Cheating is defined only as a physical affair in which two people are engaged in sexual or emotional activities outside of their primary relationships or marriages. Cheating is a relationship variation that has existed for eons. People get into relationships for various reasons. However, the most significant factor that brings two people to become intimate is usually love. In the traditional sense of humanity, a man and woman fall head over heels with each other. From that initial spark, they may go into the union of marriage—a commitment before God and man to stay true to one another.
“When people cheat in any arena, they diminish themselves—they threaten their own self-esteem and their relationships with others by undermining the trust they have in their ability to succeed and in their ability to be true.” — Cheryl Hughes.
Cheating is the art of living a lie. It is an emotional betrayal that stings like whoa—like a double payload delivery of a cocktail of stings from a bullet ant, a warrior wasp, velvet ant, a red paper wasp, to mention a few. Cheating, no matter how the perpetrator goes about it, as we will later see in the following paragraphs, is the crucifixion of your self-esteem and the undermining of trust that one once shared with their partner. In the words of Gemma Halliday, “Earthquakes just happen. Tornadoes just happen. Your tongue does not just happen to fall into some other girl’s mouth!” Cheating is a process that evolves in layers through time. It doesn’t just happen. Cheating is never ideal, nor should it be tolerated for any reason.
Research conducted by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) establishes that men have a higher propensity to cheat than women. Still, the gender gap in infidelity varies by age. Wendy Wang of the Institute of Family Studies (IFS) establishes in the piece, “Who Cheats More? The Demographics of Infidelity in America,” that “20% of men and 13% of women espoused that they have had intimate knowledge with someone different than their spouse while married.” This IFS data comes from a recent General Social Survey (GSS).
From the above infographics, we make several deductions from the data. Among ever-married adults with the age range of 18 to 29, women slightly trump men to be guilty of infidelity (i.e., 11% vs. 10%). We can also see that infidelity spikes during both genders’ middle age cadre from the data above. We also know that infidelity skyrockets among women in their 60s (16%). However, we see a dip in that share for women in the 70s to 80s age range. On the split end of the spectrum, men in their 70s record the highest infidelity levels (26%). That share for men remains high among men ages 80 years and older (24%). There is an 18% difference between men and women in the most senior age group.
However, there is this erroneous belief that women in their peak period (18-30 years) find it hard to be faithful to a single partner because they are highly sought after by men. At this age range, the credence establishes that their male counterparts at the same age are trying hard to get a degree, get a job, get a life and become responsible men. These males find it hard to concentrate on women at this stage. However, from Infographic A, we see that infidelity starts its gradual spike to overtake infidelity in women between that age range (18-30). However, between the ages of 30-80 plus, affairs are on the rise in men. The assumption is that these men tend to cheat more than women because they are now more settled and have a higher earning power—they have extra monies to throw around on women outside their marriage.
We could keep crunching numbers that depict the age ranges that show how men and women cheat on their significant others. However, that is not the essence of this piece. Our goal is to expound on the reasons why people cheat in the first place. However, before we explore those factors, let us learn about some of the cheating types that exist. Second, we will also look at the types of people who cheat on their partners or spouse.
Types of Cheating
As we established earlier, the art of being intimate sexually or emotionally with another individual that is not your spouse will pass off as cheating, or affair, or spousal infidelity. Talking about marital infidelity or adultery or cheating is usually a gray area or relationship avenue where many people will not willingly go. What some people constitute as cheating may not be cheating to others. Discussing infidelity is treading on murky waters, after all.
“The more people rationalize cheating, the more it becomes a culture of dishonesty. And that can become a vicious, downward cycle. Because suddenly, if everyone else is cheating, you feel a need to cheat, too.” — Stephen Covey.
In an article titled “What is considered cheating in a relationship? The 7 main types,” on the website HackSpirit, he did a good job expounding the various kinds of affairs that could be. He discusses the following types of affairs—Emotional, Cyber, Object, Physical, Micro-Cheating, Financial Infidelity, and Flirting. However, in this piece, I will be covering the following kinds of cheating—Physical Cheating, Emotional Cheating, and E-Cheating or Cyber-Cheating. Let’s get on with it:
(a). Physical Cheating
Physical cheating readily comes to mind when you stipulate that people have an affair outside their nuptial union’s bonds. It usually involves sexual or physical intimacy with someone who is not your spouse or someone you are in a relationship with as a couple. A physical affair could include a tender holding of hands, kissing, caressing, groping each other in inappropriate areas or erogenous zones, or getting to the point of having deep sexual knowledge of each other.
Amusingly, some cheats who engage in sexual behavior outside of their primary relationship try to avoid kissing their cheating partner. They may feel that kissing would be much of an intimate act. In other cases, cheating partners may do everything like kissing, caressing, fondling, etc. but won’t have sex with the other person to feel like they haven’t completely crossed the line. The cheating partner only sees sex as the act that seals the relationship as the affair. To them, all other acts of physical intimacy are not cheating in their book.
Although the definition of physical cheating varies from person to person, the truth is that I don’t think any of us in our proper traditional sense of the word marriage or union would want to imagine our partner touching, caressing, or kissing another person. In the weird and twisted world that we find ourselves in, such stories are no longer an anomaly. You hear of couples who wish to entertain other men and women in their marital bed. It’s a morally decadent and twisted world that we live in today.
(b). Emotional Cheating
Emotional cheating is a form of affair in which the cheating partners try not to get physical with the person they are in cahoots with, not physically expressing the signs of a loving relationship. Such physical intimacy symptoms include handholding, kissing, cuddling, intimate hugging, or more. Emotional affairs usually happen in the communicative realm. A man or woman gets very close with someone of the opposite gender that becomes their listening ear or shoulder when they need someone to vent to other than their spouse.
While there is nothing wrong with communicating heartfelt issues with a friend who may be of the opposite gender, the problem with this is that what you feed will eventually grow. Typically, in a functional union, a man and a woman in the traditional sense of relationship should effectively be free to communicate with themselves to bear one another’s burdens. However, when one spouse leans more on the listening ear of the present shoulder, an outsider, it is evident that such may bankrupt the communicative essence with the person’s spouse. The relationship with the listening ear will grow, while that spouse’s relationship and communication will suffer.
Emotional cheating involves sharing intimate details about your life, about your spouse, or marriage with someone you have an attachment or attraction to in some way or the other. Sometimes these vibrant affairs start as being best friends in a platonic way. There are usually no intentions to cross any boundaries from the onset. Sometimes, it could be co-working relationships that advance into more intimate territories. However, the duo may not be crossing the lines of getting physically close (e.g., kissing, caressing, fondling, and sex but in many cases).
However, we must never be naive to think that in time, that physical intimacy will not follow an emotional affair. Investing in mutually budding communication will consistently build a trust bond between parties. It could quickly spiral into a physical experience between the duo. While it’s not just women who are susceptible to emotional cheating, research shows that they are the most likely to form these emotional attachments.
E-Cheating or Cyber-Cheating occurs when people seek connections and relationships with people they meet or reconnect with over social networks, dating sites, email, or phones. Sometimes the nature of these electronic messages is sexual, and sometimes they’re more subtle but may still be considered intimate. Cyber-Cheating is a relationship pandemic that is causing a lot of upheaval in relationships. It is a nuanced situation and may appear less severe as everything takes place in bits and bytes on the World Wide Web.
E-Cheating, in a way, is a form of emotional cheating. But like emotional cheating, it may also grow to become physical cheating. It is pretty easy to meet someone new on various social media networks. Constant communication builds fondness. After a while, we find ourselves writing them regularly. It then gravitates to you sharing intimate details about our life. It morphs itself into a solid emotional attachment, and you become fond of them. Sometimes, it may take longer for E-Cheats to themselves. However, once they meet each other, the physical cheating ball begins to roll.
“Soon, he was online every night until one or two a.m. Often he would wake up at three or four a.m. and go back online. He would shut down the computer screen when I walked in. He used to take the laptop to bed with him in the past, and we would both be on our laptops, hips touching. He stopped doing that, slipping off to his office instead and closing the door even when A was asleep. He started closing doors behind him. I was steeped in denial, but my body knew.” — Suzanne Finnamore.
Apart from these three affairs that this piece addresses, I would like to mention the remaining four, Lachlan Brown establishes on HackSpirit. The others worth noting that he discusses are—Object Affairs, Micro-Cheating, Financial Infidelity, and Flirting. In terse terms, Lachlan establishes that Object Affair “occurs when a partner in a relationship becomes overly obsessive in something other than the relationship (e.g., a hobby, an idea, or in many cases, pornography).” Secondly, he establishes that “Micro-cheating is a furtive way that people who are not ready to get their skin in a relationship stay in the game without compromising their existing relationship status with their live-in partner.”
Thirdly, financial infidelity is “when a partner in a relationship makes financial moves without the knowledge of the other.” I have personally heard of these destroying marriages before. Finally, he talks about flirting. According to the Merriam Websters Dictionary, flirting is “to behave amorously without serious intent.” Flirting can be akin to playing with fire. It may seem innocent, but it could quickly spiral into hurt feelings, lost trust, and a broken home or marriage relationship. Those that indulge in flirtatious activities easily cross boundaries via such flirty conversations. Hence, it is a vice that people should stay clear of, to say the very least.
Types of People Who Cheat
Classifying types of people who cheat on their spouses or significant others can be tricky. People of different classes in life cheat for various reasons. People cheat for having clout as they become the center of attraction of others. People who have the privilege of owning many material things could lure worldly people into the beds. In many cases, we see wealthy men drawing women into escapades because they have a lot of money to throw around. We also see this when we turn the tables around where women are the wealthy ones, and the men don’t have as much. Finally, heavy social media users often stray towards the dark side of uncanny relationships on the World Wide Web. Let us look at each of these types of people.
(a). The Rich People
People with substantial wealth are like magnets—they are the point of focus and attraction. Men of significant means are the focus of the appeal of women. Also, women of great wealth are the lure of men. Because they have money to throw around a lot, these folks become targets of the opposite sex, making it very hard for them to focus on a single partner because of the many distractions from others outside.
(b). The Materialistic People
Girls who like material things, fun, and adventure find it very hard to be faithful in a relationship. We can say the same of guys who have the same concept of living. They lean hard on the wants of life rather than that which is needful. Because of all their insatiable desires and demand for fun, experience, and the daintier things of life, they find it challenging to derive satisfaction from a single person who may not be meeting all their worldly needs. Because of this, they spread their tentacles by investing their time in many relationships to satisfy their insatiable thirst for material things.
(c). Wealthy Men/Poor Women and Vice-Versa
Previously, we discussed those affluent people—whether men or women are prone to cheating. However, in this context, the focus is just on the rich men. The rich men can become more verse in extra-marital affairs because they are loved by many. Poor women are more likely to cheat with such individuals than wealthier peers. Some of them cheat in hopes of stepping up their financial status for the sake of their family, especially if their spouse isn’t as financially buoyant as needed.
(d). Heavy Social Media Users
Spending a lavish amount of time on social media could mean different things for different people. Some spend their time on social media for various reasons. Some, for business purposes, others for marketing purposes, and some people use it as entertainment. However, many men and women use it to meet many people, including new admirers or even old-time lovers.
“When a man cheats, it is said it is because he is a dog. When a woman cheats, it is said it is because her man is a dog.” — Mokokoma Mokhonoana.
There is no moral justification for anyone to cheat on their spouse. However, human beings always look for ways to justify their wrong actions. But in whichever way you choose to paint it, cheating is a vice that destroys trust, scatters homes, hurts the psyches of the individuals involved, etc. We live in a tit-for-tat culture. We live in a culture where many people don’t want to work out their issues. We live in a culture where the art of two-way traffic mutual communication is almost dead. Everyone is correct; no one will ever accept to be wrong.
The comic strip above, Comic Strip A, is a clear typification of our society’s tit-for-tat culture. The guy says that the wife says he is lazy, so she is now sleeping with the neighbor. The Judas of a friend in the middle of the comic strip’s first advice is for him to look for a lady and sleep with, at the first instant. The funny thing is that the man is considering it. That is the degraded culture that we live in today. People don’t work out their differences anymore. We live in an age of revenge and social dissonance.
The second comic strip is a digressive joke. A man finds her wife in a cheating situation. Charging with fury, he looks under the bed and behind the curtain and does not find the victim. He looks in the closet to discover the victim who tries to bribe him, and it pretty much worked because the victim was not there either. Funny, right? The real funny thing is that this supposed fictitious comic strip could be happening out there.
My question is, “Why would you involve yourself with someone if you intend to cheat on the person in the first place?” It blows my mind to hear stories of marriages on the rocks and to hear the cheating iceberg scenarios that sunk the Titanic of a relationship. The fact remains that people cheat on their significant others, and something makes them do so. That is the next and last phase of our discovery in this piece.
15 Reasons Why People Cheat on Their Spouse
As this piece establishes, people become unfaithful to their spouse for various reasons. So far, this piece covers three types of cheating—Physical Cheating, Emotional Cheating, and E-Cheating. The preceding paragraphs also cover the different types of people who dabble in affairs (NB. The list of people who cheat is not exhaustive—different things drive different people into being unfaithful to their spouse). All these establish the foundation that will help us delve into the billion-dollar question. “Why do people cheat in the first place?” Let us now look at the “15 Reasons Why People Cheat on Their Spouse.” Let’s go:
#1. Internet Has Made It Much Easier
Since the advent of technology, everything has gone online, both the things of vice and the things of virtues. They are many fun and educative things to find online and many new people to meet. But one of the downsides of the Internet is that the age of online dating has given way to an unprecedented array of infidelity options. There are thousand and one dating sites, pornographic sites, all providing supposed excitement for all people. The Internet has made it very easy to find people of interest in places far away, probably just one click away.
#2. They Make a Lot of Money
In an article by Kali Holloway titled “9 Things You Might Not Know About Infidelity” on Salon, there is a mention of a University of Washington study that points out a finding. The study postulates “that people who make $75,000 and up are 1.5 times more likely to cheat than those whose annual salaries are $30,000 or less.” These people seem to have extra cash to throw around even after they might have catered for their family’s need more than their counterparts who earn lesser and have a family to cater for as well.
#3. Sexual Reasons
Many people tend to shy away from sex. There is no doubt that sexual issues can be one of the most significant causes of cheating in relationships and marriages—sex by far ranks high as one of the most critical subjects in relationships and marriage. Shopping or money doesn’t even come close to the subject of sexual pleasure. Being unable to meet your partner’s sexual needs or desires has an immensely negative effect on relationships and marriages. When these needs are not met or constantly denied on purpose, the denied partners seek people who can meet their sexual desires and needs. They start looking out for people who have the same sexual inclinations as they do.
