Top 3 Relationship Issues That Destroy Marriages
No one gets married expecting his or her marriage to fail. Unfortunately, some marriages do fail. The reasons why marriages fail vary from one couple to the next, but some relationship issues are more likely to lead to divorce than others. It is important for couples, especially newlyweds, to know what these issues are so that they can protect their marriages from them.
Conflict in marriage is normal. When two people live together it’s natural for them to have differences in opinions, values, needs and desires. Conflict becomes negative when it escalates from a conversation into a full blown fight, and spouses become hostile towards each other, saying mean things and pointing fingers at each other. They bring up past mistakes and use them to attack each other.
Negative conflict breeds tension, anger and frustration, which can continue to eat away at the marriage long after the fight is over. The hurtful things that are said during negative conflict can also shatter intimacy in the marriage. To avoid this, every married couple must learn positive conflict resolution. Positive conflict resolution helps a couple to clarify the problem and resolve it while remaining respectful of each other.
In a healthy relationship, spouses should be able to share their feelings with each another without fear of criticism or put downs. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to find marriages where one spouse constantly puts down the thoughts, feelings and character of the other spouse. This is referred to as invalidation.
Invalidation is a leading cause of divorce. It can take many forms from overt dismissal to subtle negation of feelings. Saying things like “I didn’t ask you because I knew it would take you too long to decide” or “you’re too emotional. There’s no reason to react that way” is invalidation.
Invalidation destroys trust and emotional connection in a marriage. The person who is being invalidated can take it to heart and lose self confidence or become defensive and start dishing it out as well. Both scenarios can cause relationship issues. Every couple should learn how to communicate without invalidating each other’s feelings.
Assuming the Worst of Each Other
Marriage can be very difficult when one partner constantly assumes the worst of the other. It is hard to be happy in a marriage where you are constantly trying to prove that your intentions are good and you are not purposely trying to hurt your partner.
A couple that assumes the worst of each other cannot fully enjoy the benefits of marriage. They blame each other for every bad thing that happens in the marriage but attribute every good thing that happens in the marriage to chance. This leads to despair in the marriage.
The best way to counteract this is to assume that your spouse has good motives unless you have good reason to believe otherwise. Therefore, if your spouse does not do something that you asked him to, don’t assume that he is deliberately trying to annoy you. He probably just forgot.
Research shows that negative conflict, invalidation and assuming the worst of each other are the three relationships issues most likely to cause divorce. Any couple that doesn’t want to be looking for advice on how to fix a marriage two years into their marriage should actively defend their marriage from these three marital problems.