T HERE are things couples engage in that are injurious to the health of the marriage. These can be easily referred to as spoilers. They do the marriage no good, and as such, must be avoided like a plague. Couples must come to see them as no go areas in marriage. They are responsible for marriage being tagged as a necessary evil. The idea is that one must be enduring those things, rather than enjoying the marriage. This should not be so. Marriage is meant to be enjoyed rather than endured. If this must be, then the spoilers must be avoided.
I got the thought for this write up from a phone in radio programme, during which a woman confessed that she almost ruined her marriage because of one of the spoilers in marriage. Her saving grace came through an advice offered by the presenter, which she embraced. That became a thought provocateur for me. As characteristic of me, I grab the opportunity, by putting pen to paper. This piece is the result of my thought provoking exercise.
Fault finding is a spoiler in marriage.
Fault finding can be defined as complaint galore. It’s a never-ending exercise of picking holes in everything one’s spouse does. It’s like all that you are seeing are the faulty steps, without recourse to the good sides. When a marriage suffers from this endemic, the joy of the marriage will be lost, leading to the marriage becoming endangered. It is what makes a marriage to be endured, or destroyed in so many ways, depending on how the victim spouse reacts to the situation, based on his personality, and the circle of his or her company.
Every spouse ought to build into the marriage, a deterrent mechanism for fault finding in the marriage. This must be done intentionally because there are no perfect human beings on earth. We all are prone to mistakes, and we have our weaknesses. Thus, allowance must be made to accommodate such mistakes or weaknesses in our relationships, especially the marital union.
Does it require turning blind eye to mistakes or weaknesses of our spouse or persons in our circle of relationship? Absolutely no. We can make observation of such by drawing the attention of our spouse to the errors or weaknesses. In doing so, couples must engage wisdom to pass the message across, without creating a bottleneck in the marriage. Soft answers turn away wrath is a biblical injunction that can be employed here. Being forceful in expressing one’s self will do the matter at hand, no good. It will only engender strife. Wisdom demands that one speaks the right words, at the right time and atmosphere, such that the message is appropriately communicated and received. Therein lies the beauty of communication. Where the message is not well received, communication remains inconclusive.
Wisdom also demands that one is patient with the spouse in adjusting to the correction based on the observation. Some of the things could be habits that have been formed over the years. You don’t expect an overnight change or turn around, in such situations. To expect such or wish for it is like building a castle in the air. It’s a mirage. It will never happen. Be patient with your spouse to correct himself or herself, as he or she gathers momentum to do the needful. Anything contrary will lead to chaos.
Wisdom also teaches that issues should never be over-flogged. Don’t stretch the issues beyond the breaking limits of your spouse. Like Thomas Hardy said in his book, Tess of the Durberfield, “constant droppings will wear even a stone”. Let us avoid stretching ourselves beyond our endurance level, so as to avoid getting to a point of no return, where we insist that we are prepared for the worst about the matter.
It’s also wisdom application to learn how to balance criticism with commendation. I completely agree with a man who said that, “if you have not learnt to commend me, you have no right to criticise me”. What some spouses do is to engage in the ministry of ever increasing criticisms without a word of commendation. If all that we see in our spouses are faults always, then we need the biblical counseling that we first remove the log in our eyes, before complaining about the speck in the eyes of our neighbours.
Many marriages are in limbo right now simply because of fault finding habit of the spouses. We, especially wives, castigate, lambast, and make a victim of our spouses, in the name of correcting them. Thus, we make them more unyielding than seeing reasons with. The painful aspect of the situation is that most of us are not strangers to such habits of our spouses. We were fully aware of such during courtship. But, we deluded or convinced ourselves that we could tame them. So, we set out to bend them as resolved, only to meet with a wall that is like the rock of Gibraltar. We saw the monkey infested field, and we planted banana therein. The consequences are what we will have to live by. Or how does one tame monkey from eating banana? You will agree that it is an Herculean task to succeed at.
In such situations, it is better wisdom to learn how to accept what we cannot change. In doing so, you take up your cross, and brace up to carry it all the way, to “Golgotha.” Your courage will be a lever for you. But the conclusion is that fault finding is a spoiler in marriage, and must be avoided to enjoy a great marriage. When the wife who provoked this thought changed, and stopped her ever increasing complaint ministry, she got a better package of peace and joy in the marriage. It’s a pointer to the fact of this write up.
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