Age is an essential factor in why people cheat on their partners. Studies have shown that women tend to cheat more when they are between the ages of 18-30 than men of that age. (NB. See Infographic A above). The reason could be that at this time, they are mostly not yet married. Men know they are single, and this makes them have a lot of admirers. The men would try everything possible to outdo the other guy in their sleeping around escapades. The adventure and the thrill of the chase make the ladies not have a single partner. However, men tend to cheat more as they advance in age (i.e., 40-60+ years, See Infographic A). In many cases, this is the age range where they have begun working and must have earned and saved some money to throw around on things they like.
#5. Lack of Attention
In a fast-paced and demanding world where things happen and change so fast, it is easy to get distracted that couples don’t pay attention to each other. Various things like work, school projects, family life, the pursuit of a career or contract, taking care of the children’s needs, etc., can quickly crowd out couples’ time. Thus, they may find it challenging to give each other the care and attention they both need and deserve. One of the spouses may begin to feel lonely, neglected, or unimportant. The neglect can pose a severe challenge when someone else starts paying them all the attention they want. Lack of awareness of each other is a relationship killer that will potently annihilate any relationship bond or union.
#6. Return of an Ex
One day, your once-upon-a-time lover reappears in your life, looking so charming and dear. Situations like these could spark up old flames, especially when those feelings are still fresh in your mind. It usually starts with hitting each other up on social media. From there, they exchange numbers and start calling each other and reminiscing about high school days when they shared love interests. From there, the rest is history. They bond and sometimes reignite the sexual desires they had for each other. Memories of good times past can lead to unexpected situations.
#7. Drugs, Alcohol, and Gambling Addictions
Alcohol is a commonly known intoxicant that can impair judgment. Also, certain drugs (e.g., methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, opioid pain relievers (e.g., Vicodin and OxyContin), anxiety medications (e.g., Ativan and Valium), to mention but a few) are known to lower inhibition and impair judgment. Married couples that club excessively with their friends in the absence of their significant others raise the chances of cheating on their spouse under alcohol or drugs’ influence.
Gambling addictions could make people do irrational things. Some people crave to gamble but do not have the necessary funds to do so. In the craze and quest to raise the funds they want, they prostitute themselves to raise the liquid cash to feed their gambling craze. Predictably, whether alcohol, drugs, or gambling addictions, the odds of one making a poor choice and cheating on their significant other are much higher under such habits.
#8. Practicing Casanovas
Giacomo Casanova was an “ecclesiastic, writer, soldier, spy, and diplomatist, chiefly remembered as the prince of Italian adventurers and as the man who made the name Casanova synonymous with “libertine.” Sometimes, the reason why some people cheat is to hone their skills between the sheets. They, like Casanova, are amoral and go around sleeping with different people as a ruse.
#9. New Desires
A common cause of adultery is boredom in a relationship—routine kills love. Some people get bored quickly in relationships. Such individuals can be men as well as women. In their boredom with their significant other, they begin looking for new experiences. These individuals are usually sly in the exhibition of their boredom via the expression of unique desires. Some begin to deprive their partner of any form of intimate encounters. Some of them start looking for ways to go out and mingle with friends. Some start staying later at work. Many scenarios show the boredom of such individuals.
For women, revenge is one of the significant reasons for cheating. Here is a prevalent instance that we hear of many times. A husband, partner, or significant other has an affair. The wife or partner feigns like she did not notice anything. Instead of picking a fight with the man lying over his head, she schemes a revenge plot. She decides to pay him forward in his coin by cheating in a similar vein with someone else—it could be her ex or someone she admires. That is what we see in Comic Strip A above. That is the tit-for-tat culture that we live in, to say the very least. Like the picture above, she finds a beau she is mutually attracted with, connects emotionally with them, and eventually carries out the physical deed.
Depression is a psychiatric condition of general emotional dejection and withdrawal. It is a sadness that is greater and more prolonged than that warranted by any objective reason. Depression can lead people to cheat. As this piece earlier postulates, cheating is not all about sleeping with the other person. Infidelity can quickly occur in the emotional sphere. Especially for the womenfolk, cheating spawns from feelings of neglect. Such can send them into a depressive state. In the search for the equilibrium that will draw them out from the doldrums of the psychological quagmire of despondency they are experiencing from the darkness of depression, they look to others for that emotional connection. They seek out others and build a communicative bond with the person. There is no exchange of biological fluids through physical sex. However, mental coitus is already in action. Cheating or affairs is already in the works, whether you believe it or not.
#12. Work, Overwork, and Vegged-Out Scenarios
Work, overwork, and vegged-out scenarios can become a factor that can easily nudge a spouse into an affair. We live in a world where the focus is work. Often, we spend the most time with the people we work with and fewer times with our families. That is how workplace romances occur. People who work together, who also spend many hours working together on projects, tend to grow closer and more acquainted. There are situations where coworkers have become emotionally connected and then developed that fondness into physical infidelity. Vegged-out scenarios are situations when people don’t have enough work to do. Such conditions lead to them having too much time on their hands. Because of this, they dabble into the quest for pleasures from others to fill their time and space.
#13. Communication Gap
A communication gap in any relationship is a significant factor contributing to why people cheat on their spouses, and it is a big one. Any relationship that does not have top-notch communication is a relationship that is doomed to fail; however, you choose to look at it. Relationships that don’t put effort into planning on how to communicate are already planning to fail. Communication is not one-way traffic; it is a two-way traffic process. You are not sharing when only one party wants to be at the giving end—dishing it all out for the other party to remain quiet and swallow the bitter pill of all that flows out.
Communication is an art, so you must perfect the rudiments of this art via practice. It requires cultivation and nurturing. Communication requires a conscious effort for it to grow. Failure to learn communication will be the tipping point of the failure of any relationship. Lack of communication will suffocate any form of intimacy you share with your partner. It will celebrate conflict. It will stifle any form of relational growth. Sans effective communication: with time, you will grow apart from your partner, plain and simple.
One paragraph, two, or even three will never do justice to delving into the effects of a non-communicative relationship. As a result, I will delve more into communication in relationships as its separate piece in the future. I read an article by Elizabeth Earnshaw, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, titled “How Lack of Communication Can Sneakily Ruin Relationships and How to Fix It,” on the mbgrelationships website.
I want to point out some compelling facts that Elizabeth Earnshaw mentions. On the effects of lack of communication in a relationship, she established that there would be the following: “escalated conflict, a negative perspective of your partner and their person, neglect of each other’s attempt to connect, feeling unseen or unknown, loneliness, lack of intimacy, and difficulty setting and reaching goals.” These are some of the facts that she points out about the lack of communication thereof in any relationship.
She also mentions various signs that show that lousy communication is already at play in a relationship. They are: “criticizing and belittling one another, getting defensive, stonewalling, passive aggression, assuming you know what your partner is thinking, cyclical arguments that see no resolution in sight, lack of compromise, fewer attempts to connect, and arguing about “the facts” behind a conflict instead of focusing on what the experience was like for each partner.” That is a lot to digest, but facts are facts.
Hence, effective communication requires work. If you choose not to work on your communicative habits, then be ready to lose your relationship. Where there is a chronic lack of communication, partners often would drift away into the lives, arms, emotional bunkers of those they want to communicate with, to say the very least. That is how emotional affairs start to be built, which could quickly spiral to something physical. In a quest to seek some communicative audience with a listening ear, that is how E-Cheating creeps into a home. As simple as ABC, communicate if you want to salvage what you have with your partner. Don’t communicate if you are dead to the relationship already.
#14. Lack of Effort and Laziness
Believe it or not, laziness can cause infidelity in relationships. When couples are too lazy to work out their relational issues, an affair can become a distraction from dealing with the relationship’s problems. Making a relationship work is an emotional and physical investment. When a partner in a relationship lacks that mental fortitude to work with their partner to resolve issues, he/she could fall into the temptation of infidelity as a mechanism to drown their worries away. The rule of work is that ‘What you work on will work. What you fail to work on will not work.’ The above rule applies to relationships too. Hence, if you are too lazy to put in the effort to make your relationship work, it could be the very reason why your partner will leave you in the arms of another. It’s not time to point fingers; it is time to get your hands dirty and work on your relationship before it walks away from you. It takes two to tango.
#15. Inequity and Disequilibrium of Shared Love
The unequal balance in sharing love in the family can lead to neglecting the other partner’s needs in the relationship. Such situations can push the neglected partner away to seek attention from others outside the relationship’s confines. Such is common when kids enter a relationship. For instance, when the sole focus of attention from the woman in the relationship rests solely on the kids or her career, other aspects of her relational life may suffer. Couples must be discreet in this instance to ensure a similitude of balance in the sharing of love and attention so that no part in the relationship suffers. Focusing solely on things (e.g., the kids, career, hobbies, personal projects, business, etc.) for unreasonable lengths of time without giving heed to your partner’s needs could drive them into emotional, cyber, or physical infidelity. There must be equilibrium in the sharing of love and attention. However, it requires the rule of work to be at play tactfully. Remember, “The rule of work is that ‘What you work on will work. What you fail to work on will not work.’ The above rule applies to relationships too.”
“The rule of work is that ‘What you work on will work. What you fail to work on will not work.’ The above rule applies to relationships too.” — Ogbonnaya Agom-Eze.
So far, we have seen various reasons that lead to spouses cheating on their significant other. The list is not exhaustive. There may be other reasons not here mentioned that lead to infidelity in relationships. However, the fact remains that there is no justifiable reason to cheat on your significant other. The points I have presented in this long-form piece are mine, and I do not espouse myself to be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. However, if you are going through issues in your relationship, find the time to consult one and salvage your union while you can.
People fall in love and fall out of love every day. The essence of falling in love is to ensure that you sustain the love you share with your significant other. A successful relationship is not always a walk in the park. It requires effort and understanding to build a long-lasting relationship forged on the sure foundations of trust and mutual harmony. No matter how you look at it, infidelity hurts. It would be best if you continued to work on your relationship starting from the word, “Go!” As soon as you rest your oars, you have already started the process of sinking your relationship. Row! Row! Row your boat gently down the stream! Merrily! Merrily! Merrily! Merrily! Life is but a dream.
Possible Solutions to Infidelity
Are there possible solutions to infidelity? Yes, there are things you can do to solve the problem of cheating. It requires effort from both parties. However, the ideal is not to ever get to the point of trying to salvage your relationship because infidelity has entered the equation. Once again, I will establish that the issues I have presented in this long-form piece are mine, and I do not espouse myself to be a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. However, if you are going through issues in your relationship, find the time to consult one and salvage your union while you can.
#1. Good Communication
I can’t state this enough. I have already established previously in detail that lack of communication in a relationship can lead to infidelity. It is imperative for any two people in a committed relationship to communicate appropriately as and when needed. Good communication fosters a good relationship. When you have a problem with your spouse, take it up to them and talk about it; you will be surprised at how good things will turn out if you and your spouse communicate more. Don’t make stonewalling a habit when your spouse is trying to communicate with you. If you do so, you might as well kiss your relationship goodbye.
#2. Avoid Vulnerable and Compromising Positions
Do your very best to eschew compromising situations that will leave you vulnerable to infidelity. For instance, it is wise to avoid being alone in a room with someone you are attracted to, especially if you already have issues with your significant other. Being in a lonely place with someone you are sexually attracted to is dangerous other than your partner. In the first place, if you are already sexually attracted to someone, and you two are verbally flirting with each other, you have already started on the path to emotional infidelity. Try not to visit a work colleague in his or her house, especially if you are attracted to them. You may end up sealing the deal with physical infidelity.
#3. Curb Your Alcoholic Intake with the Opposite Sex
In the preceding paragraphs, we see that alcohol can block your inhibitions and make you do things that you may not have thought of doing. Hence, we advise that you curb your enthusiasm for drinking alcoholic beverages with someone of the opposite sex. A person who is intoxicated will often do things that are entirely out of character. Instances abound on people who have cheated on their significant other when under the influence of alcohol and sometimes drugs.
#4. Seek Professional Help
Are you already in an infidelity debacle? Then you may need to seek the help of a licensed therapist if you and your significant other cannot work out your differences. A licensed therapist can help the two of you figure out how to move past the affair by thinking about the factors that motivated one person to be unfaithful. The therapist can also help you develop specific ways to restore trust, maintain a stable partnership, and avoid future reoccurrence.
#5. Burn the Bridge with Your Cheating Partner
The first step to repairing a relationship after infidelity is ending the affair. However, this means more than no longer being physically intimate with the other person. It means cutting off all ties and communication with the person—you need to burn the bridge with your cheating partner. If you don’t, you may not be in any physical affair with the person; however, there could still be some emotional entanglement with the person in question. So, your best bet to stay free of the vice of infidelity is to cut off any communications with the person you were cheating with, to say the very least.
“Cheating and lying aren’t struggles; they’re reasons to break up.” — Patti Callahan Henry.
Once again, there is no justifiable reason for cheating. The sad thing is that it still happens in relationships. Cheating is the unholy foundation of broken trust in homes. Affairs are to blame for many that file for divorce. Whether physical, emotional, or virtual, infidelity is the chief culprit to many relationships’ failure. Whether it be a cheating husband or a cheating wife, couples need to do their best to salvage the love that they share. It all starts from the word, “Go!”
The ideal is for a couple to remain faithful to themselves and never have to deal with the issue of infidelity. Healing from an infidelity situation is possible. The healing of a broken heart that ensues from an affair is very much possible likewise. For that to happen, couples must work out their relationship goals with remarkable tact and tenacity to ensure that it works. Make up your mind to be a faithful spouse. Resolve in your mind that you will never become a narcissistic and abusive spouse. You can do it. It’s all about working on it. Start today. Let’s go!
10 Pillars of a Strong Marriage
Everyone who embarks on the marriage journey wants to be in a union that is long-lasting and has a happy ending. To get to this happy ending requires effort and sacrifice of building pillars that will help the duo get there.
