It is rather amazing that over 50% of all marriages end in divorce.  It is an alarming figure, especially when we realize that the remaining marriages are mostly ineffective.  Couples, who marry, usually have children and many times they stay together, "for the kids sake."  It is admirable that they do not wish to drag children through a divorce, but there needs to be more to marriage than simply gritting your teeth and staying together until the youngest child reaches the age of majority.

Why are couples so compelled to not get along?  What causes them to just give up?  Why is divorce even more common on multiple marriages?  It is critical that we understand the answers to these questions.  If we really accept those marriage vowels seriously, "Till death do us part," then we need to take an intellectual look at this institution.

Consider that few people understand or know the definition of the simple word "love."  Have you ever thought about that word in the English language?  We love our dog, pizza, our job, the Dolphins, our spouse and our children.  This word cannot possible mean the same thing in each of these nouns.  When we are using the term "love" as it relates to those things which are not humans, we are saying that we love what it does for us.  Some people use this same definition in human relationships.  Clearly this definition should not relate to human beings, but in many cases it does.  Is your philosophy, "I love what he/she does for me?"  I hope not.  Is your understanding of love aiding, or harming your marriage? 

If you ask a group of women what their five emotional needs are, and then ask a group of men the same question, you will get NO matches.  The five needs of women, and the five needs of men are not similar in any way.  Therefore, if a man thinks that his wife is like him, or a woman thinks her husband is like herself, nothing could be farther from the truth. 

Love is a verb, which means that it  is related to action.  Love is a commitment to meet the needs of another.  It is moving outside of yourself and into the interests of another person.  This is difficult to do, since humans are "wired" to simply think of themselves, or  how things effect themselves.  You notice the word "commitment."  This arrangement is not conditional and based upon how we feel.  It goes far above our feelings and it rests with our commitment, or goal to meet the needs, in this case, of our spouse.

Another primary issue in marriage is how to handle conflict.  The vast majority of people are unaware of how to handle a disagreement, or a conflict.  You've got the "stuffers" and the "blowers."  Neither method is effective in resolving conflict.  Conflict that is unresolved, over time, leads to bitterness in the relationship and subjects "we can't discuss."  How sad that is that there are issues which cannot be discussed.   Then you believe that an issue has been put to rest and your spouse throws it back up in your face.  That means that issues never die and the new ones are just added to the bunch.  In this situation, there is no end.  Much of their communication is relegated to conflict and, therefore, the relationship has nothing to offer, but pain.

Another area of primary concern is poor or lack of effective communication.  Remember, we "cannot not" communicate, since most of our communication is what we do and not say, but we need to have effective communication within marriage.  Do we sit down and have regular conversation, or do we come home and scatter, and stay to ourselves while the rest of the family does this same.  This cannot be, if we want to have an effective, enjoyable relationship with our spouse.

Please let me know any questions you might have related to this issue.  I'll be glad to help!

"No success in public life can compensate for failure in the home."

Benjamin Disraeli