Kindly permit me to share my experience on your platform to at least, assist someone who might be going through a similar situation like myself. When it comes to sharing personal life stories, I am always the type that is tight lipped but I’ve decided to open up this time and tell my story.
Fred and I have been married for the past ten years but I realized that my marriage has failed to stand the test of time. A deeper thought and analysis has revealed these 11 reasons why my relationship worked but my marriage failed. I believe sharing the experience in my relationship and marriage will go a long way to benefit someone who is yet to enter a new relationship or preparing to marry. Instead of blaming myself and Fred for all the pains and heartbreaks, I have decided to share my story with young people who are yet to tie the knot in holy matrimony.
It is a long piece though but taking the pain to read through could be of much help to you or at least be the magic wand that will kick your boring relationship and marriage into full bliss. You may be the reason for which I have taken my time to write this article about the mistakes I made in my relationship and marriage.
11 Reasons Why My Relationship Worked But My Marriage Failed
- Pushing God Aside After Getting What You Want
One of the worst mistakes Fred and I made was to sideline and push God aside after we both tied the knot as husband and wife. I have realized that this is something many people do and hardly take cognizance of the fact that it is seriously working against their marriages.
During our courtship days, we could both attend church programs together. We both didn’t want each partner to know that we aren’t that religious. We attended virtually any church program that was organized just to let our partner know that we are good Christians and a good marriage material.
After marriage, it seemed like we have both graduated from attending some church programs. We hardly attend some of the church services and even when we do, we may go late or exhibit some lukewarm attitude towards the things of God without any strong passion.
The danger here is that, God instituted marriage by Himself and there is no way you can have a good marriage by sidelining God and His principles of marriage. There is no way you can succeed without heeding to His instructions about it.
My friends, do not make this terrible mistake. Be glued to your God if you got married under His feet and remain in Him for His blessings and directions.
It is important to develop a good friendship with your partner before you both tie the knot in holy matrimony. In my case, Fred and I were more of love birds. We usually made time for each other. Sometimes, Fred will surprise me by closing earlier and come and wait for me till I close from work. Weekends are special days where we do meet often and have fun, attend programs together and other things that bonded us.
We would go and eat from our best restaurant, talk about almost all issues from politics, lifestyle, social, love, sex, family life and the rest. Friendship is key when it comes to building a relationship but after we got married things weren’t the same. Demand from work, family and other issues affected the friendship that existed between us and that was the beginning of our troubles.
Listen to me! You are not going to marry because of sex. After sex, you need someone to talk to, share ideas and reason together, spend quality time together and share both good and bad times together. We all need companionship and if your partner gets that from a different person who is the opposite, then know that you are heading towards a big doom.
- When Quality Time Is Absent For Long
Of a truism, I realized that we really enjoyed our relationship with wonderful memories than when we got married. It was within the first three months that we got married that we could boast of spending quality time together. Afterwards, it looked as if inclination for quality time was dwindling due to the pressure from work, other responsibilities and personal issues. Basically, If it’s not work then it could be some personal reasons for which we were not spending quality time together. This too was a recipe for disaster because you do not have any idea of who might be giving your partner that quality attention that you have ignored.
Listen to me, there is no use if you ignore your partner for long chasing all the money and the wealth of this world and your family is broken and torn apart?
- We Prepared For Our Wedding But Not Marriage
Our wedding was one of the best in town which attracted much media attention and almost went viral on social media due to the wonderful packages that went into it. I remember we had to interview three of the top 3 event organizers and weigh their charges vis-à-vis their finishing works. What is the use to hire an event organizer to organize the best wedding event for you and personally fail to at least hire someone to teach you both on family planning issues, creating a wonderful family, taking plans together and handling family crisis?
Many young ladies and men are always toeing this line. Stop preparing to do extravagant weddings to please people. Start thinking and working on something that will make people look at you in the next ten to twenty years and give thanks to God for your union as husband and wife.
Our wedding cost thousands of Cedis but the whole event was organized within 3-4 hours. And that was about 4 year’s massive savings from both of us. What is the use to spend so much within 3 hours and enter marriage broke forgetting that you have more life in marriage than the 3 hours wedding day?
- Hypocrisy – When You Can’t Pretend Anymore
After marriage, I looked back and realized that there were a lot of things we did hypocritically just to please each other but later realized that man cannot continue to be pretending. When your real character that has been clothed in pretense surfaces, your partner conceives a different perception about you and this weakens the foundations of trust.
I realized that I could no longer fake some things again. The weaknesses I tried to cover up betrayed me. I realized that I have to be me, the real self and stop pretending to be who I knew I am not. I noticed that there were some things about Fred that weren’t that real. He faked them and I got to know by what he did but not what he pretended to be or said about himself.
This could be very disappointing if not handled well. Some of these things worked against my marriage. It only created good impressions in our relationship but a gloomy one in marriage when the truth lay bare.
- Not Seeking Knowledge on Handling Marital Crisis
What happens to students who will not attend lectures but decide to write the final exams and pass with distinction? It is certainly failure that awaits them. You cannot use a day or two to study what was taught in a whole academic term. Such is marriage. Most of us enter marriage without any personal preparation for handling any probable crisis.