Being a part of someone’s life is one of the sweetest feelings anyone can experience—it could give you the butterflies. The joy of sharing, the warmth of love, the tenderness of shared experiences, and the intimacy of two souls and bodies becoming one are all part of the thrill of joining our lives with another. Beyond these, to find a soul mate—someone to love and who loves you in return; someone who understands you; someone who will travel through the journey of life with you in sickness and in health; through thick and thin; till death does them apart—are the goals of any blissful union. Everyone who embarks on the marriage journey wants to be in a long-lasting union and has a happy ending—at least, that is always the goal. However, it is not perpetually the case as some marriages end up crumbling due to not having strong foundational principles and ethical pillars that hold it up to stand the test of time. Tough times will come in a marriage; however, the aim is to weather the storms of those challenging times together. So, whenever people find that special “someone” that they can celebrate the bliss of matrimony with, they must endeavor to invest their time building strong foundations and pillars to hold up their marriage till death parts them. That is the reason we will be looking at the “10 Pillars of a Strong Marriage,” an article that will add value to your life.
The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark that dots the landscape of the city of San Francisco. Joseph Strauss is the engineer who designed this beautiful bridge that connects San Francisco with Marin County across the +5000ft (i.e., 1.6 km 0r 1600 meters) wide passage that we have all come to know as the Golden Gate, which unites the San Francisco Bay with the Pacific Ocean.1 According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Golden Gate Bridge is daubed as one of the Modern World Wonders.2 In other to maintain the beautiful bridge, do you know that it must be painted continuously? Some misconceptions exist about this fact. “Some say once every seven years; others say from end to end each year. The truth is that the bridge is painted continuously. Painting the Bridge is an ongoing task and a primary maintenance job. The paint applied to the Bridge’s steel protects it from the high salt content in the air, which can cause the steel to corrode or rust.” Like the Golden Gate Bridge, marriage is also a beautiful thing. However, like all beautiful things, the marriage institution must undergo continuous maintenance—just like the Golden Gate Bridge. It must be polished and sustained for it to stay beautiful and strong—year-in-year-out.
From the Christian and biblical perspective, marriage is the first institution God created. His ultimate purpose for this institution is to make sure man is not helpless, lonely, and for humankind’s continuity. In the original blueprint of marriage, it was built to last and stand the test of time—till death parts either of the two partners. From the primordial sense of it all, the institution of marriage was made so that the “man” and the “woman” will become one—enjoying their companionship and ensuring humanity’s continuity. As written in the Holy Writ, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife in such a way that the two become one person.” From the biblical standpoint, that is established as God’s original intent about marriage. However, we know that marriage has become muddied in terms of meaning and intent via sundry subjective interpretations from this perspective and beyond. The institution has become easily disposable with reduced value—separations and divorce have become the norm in many societies today. This has raised the urgent need for both the physical and spiritual aspects to find some synergy. Why? Because a marriage built on a wrong foundation will not last—it will eventually collapse. In the dissolution of the marital union, hearts are broken—of the man, the woman, and the children (i.e., if children are already born into the union).
“In a happy marriage, it is the wife who provides the climate, the husband the landscape.” — Gerald Brenan
In the building industry, the construction’s foundation is the most critical aspect of the project, after which the pillars come second. The foundation is the basis or groundwork of anything. It is the natural or prepared ground or base on which some structure rests. It is the lowest division of a building, wall, or the like, usually of masonry and partly or wholly underneath the ground’s surface. It is the substructure that holds up the superstructure in buildings. These two, the substructure (i.e., the foundations) and the superstructure (i.e., the pillars and walls), ensure that no matter the weather’s storm or intensity, the building will stand the test of time. Building pillars are the vertical shafts or structures that are usually part of the above ground’s superstructure. They are commonly made of stone, brick, wood, steel, or some other materials, moderately slender in proportion to its height and any shape in section. Pillars are commonly used as building support, or they could stand alone when used as monuments. Foundations and columns are vital in ensuring that buildings don’t fall. Buildings collapse when the elements of the substructures or superstructures have been compromised.
We have seen the importance of foundations and pillars in ensuring the stability of a building structure. This also is true about the marriage institution. The foundation of each marriage union needs to be built on a mutual love for God and each other (i.e., the spouses involved). This is the pure love that harbors no hatred or grudge for each other. Establishing this kind of love is crucial before the couple can start erecting the pillars of honesty, transparency, trust, friendship, and all-around loyalty to foster their union’s sustainability. These pillars are formed through shared experiences. As the couple continues to share their experiences, it helps them solidify their union’s bonds, strengthening their marriage foundation. These pillars will be so natural and seamless to achieve for those marriages built on the right foundation. However, for unions raised on the wrong foundation, it will be an arduous process, which will involve extra effort and commitment by both parties. These marriages may survive if the partners realize their foundational errors and correct them. However, a lot of times, even strenuous effort and engagement may not salvage the union.
Also, the durability of a building depends significantly on how strong the foundation is situated. Weak foundations often lead to buildings collapsing—this also applies to marriage unions. Various elements will challenge the marriage institution. However, marriages that will stand the test of time have been built on a solid foundation. How ready a married couple is to ride the storms and challenges that their marriage faces will depend on their values. It will also depend on their belief systems and commitment to the success of the union. These are the things that contribute to the stable and lasting foundation of the marriage institution. So, the question is—who and what is the foundation of your union? On what grounds have you established the foundation of your union? A marriage that is built to last is what everyone craves. This foundation should not just be ordinary, flimsy, or whimsical. Being alone as a man can be lonely; however, having a helper akin to him can be beneficial. God’s objective for setting up the marriage institution was based on companionship. Having a helper who shares the same ideology, value, vision, and one who understands and respects your views, even if they differ from theirs, is the foundation of lasting happiness.
Love is a powerful word; it should not just be an emotion expressed on a whim. The phrase, “I love you” has been made so banal these days. It has been diluted by the variation of impatience that we are now so much accustomed to in our current society. Living in a jet-setting age has made everyone very impatient. We want things to happen in a certain way, and immediately as a matter of fact. However, when it does not pan out as we envisioned, we impatiently abandon the whole project. We are no longer patient to work things out and see how it pans out. As a result, true love is tough to come by these days. We see marriages that quickly come to an end because the two parties involved are unwilling to put in the work to ensure that their union is sustained. When troubles or misunderstandings arise, they become impatient with each other. Rather than work out their differences and allow their marriages to heal, many people are quick to go their separate ways by filing for a divorce. The current day media has not helped matters either. The media have hyped the prevalence of separations and divorces that it has quickly become a norm in society. The true meaning of love has been so diluted that many people no longer have an inkling of what it really is. A lot of couples even enter a marriage contract without the slightest clue of what love really is. If you don’t know what love is, you will lack the capacity to truly value love. So, what is love, really?
True love is glaring via the characteristics that it effuses. Love is very tolerant and gentle—it has a heightened ability to put up with things with every sense of pleasantness. It isn’t jealous or envious. Love doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about—there’s no arrogance in love. It’s never rude, crude, or improper—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs. Love never celebrates injustice, but the truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along—it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what. Now, these are the attributes that define true love. Comparing yourself to these attributes, can you say that you have genuine love? Love is often mistaken for lust or passion. No one should claim to be in love with someone because of beauty, physique, or charisma. Love is much more than all these physical attributes or qualities—these attributes fade quickly with age. The truth about love is that we cannot hide our true feelings and intentions for too long though we profess to love someone. In time, people see through this façade to the real person behind the mask—people cannot hide their true natures for but so long. Time reveals all eventually. However, sometimes we play blind, probably because of some short-term benefit we crave within the union that we have prioritized above what our instinct is really saying. Play the long game, see beyond the façade, and connect with reality. If you are blind to the actual substance of things in the interim, you will sooner or later regret it in the long term. If you open your eyes and see beyond the cloak, you will strategically eschew the chances of the negative dagger of pernicious circumstances falling on you. Play the long game, look beyond the smokescreen that is often presented in the relationship macrocosm.
It is easy to get into character when we meet someone new, but it takes extra effort to sustain this character, especially if we are not our true selves. It is only a matter of time before our actual personality comes to bear—we cannot hide our true identities forever. Everything that is hidden under the sun is soon often revealed. So, it pays for people to be real when in the dating and courtship scene. There is no use pretending to be someone else—why fake it, be real. The fact is that the truth will always come to the surface. If you camouflage your identity to be someone else, you are already starting your relationship on the wrong footing. You are assembling the wrong building materials for building the foundation of your potential relationship. Should you end up winning the heart of that special someone in the state of untruthfulness, you would have already started building the foundation of your future relationship on the wrong note. When your true-self bubbles up, you may already be married at this time, and this could potentially become an issue. The marriage begins to suffer—you are never in sync with your spouse. There are constant arguments. There is no sense of understanding between your spouse and yourself. There is no comparable conflux of notions that can help you two forge the perfect vision to channel the relationship forward. It becomes a union of the chaotic or a conflux riddled with the bullets of had I know regrets.
Many people are already in a messed-up marriage, sometimes even before it begins, due to building on the wrong foundation and ignoring the warning signs from the relationship’s inception. Some people indeed see the warning signs at the onset of the romantic alliance that potentially leads to a union. In the act of seemingly being blinded by a supposed “love,” or shall I say, “lust,” they head on wildly on the path towards a future marital rollercoaster. Listen to your gut feeling if you feel that something is not quite right when dating someone to get married to them. Watch their words. Watch their actions. Watch the effusion of their thoughts via their actions. Watch the company they keep. Watch their habits. All these are telltale signs of their true nature. Be wise and pay attention. If there are warning signs at the early stages of the relationship, it might be God allowing these orchestrating signals, performed by the conducting wands of the universe and destiny, to create an alerting and sonorous symphony of caution to warn your inner sense and subconscious to be wise careful. It may be the merciful hands of destiny nudging you like a child not to forge on ahead with the relationship. Do not throw caution to the wind. Shine your eyes before marriage—don’t ever go in blindly. It will allow you to see if you are about to build on the right foundation for your potential future union. After you are married, shine your eyes even more as you erect the pillars that will let the superstructure of your future home stand firm through the space of existence and the test of time.
Start with the right foundation when building a life with your right special someone. It would help if you had a formidable marriage substructure to support a long-lasting present and future matrimonial superstructure. Establishing a sound marital foundation is an investment in your future. A bad marriage can wreck your life, destiny and mangle the prospects of having a golden purpose. The positive return on investment (ROI) of building on the right foundation can be quite colossal, to say the very least. It would help if you began erecting the pillars that will support and sustain your home’s superstructure upon the proper marital foundation. Trust this fact; you will smile at the ROI if you do. However, building these ethical colonnades, to be honest, will never be a cakewalk. It could take months or even years before it will come to perfect fruition. However, it will require the conscientious effort of a deliberate and dedicated duo to form and establish the right foundation and pillars that will help sustain their future union.
“The secret of a happy marriage is finding the right person. You know they’re right if you love to be with them all the time.” — Julia Child
10 Pillars of a Strong Marriage
Building a strong marriage requires effort. In this article, we will discuss ten mainstays of a potentially strong marriage. We offer some potential advice to help the reader in their pillar building process for each point that we discuss. This advice is not professional conjectures but our recommendations of possible ways to help you build the pillars to sustain your marital union’s strength. We also advise that you seek the support of a professional Family Therapist for further counseling in your marriage situation. These ten pillars discussed below will help every married couple look for ways to refocus and strengthen their union.
#1. Know That You Are Not Perfect
The acceptance that neither you nor your partner is perfect is an integral part of creating a healthy marriage. You should expect shortcomings from your partner because it is only human and natural to mess up occasionally. We are prone to err as human beings. However, the goal is for us not to remain in the place that we have fallen. We must rise from where we have fallen, dust ourselves, and move on to better days ahead. However, it is pertinent to note that hanging on to mistakes made in a matrimonial home will eventually destroy the foundation of trust and psychological safety shared between the couple.
Our Advice: If you make a mistake in your marital union—accept it quickly and apologize. The worst thing you could do to your union is mess up but obstinately refuse to admit that you are wrong. Obstinacy or stubbornness is pernicious dynamite that will blast the foundation of your marriage to smithereens. So be advised—stop all that headiness and accept you are wrong, and save your marriage. If you make a mistake, admit it. If you are on the receiving end of the blunder, forgive. The offender part must not prove difficult to an extreme—that itself will help your marriage implode eventually. However, it would help if you never took the forgiving spouse for granted. Don’t keep repeating the same mistake recurrently because you feel that you will always be forgiven. You are crippling the legs of the psychological safety of your union. You may paralyze it to the point that it may never walk again expect a miracle occurs. So, be wise and resolve your issues quickly, and don’t let it fester before it becomes psychological gangrene that infects the relationship.
#2. Don’t Set Limits for Forgiveness
Don’t think that because you have forgiven your partner of an offense today, that it will never happen again. You should be willing to pardon repeatedly. After all, the Holy Writ stipulates that in one single day, we should forgive the offenses of others against us for seventy times seven (i.e., 490 times). That is what happens with people who are genuinely in love. You must have the willingness and capacity to forgive all the time. Cultivating this forgiving nature must be two-way traffic for the couple. Like we addressed in point #1, it does not suppose that an erring spouse continues in his/her errors. If you keep erring, you would only be crucifying the trust you two share as a couple repeatedly time after time.
Our Advice: Forgive your spouse quickly. Do not set a limit on how many times you will forgive your spouse. Some marital unions already have a predetermined number of times that they have set for themselves on how many times they are willing to forgive their spouses. In other words, we could say that their love for their spouse has a ceiling, a limit that they will not go beyond. However, as we have stipulated repeatedly, this does not give the erring spouse the impetus to continue erring because they know that the spouse will always forgive. Never take advantage of the forgiving nature of your spouse. Taking advantage of your spouse once or repeatedly is stabbing yourself repetitively.
#3. Be Truthful
Always be honest with your emotion whenever you are around your partner. Your partner invariably wants to know your real view about him or her. Don’t ever hide how you feel—be honest, be true, always be real about how you feel about each other. Anything short of this is falsehood. Your clarity of thought around him or her makes them feel secure and warm in the glow of your love. This will help create a matrimonial ambiance that is rooted in the firm grounds of psychological safety. A cerebrally, secure ambiance is where true intentions and opinions about a matter are stipulated without the fear of being judged. Your spouse wants to be sure you are not hiding anything behind that smile. Anything contrary to such assertion will erode the emotional security that the two of you share in your relationship. Your openness will assure them.
Our Advice: Truth frees you. It is very burdensome to tell a lie—it is a lot of work to lie to be quite honest. First, you must create a frame of mind to conceive a lie. Second, you must be cautious enough to ensure that you are sticking to the correct brass tracks of maintaining the deception. Third, to do so, you must keep using lie after lie to camouflage the initial lie that you started telling in the first place. Gosh! It’s just so much work to maintain a false state of mind. The truth is not always palatable. However unpleasant it may be, it always lifts a burden of guilt away from you. The truth will initiate the forces of the universe to play in your favor. In the present, the truth may be bitter or sweet; however, when the forces of the cosmos go into play, you will be one smiling at the end of the day. We honestly advise you to put the truth out there already and be free of that weight of guilt that lying will pile on your conscience.
