In the marriage lifeboat, four problems can sink the ship: Lying, child abuse, spousal abuse and indifference. No marriage can survive these four problems.
1. Lying is the number one deal breaker in marriages. Affairs don’t have to mean the end of the marriage, but continued lying breaks down the fiber of the marriage. Most relationships need a ton of honesty to grow and prosper. Honesty is the marriage garden’s fertilizer. Without a healthy, secret free communication a marriage may wither and die a very sad, cold death.
It may begin with forgetting to tell about the lunch you had with a work friend of the opposite sex, or money you spent that you don’t think that will make a difference. When two people start keeping secrets from one another, the Marriage has a hard time holding it’s own in the trust department. Especially when the lie is uncovered, and the other spouse feels a sense of betrayal that someone else knew about the secret, or that the bank account shows a zero.
2. Indifference is another deal breaker. A person without love or any kind of attention is destined to be looking for a way out. Treating another human being like a piece of furniture or taking a person for granted doesn’t feel very good. It is a non verbal slap in the face.
The antidote is simple. Appreciation is a very healthy way of ensuring the survival of a waning relationship. When was the last time your told your loved one how much you appreciate the clean clothes in the drawer or the hot meal on the table or the contribution to the family checking account? Surprisingly enough, these terms of endearment mean the world to the spouse who wonders if anyone notices. Neglect of your spouse is one way of losing a precious gift in your life. Find a way every day to let your spouse know that you care, and appreciate the relationship itself. ‘Thanks for picking me as your husband’, or even a sweet smile across the room is an assurance to your spouse that you are happy with their company.
3. The third is incestuous abuse of your child. Like the lie, the invasion of the trust that your child will be safe is a complete breaking of trust and in most cases, cannot be repaired . it will take years to forgive yourself for not seeing the injuries, or for minimizing the extent of your child’s injuries. You will feel responsible and guilty, and angry and betrayed. You will wonder why you couldn’t see it, and have a hard time forgiving yourself for not protecting your precious child.
If your spouse has abused your child, is arrested and you must raise your child alone, there is no way the courts will allow frequent and continued contact between the parent and child unless it is in a highly structured supervised setting.
4. The fourth and not least important reason for the death of a marriage is the ongoing physical, mental or emotional abuse you have endured and can no longer endure or look the other way. You may have threatened, asked to have the spouse join you in therapy and there is no interest in making changes. You will definitely sour any love you ever had for this person and the words and actions finally will kill the relationship. For this war zone type relationship, the marriage was over long before papers were ever filed. The relationship was a zombie like existence with no real joy. Staying for the sake of the children even becomes a joke, as the children begin to emulate the behavior with each other.
There is hope for each of these situations with two very focused partners, who want the relationship to be repaired. A long road ahead of work to make the changes needed to repair the damage is possible.