Indicators of Crises in Your Marriage & Family Part 2

By

Ronald Olusegun Olaiya

We are progressing in our discussion of the indicators of crises in marriage and family. In the Part 1 of this write-up we identified seven (7) indicators. In this part we are adding eight (8) more indicators to bring the total to fifteen (15). Read below for these additional indicators.

Delay in or lack of child bearing

It is important to note here that child bearing is an addition to marriage and family. In other words, marriage and family can be with or without children. This means that childlessness is not and should be seen as a source of stigmatization of couples concerned. But the society has over the years promoted child bearing to such a level that it is being seen as the primary objective of marriage, So having children is now seen as a source of great joy to couples and the people around them, especially the families from both sides, friends, colleagues and church or mosque members. In the same vein, delay in child bearing is a source of worries to both the couples and their families. In many instances, couples are being encouraged to ensure the would-be wife is pregnant before marriage is consummated. Where marriage has been consummated and there is a delay in the arrival of the babies, husbands are under severe pressures to have children outside the wedlock without the knowledge of his wife. Some are told in clear terms to go for another wife or divorce the existing wife because of the perceived barrenness/infertility on the part of the woman. In many instances, such a wife is believed to have lost her womb in the course of abortion(s) prior to her wedding. As a result, she is being seen as wicked person that has come into the life of the man to waste his time, knowing fully well that she cannot bear any child. But it is also true that actual cause of the childlessness is the man who could not fertilise a woman. So the correct thing to do is proper and detailed medical examination/investigation of the couples and not assumption.

Comparing spouse with other people

No two persons are exactly the same. And no two marriages are exactly the same because the individuals in the marriages are unique and different sexually, biologically, socially, economically, and emotionally. So comparing them with one another is a fruitless and wasteful exercise. Unfortunately, this is what many couples do to themselves. To worsen the matter, many couples compare their current partners with their ex-boyfriend/girlfriend in terms of their sexual prowess. Some believe that economically they were better off when they were in their previous relationship and start regretting ever being in the current relationship. Some are of the feeling that their ex-partners were more romantic than their current wives or husbands. Many of these comparisons are done without letting their current partners know what is going on. And their conclusions are used as the basis of their actions against their partners. Others do come up to say these things to their partners to spite them. Things start getting complicated when conscious and systematic efforts are being made to reconnect with the partners that are seeing to be better in their rating scale. This is the beginning of infidelity and reneging on the marital vows.

Keeping late night by one or two of the couples

Is your spouse keeping late night? This is not a good development except if the reason for this is due to work demand or/and traffic gridlock as is the case in many cities. This should engage the attention of the partners before things get out of hand. Except for very serious reasons, if your partner is staying late before coming home and this is fast becoming a habit, it is either of two factors or combination of both. The first one is the push factor that is pushing him/her out because the home front is no longer exciting. The second is the pull factor that has made staying outside a more rewarding and exciting experience. Irreconcilable differences or conflicts between spouses, sex denial, nagging, dirty habits among others can push one of the partners out of the house in a desperate attempt to avoid the perceived ugly situation at home. The pulling factor may comprise cases of infidelity, perceived better treatment from friends outside, drinking , smoking habit, and others. Whether push or pull factors, anything that is taking any of the spouses out of the matrimonial home more than necessary is a potential or actual threat to the stability of marriage and family. Partners should try to address this as soon as possible before it will become a hydra headed monster that may consume the marriage and family.

Lack of communication among the couples

This is a fertile ground for lack of understanding and misunderstanding, not only between couples but also within the family as a whole. Lack of communication will potentially or actually lead the family members to being uninformed, under-informed, misinformed or dis-informed. Where this happens then it becomes a matter of everybody for himself and God for us all. In other words, everyone follows his or her own part as the parents who suppose to give direction have failed to convey any definite direction for the entire family. Obviously this will breed all manners of crises in the family that will be beyond the couples to manage. To this end, it is imperative that effective and repeated communication between couples and within the family is seen as a necessity and not a luxury. In fact, a failed communication in this sense is in final analysis a failed marriage and family in the making.

Sharing of family information with third parties

It is unfortunate that many couples who could not communicate effectively among themselves will go all out to share their private and family information with third parties who may not have any interest in their welfare and that of their families. In fact, sharing of such unsolicited information about you and your family could be used by your enemies to identify your weakness which they can use to launch attack on the marriage and the family. Such information could be used by the third parties to engage your spouse in infidelity, cause divorce, engage your children in fornication, as tools for blackmail, armed robbery, kidnapping, and other criminal attacks. Any problem you cause your marriage and family in the course of sharing your information with any third party will still come back to you in a more complicated manner. This suggests that you are not solving any problem in doing this. You are only compounding it. Why doing it then?

Insulting each other’s families by couples

Some couples are in the habit of hauling or raining insults on each other’s families given any slightest disagreement. They find it more convenient to indulge themselves in this unhealthy habit than to find a common ground on the contentious issues. It is a distasteful act for couples to be insulting their families as this constitutes rudeness and a sign that the spouses involved are not cultured. A civilized and cultured husband will not be ridiculing the family of his wife because there is a slightest disagreement between him and his wife and vice versa. Where this appears to the norm then the marriage is being threatened because any of the families that feels she cannot continue to be receiving the insults may decide to take a position which may threaten the marriage. In fact, the two families may take a position especially where the level of mutual respect has degenerated substantially.

Dragging the children into conflicts between the couples

The worst thing that can happen in a marriage and family is for the couples to drag the children into the crisis between then. Unfortunately many parents do this by inciting the children against the other partner. It is worst when both parents are mutually involved in this. Once children (or some of them) decide to take side with one of the parents then automatically the baton of fight has been passed to another generation. It is even more dangerous where the children are sharply divided on who to follow. This will throw in a state of anomie in the family as there is confusion now as to what standard behavior will be. The children will obviously have less respect for their parents. All these will have greater sociological implications for the children later in their lives.

Children showing signs of misalignment with social norms and values

How would you feel if you discover that your children are showing signs of indiscipline? They now steal without remorse, fornicate with reckless abandon, have little or no regard for others, becoming increasingly violent in their relationship with others, and so on. All these are pointers to the fact that things are not going well with your marriage and family. They are signals of the fact that your family may have become incubator and breeding ground for miscreants and hooligans in the society. In other words, instead of being one of the families that will be helping to address societal ills, the family has turned out to be a major contributor to social problems in the society. This is unfortunate and shameful. Couples should have an idea of what contributions they want their family to make to the society through the quality of people being raised and released to the society. To this end, conscious plans should also be put in place to help actualize the objectives in the plan. Once this is done, every couple show be watching out for any signal that could suggest why the plans may not be realized. As soon as any of such indicators is detected conscious efforts should be made to do the correction without delay. Delay could be very dangerous.

This discussion will continue in the subsequent Part of this write-up. Please watch out.

Indicators of Crisis in Your Marriage & Family Part 1

By

Ronald Olusegun Olaiya

Introduction

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.

Infidelity

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.