#4. Create New and Exciting Experiences
Don’t let your relationship get stuck in a rut. Make your spouse your partner in adventure and the exploration of life. You only live once (YOLO) here on earth. So, if you two are hitched together in the bonds of holy matrimony, then make sure you make it a lifetime of memorable experiences that you will forever cherish. Be deliberate in the creation of new and exciting experiences. Marriage is meant to be organic and not rigid. No matter how old you are, life is intended to be treasured, enjoyed, and lived to the full. Having fun does not mean that you should break the bank. Creating lifetime memories can be simple things that are fun, memorable, and inexpensive. Live life, and don’t let life leave you and your matrimony behind. Etch your names on the stones of time as the duo that lived and had fun. Create blissful wedlock. Make it exciting.
Our Advice: Many people in marital relationships hide under the cloak of busyness that they forget to live and enjoy their lives. Before couples get married, they go out and have fun. After they get married, and possibly kids come along, their joyous and adventurous life goes out the window. We advocate that couples take care of their business—work, taking care of the kids, taking care of the home, etc. However, they must understand that they should never relegate their marriage relationship to the back burners—that is the recipe for friction and the potential for a looming breakup—schedule time to have fun as a duo in your nuptial union. A lot of people fall in love, get married, and fall out of love. They forget to fan the flames of their union to sustain the sparks of love that first brought them together. Be deliberate in making plans to spend joyful and loving times with each other. Create new and exciting experiences always.
#5. Be Quick to Apologize
Never sleep without making up. It should not matter who is right or wrong. Arguments might dovetail into something more serious, which would end up causing an irreparable rift. Don’t argue needlessly with your partner—it can rupture the bubble of cerebral security in your marriage to your spouse—you don’t want that. Once you begin to lose that security, it starts to erode the trust and freedom that the duo shares. Once you lose that trust, it becomes difficult to regain it back. A wound on the knee can easily be treated at its earlier stages. However, if allowed to fester and get infected, it could lead to gangrene, leading to an amputation. The same could happen to a marriage union—never permit a simple problem that a band-aid could fix to become a problem that you would now need surgery. Never allow a simple fix to spin out of hand. Calm the tempo of the storm before it becomes a devastating hurricane. Be quick to apologize to your spouse. Learn to resolve your issues quickly.
Our Advice: Learn to say, “I am sorry.” Only those who are proud refuse to apologize even when they are the ones at fault. Remember that pride goes before a fall. Such individuals are just so difficult. Some people are so difficult to please. If you offend them in any way, you are in for it because they are swift to hold a grudge. Some who offend others are so obstinate that they still claim to be right while wrong. Learn to be a humble soul when dealing with your spouse. To be humble is an art and must be honed. Never allow arguments and misunderstandings to fester. Allowing resentments to aggravate is very corrosive and quickly impacts the foundation and pillars of your union. Never hesitate to offer an apology where you need to. Saying, “I am sorry” will heal many hurts in your marriage. Also, do your matrimony a favor, and don’t be that spouse that picks a fight needlessly. By hurting the harmony that you two shares in your home via your needless rancor only hurts your union in the long run.
#6. Be Sensitive to Stress
Always watch out for pressure in your partner. On many occasions, people tend to behave quite irrationally when stressed. Don’t place demands or correct your partner whenever he or she is stressed out. Give them some space if you need to. This will allow them to simmer down before engaging them in a discussion to delve into the root causation of whatever is ailing them. Much more, when your spouse is stressed-out is not the best time to criticize him or her—it is like pouring gasoline on an already raging fire. It would be stupid to do so. Keep a close watch on your partner to detect stress. Your partner might not even know he or she is stressed. Research on the signs that indicate pressure, it might be of help. Stress can be dangerous to your union, much more, to either spouse’s health in the marriage.
Our Advice: Stress is not a good thing and should be avoided at all costs. If you sense it always in yourself or your partner, you two cautiously need to get to its root and address it as soon as possible. Stress can be dangerous and can cause the following ailments: headaches, heartburn, rapid breathing, the risk of a heart attack, pounding heart, fertility problems, erectile dysfunction, missed periods, increased depression, insomnia, weakened immune system, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, stomachache, low sex drive, and tense muscles. Irritability, anxiety, depression, headaches, and insomnia are the manifestations that show that someone is under chronic stress. Make sure you are not the cause of stress in your matrimony—eschew stress like a plague. Don’t be the one that aggravates it but rather the one that helps to curb it.
#7. Communicate, Listen, Meditate, and Pray Together
Communication, listening, meditation, and praying together are critical ingredients for success in every marriage. A family that is united in the place of prayer, they say, stays together. Prayer fosters a calm atmosphere and leads to better communication. It helps to soften the heart when there is anger and creates room for both partners to talk, listen, share, and forgive one another where needed. Don’t forget that communication is not complete without feedback. So, whatever the reaction may be, please take it as feedback and be ready to take responsibility. As part of developing a suitable communication link, couples also need to listen and hear each other. Plus, jointly developing times when a couple engages in meditation also helps them develop a sustainable and calm atmosphere that allows them to communicate better.
Our Advice: First, communication is crucial in any marriage. Couples that don’t communicate effectively are crippling their union. Learn to talk about your issues. The big mistake that some couples make is assuming that their significant other knows what they are thinking. This prognostication is usually false. Say what you think and say what you mean. Let your communication be clear. Second, we should also add that developing communication skills in a relationship also requires that you learn the art of listening to your spouse too. It makes no sense of communicating when no one is listening. That is equivalent to no communication at all. Third and fourth, it is also beneficial to meditate and pray together, respectively. From a Christian perspective, meditating on the Holy Writ together and praying does a whole lot of good to married couples. It draws a couple closer to God and themselves. So, it would not hurt to make actively communicate, meditate, and pray together.
#8. Never Keep A Secret
Never keep a secret—always be open with each other and share what you feel with your spouse. Don’t be discouraged by the thought of how your partner will react. No matter how terrible the situation may be, learn not to keep something that is bothering you to yourself. It is quite toxic to do so. In the ideal sense, couples should have personal lives that are open books to themselves. Nothing should ever be a surprise to you and your spouse. It is better to tell your partner than for him to get the information elsewhere. So, be honest and share personal secrets with each other.
Our Advice: If you are keeping secrets from your spouse, you are already going off the tangent, to say the very least. It is a regretful place to be in a marriage situation. Some spouses choose to keep some parts of their lives to themselves because they are not psychologically safe with their spouses. Some say it is because they may have been burnt when being vulnerable to the one they love. Because of present or past experiences of being vulnerable with their partners, they bottle up some aspects of their lives in other to stay psychologically safe. Some spouses say that when they tell it all to their spouses, in the heat of future arguments or misunderstandings, their spouse regurgitates their shared stories of vulnerability in a spate of emotional blackmail—talk about a matrimonial James Bond movie in real life. If your spouse shares their secret with you, don’t use it against them. It is not just right; it is all the way wrong. However, keeping secrets from your spouse is not the ideal state—try and be open always. Failure to share your secrets with your spouse means that the love you share with them is not really at 100%. That is the fact.
“I want a happy marriage and whatever it takes to achieve that. But I think the main prerequisite would have to be respect. He would have to respect me and vice-versa. And, that would be more important than being in love. I think respect really goes a long way. And he would have to keep me happy. And he’d have to be very, very, secure.” — Shilpa Shetty
The supposed dreaded three-letter-word that is always mentioned in a hush-hush tone and note practically by everyone. (NB. We will address this topic in as much detail as possible without being overly explicit because of our audience). There is continually a negative connotation whenever the word “Sex” is mentioned—even in the marriage prairie. Society satiates itself with various notions of sexuality but somehow still finds a way to avoid discussing it or frowning at it. Sex is a beautiful thing in the right state or frame. Others may choose to define it within the premise of their understanding and credence. However, via the lens of my understanding, as conservative as it may seem—I establish that God created sex for enjoyment, balance, and procreation within the bonds of matrimony between “man” and “woman.” Per my credence, this is the right state of sex, and it is to the benefit and value of humanity. However, no one wants to talk about it could be attributed to the cheapening of sex by many societies today. Because of this prevalent fact in many societies, its value has been gravely diluted. Because of this dilution, sex is seen as dirty, where, in the right sense of the word, it is a pure act, in the right state, as we posited above. Sex is seen as a no-go area that should never be discussed in many arms of society. Unfortunately, this has also crept into marriages.
As a married couple, you need to discuss sex freely. It is a formidable pillar that can make or mar your marriage. The art and act of sex should be addressed without inhibition by the husband and the wife. The goal of sex between a married couple is companionship, satisfaction, and procreation. If a spouse is not satisfied, they should let their partner know without any fear and hesitation. As a spouse in a marriage union, you should never be selfish with sex. Some couples, for reasons best known to them, deprive each other of sex. As sad and selfish as it may sound, it is happening out there. This is not justified, but that is one of the principal reasons people end up stepping out on each other. Sex in marriage is an art. Your goal should be to give and make sure that your spouse is satisfied with the art and act process. It should never be all about you. In the heat of the moment, you must look for all satisfactory and mutually agreeable, and pleasing angles to choose to satisfy your spouse. Learn more about your spouse and what pleases them sexually. However, also learn about being romantic and educate yourself in the fine arts of foreplay.
Always ensure that your partner enjoys the moment more than you do. The goal should perpetually be to please. If the two partners have this ideology, they will end up always satisfying each other. We also mentioned that one of the principal benefits of sex is procreation. When engaging in sex, married couples do so with the aim of companionship, pleasure, and the aspiration to have children in the future. This keeps the population of the world going and growing. At least, this is the original intention of sex. Couples should view sex as a chief responsibility to each other. Anyone of two spouses can make a move—don’t let the request for sex be one-sided. Remember, one might surely be better, active, or crave for it more than the other. So, it is wise you both know your limit and work things out. The consent to engage in the art of sex must always be mutual. However, no matter what happens, the duo should never defraud themselves of each other—that is, creating a loophole for vices to creep into your matrimonial home.
Our Advice: It has been stated in detail in this section concerning the various notions about sex within the home. Despite the incongruous connotations linked to sex, it is nevertheless a beautiful thing. It helps foster a deeper bond between the married couple. Sex should never be perverted. Sex should remain in the confines of its original state—matrimony between a “man” and a “woman.” In so doing, its sanctity, beauty, and purity can be maintained. Married couples need to be forthright in communicating their thoughts with each other when it comes to sex. Be open about it as you discuss it with your spouse. Try not to be selfish about it—be giving and always aim to please. There should be no shyness or reason to be ashamed. It is an art and a journey that is meant to be treasured, respected, and enjoyed. So, for all the married couples out there, have fun as you go at it.
One of the criteria for love is the willingness to sacrifice. You can’t claim you love someone if you are not willing to put the other person’s needs first. If you are selfish and think only of yourself, you will eventually crash your marriage—that is, if you are married. There is a place for self-love. However, under the marriage institution umbrella, there is also a place for altruism. If you are single and excessively self-focused, you may end up being single for a very long time. Again, there is a place for some altruism in other to attract people to yourself. Marriage is all about sacrificing the “self” to a certain degree. By this, we mean that you must be ready to sacrifice your time, pleasure, resources, pride, and your overall desire for your partner. After you have done all these and more, you could boldly say that you are genuinely in love.
Our Advice: Give your very best to each other. Never go half the distance, go the mile and even go the extra mile in loving your spouse. As earlier espoused, there is a place for self-love. However, in the bonds of marriage, a spouse is bound to share. A spouse is bound to give themselves to their significant other. Giving material gifts to your spouse is a marvelous idea. However, the best benefits that you could ever give your spouse are those moments that you share with them. The pleasures, resources, pride, and an overall desire for your partner are all very crucial likewise. Give these sacrifices to each other, and you would be sowing seeds that will germinate into a long-lasting union, ceteris paribus.
“The secret to a happy marriage is if you can be at peace with someone within four walls, if you are content because the one you love is near to you, either upstairs or downstairs, or in the same room, and you feel that warmth that you don’t find very often, then that is what love is all about.” — Bruce Forsyth
We have seen a lot of facts in the preceding paragraphs of this long-form article. We saw that being a part of someone is the sweetest feeling anyone could ever experience. When a man and woman tie the nuptial bond, it comes with its share of joys and challenges. However, a duo’s goal is to jointly weather the storm together in a robust and beautiful union. Being married is far from being episodic—you must work at it continuously. Maintaining your marital union’s beauty and sustainability is an ongoing task—till death parts the duo. Hence, it would help if you polished your union always to sustain its shine and radiance. The concept of marriage is for companionship and the furtherance of humankind. It is a valuable institution and must be treated as such. It is not to be cheapened as society has done today via the prevalence of numerous acts of separations and divorces in every community. The institution of marriage is not one to be distorted or trifled with. Its sanctity must be maintained across the whole macrocosm.
We also saw that the foundation of any building structure is the critical reason why buildings stand or fall. Despite a building having a formidable substructure, it also needs to have a firm and stable superstructure that is buttressed by pillars and walls for it to stand. A firm building foundation will help the building stand despite all the weather’s vagaries that attack it. Building a stable marriage can be likened to building a house on the right foundation. Sustainable marriage is a mutualistic effort that must be done on the right footing. A strong foundation and supporting ethical pillars are also crucial for a marriage to succeed and survive the weather’s vagaries that attack it. Building a union on the wrong foundation is what leads to frictions, heartbreaks, separations, and divorces. That is why a match formed on the right foundation is crucial, sustained by robust ethical pillars. In this article, we have explored in detail ten posts that can help maintain the superstructure of marriage and help prevent it from collapsing or caving-in to the detriment of all those involved.
The first pillar we looked at is for you to know that you are not perfect, and neither is your spouse. If you commit a blunder, correct it immediately and quickly move on. Don’t let it fester by continually dwelling on it. Second, make sure you are not setting forgiveness limits. A couple must learn to cultivate a long-lasting bond of forgiveness as an avenue to sustain their union. Don’t tell your spouse that he or she has an “x” amount of times that he or she can offend you in the algebra of life. Also, spouses should never capitalize on this fact of always being forgiven based on remaining in perpetual error—you are only digging your own early grave if you do that. Third, couples always need to be truthful with each other. It is a lot of work to tell and maintain a lie. To lie to your spouse means that you are not truthful to yourself—you are technically destroying yourself literally. Always tell each other the truth. Start first by telling yourself the truth and do the right thing. Fourth, always find avenues to create rich and exciting experiences. Marriage is meant to be organic and not too rigid. So, don’t be too stoic; make your marriage a fun adventure. Fifth, you need to be quick to apologize. Those who are hesitant to say, “I am sorry,” will quickly rupture the bubble of their nuptial bond. Those who find it difficult to apologize are proud. And as the saying goes, “Pride goes before a fall.”
