There are few things that can compare with the ecstatic feeling of being in love..But sometimes, beyond the initial excitement, Happy marriages soon run into troubled waters due to the actions and inactions of one of both partners.
In some cases, they make up and move on; at other times, the relationship is never the same again and they both have to endure the marriage for the rest of time, while in some instances, it leads to divorce.
Notably, crash in this case does not only imply divorce, but also includes partial breakdown in communication and intimacy.
Therefore, it is important to highlight the top factors that lead to conflict in marriages necessarily:
Infidelity: Cheating on a spouse is about the commonest factor that brings about conflict in homes. This is because it is seen as a direct betrayal of trust, which is often hard to repair. Even though men are seen to be guiltier of this, findings have shown that they find it difficult to forgive a cheating wife. They believe it affects their masculinity, questions their sexual prowess, the possibility that they might not even be the father of their children and such thoughts that flood their minds. These make some men to file for divorce while some simply keep a distance from such women. On the other hand, women are seen to be more forgiving when they are cheated on, but sometimes too, things are never the same again in such marriages.
Poor communication: In the past, people hardly saw communication as an ingredient for a successful marriage. People would rather bottle up their emotions and dissatisfaction about the actions and inactions of a partner instead of opening up, until things get worse. It also provides a fertile ground for (wrong) assumptions and frustration, which they sometimes term ‘irreconcilable differences’. This explains why marriage counsellors often say good communication is the secret to a successful marriage, because it enables both parties to raise their concern and creates a platform for resolution. They have also noted that when communication breaks down, the union is heading for the rocks.
Barrenness: This is one major reason people walk out of their marriages. Childbearing is largely seen as a ‘must’ for couples in this part of the world and so their inability to have children could signal the end of that union. From findings, this had led to the crash of many marriages, because sometimes, people, especially men, are compelled to try new partners. And when a man takes a new wife, it oftentimes takes the first union to an abrupt end.
Abuse: This is one other reason people run for their dear lives. It could be in form of physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse, all of which oftentimes subject the victim to deep trauma. The impact is almost the same with people who live with partners that are hot-tempered. Given the serious impact it could have on the psychology of such persons, marriage counsellors often advise intending couples to watch out for the trait in their partner.
Poor sexual experience: Some might find this factor laughable, but it is actually one of the reasons people feel dissatisfied in marriage. It could lead to frustration, which some people also term ‘irreconcilable differences;’ it could compel some to start cheating on their spouse, if they can’t hold it any longer and it could breed distrust, especially if there is a noticeable decline, which could fuel the thought that their partners had been doing it with someone else.
A psychologist, Prof. Toba Elegbeleye, also noted that differentials in how they both enjoy sex is important. A group of counsellors and marriage therapists in the United States, with the name, Couples Counseling Chicago, pointed out that “boredom in the bedroom” is another major reason marriages fail because, if not watched closely, it’s one of the primary reasons people engage in spousal cheating.
Inadequate Finance: No doubt, money causes troubles in many homes, and it affects in many ways, including financial imbalance, inability of the man to pay the bills, which could make him look irresponsible, situations where the woman continually pays the bills, etc. Elegbeleye also noted that the imbalance could be an issue. Couples Counseling Chicago said, “Even long standing couples have found their marriage in trouble because of strong disagreements about spending, savings and general financial decision making. Financial inequity; meaning who is bringing what to the table, also are major reasons behind divorce.”
Unrealised expectations: No doubt, people go into marriage for different reasons and expectations. When those expectations are not met, they tend to feel frustrated. In some cases, that is the beginning of a trouble, because they tend to vent their frustration on an unsuspecting partner who could have their separate worries. According to some experts, marrying too early, marrying to satisfy sexual urge, to show appreciation, to douse pressure from parents, to feel among, especially when there is a feeling of being left behind by contemporaries, among others, are some of the common “wrong” reasons people marry. They said relying on these alone could come with a high risk of failure, because after some time in marriage, they tend to see that there is more to that lifelong union than those one or two expectations. Marriage counsellors have also advised that people should moderate their expectations when going into marriage, to avoid utter disappointment if those expectations are not met.
Incompatibility: Sometimes, due to the initial excitement, intending couples do not discuss pertinent issues about their preferences, their plans for the future and the level of desired autonomy. If they marry someone who dislikes their preferred vocation or profession, there tends to be issues. There have been instances where people who are not ready to give up their careers, like acting or other kinds of jobs – sometimes perceived to be too demanding – quit their marriages because of lack of spousal support for personal growth. “The ability to be with someone while also maintaining a sense of independence is a key ingredient for a successful, long term marriage,” Couples Counseling Chicago noted on its website.
Disparity in educational qualifications: This has been observed to be a silent cause of conflict in many homes, especially when the woman is more educated or if one of both parties lied about their qualification. When the truth is revealed, it sometimes leads to serious conflict and sometimes the deceived persons are unable to snap out of it, largely because they see it as a form of betrayal.
Strange habits: It is not uncommon for people to pick up strange habits, like taking alcohols, smoking, homosexuality, after they are married. Usually, it is either that they were able to hide or manage it from their partner during courtship or they picked up the habit newly. People who are unable to cope living with such persons tend to become frustrated, especially if they can’t get the person to drop that habit, and so some end up leaving the marriage.
Overbearing in-laws: In this part of the world, in-laws are seen and treated as an integral part of marriages. Thus, their actions and inactions could sometimes influence the success or otherwise of any union. Elegbeleye said if there is conflict between one of the couples and the in-laws, they tend to see each other as an intruder, and that this could affect the couple on the long run. “Issues of in-laws are a very potent factor, and so people need to pay attention to it,” he added.
Distance: If the popular saying, ‘out of sight is out of mind’ is anything to go by, then it would seem many homes have experienced some troubles because of the long absence of a partner. Apart from the fact that their sexual lives tend to derail, understandably, there could also be emotional disconnect, especially if they do not communicate enough on the phone or through other means. According to Elegbeleye, physical distance is usually a product of job mobility. “If one of the two is always on the move and not always around, it could lead to marriage breakdown,” he added.
Meanwhile, Elegbeleye pointed out that the success of any union is a product of the efforts of both parties. Thus, he advised couples not to take with levity the importance of good communication.