I have been involved in marital issues, both as a participant, as well as a counsellor for more than two decades. I have witnessed successful marriages, struggling marriages as well as failed and about to fail marriages. One common feature of those marriages is the contributions of the actve participating persons, as husbands and wives. What ever happens to a marriage, the roles of the
husband and wife have a lot to do with it. As a matter of fact, without the contributions of the couple, there will be no marriage. So, one can conveniently conclude that marriage is “as you lay your bed, so will you lie on it”; or in another way, one can assert that marriage is “gabbage in, gabbage out”. All these are mostly to put squarely on the shoulders of a husband and wife, the outcome of a marriage, whether it will be a bed of roses, or of thorns; a heaven on Earth, or hell of hell; a life of happily ever after or sadily ever after.
I have therefore come up with what I term consequences therapy as a way of helping married couples plan for what their marriage will be, or how it will end. With the therapy, married couples can deliberately and painstakingly own the outcome or turn of events, of their marriage. Like the name sounds, the consequences therapy is to make each married person give serious consideration to the outcome of his or her actions, before taking such actions. This allows for deep thought on what actions one takes that can lead to in the marriage. This is like advance impact evaluation. This means looking before one leaps. Consideration must therefore be given to the following before they are embarked on.
This is important given the level of conflicts it has generated in many marriages. The truth is that a lot of us in this part of the world do not know how to communicate effectively. Many marital conflicts, whether leading to separation and divorce or not, are directly attributable to communication. We talk to ourselves anyhow, anyway and anywhere. It’s not unusual to hear husbands telling their wives, “imagine how you are talking to me”. Or you may hear a wife complaining to the husband, “how can you tell me I am stupid”.
This therapy demands that you weigh the impact of your words on your spouse, and the likely response or reactions to it. For instance, if you call your husband a bastard, you must have considered what is likely going to be his response. Is he going to slap you? Or tell you that you lack home training?. Which ever way, will you be ready to bear such consequences? If it degenerates to physical fight, what will be the impact on your marriage, children and your relationship with the in laws.This analysis will help you determine what to say to your spouse in order not to endanger your relationship.
This demands weighing the impact of your sex decisions or acts on your marriage. Your sex decisions has to do with the involvement of your spouse in terms of making yourself available for sexual intercourse. Do you play your sex game in the marriage for mutual satisfaction, or your spouse is at your mercy? Is sex a weapon of negotiation.? Is it available based on the capability of your spouse to meet your desires in other areas? When you conduct your sex life in a way that your spouse is denied sexual satisfaction, the consequences are always grave. You have to analyze your sexual conduct in line with the issue of sexual satisfaction, which if not met, could lead to infidelity by your spouse.
Another sex conduct is extra marital affairs. It must be weighed adequately before going into it, to ascertain if one will be able to live with the grave consequences. A lot of lives and marriages have been ruined as a result of infidelity. So, you must count the cost if it is something you would be able to bear.
My take on this consequences therapy is that if it is applied, many ruined marriages would be avoided, and loss of lives of those affected saved or salvaged,as the case may be. I think this therapy is worth the trial.
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