Sixth, you should always be sensitive to stress in a marriage union. Do all in your power to eschew unnecessary pressures. The weight of anxiety is not only detrimental to a union but to the life of the person that is involved. So, avoid stressful situations in a marriage situation. Seventh, learn to communicate, listen, meditate, and pray together. Communication is the golden key to sustaining your home. Learn to listen to each other. Learn to meditate and pray together. As the saying goes, “the family that prays together stays together.” Eighth, learn never to keep secrets from each other. This may be a struggle for many; however, in an ideal state, a couple should never keep secrets from each other. The lives of couples should be an open book. Couples should learn to work at it. Ninth, all married couples should have sex often with their partners in the word’s ideal and right sense. Sex is meant for companionship between the “man” and the “woman.” It is for pleasure as well as for procreation. It is not dirty—in the prototypical state of the word, it is supposed to be pure. Finally, tenth, marriage is all about making sacrifices. The best benefits and sacrifice that you could ever give your spouse are those time, pleasure, resources, pride, and an overall desire for your partner.
We have explored a lot of angles in this long-form article. Time and effort have been dedicated to this writing to add value to all readers’ minds concerning the importance of the marriage union. Before we end this piece, here are some final words of significance. Marriage is a thing of value and must be taken as such. It is not an institution that must be trifled with—careful thought and consideration must be exercised before you venture into it. Society has watered it down a lot. People now see it as typical to jump from one union to the other. One could say that it is almost now fashionable to have a string of previous “exes” to parade around in the annals of your life. The subjective perspective that this article promotes is for people to find that special someone—learn to love yourselves, and grow old together in a happy and full life.
Marriage is a marathon and not a hundred meters dash across the field of life. So, if you are single and hoping to get married, think it through. Don’t wait for a lifetime to get married if you wish to be; however, be sure to do so carefully. Please don’t rush into it. Many folks rush into marriage blindly and quickly fly out of it when all does not pan out as they have planned. Shine your eyes before going into a marriage union. Keep shining your eyes even after becoming hitched to your spouse. Are you already in a marriage union? Inspect your union and see if it is built on a solid foundation. If yes, bravo. If no, it is never too late to start building a strong foundation. Start retrofitting your marriage foundations with the pointers that this article delivers. The ethical pillars you build will help you sustain your union’s sturdiness for the long haul. Remember, the pressures of life will surely come. The foundation and pillars you have built are what will keep your union from crumbling. If you see that your foundation and pillars are weak, start today, and construct a formidable foundation. If it can be done on buildings via foundation retrofitting, it can be done in your marriage.
“My parents’ long and happy marriage was a great ideal to live up to, but a tough one.” — Olivia Williams
Adopt these pillars and tell your shining story! We hope that some or all these pillars work for your benefit. Following through with these pillars will require your commitment and hard work. No one says it’s going to be easy. There will be times you may cry and need a shoulder to lean on, and there will be times that you will laugh. There will be times that you will have to tear down unfavorable structures in a union, and there will be times to build foundations and pillars to sustain the union. There will be times of war, and there will be times of peace—we wish you all more times of prosperity, love, and peace. The key to succeeding in the marathon of love is determination. Like I always say, “Determination today will lead to success tomorrow.” Keep at it. Always remember that with determination, you can achieve your desired result—even in your marriage. Have a happy married life. Carpe diem!
(NB. The points that are discussed here are not exhaustive in any way. We welcome all constructive comments that will help our process of adding more value to minds).
- A View on Cities. (2018). Golden Gate Bridge. Retrieved from www.aviewoncities.com/sf/goldengatebridge.htm
- Wikipedia. (2018). Golden Gate Bridge. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Gate_Bridge
10 Signs that She Will Waste Your Time
Some men may be in relationships with women that are wasting their time. There are telltale signs that could bring this to the limelight.
When a girl has had it with a guy, nothing in this world can keep her interested in him. It was R-Kelly who sang, “When a woman’s fed up. There ain’t nothing you can do about it.” The saying goes, “Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned.” The saying means that a woman can only take but so much negativity. When a wronged woman blows her top, the situation can reach an irreparable state that you can no longer salvage. Sometimes, a woman could also be treated well by a man; however, if she does not feel an attraction for him, it still lands him in a state of hurt and battered feeling and ego. Many men learn the hard way when it comes to relationships. Any guy who can’t read between the lines despite numerous warning signals might find himself without a date or a partner for a very long time!
No matter how infatuated with a lady you become, you may be heading towards a big emotional roller coaster or trouble if you fail to read the handwriting on the wall—her words, actions, behavioral traits, and body language to gain a clear understanding of how she feels about you. When she is no longer in love with you, it is possible that she could still portray a front like she still cares about you. However, the reality of the issue at hand could be that her mind is long gone from you. You are history, and the relationship is toast. It mostly becomes complicated to let go of the illusion she represents in your mind. You may be getting the wrong message if you keep listening to the enticing words, which sometimes might contradict her present actions. Many men who allow their built-up emotions get the best of them. They are blinded and not able to see the warning signals of a waned love, which may end up spiraling down towards a catastrophic emotional disaster. All said and done; you may be with a timewaster.
“Your time is way too valuable to be wasted on people that can’t accept who you are.” ― Turcois Ominek
Many men think that they can sway how a woman feels about them using money and this life’s pleasures. This school of thought is a big fat lie. Emotions and feelings rule women. Money can turn on the juices that ignite her passing interest, if at all. Sometimes, if she is so inclined, it could lead to a steamy night of romp under the sheets, but make no mistake, that is all it is and nothing more. After all this, she would then seek out for herself, the one who holds her heart, even after she has loved you with her body or filled her pockets with your generosity. That is the truth and a hard pill to swallow. Don’t wait until that precious time of yours has been wasted. Don’t let a woman make a mess of your emotions—stand your ground and address the situation head-on. Should you notice any point we will address in this article, be wise, and make your decision pronto to address the gap. You will have to decide if you will stay with the woman in your life or bail with your sanity intact.
10 Signs That She Will Waste Your Time
Although this list is not exhaustive, we will review ten signs that will alert you that the woman in your life may be wasting your time. These signs are for you to stop, ponder, question yourself, and reconsider whether you will go all the way with the woman currently in your life. Hence, consider them as mile markers that will allow you to evaluate your current situation and determine your directions. They are not highlighted to make a skeptic out of you. However, they are here to make you rational as you assess your situation. Don’t let unserious women waste your time in a relationship that will only end up in one place—a dead end. I also provide some recommendations of things that you could do to salvage the situation. However, these are just my suggestions, and not a professional conjecture. If you need professional guidance and counseling, be sure to seek out a licensed relationship or family therapist or counselor. The following ten signs can help you identify ladies who are on a mission to waste your time.
#1. She can’t just stop talking about her Ex. Here we go again with the “ex” factor. A girl who always talks about her “ex” around you is a definite relationship gap. Or, at the slightest opportunity, compares you with him marks a red flag alert. Her actions are merely telling you that she may be using you to while away time pending the time her “ex” would run back to her. Regularly reminding you of her past is an indication that you don’t quite measure up to her expectations of what an ideal man should be. It is possible that she may or may not love you as such, or love is fast waning. She might leave you for a guy who truly makes her forget about her “ex.” Are you in such a relationship? Do you have a partner who is continually peering back at her “ex”? You might want to exercise some caution. You might be with a time-waster, and it may be time for you to walk away from her.
Our advice: If a woman regularly talks about her “ex” directly or indirectly, you need to communicate with her and find out where her heart is. Is her heart with you, or is it still with her “ex”? Talk about it. Address the elephant in the room and let her know how you feel about how she is always bringing up the issue of her “ex.” From your discussions, you can now gauge where her heart is. Armed with these facts, you can now decide on what you want to do. Go the extra mile to work things out and correct the relationship variation. Leave her or stay with her and continue dealing with the “ex” factor.
#2. She regularly cancels plans and dates. When a lady cancels dates on you unexpectedly without any plausible reason on the whim, then this is a sign she is not taking you nor your time seriously. Being in a relationship means that you both have value for your time. Sometimes, things could come up that will warrant the cancellation of the scheduled date. However, when it becomes perpetual, then something might be amiss in the relationship. Such disappointments shouldn’t be a constant thing. Ladies don’t cancel dates on someone they value and cherish or want to be around. Hence, you must appear this carefully. If you keep agreeing to her terms, you encourage her to take you for granted. You may be with someone taking you for a ride. She may be a time-waster.
Our advice: If you notice that this has become perpetual with no concrete reason behind it, then you need to watch it. Something is amiss. Women cherish being around the people that are dear to them. If she is regularly canceling out on you, you may not be the person she wants to be spending her time with any longer. Could she be spending time with another person that is dearer and closer to her? Bring it up, discuss it, and assess the answers you get. Find out where the crack exists in your marriage and fix it. The facts that you discover will allow you to make an informed judgment.
#3. She gives her friends more attention. It is not by chance that a girl gives more attention to her friends over you. The ideal situation is that a girl gives their lover more attention than their friends and family. As a matter of fact, when girls are in love, they mostly spend more time with their love more than anyone else. Well, that is the way of the woman’s heart. They love hard when they are truly into you. However, when the tide turns, women will overtly or covertly find every excuse to spend more time with her friends and other family members than you. If you find yourself in that situation, then you may be in a sinking Titanic. You may be with a time-waster.
Our advice: Talk to her about what you have noticed. Air your opinions non-judgmentally concerning your observation about the lack of attention that you are getting. Crave her debonair indulgence to be honest with you about the matter. If she expresses any frustration, then go the extra mile in trying to fill any gap amicably. Go for counseling with a Family Therapist. If nothing happens or if the situation gets worse after that, you two have spoken, then there may be something wrong. The ball is in your court then to decide on what you want to do.
#4. The only time she is all over you is when she needs a favor. Some ladies can be very demanding both for your time, attention, and resources. However, it is essential to be conscious of how she becomes extra sweet and kind to you. Is she overly affectionate with you only when she wants to ask you for favors? Does she reach out to you only when she needs your help? Is she only overly affectionate when she wants you to splurge on her with the daintier things in life? She might be a gold digger—only after your pockets and what she can gain from you. This is a red flag that you must watch out for. If all your so-called girlfriend or partner does is demand material things and never asks to spend more quality time with you, then it is evident that you are with a time-waster.
Our advice: Make sure you have a conversation with her. Please bring it to her attention that the only time that she is overly affectionate with you is when she wants something from you. Make her understand that she is not spending quality time with you. Establish the fact that you have your own emotional needs, likewise. Please, have a heart-to-heart conversation with her—this will help you get to the roots of her motives. If nothing improves after airing your mind, then you might be with a time-waster. She may be in for the ride because of what she stands to gain from you, so be cautious.
#5. She shows no concern about your future or career. If your girl has never for once called to talk about your current or future plans or seriously advise you on the things to do concerning your life, she might just be taking you on a relationship ride—maybe as a side guy. A lady who really cares about you should be passionately involved with you. She would want to know what you are about. She would be asking you questions like— “What are you currently doing? What’s your plan for the future? How’s everything going with your career?” Someone who really cares about you deeply may even volunteer her assistance should you need it on a project you are working on. This pattern of relationship should be mutual. A lady who does not show such deep concern and is always superficial and nonchalant with you may not be involved with you for the long haul and may have no long-term plans for your relationship.
Our advice: Your relationship partner should show that she cares about you. She should never be clueless about your present and future. If she shows no indication of wanting to get to know you on a deeper level, then something may be wrong. A lady who is in your life should not be ignorant or clueless about her man’s future. If she chooses to remain unperturbed by your concerns after your conversation, then you may want to exercise some caution. You may be with a time-waster.
#6. She is not free with you around others. A lady who is in a relationship with you must be free with you in the presence of other people. Signs of uneasiness and aversion when you are with her in the company of others is not usually a good sign. The moment her attitude to you around other people is not the same as when it is just the two of you, this is enough reason to immediately know that she is just playing games with your heart. It’s either that she is ashamed of you, or you are his side-guy. Hence, she doesn’t want to be free with you when other people are around. The matter becomes worse when she does not even want you around her when she goes out on occasion. The shady character shows that you might be with a time-waster.
Our advice: Please, politely bring it to her attention when you two have a frank conversation concerning your relationship. Let her know in a non-judgmental way what you have noticed. From your discussion, you will ascertain whether she is doing it on purpose or not. Be candid with her that you will not be with a partner who is not free with you around others. Her answers will allow you to decide on what to do about the situation. Make your decision based on facts. Always remember that facts have no feelings. If you decide that you are with a time-waster, it might be time for you to walk on.
#7. She hates taking pictures with you. Something as simple as taking pictures can be a strong litmus test to ascertain whether a relationship has some gaps. A lady with whom you are in a relationship should always crave to be seen around you or have some keepsakes in the form of pictures. Something is wrong if she gets irritated and continually gives excuses when asked to take pictures together with you. Something is fishy if your pictures are nowhere to be found on her phone or in her home. Even if you are not in a picture on the walls of her home, there is no excuse that you are nowhere in her “Photos” on her phone. We live in a technology-infused generation, and people in relationships are always quick to show off the pictures of their partners on their phones to their friends or coworkers. Something is off when the lady in your life has none of your photographs. The not so funny thing is that you might not be the only man in her life. It pays to be cautious in such a scenario. You may be with a time-waster.
Our advice: You may be wasting your time and your life with a lady who does not want to show you off to others. Don’t you think it is questionable to not be in any keepsake photographs with someone you are in a relationship with? It sure is. No image of you on her phone or social media (e.g., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) is a definite red flag. If she is active on those platforms, then why are you conspicuously absent? If you observe this, you may want to question such a character timely. Get to the root of the matter. If you discuss it and no concrete proof surfaces on why she is doing so, then you might have a time-waster on your hands.