My friends, you can enter marriage with love being the wheel and the driver being naivety but I bet you; you are likely to be stuck in a ditch. It is not enough to depend on the little tutelage given you by your marriage counselors. We are different people altogether and you need to be carefully informed and you have to regularly update your knowledge.
This is where most of us fail. You cannot expect to survive in marriage with the little pieces of advice that you were both given. We need to seek knowledge, crisis management, and better ways of doing things. Ask yourself these questions:
- Am I well informed about probable marital crisis in few years to come?
- How do we handle the issue of childlessness? Will adoption be okay for me and my partner and if not, what is the way forward?
- What do we do now to secure a better future for our children?
- What efforts can we put in place now to handle financial crisis resulting from loss of job
- How do we prepare for our old age and retirement?
- Will I still love this person if he loses his job and remain jobless for 5 years and the cash isn’t flowing again?
- Will I still remain faithful to my partner if he or she gets accident and remain maimed for life at the prime stage of our marriage?
- Is my conviction and motivation to marry this person very solid enough and cannot be shaken by any circumstance?
Asking yourself some of these questions will enable you to think into the future and plan ahead. Without deep love, understanding and love, both of you will continually fight and hurt yourselves on trivia issues. You need to grow in maturity in love otherwise, you will get fed up and give up one day. Don’t forget that some people meet their marital crisis right from the onset, others a few years down the line and for some too, when they are well advanced in years and even nearing retirement.
- Forgetfulness and No More Surprises
I remember the birthdays, anniversaries, special dates and important occasions when we pull surprises on each other. After marriage, I realized that the game was different. Sometimes, my husband even forgets about my birthday and even some special anniversary dates. Though we do surprise each other in some ways, it was not like in the days where it was full of fun like now.
You do not have any excuse if your marriage isn’t working the way it should be. The truth of the matter is that, no marriage works on autopilot. You’ve got to do what you should do to make it work if you really want to be happy.
The simple rule is this: set reminders and alarms if you know you are likely to forget your partner’s birthdays, special anniversaries and events. It is very annoying for someone to do the very best to surprise you on your birthday only for you to totally forget theirs when it is their turn.
Meeting and marrying your partner comes with so much strong desire and passion but as you live together, those things begin to reduce by frequent interactions. You’ve got to be creative to do something to work it out.
- We both ignored and overlooked the relationship magic
While in relationship, I was very conscious of my outfit, my body and mindful to look good and presentable always. I even controlled my diet and exercise regularly just to keep my body and shape in a presentable way. These simple things worked better for me but after marriage, I ignored and overlooked some simple things that kept the fire burning in our relationship.
My friends, you’ve got to do something and even more, the old things you did to make you look presentable and worked better in your relationship. I have realized that many ladies marry, eat and grow fat and unfortunately get out of shape and beauty. That is bad but you have to discipline yourself and maintain your body size and weight.
If your partner has ever told you that he is “fired on” any time he sees your charming shape, breast or any other part of your body then make sure you keep yourself well. Old age will definitely take a toll on you both but make sure you control the “controllables”.
- Your Happiness is not Dependent on Your Partner
Most ladies marry thinking it is the responsibility of the man to make them happy. That is a lie! It is never the responsibility of the man alone to make any woman happy. Happiness in marriage has to be the sole responsibility of both partners. There are times that one will be down in life and the other must cheer up the one who is sad.
I entered marriage with the mindset that just as Fred has been very entertaining; he will continue same but not always the case. In fact, marrying a comedian does not guarantee a happy marriage. It is the very things both partners do that will lead to happiness or tear down the marriage.
- Offences & Hurting Individual Differences
While in relationship, we sometimes easily compromise and easily let go issues bothering on our individual differences. The situation becomes a bit challenging where one has to always compromise just for the peace of the marriage. I realized that in marriage, we always want our voices to be heard. No one was ready to let go on petty issues unlike while in courtship where we easily said “I’m sorry”.
May be it happened for fear of losing our partner to other people so we did everything possible to please and maintain them. The truth is, you just have to kill your pride, say sorry and mend the broken nets. Don’t shut your partner; listen to his or her grievances and apologize if you are at fault. Explaining and defending the wrong thing will only lead to unnecessary arguments and tear you apart.
You are likely to offend your partner so long as you both have different values and beliefs. If you don’t learn to deal with offences and hurting individual differences, then you are likely to suffer in your marriage.
- Not Mindful of Marriage Destroyers
Relationship and marriages work better based on love, trust and faithfulness. Inasmuch as these need to work in marriages, we have to look out and be mindful of those who will intrude your marriage. You have to pray against those who want to snatch your partner from you or perhaps, be interested in only cheating with your partner.
You do not have any idea of who might be eyeing your husband or wife. You have no idea of the strategies they are using to get your partner.
Sometimes, it could just be a simple gossip someone may tell you but you have to be careful with this kind of information. Anyone who is bent on destroying your marriage can fabricate any story and tell you and if care is not taken, you could end your marriage in haste. Try as much as possible and be transparent in life especially to your partner.
This is my true life experience and story; a long though but I believe it could be of help to someone.
Writer: Nhyira Willians
Public Relations Officer & Freelance Journalist, Accra.