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.
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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