“You either waste, spend, or invest time. Make your choice wisely.” ― Sunday Adelaja
#8. Addicted to her phone and keeping it away from you. I was reading an article in the September edition of Wired Magazine, “Human Parasites: How Social Media Zombifies You.” Wow! There is a wealth of truth in it. Matt Simon, the writer, was talking about how people get addicted to social media. Many people are hooked on what is now called the “zombie scrolling syndrome,” where people keep phubbing through their phones and handheld personal computers. Not just that, people are addicted to Social Media; they are addicted to the various platforms of mobile technology (i.e., their phones and tablets). They are so addicted to the digital technologies that they can’t be with it—they have Nomophobia.
Consider reading my Tech OpEd article titled, “Mobileholism: The Dangers of Technological Addiction.” However, if you are in a relationship with a lady who is super addicted to their phones, you are in for it. If she always puts her phone face-down, silent, or mute whenever she is with, you may not be sincere. Or, if you have a partner who waits for you to go to bed before she sits beside you in bed or finds a secret nook to chat away with her special “someone.” Could this special someone be a “hush-hush” secret lover? Who knows? Talk about it and find out for yourself. You are only doing so to be cautious.
Our advice: Please, make time to talk with your partner from time to time. A face-to-face conversation is healthy, and you should do more of it. Lay off the mobile phone or tablet for a while—take a technology sabbatical if you need to. If your partner has something to hide on her phone that she doesn’t want you to see or find out about, then that is something you need to address quickly. Do a gap analysis of the issue and resolve any issue that you discover. Don’t be the side guy, or don’t be in a situation where she harbors a side guy she doesn’t want you to know about. Please get to the root of it. It’s something that you may want to talk about. Make your decision based on facts. You may be dealing with a timewaster.
#9. She always introduces you as a friend. A girl that introduces you just as a friend to people, while two of you are supposed to be a thing, is not worth your while. You are what she introduces you as, just “A friend,” and nothing else. So why waste your valuable time in the pursuit of a girl who only classifies you as a friend and nothing else? That is a definite red flag that you need to walk and go where you are celebrated as an intimate partner instead of just being tolerated as a platonic friend. If that is where her heart is, then you need to suck it up and accept the reality of the relationship situation that you are in. In a way, you need to consider it a blessing that she is flat out upfront with you. Don’t push it if you clearly see that the lady you desire does not want the relationship to graduate from a platonic relationship to a more intimate one. If you aspire to have a more loving relationship, then it would be the right thing for you to look elsewhere for the one girl for you before you get stuck in the friendship zone. Don’t waste your time if you are seeking a deeper relationship.
Our advice: Friend, this is an easy one. She only desires a friendship zone platonic relationship—consider it a sign from heaven. If you attempt to seek greater intimacy and all you meet is the friendship zone wall, don’t push it. She may not just be into you. Consider it as fate dealing you a winning and preserving hand protecting you from heartache should you push for an intimate relationship. So, it might be time to seek someone who will fall heads-over-heels with you and vice versa.
#10. Always claiming busy. Don’t be a fool. The lady in question cannot be too busy to see you if you are at the nucleus of her heart. Busyness is one of the numerous time-wasting excuses people give to other people that they do not want to be in a relationship with. Please don’t give in to it. She is probably busy with someone else or too busy to waste her precious time with you. So, as hard as this might be for you to hear, please don’t spend any more of your time on her. Go where your partner will make time out of their busy schedule to spend time with you. That is what people who truly love themselves do, not always claiming that they are occupied. She may be a timewaster, so be cautious and go where you are celebrated and not just tolerated.
Our advice: The fact remains that time is too short to spend your precious minutes and life-moments seeking the attention of someone too busy to spend a moment of their life with you. It’s either she is not interested in you, or she has someone else that she considers more value to her heart than you. If you care about someone, you will make time for them. Be wise, read the handwriting on the wall, and decide what you hope to do.
“When you kill time, remember that it has no resurrection.” ― A.W. Tozer
Time is a precious commodity. Don’t waste your life pursuing a lady who unmistakably does not want to be in a relationship with you. You can see it through their words, actions, or mannerisms. The action they say speaks louder than words. Hence, if you see all the handwriting on the wall, why continue to punish yourself striving to be with someone striving not to be with you? Why give yourself heartache instead of just counting your losses and moving ahead with your life? You have gone the extra mile to salvage who you have with this special someone, but you are not getting the ROI for your investment. Reconsider your stance while you have the chance to do so—redeeming your time and life while you can. In the words of Robert Herrick, “Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying.” Gather what you have left of your life and move on the yellow brick of your life and purpose.
In summary, we have seen ten things, ten signals that you may be in a relationship with a time-waster. We want you to carefully consider all the points that we have elaborated in this column. These facts are not stipulated to make a skeptic out of you. They are to make you more aware of the possible situation scenario that you are facing. The first was that she couldn’t just stop talking about her “ex.” Her heart is still with her “ex.” You might want to let her be—don’t put yourself through that heartache. You may never measure up to the “ex” factor. Second, she regularly stands you up on dates. It is evident that she does not value your time—walk on. Third, she gives her friends and family more attention. If you love someone, you will dote on the person. There are times we need some space for ourselves—correct. However, these times should not be overly extended or perpetual.
Fourth, the only time she is all over you is when she needs a favor. You may be messing around with a gold-digger. Assess the situation, and if this proves factual―walk on. Fifth, she shows no concern about your future career. All facts about you, especially what you are doing in your profession, should matter to your supposed partner. A lady who is nonchalant or ignorant about who you are and what you do may not be fully vested in the relationship. If she is not that concerned about you, then it may be time to walk on. Sixth, she is not free with you around others. If she shows visible apprehension when you are in the company of others, then something is off. Question this. Seventh, she hates taking pictures with you. Like we said in the article, a lady who is wholly into you should have some keepsakes (e.g., photographs) that remind her of you. She is proud to show you off to her friends. If this is the contrary, then something is off. She may be wasting your time.
Eighth, she is way too addicted to her phone, and she is perpetually keeping it away from you. Or she is unceasingly sneaking around with her phone at odd hours of the night, chatting away with supposed friends that you know nothing about. She may have something to hide. Talk about this anomaly promptly. Never allow unfavorable circumstances surrounding your relationship to fester as they will always become cancerous to your emotional and psychological health. Ninth, now something is wrong if she is always introducing you as a “friend” rather than an “intimate partner.” You want to graduate into the intimate relationship zone; however, she wants you two to remain in the friendship zone―walk on. She may be wasting your time, so step on and find yourself a lady who is 100% into you. Finally, tenth, she is always claiming that she is busy. If you are in love with someone, you will make out time to be with them. So, if she won’t make time for you, she may be a time-waster. A word is enough for the wise.
Finally, much of the advice that we have been giving revolves around communication. Communicating with your partner on many and all issues is the lifeline you have in enjoying an agony-free life. A Peter Shepherd once said, “Communication is the solvent of all problems; therefore, communication skills are the foundation for personal development.” Many people face problems in relationships because they fail to communicate effectively with each other. Friends, as I said earlier, time is a precious commodity. When you kill your time with a woman who does not value the relationship you share with her, you must be cognizant that there is no resurrection of that time. The article above is an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your time and your life with the woman in your life. Don’t waste your time where you are not celebrated. Don’t spend your time where you are tolerated. Invest your time wisely with a lady in a relationship where you are both celebrated and valued. Remember, your time and life are too valuable to be wasted with those who will not appreciate you wholly. Be wise in your current and future relationships. Act on facts. React to attract the right love situation that you deserve.
10 Signs that He Will Waste Your Time
There are some men who specialize in wasting the time of women who they string along. Notwithstanding the realities of the world that we live in today that has many Casanovas on the prowl, there are still a few good men out there.
No doubt, some men have the trick; they can captivate and melt any lady with their charisma and charm. He may thrill you with new experiences and feelings you never knew you could ever feel. He may even promise everlasting care and affection. Whether or not those promises are genuine, you must realize that he, like every other human being, may disappoint you—whether he intends to or not. Some men may mean well but may not be ready to show the kind of commitment it takes to grow a serious relationship that will end up in marriage. They are called time wasters or heartbreakers. They provide women with a steady supply of disappointments. These disappointments often take a toll on women—causing them rivers of tears. They have invested time and emotional energy waiting for him to come to his senses, but all to no avail. This could even lead to depression. In some cases, even these depressive states have led to traumatic and sometimes fatal circumstances at the end of the day.
“Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it.” ― Lord Chesterfield
So, what does a girl do? Give up altogether? No. While the search for love and companionship can be daunting, true love is worth all the effort. Notwithstanding the world’s realities that we live in today, there are still a few good men out there, even with many Casanovas on the prowl. So, women should be assured that there is a genuine chance that they can find their Prince Charming that will genuinely sweep them off their feet. However, women must make sure that they have their priorities straight. They must make sure that they are not only pursuing “the icing on the cake” (e.g., the flashy cars, the mansions, bespoke fashion, etc.) in men that could land them in a cauldron of heartache. Not saying that “icing on the cake” is unimportant; however, they must not be the primary focus in deciding on a potential relationship partner. However, women must not forget “what the cake is actually made of.” In this case, things like character, potential, ambition, honesty, integrity, etc. Hence, a lady must be smart and take heed of some telltale signs that show that the man is not worth the effort and time. Remember, your time is your life. Here are ten of those signs.
10 Signs That He Will Waste Your Time
Although this listicle is not exhaustive, we will review ten signs that will alert you that the man in your life may be wasting your time. These signs are for you to stop and reconsider whether you will go all the way with the man currently in your life. Hence, consider them as mile markers that will allow you to evaluate your current situation. They are not highlighted to make a skeptic out of you; however, they are here to make you rational as you assess your situation. Don’t let unserious men waste your time in a relationship that will only end up in one place―a dead end. I also provide some recommendations for things that you could do to salvage the situation. However, these are my suggestions of what I think can help. Hence, they are not coming from a professional standpoint. If you need professional counseling, be sure to seek out a licensed relationship therapist or counselor. So, let’s dig in.
#1. Honesty and Trust. These are two crucial determinants of mental safety when it comes to any relationship. If the man in your life is hiding something or furtive, then this is a red flag to watch out for. If he does not tell you anything confidential that pertains to his life, even after calling his attention to it several times, then there is seriously a problem, and you need to exercise some caution. If he does not share his plans, actions, and moves with you, then there is a possibility that he could be a scam.
Our Advice: Call his attention to what you have observed. Express your concerns. Ask him to be forthright and truthful concerning the issue at hand. Hash it out and make your decision based on facts. A relationship needs to have no hidden agendas. Every relationship should be an open book of trust on the bedrock of mutualistic confidence. Anything short of this should be vehemently rejected for your sanity’s sake.
#2. You are not a top priority on his agenda. One important thing you should note is that a healthy relationship or even a courtship gives you joy. You will likely prioritize whatever it is that gives you pleasure. If you still excite him, he will put you above all his commitments. If you are not a priority in his life, it will be made evident in his actions by him, giving his attention to something else at a point when he is most needed in your life.
Our Advice: Call his attention to what you have observed. Communicate your concerns and highlight what you have noticed. However, don’t be confrontational about it if you don’t have to. Give him a chance to explain the issue—if there is any, as a matter of fact. Once again, hash out any problem if there is any. Timely communication is crucial in relationships.
#3. When there is no more excitement in togetherness. Togetherness in a relationship ought to be exciting. These are times when couples put aside their worries to enjoy each other’s company. It should never be an unhappy or dull moment. However, as soon as that excitement of togetherness wanes, or the spark of your presence is no longer there—then you should be careful. Communication should never be one-sided. If this is the case, then he may be no longer passionate about you. The initial spur has fizzled away. Keeping a distance from you and not being lively and enthusiastic about you is not a good sign.
Our Advice: Communicate with each other. Find out what the root of moodiness is all about. Find out where the spark of your relationship started to fizzle away. Forgive each other. Make amends. Rebuild broken foundations of love. Seek couples therapy if you need to. A relationship should not be perpetually tense. A relationship should be celebrated, not endured.
#4. He suddenly stops going out on dates with you. When he stops taking you out on dates, or you must always remind him, or you get stood up regularly on planned dates—kindly don’t overlook this. The situation could be more difficult than you think. A couple that hardly spends time together may not last that long as a thing. Times spent together in a relationship makes for a strong love-bond in the relationship. A couple that spends quality time together, in most cases, end up staying together. When he suddenly becomes preoccupied at the mention of a possible date, it could be a sign of him gradually pulling out of the relationship.
Our advice: Do not allow this to fester. Find out via a mutually-affable conversation concerning what is going on. What is causing the disconnect in your date life? Rekindle the fires of your date life. Make time for it, and the two of you must be judicious to make it happen. Again, time spent together leads to a more profound bond in the relationship.
#5. He doesn’t have his life together. What is he doing with his time? Where does he live? How does he spend his money? Does he save, invest, or make plans for the future? Does he handle his bills like an adult? These are signs of a person who is mentally ready to build a life that accommodates a woman. This mental readiness in the man leads to cerebral safety in the woman. Regardless of the amount of love you have for each other, you must be careful not to fall into the trap of a man who doesn’t take life seriously. He might end up wasting your time without intending ever to do so.
Our advice: Before venturing into a relationship journey, some questions the woman must ask are, “Does this man understand his purpose? Or is he just clueless? Is he proactively attempting to achieve his life goals rationally with all smarts in place? Or is he slow on the uptake? Does he know where he is going?” A man who understands his purpose and smartly works to accomplish his goals is methodical in his life approach. You can see it. You can feel it. You can experience it. Be cautious about following a man who is clueless about his purpose or what he wants from life.
“Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.” – Benjamin Franklin
#6. He only wants to get physical. Now ladies, a man who only wants to get into your pants is a big red flag right off the bat. Yes, it’s good to have passion in a relationship, but a man who is overly preoccupied with the physical stuff may be in it just for that. Does he know what’s going on in your life? Does he even want to settle or get committed to you? Does he see you as a living, breathing, a functional human being with dreams and aspirations, or is he just in it for his personal sensual gratification? Be careful; you may have a skirt-chaser here. It would be best to ask yourself these questions, or you might end up with a time-waster.
Our advice: Sensual passion, within the confines of a legitimate relationship (e.g., marriage), is a beautiful thing. However, it should never be the only driver of a connection between the two of you. A man who solely pursues the personal gratification of his sensual nature should be questioned. Is he there just for that, or does he care about you beyond the physical pleasures that he derives from you? You must be conscientious, and you must question his principal motive as it pertains to this factor.
