias and not recognising what someone else value can begin to bring to the surface reasons we resent and unhappy with our spouse when they act in specific ways that may be opposite to what we are doing. To understand is first to accept that our ways are not the only proper way to do certain things. Let us look at one area of conflict common in marriages, money spending habit. People whose parents are savers may have the culture and ability to save and be frugal. These people may see someone who spends as irresponsible and wasteful. Meanwhile, people whose parents are spenders may resent a saver and see them as thrifty, stingy and nasty to someone who spends.

To understand is first to accept that our ways are not the only proper way to do certain things.

However, money is for spending wisely to meet our needs; there must be a balance between spending and saving for a rainy day. If one partner concentrates on keeping money and denies the other of meeting their immediate need, and the other spends all they have and leaves nothing in the savings, then, of course, no one is right in this situation. It takes understanding and the ability to accept that no one way is utterly right except when it fails morality.

I want to help you and your partner understand some of the unspoken rules, biases and beliefs that may plague your marriage if you plan to get married soon. The earlier you know these pressure points, the better you are equipped to deal with them and set up a new culture in your marriage that suit both of you.

If you are already married and locked in conflicts that seem to have no headway, I can help you find harmony, dig out what you may not be aware of, unconscious bias, unspoken rules, and norms that may be causing a collision between you and your spouse.

You will be surprised at what we can uncover and when you discuss these issues. It requires that you and your spouse are humble enough to accept your way is not better than someone else’s, and you are willing to value what your spouse values; you will realise that understating will bring bliss and longevity to your marriage.

As a certified SYMBIS assessment facilitator, I invite you to take the pre-marriage assessment if you are single or engaged to be married soon or the SYMBIS+ Assessment if you are married. I will help you unpack the result and point out areas of strengths, weakness, opportunity and threats (SWOT) in your marriage. Every successful business conducts SWOT analysis in other to continue to grow. Please send me a message below, and I will arrange for you to take the assessment as soon as possible.

Would you let me know if you are blessed, by liking the post, share and comment?

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

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

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You cannot be thankful and be bitter at the same time in your marriage

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints. I had realised that the time I have been critical of my husband was when I failed to appreciate what he is doing or what I have asked him to do. I felt let down due to my expectations which sometimes can be overinflated. I soon realise that criticism and negative attitudes only breed more negativity. I decided to start living a positive life and appreciate my husband for who he is. I am not saying it is an easy task to appreciate or fail to notice when someone has not met our expectation; however, to live in peace in a marriage, we must learn to create that positive atmosphere. You and I have the ability and power to choose positivity, turn situations around for good and count it all joy when faced with a difficult situation. The moment I started to look at what I have and not what is missing, my life literally turned around; all the bitterness, anger, and negative stronghold melted away. Oh! The devil is so deceptive because he knows we have the power to dismantle those illusions; the devil plays on our mind, and he gains a foothold when we take offence or become angry.

Suggested Read: Selflessness: learn to replace I with We in your marriage, your I -llness will become WE -llness

One of the most common complaints and love killers in marriage is criticism and complaints.

One of the fastest ways to recover from a bad situation is to give thanks for what is available and what is at hand. If everyone decides to bring out the challenges they face in their lives and put them on the table for an exchange, most people will quickly pick up their cross and give thanks that they have it lighter. Do not be deceived; every marriage has one or two areas of the challenge they are dealing with; the ability to cope and find joy in those circumstances separates a successful marriage from a failed marriage. I once heard a story of a man who complained he has no shoe to wear and found someone who has shoes but no legs to put them on. He quickly gave thanks and would not exchange the shoes for those legs when the other man told him he could have his shoes in exchange for his legs.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse.

Stop negative thinking and pattern by appreciating and becoming grateful for your spouse. You cannot be thankful and bitter simultaneously, so if you are not happy in your marriage, focus on your level of appreciation and not your spouse. It is straightforward to blame our unhappiness on someone else, yet we have the power to control how we respond to others.

Will you start to appreciate your spouse today? I remember my daughter was heartbroken about a few things she wanted from us as parents last Christmas. I told her what she was fretting about was missing and just a fraction of the pie. I then gave her an exercise to do, which would help her appreciate what she has. I told her to write down all the things she has and write down those things she is missing. She was amazed at the long list of good things she has compared to the minimal list of items she desired. She confessed that she felt better looking at the list of those things she has, and she never thought about them; it felt they were expected and never gave thanks for those. It made her feel so much lighter, better and grateful. Do you know what? The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper. 

The tiny list, exaggerated in her mind, shrunk when she wrote them down on a paper

During the last Christmas, she received as a gift some of those things she desired. The last time I spoke to her, she said mummy, “I don’t think I need anything again”. How quickly contentment and positive attitudes sets.

If you are so bitter and angry with your spouse, would you do this simple exercise and write down all the things you may feel do not need appreciation because it is normal. It is not normal; in some marriages, the woman is an excellent cook but lacks the skills to make the house neat. Yet, in another household, the wife is immaculate but lacking in skills for making good food. Both husbands have a wife lacking in one area, but when asked to exchange their wives, the one with a good cook was ok; I will rather have good food in my stomach and clean the house as best as I can. It is, therefore, crucial that you write down the qualities in your wife or husband that you may feel typical and expected; no, it may be the same quality someone else is looking for in their spouse. We cannot have it all because we are not perfect. 

You can also read: Principles of Marriage:  FORGIVENESS (Part 1)

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings.

Happy couples are those who give allowance and make up for each other’s shortcomings. That is why the bible says two are better than one; when one fall, the other will lift him. How are you helping your spouse in their areas of weakness?  Are you helping them to grow or allowing them to sink?

Choose to be grateful and see all your bitterness and anger melt away.

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

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

5 common mistakes couples make in Marriage and how to avoid them

5 common mistakes couples make in Marriage and how to avoid them

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? 

Are you longing for inspiration for your life and marriage? Learning new skills and acquiring knowledge can greatly improve your relationship with your spouse. When you know better, you can do better and make a big difference in your relationship. Subscribe to updates from Abi here!

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