With Bosede Ola-Samuel
One thing that kills fast in life is a stressful marriage. I have engaged many couples in counselling sessions, and I have really been amazed at the level of stressed life couples live. One keeps wondering how people who professed great love for themselves, could become a replica of cat and dog in their relationship.
But, the truth of the matter is that marriage doesn’t have to be that stressful. Marriage should not be something to endured, but to be enjoyed. When it is endured, it becomes a silent killer of one of the couple, in most cases, or both in few scenarios. So, couples should learn how to stop or avoid having a stressful marriage.
What are marital stressors?
Insensitivity to each other: This plays out in the areas of complaints, changes in mood, personal career or health challenges. When a spouse ignores issues like these, and carries on with life, as if nothing is at stake, the other spouse becomes endangered species. Such attitude is nothing but selfishness, and leaves the other spouse devastated.
I must always have my way attitude: When a spouse wants to lord decisions over the other, in all things, and at all times, the center will not hold. If there is no immediate explosion, it’s a time bomb that must explode, unless it’s detonated.
Nagging by the spouses: Nothing can be so frustrating in a relationship than nagging. It kills morale.
Disregard for the elements of love and respect: The two major factors of stability in marriage are love and respect (submission), on the part of husband and wife, respectfully. When a couple trivialize, misunderstand, or disregard these two factors, the marriage becomes endangered. No marriage, in which love for the wife, and respect (submission) for the husband, are lacking can be successful.
Making assumptions about each other: When spouses read meanings to actions of each other, it plays out as a stressor. If the wife mistakenly forgets to leave the key of the house when going out, it must be a revenge for a wrong done to her. Or if the husband comes home late, he must have gone to womanize. Why give in to silly thoughts about your spouse? Even the mentally derailed also have few moments of sanity.
Physical or emotional abuse: Some spouses are just abusers in relationships. They are usually referred to as difficult persons. They get physical at every opportunity, and could be emotional in such situations. Thus, assault and battering become their trade mark. They deploy both mouth and fist in settling differences in the marriage.
Poor financial status: Poor financial status boiling down to poor standard of living can be a breaking point in the marriage. I have seen spouses calling it quit due to this. Many others use it as a legitimate reason for infidelity. When a marriage stays at this poor financial level for long, the relationship is usually adversely affected. Only few spouses, especially wives, can cope in such a situation.
Poor sexual status: Like I always say out of experience, when sexual satisfaction is lacking in marriage, every other area of the marriage suffers. Nothing stresses a marriage like sexual dissatisfaction.
Infertility: One major general expectation and reason of marriage is child bearing. When there is a delay of months and years, the couple come under societal pressure and as such, stress sets in. The spouses become touchy and blame each other for the situation. Wives are the regular victims of blame and ridicule in such a situation.
Unrealised expectations in the marriage: The truth of the matter is that many people go into marriage with great expectations. The high point of which is a better life. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come handy in many instances. It takes time, and in some instances, it’s like its taking eternity to realize such a better life. When this happens, despair sets in, and it becomes a major stressor in the marriage.
Effects of marital stressors
* Poor mental health
* Deteriorating health status
* Sudden death
* Societal violence
A resolve to have a stress- free marriage at all costs. To attain this, do everything necessary to eliminate every stressor in your marriage.