#7. He stops being there for you. If your man is not always there for you, especially when you need him most—please take caution; he might be another time waster. It is indeed important to be there for each other in a relationship—it’s a two-way-traffic deal. You two must be there for each other. Please don’t get this wrong; we should know that the only thing that is certain in life is uncertainty. However, things could come up that might warrant this to happen on an occasional note. However, it should never become a frequent occurrence. So, check it; if this is happening on a perpetual basis, something is unquestionably wrong. Please get to the root of it and address it before it begins to fester and becomes irreparable.
Our advice: Communication is fundamental. When you notice a pattern that your relationship partner is no longer there for you, please bring it to his attention quickly and get to the root of the matter. If this started happening suddenly, then you need to ask and find out where he or you two fell off the track. Jointly address this with equal commitment. A stitch in time, they say, will save nine down the road. Square out the issue while there is some hope to salvage the situation.
#8. His Ex gets more attention than you. If a guy compares you or talks a little too much about his ex with you, he is still into her either positively or negatively. If he still gives her attention and care whenever she needs it at your own expense, there is a high probability that he is still engrossed with her. He will go running back to her at the slightest opportunity. If this is your situation, then you are with a time-waster. Your heart, they say, is where your home is. He may be in a relationship with you in the physical, but his heart is far away from you. Why be in a relationship where your partner is unmistakably in love with another? That is a recipe for disaster. So, be careful. Be wise.
Our advice: We advocate that you deal with the “ex-girlfriend” or “ex-boyfriend” issue before you get into a new relationship. If you steadily look back to an “ex,” things could go wrong quite quickly in your current relationship. When you have a partner in a relationship perpetually referring to “what could have been” should they have remained with their “ex,” watch it, they still have emotional ties with the “ex” in the picture. Address all past relationship issues before you forge a new alliance with your partner. The “ex” factor can quickly erode the foundation of trust in a relationship. A lot of times, it can do some irreparable damage that the relationship will never recover from. Be cautious. Be wise.
#9. He is secretive about you. A guy who intends to take your relationship to the next level will surely be confident enough to introduce you to his friends and family. Don’t be deceived by excuses. A guy who keeps you on the hush-hush around his people should be questioned. Before you agree to forge a relationship with your potential partner, ensure that he is confident enough to introduce you to his family and friends. Like I always say, ‘You must go where you are celebrated and not where you are tolerated.’ Don’t buy his covert tactics; he may be wasting your time.
Our advice: Your potential partner choosing to keep you under a covert banner should not be tolerated. That is an immediate red flag of a time-waster. Your potential partner in a relationship should be excited to introduce you to his friends, folks, and loved ones. If he is not celebrating you before the people he calls family, then that is a path that you should not be treading at all. Be cautious concerning this factor. Do your homework and ascertain if you are being tolerated or being celebrated.
#10. He doesn’t make any verbal commitments. Commitment is crucial in any relationship. Can two walk together except they are in perfect agreement? I don’t think so. So, talk to him. Ask him questions. Ask him about his goals and what his plans are. Be direct and ask him where he sees the relationship headed in the future. It gives you a definite clue as to whether you fit into the picture and if there is a relationship at all. He may speak in codes, but if you listen carefully, you can tell if he has you in mind for the future. If he’s excited about you, he will be direct and will gladly include you in the picture, rather than beating about the bush.
Our advice: A duo forging a relationship should be committed to each other. You do not plan to be in a relationship with no commitment at all. The absence of commitment is the absence of a future—the absence of a future in the absence of a relationship. Commitment is a vector quantity—there is a direction in view. A non-committal relationship is a scalar relationship—there is no direction in view. Where there is a direction, there is a future. Where there is no direction, there is no future. Make sure the two of you verbally commit to becoming a duo. Do not hinge your hopes on the relationship hooks of “if’s” and “maybes.” Be wise; get him to commit verbally—if he commits through his actions, even better.
“Time = Life, Therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” ― Alan Lakein
We have looked at ten signs that your current partner or guy-in-shining armor may be wasting your time. Our primary intention is to ensure that a couple is 100% into each other before forming a relationship alliance and riding off to the sunset happily ever after. The first point we looked at was honesty and trust. These crucial determinants are at the heart of a relationship and must not be taken lightly. Embrace it. Cultivate it. Harvest it. Second, if you are not his top priority on his agenda’s scale of preference, you need to exercise some caution. From a Christian perspective, after the Trinity in his life, you should be next in the scheme of his top priorities. If this is not so, then you need to apply some sense of wisdom and caution. He needs to get his priorities straight. Make sure that this happens before you forge ahead in your relationship journey. Stop wasting time with people who don’t value your time. Stop doing what doesn’t work.
Third, we have seen that the two of you must be excited about each other. Why be with a person who does not savor your presence? Why be with a person who does not celebrate you or what you are about? It’s a definite red flag if your presence causes him grief and unhappiness in the place of excitement. Remember, excitement births desire. Desire also has a progeny; commitment is her name. Fourth, he suddenly stops going out on dates with you. Umm, remember, spending quality time with your partner is the hallmark of a healthy relationship. Fifth, he doesn’t have his life together. If he doesn’t have the ambition and drive to become his best-self-ever, or if he has not achieved this yet, then you cannot throw caution to the wind in this circumstance. Pause. Reflect. Decide wisely based on facts. The man that fills the void of a relationship in your life must be a person of drive and substance. Stop wasting time with people who don’t value your time. Stop doing what doesn’t work.
Sixth, you may be with a time waster if he only wants to get physical. Your partner should also care about you as a person and consider your feelings. Your body should not be his only wonderland. Your mind should likewise be his paradise. Please beware of the partner that exclusively thinks with his third leg. It is absolutely a red flag worth noting, and you must exercise some caution. Seventh, he flat out stops being there for you. Being in a relationship is a two-way-traffic deal; two of you need to be there for each other. Eight, his “ex” is still getting some attention. Deal with the “ex-girlfriend” and “ex-boyfriend” issue before forming a new relationship alliance. Failure to deal with this once and for all could lead to the two of you breaking up in your own relationship journey and becoming “exes” down the road. Stop wasting time with people who don’t value your time. Stop doing what doesn’t work.
Ninth, he is covert about you. Friend, you need to be cautious of the man who does not celebrate you around his friends and loved ones. You should be that one-off gem that he parades around and shows off to all his friends and loved ones. If this is not the current situation with you, then you need to be cautious. Question his covertness—he may be a time-waster. The tenth and final point is the factor of verbal commitment. We are also saying that the man’s verbal commitment must be in pari passu with his actions. A man’s word should be his bond. However, the doing part is also pivotal—it must be his bond too. What the man is saying must also conform to what he is doing―this goes for the man and the woman in a relationship. Stop wasting time with people who don’t value your time. Stop doing what doesn’t work.
You have read up to this point, digesting these 4K-plus-words, we at Oaekpost.com want to thank you for your reading-persistence up to this point. We appreciate any comment that you will have concerning all that you have read. We believe strongly in continuous improvement, and we would love to learn from your perspective. If you love what you have read, please do us a great favor to share it on all your social media platforms. However, the whole essence of this article rests on the foundation of time management. This article’s core is to ensure that you are making wise choices in your relationship to ensure that the potential man in your life is not wasting your time. What can you learn about time?
Time is the most treasured asset that you have in this life. We have little of it. We only have a limited time on this earth. Time remains the only resource that can never be replenished. Time lost can never be regained. If you are spending your life with someone who does not value you as a person, you waste your time doing so. Revisiting the quotation above by Alan Lakein, he asserts that “your time is equal to your life.” If, after reviewing these ten points and you come to affirm that the man you are with is wasting your time, then trust me, he is contributing to the depletion of your life. Hence, it is time for you to rethink your stance with your partner in your current relationship. Stop doing what doesn’t work.
An Ashley Ormon once said that “You can’t make up for the lost time. You can only do better in the future.” This article adds value to your life by asking you to do better in the future concerning your relationship and life. If the man you are in a relationship with is wasting your time, you can attempt to salvage the relationship by acting on some of the advice we give you through this article or the ones you get from a relationship counselor. If your status quo does not change, you need to make a hard call and transform your life situation. Don’t procrastinate, making this crucial decision. Remember this hard truth, as stipulated in the preceding paragraphs, time is the only resource that can never be replenished. When those seconds go by—tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock—they are gone forever. All you have is your now that will help define and redefine your future. Be wise in your relationship decisions. Stop doing what doesn’t work. Change. Stop wasting your time. Reconsider your standing. Stop wasting your life. Act. React.
10 Things that will Erode Psychological Safety in Marriage
Emotional safety erosion in the marriage institution is the gradual destruction and degradation of the level of confidence that partners share in each other regarding their interpersonal-relational-self-image and status by various contradictory behavioral agencies that ensue. Let us discover some of these culprit behavioral agencies.
Psychological or Emotional safety erosion in marriage relationships is a slow process that we fail to see on time before it is already far gone. Emotional safety erosion in the marriage institution is the gradual destruction and degradation of the level of confidence that partners share regarding their interpersonal-relational-self-image and status by various contradictory behavioral agencies that ensue. There are salient and obvious negative behavioral characteristics that erode the confidence that couples share in a marriage relationship. These adverse agencies could be by omission (i.e., unknowingly) or commission (i.e., knowingly). However, physical and emotional abuses are the greatest enemies of a marriage relationship’s psychological safe zone. These abusive behavior forms erode the trust in a relationship and leave behind bitterness, inferiority complex, and lack of self-confidence.
Every relationship requires a certain level of absolute trust to thrive. Older couples can tell you with all humility that trust and loyalty are critical ingredients needed to have a beautiful marriage. Developing this level of trust and commitment does not happen overnight. It is a function of time that is defined by corporate building by the two parties involved. There is a growth cycle laced with experiences as its building block that every relationship must go through. Couples grow daily to trust each other through the experiences they go through together. Developing emotional confidence starts with being comfortable with each other—letting go and relating without the shame of being judged for the simplest of things. This factor is at the nucleus of psychological safety in marriage relationships. It could be something as simple as “cutting the cheese” in each other’s presence. It could be something as profound as revealing a big secret of the past at the altar of confidence that could ruin your relationship. It could be anything that makes you feel exposed, and at your partner’s mercy. It is your emotional or physical Achille’s Heel, your point, or place of absolute vulnerability.
The most vulnerable one can ever be to another is showing the other individual your weaknesses and failures. This ability to take the risk to show your partner your vulnerability is the first step to building a psychologically safe zone and removing fear from your relationship. It is a zone that is free of any mental apprehension. It is a state of emotional freedom where one can let go and allow the partner full access through their hearts’ portals. Once couples feel comfortable with one another, they begin to open different parts of their lives to each other. There is a sense of emotional security. The defensive guards that surround their emotional vulnerabilities are let down. This dependability helps them give each other the support they require to grow as individuals and couples. Not being judged when you are at your lowest point encourages couples to understand one another and make the trust grow in the process. This understanding builds the surefire flames of friendship when they realize that they have a supportive partner and friend.
Trust allows couples the freedom to express their individuality and sexuality within the marriage union. Like any great team, the best form of liberty is when there is respect, excellent communication, and understanding with clearly defined boundaries, roles, and expectations within the relationship. A seamless team-spirited marriage relationship is an investment in hope, with each party extending a helping hand as they solidify the nuptial bonds in the marital association. They win various life psychological battles together. The feeling of emotional safety and lack of apprehension in a relational tie is exhibited in the freedom to express pain without reservation or being overly needy. There is a level of mutual liberty and understanding that the couple shares. Alternatively, it could also be the ability to stick your neck out for one another without a second thought. They are fully invested in each other’s emotions that they can risk letting each other into the depths of their deepest passions and experiences without an ounce of reservation.
Emotional safety is the freedom to understand personal space and quiet time, but with the knowledge that it does not mean your partner is sending a silent message that he or she needs a break from the relationship. This confidence will give you clarity that the situation is just the usual personal space we all crave to make sense of the chaos of life, and not that he or she is distancing himself or herself from you. To attain this height of emotional safety requires a high-level mental maturity. No one desires to be in a relationship where they feel that they are emotionally smothered. No one craves in willful anticipation to be in a relationship where they sense that their significant other is steadily over their shoulder. Such action is a glaring sign of mistrust. Safe zones can either be a physical space or a mental place of comfort rooted in the knowledge that your partner loves you genuinely, and that love can never intentionally hurt you. The acceptance of this action means that psychological safety is the knowledge that each party in the union will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up, communicating their ideas, asking questions, showing their concerns, or making a mistake.
Intimate relationships thrive on psychological safety. In an emotionally safe marriage, each spouse feels valued, understood, and accepted. Although emotionally abusive relationships might not leave physical marks, they can go deep leaving the individual with devastating psychological issues that take years to heal. In these relationships, we at times see one partner being overly dominant and aggressive, while the other one remains passive and at the negative receiving end of the union. The dominant partner is manipulative and selfish, always striving to make sure that it is their way or the highway. They abrasively unapologetic and will compass land and sea to always turn the script of guilt to their suffering partner—even when it is evident that they are the one in the wrong. The more passive partner, wanting peace to reign suffers in silence. Little by little, their psychological safety in the union is eroded until it’s no longer able to hold up the walls of confidence in the union. Emotional abuse corrodes self-esteem and can lead to an identity crisis. Emotional abuse is an eerie-cryptic-depressive-labyrinth of psychological solitude that should not be wished on anyone. Trust is as delicate as a rose. Once trampled, it is difficult and almost impossible to build it up again to its original state. These issues if experienced in a previous relationship can make it difficult to get into a new one. It can also affect your career, social life, and finances.
In the remain paragraphs of this article, we will look at ten things that can erode psychological safety in marriage relationships if not checked.
10 Things that will Erode Psychological Safety in Marriage
First is sarcasm—it can deal a fatal blow to the psychological safety of a marriage union. Making crass jokes at your partner’s expense is highly unacceptable and can quickly gnaw at emotional security. Words of ridicule may seem harmless at first, but they can be used to dig at your partner and communicate that you have been frustrated by an unmet expectation. Sarcastic comments that put your partner down will erode the psychological safety in marriage and likely leave your partner feeling frustrated. Please make efforts to speak words that will reassure your spouse that you’ve got their back. Speak uplifting words. Speak words that are motivating. Speak words that are infused with lots of positivity.
The words that we say are very powerful. A Lewis Carroll once stated that “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’” Hence, married couples must weigh what they say to their significant others. Once that word or statement is let out of the bags of our buccal cavity, it’s out, and you can’t retrieve it again. If it is a graceful word, then it will build emotional safety deeply rooted in love. If it’s contrary, then it still achieves its effect. Remember the words of Francis de Sales, “Our words are a faithful index of the state of our souls.” Be careful of what you say, why you say it, and how you say it.
