Broken marriages and homes are not what anyone or society would want to have for several reasons. They have negative consequences for the individuals, marriages, families and societies involved. So, it is important for us to be able to detect the signals threatening these social sub-systems when they start unfolding. This is important so that they can be nipped in the bud before they get to uncontrollable level. The thrust of this write-up is to identify these destructive factors for appropriate treatments.
- Does your partner have child/children outside wedlock?
Sometimes spouses discover that their partners are having children outside. This may be before or after the marriage. This shows that something is wrong with such marriage. It is a sign that loyalty has been divided. The relationship may not be the same again. The children outside the wedlock are now part of the family. There is no such thing as bastard child in Africa. Same for most part of the globe.
Possible reasons for having children outside wedlock.
Why on earth will a man/woman go outside to have children? The reasons for this are many. It could be as a result of pre-marital sex. Another reason is perceived barrenness of one of the spouses. Outright infidelity on the part of one of the partners or both is a factor too. Some are due to prolonged differences between the couples. The man’s desperate search for a male child may be a factor too. Whatever the reason may be the relationship has been altered. The interaction will take a new look. The situation should be well managed to avoid divorce and other forms of reactions that could throw the marriage into devastating crises.
This is another red flag to show that there is a problem in a marriage. Infidelity could involve the husband, wife or both. Whoever that is involved is not a good story for the union of the spouses and their children. It takes attention away from home. This is a distraction from the primary responsibility of the spouses to their marriage and family. Infidelity takes the resources that are meant for the family to a third party. Among such resources are quality time with family members, efforts, finances and others. This third party is a parasite or worm that is eating deep into the family’s resource reserve. He/she will soon leave as soon as the resource is completely depleted.
The effects of infidelity on the marriage and family.
Where infidelity has taken its firm grip on a marriage and family the spouse’s emotional feeling will run dry. Sex between the spouses will suffer serious setback. Mutual care will nosedive. Children’s welfare will suffer, and the entire marriage and family will be in disarray. At this stage, divorce and other dangerous consequences of such dysfunctional relationship may just be around the corner.
Paternity controversy arising from infidelity.
Apart from the above, infidelity could result in a very serious paternity crisis. For example, there was a married woman who was also involved in a discrete relationship with another man. On a particular day, after her husband had gone to work, she went to meet her man friend. They both had several rounds of sexual intercourse. When her husband returned from work, he demanded for sex from his wife. So they both had sex again. Weeks after pregnancy occurred. The question is who is the true biological father of the child? Is it the concubine or the husband? The woman is yet to answer the question up till now. What will happen when the husband gets to know that this little innocent boy is not his biological son?
- Lack of transparency.
There is an adage that says that “A house built with saliva will soon be washed away by the falling dew”. Literally, this can be interpreted to mean a foundation built on falsehood will crumble in no time. So if marriage must survive the test of time, it has to be built on transparency on the parts of both partners. This is particularly the case in the areas of past relationships. The number of kids already gotten (if any) and finances should be declared, Couple should able to share information on each other’s family background, sexual preferences, and others.
Implications of lack of transparency.
Any hidden information in any of these areas has a way of coming to hunt whoever that is hiding it later. When the right thing is done, the integrity rating of the affected couple before his/her partner will be enhanced. The reverse of this could be very disastrous. The integrity of the couple will hit the ground in seconds. That may even decide how long the relationship will endure. So the question is: why hiding what will soon be known?
- Poor temperament.
People who are highly temperamental or shot tempered are highly unpredictable. They could be very deadly when they have cause to be angry. They often take their anger out of proportion when least provoked. When you discover that your marital partner or would-be partner is in this category, it is an indication that you have a lot of work to do. You must prepare to exercise reasonable amount of patience and maturity in handling him/her.
Dangers of high temper.
There are cases of short tempered individuals who have had cause to kill their loved ones not necessarily because they wanted to but because they could not control their emotions. It becomes a double tragedy where the two partners are both temperamental. In such situation, anything can happen. If you have a personality of this nature as your partner and the two of you have not married officially, you need to carry out a self-assessment to determine if you have the capacity to manage such person. If you realize that you are incapable of doing so, you are kindly advised to cut short the relationship before it is too late.
- Constant infection with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). STDs like gonorrhea, staphylococcus, syphilis, HIV/AIDs and others are serious health conditions. They usually come with unguided sexual behaviours. This may be on the part of the male or female partner or both. It could be very embarrassing when this keeps happening and you are very sure that you have been faithful in your sexual activities. It is either because your partner has not recovered from the previous treatments if he/she had been treated for STDs. The fact may even be that he/she has not stopped his/her unfaithful act. This may be a sign of unprotected sex outside wedlock.
What could go wrong?
There are serious biological and medical consequences associated with cheating on your spouse. Some of them could be death, infertility/childlessness, blindness, brain damage and so on. Where it is necessary you are advised to opt out of the relationship in your own interest and in the interest of your family.
- Lack of sexual satisfaction.
Sex between couples is meant to be enjoyed and very seriously so. Lack of satisfaction for whatever reason on the part of any of the couples could lead to frustration that may eventually spell doom for the marriage. This may also affect the upbringing of the children and the family as a whole. It is an unpleasant situation that right thinking couples would want to avoid. Therefore it is imperative that couples should consciously strive to make their sexual engagement a very memorable experience that is worthy of being craved for all the time.
What should be done?
Couples should ensure that there is open communications on sex among themselves. There is no point hiding anything from each other. They are strongly encouraged to discuss topics like their sex preferences, positions and styles, timing, among others. There should be openness as this is only way they can of help to themselves. It is better to share all these information among themselves and understand each other in the process. This will prevent looking outside for satisfaction that may tear the marriage and family apart.
- Denying spouse of sex.
The three letter word called sex is about the most powerful tool that God who brought about the institution of marriage has created for lubricating it. A marriage without sex is a dead one. The parties may be pretending that all is well. But the truth of the matter is that the marriage is dead and they know. So why would the couples deny themselves of sex? Lack of sexual satisfaction as discussed in 6 above has serious consequences.
Possible Reasons for sex denials.
This is worsened when the search for sexual satisfaction leads to infidelity or masturbation. Another important reason is that some partners in the face of financial inducement get entangled in infidelity such that they no longer see satisfaction in their partners at home. Impotence, either partial or full, is another reason for sex denials among couples. The cause of impotence could be as a result of many factors like work/social pressures, accident, infections, and others. Sex denials may also be as a result of the fact that couples are separated by long distances because of differences in work locations. And of course prolonged and unresolved differences among couples could be a factor in their not havang sex any more. Whatever the reason for not having sex regularly or at all is unique to the particular couples. They should make conscious efforts at addressing such issue(s) in the overall interest of peace, harmony and positive emotional feelings in their marriage.
This discussion will continue in the subsequent parts of this write up.. Please watch out.