Second, taking each other for granted can cause an adverse ripple effect on a union or relationship’s cerebral security. Marriages often fail because couples fail to recognize and meet each other’s expectations. When the initial feelings of affection and the buzz of falling heads over heels wear off, there is a chance that couples could take each other for granted and may begin to lose interest in each other. This is the juncture where many relationships take the wrong turn. Instead of rekindling the flames of passion they initially had at the inception of the relationship, they become complacent with each other and allow the sparks to be extinguished by time.
At the onset of dating, couples usually make out time to see each other. As time passes, couples become lazy, and they begin to taper off when it comes to making the appropriate effort to keep the initial sparks of excitement alive. Keep the flames of your relationship alive—don’t allow the winds of indolence to blow it out. Not making a concerted effort to keep working at the relationship is a corporate investment in laziness, the rewards of which could be heart-wrenching and costly in the end. Taking your partner for granted can lead to a loss of respect for each other and spur emotional or physical infidelity, resentment, and constant relationship conflict.
Some common relationship problems begin by not spending enough time alone together. Couples who have children commonly experience this relationship variation. When you factor in work and family obligations, the couple may begin to feel more like roommates with a mutual responsibility of just raising the kids than romantic partners on a mission. Being referred to as a roommate in your marriage could be because you have stopped ‘dating’ one another. Dating your spouse should never come to a halt. Remember, before the kids came along, there was just the two of you. Couples need to find time to fan the flames of the initial romance of dating. I know a couple in the Atlanta, Georgia area committed to continuing dating each other even after so many years of marriage. Guess what? Their marriage is still growing strong. What you focus on will flourish. Doing the contrary could make a partner feel unappreciated, unattractive, and emotionally frustrated.
Third, playing the blame game can numb psychological safety in a relationship. Having the “it’s all your fault mentality” can quickly erode the psychological safety in your union. The more you stop taking responsibility, the quicker you fall into playing the blame game. Take equal responsibility for building your home. Don’t let the weight of obligations rest on just one of the spouses on the see-saw of the marriage union. Don’t be lazy—help your partner out instead of pointing fingers at them and blaming them for things spiraling out of control. As it takes two to tango—two in a marital union must also put heads together to fix a flaw arising in their relationship—irrespective of who it came from. Humility and reason demand that the party at fault swallow their pride and extend an olive branch to resolve the dilemma peacefully.
If you feel dissatisfied with any situation in your relationship, it is essential to address your needs in a calm, non-blaming way. It takes maturity to do this, and it solidifies psychological safety in the home. If one partner always sees themselves as the victim of blame coming from their significant other, he or she will eventually shut down. They may feel that no matter how hard they try, they can never be good enough for their partner. Playing the blame game is the coward’s way of not taking responsibility for their mistake. It will erode psychological safety in the home and has its roots in pride. In the words of a François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon, “Pride comes from a deeply buried root—it comes from the devil himself. Where pride is fostered, a person will be insincere, harsh, bitter, cutting, disdainful.” Eschew the blame game.
Fourth, threatening each other with divorce will destroy the emotional safety of a marriage union. Divorce threat from one spouse to the other could quickly help in the relationship’s degradation of psychological safety. When you make divorce threats, it shows that you are not genuinely committed to seeing the marriage last a lifetime. This could make your spouse feel rejected or unwanted. It could erode their sense of emotional security around you, leading to a diminishing effect on the love and commitment that they once shared in the relationship.
Misunderstandings happen in marital unions. When couples have marital conflicts, the be-all and end-all of the situation should not always be divorce. It takes mature adults to resolve quarrels. The mention of divorce in jest could cause severe hurt to a partner in a marital union. It could also sow the seeds of doubt in your partner’s mind and cause irreparable damage to the relationship. When kids are in the picture, they suffer the most if the couple follows through with divorce over irreconcilable differences. Hence, be careful of threatening your spouse with divorce—it is potent cyanide that will kill your union’s emotional security.
Fifth, speaking in absolutes can help the cookie of psychological safety crumble. Speaking too firmly to your partner can be hurtful with words such as, “You are always late! I don’t remember you putting away the laundry! You never help out around the house!” You are telling your partner that they can never do anything right and that you don’t think they can change. When you use such words, they erode psychological safety in your marriage. When one partner lives mostly in a “Me” vs. “We” paradigm—me-centered behaviors can negatively impact the relationship. Stop being an egomaniac. Psychological safety can be eroded when one spouse demands that the other spouse live up to their standard instead of their own personal standards. By pushing others to live up to the image that you project as necessary or ideal can create a feeling of resentment and discontentment.
When it is blatantly apparent that you care more about yourself than your spouse, you are an egomaniac. You often start your sentences with “I.” “I want this or that.” “Just get it done; I don’t care what happens along the way.” Instead of it being all about your partner, it is always all about you. You only care about what happens to you, and you could care less about your spouse’s emotions. It’s all about you, you, you. Your daily buzzword is “Me, Myself, and I.” These individuals are narcissistic to the core and are inordinately fascinated with themselves—they can only hear their own voice. Their excessive self-wantonness drowns out the drowning cry of their spouse. This is self-egotism at it’s very best. A partner to such a spouse may drown in the apprehension that they may never meet their egotistic spouse’s demands. Because of this, they may live with the fear that their spouse may leave them as soon as they get bored with the fact their spouse can never meet the demands of their self-centered self.
Sixth, bringing up your ex can corrode the psychological safety of your union. When you are angry or disappointed in your partner, it is easy to start making comparisons. You start comparing your spouse with your ex in one way or the other. You begin making slight comments about the flaws of your spouse in parallel to your past relationships. These individuals are also prone to nitpicking their significant others. Sometimes, these individuals could also compare their spouses with other people that may not be their ex. It could just be individuals they admire from afar who may have qualities that they desire in a spouse, completely lacking in their current partner.
It’s imperative for you never to let moments of dissatisfaction be a chance to minimize the things that you love about your partner. It is not a time to maximize an idealized version of your ex or someone desirable to you. Doing so will only erode the psychological safety that you share with your partner. Let bygone be bygone, and let your past relationships stay in the past. If you choose to always dwell in the past, you should not have committed to the present relationship. Continually living in your past is a red signal that you are in a non-fulfilling relationship. Be wary of this, stay in the present, and work out your differences with your spouse amicably. Stop comparing your spouse to others.
Seventh, absenteeism or coldness will erode the mental security of a marriage union. When couples fail to prioritize each other at a time of emotional need, it becomes a crack in their marital union’s foundation. This can have a devastating impact on their relationship and degrade the psychological safety they share. Failing to support your partner during highly stressful events in your lives can be emotionally grueling. Consistently missing opportunities to turn towards each other during the rigors of life could also be very destructive to the relationship. This is a clear sign of being absent from the union (i.e., absenteeism).
Some partners are also very good at giving their significant others the cold treatment or giving them the cold shoulder. Daily withdrawal and negative interactions can show how selfish you can act, how cold you can be, and how poorly you treat your partner. Engaging in these behaviors will silently destroy the emotional confidence that your spouse has towards you. Expunge absenteeism and stop giving your significant other the silent or cold treatment. Find time to be present for your spouse. Support one another in good and bad times. Mutually being there for one another will fortify the walls of psychological safety in the home.
Eight, lack of sex will cause the erosion of mental security in a marital union. Sex plays a huge role in relationships with physical, emotional, and even spiritual benefits. It is only natural that it would be the source of significant matrimonial issues. It is also the source of considerable emotional and psychological abuse in many homes. The absence or lack of sex thereof could erode the emotional safety in a marriage. When partners fail to reassure each other, their sex life naturally takes a hit. In most sexless marriages, the absence of any physical connection divides couples by destroying the bridge of communication. The erosion of communication, as a result, could also lead to the weathering of the emotional connection between the duo. What leads to sexless marriages?
In a study by a Madeleine A. Fugère Ph.D. on Psychology Today titled, “Do Married People Really Have Less Sex?”1 She established some reasons why married couples end up having less sex. First, “due to a sense of a loss of newness or familiarization to your partner.” The spark or flames of partners goes down as time goes by; however, it is the married duo’s responsibility to fan the flames of passion for keeping it blazing and anew. Couples also become over-familiar with themselves. Because of this, the passions the share often wanes. Second, she establishes that children coming into the equation in marriage often reduce sex between couples. The demands of childcare arise, and many times increased fatigue sets in, leading to a decreased sexual interest. This is also supported by an article from Times Magazine in an OpEd written by Belinda Luscombe.2
Third, career demands could be a factor that leads to the depletion of sexual desire in a marriage union. However, she supposes through her research that it could go either way from factual data. Some studies have shown that more work has also led to couples desiring more sex. Fourth, she also establishes that as couples age, sexual desire could go down due to hormonal changes in the human body. Also, an increased likelihood of illness or sexual dysfunction could occur due to aging. These are some of the factors that lead to sexless marriages, which could impact the emotional security that couples share in a marriage.
Dr. Madeleine A. Fugère did not just point out the several hiccups that cause a sexless marriage. She makes several propositions on how couples can keep intimacy alive in their unions. First, she calls for couples to institute kid-free times to spend time with each other. Second, schedule time for intimacy—like you schedule a time for other tasks. Third, discuss your desires with your spouse—communication is crucial. Fourth, infuse creativity in intimacy. Fifth, put in effort in building marital satisfaction—it increases psychological safety and trust. Sixth, have a sense of humor—be fun to be around. Couples need to take time and reassure one another by satisfying each other’s sexual needs regularly. This will help in solidifying emotional security in the home.
Ninth, cheating and other forms of infidelity can rupture the bubble of psychological safety in marriages. Marital infidelity is a huge issue in relationships. The advent of the Internet has multiplied the chances that men and women are exposed to indulge in cheating escapades. The Internet is now a channel for emotional affairs. In pursuing extramarital happiness, people now resort to using social media as a platform for wandering eye adventures. People get attracted to each other over social media. Communications commence on a platonic level. It then graduates to a more romantic level of relationship. Before you know it, it gravitates towards a physical or even virtual sexual relationship. Mobile technology is also making cheating a lot easier as couples now drift into the macrocosm of sexting with their cheating partners. Today, many people get so attached to their mobile technology that it begins to erode the level of mental security that couples share on a face-to-face basis with their spouses. (Check out these two articles, “Mobileholism: The Dangers of Technological Addiction” and “Is the Social Media Culture Eroding Face-to-Face Social Interactions?”). Those who are not careful, and those who do not reinforce their commitment to each other face the dangers of drifting into the world of cheating on their spouses.
Marital infidelity resulting from sneaking around can seriously erode psychological safety in a marriage union and relationships, sometimes irreversibly. Albeit unjustified, in extreme cases, some men and women are sometimes forced to cheat when their partner uses sexual deprival as a form of punishment. Those who are sex-deprived in their homes often suffer—socially and psychologically. They become emotionally detached from their spouses. This could become the catalyst that stimulates the wandering eye for the man or the woman experiencing the deprivation. Those who cannot stay chaste through the abuse they face often resort to various improper means of satisfying their natural urges. Some drift into the detestable world of pornography and self-stimulation. Others resort to visiting the red light districts in their cities in the quest to satisfy their sexual urges. As they become more addicted to such pernicious habits, they are further drawn away emotionally from their spouses, further eroding psychological safety in the home.
Sexual deprivation is not the only thing that causes the erosion of emotional security. Emotional and social deprivation also go a long way to cripple the psychological trust in marital unions that drive partners to cheat. Some people put up emotional barriers towards their spouses by not communicating enough (e.g., absenteeism and coldness). Not being able to connect emotionally and on a social level with their spouses drives these individuals away as they seek emotional and social connection and security outside the home. In their pursuit of passionate and social sanity, some people even go to the extent of forming emotional ties with the other man or woman outside the home. Marital infidelity is not right and can help collapse the psychological trust that partners share. So, make sure that you are not the reason why your spouse is moving away from you. Examine your union together. Correct your marital variations amicably, and continue to build the strength of your union. It takes time to build emotional safety. Cheating can destroy in a moment what it took years to establish.
Tenth, the lack of adequate finances or the overabundance thereof can erode psychological safety. One of the most common things that can cause the erosion of cerebral security in relationships is poor financial management. The lack of financial management acumen can cause a lot of rift in a marital union and erode mental security in the process. The erosion of emotional security can ensue when couples don’t have enough financial resources to care for their basic needs. Couples have rifts when they lack the business acumen to know how to split the home’s financial burdens. When the breadwinner’s burden falls on one spouse, emotional tension may arise in the face of mounting financial obligations because of such a situation. In many situations, couples need to be yoked together in bearing the burden of financial responsibility to make ends meet. There needs to be some equilibrium in the carrying of financial responsibilities.
A psychological rift can occur in a home that thinks solely on liabilities rather than in assets. A lot of couples spend their hard-earned cash on things that cause more indebtedness. Amid financial opulence, a psychological rift may arise when one of the partners thinks in assets and the other reasons with a sensibility that leans on liabilities. In this scenario, there is no mutual financial understanding. There is no common financial concord. The asset-thinker ruminates on how they can increase their cash flow, while the other spouse is only thinking of how they can spend the money—not on things that can help improve their cash flow—but on things that will continue to deplete the funds that are coming in. Other things that can cause the erosion of psychological safety relating to income are losing a job, ballooning debt, stinginess, overspending, etc. are all common issues that can put pressure on any marriage.
In summary, psychological safety in a home or marriage situation is the level of confidence spouses share related to their inter-personal-relational-self-image. The erosion of emotional security in marriages can be latent and often unchecked before it is too late. Trust is a requirement in establishing the foundations of psychological safety in the home. The emotional security safe zone in the marriage situation is a place free of any form of mental apprehension. As stipulated in the preceding paragraphs above, several things can erode psychological safety in a marriage union. We looked at sarcasm, taking each other for granted, playing the blame game, divorce threats, speaking in absolutes, bringing up past relationships and exes, absenteeism or coldness, lack of sex, marital infidelity, and poor financial management. These variations and possibly more can impact the mental security of couples in a marriage relationship. The onus now lies on the couple to build the foundations of their psychological safety. Failure to do so could be devastating. A word is enough for the wise.
- Fugère, M.A. (2016, May 3). Do married people really have less sex? Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dating-and-mating/201605/do-married-people-really-have-less-sex
- Luscombe, B. (2018, October 26). Why are we having so little sex? Time Magazine. Retrieved from https://time.com/5297145/is-sex-dead/