Marshaun Olaniyan here. Your favourite Life & Relationship Strategist. I help women that are married or in long term relationships, stop feeling disconnected and unloved and shift them to feeling appreciated, heard and understood.
Marriage. Why does marriage seem so hard to master?
Going from being single to being married is usually not a smooth transition.
There are plenty of reasons why this seems to be the case! I will address the major ones I see and hear from my clients.
So many people have the misconception that things they are dealing with while in the relationship before they get married, those things will just go away once they get married. NEWS FLASH! They do not. They get even more irritating. They may even annoy you to the point where you decide to pick unnecessary fights. It is really not that thing that is annoying you. It is something else that you have allowed to sit inside of you and fester.
Now, because this thing is festering it will show up in different ways, such as you saying something mean, rude, or nasty to your spouse. Or you keep sweeping that original thing under the rug and now you are ready to blow a gasket. This all happens when you allow things to fester in your heart instead of addressing them with your spouse as they show up. This is why that cliche, communication is key, is used. It is the truth. I always talk about communication. I always talk about doing the things you would not normally do, .i.e. have the tough conversations. When you have those tough conversations you are not constantly sweeping these things under the rug.
You have to address these things and say,
“You know what, babe? I was thinking how I’m sick and tired of being in a relationship like this. What can we do to improve this relationship? Does that mean we sit down and deal with one thing each week? Do we need to get outside help? What do we need to do? I would love to hear your thoughts.”
Most people do not take this approach. They allow things to build up to the point of no return or have dug a very deep hole they cannot climb out of. So, their marriage is not a walk in the park.
However, what if it could be a walk in the park?
What if there was a way to anticipate the areas that need to be worked on before you got married? Would you take heed to them and make sure they are not issues after you said I Do? Let’s talk about the things that you need to do and the reasons why marriage is not a walk in the park.
- We are not prepared for marriage.
Most of us prepare for the wedding. Most of us prepare for just being in a relationship. Many people do not seek help prior to being married, especially if everything is going well. We do not think we need the help. However, coaching, counselling or therapists have either been there or can tell you from experience what keeps coming up.
You have to remember you are two different people coming together from two different environments, two different backgrounds and two different sets of behaviours and habits. You two did not grow up in the same household and because you more than likely did not grow up in the same community, you both do things differently. You are not as prepared as you thought you were when it was time to say I do.
How many obstacles have you guys gone through? They do not have to be huge obstacles. What obstacles have you two faced together where you sat down and hashed out why and figured out a way for this topic to never surface again? How many times have you two asked one another, how can we fix this?
The more you do this before you get married, the better you will be when you are married. The happier you will continue to be once you do say I do. Prepare for marriage. Prepare yourself for the things that your partner currently does.
For instance, if your partner does not listen, this trait will still be there once you say I do. Or, maybe your partner does not clean up after himself. Maybe he comes into the house and takes off his clothes and throws them everywhere. Anything that annoys you now, will annoy you even more when you two are married. Most people are not prepared for the challenges that marriage takes you through. Most are not prepared for the breaking down of oneself.
What do I mean by breaking down of oneself? For you both to be broken down. For you both to be stripped of your individuality. For you two to be able to come together as one. For you both to know deep down in your soul, that you actually need each other in order to build a successful happy relationship. It cannot be one sided. It has to be both of you. Until you both realize this, agree to it and start acting as if your life depends on it, the survival of your relationship is not going to last.
The breaking down of oneself to become one is extremely challenging and many couples do not make it past this stage. The breaking down and the stripping of it being just yourself. You being selfish. You being scared, having trust issues and all of the other stuff you hold onto. All this stuff you have right now is going to continue to surface in the marriage because you are not as prepared as you think you are.
- Only one spouse wants to work on things.
This type of marriage can only last so long before most people will give up. Most can only give it their all for so long before throwing in the towel, especially if this keeps happening to one person over and over again with very little to no change. At some point your spouse is going to be exhausted and feel like why am I even here. I can do all of this stuff by myself. She is not giving me anything to hope for. Why am I wearing myself out for this relationship?
I had a previous client reach out to me and say that she is in a similar situation. She is always the one doing the work of trying to make the relationship better. Her husband continues to say one thing, but his actions never match up to what his words express. She expressed to me that she talked to her husband about a divorce. Now this is after a decade. In the Bible it talks about women experiencing long suffering. We can long suffer for a while. A decade is a long time, but it also states that the long suffering will not last forever.
As much as I do not like the fact that she wants to walk away and give up. I also do not like the fact that her husband’s words and actions never ever match up. What he promises to fix is always overshadowed by an excuse. So, how much time does she need to stay there and give to him? This is going to be different for each person. But why even let it get this far? Have you examined if you have tried everything before giving up?
- You have no idea how hard it is to become one.
I mentioned this earlier about the stripping down of your individuality and coming together as one. This is a very tough one. This will be one of the rockiest times in your relationship and it usually happens in the first few years of your marriage. This must occur in order to build a healthy relationship. For example, if you are selfish, you will have a really hard time adjusting to becoming one with your spouse. You need to start working on that now, especially if you want to be the top 1% of couples that have extraordinary relationships. If you are selfish it is going to show up in your relationship. And it is going to show up in more places than you realize. There will be so many unnecessary fights because of you being selfish. How can you help curve this learning curve of becoming one with your spouse? What will you intentionally improve on before saying I Do?
- You believe it takes both of you to turn things around.
Now, I know that I just mentioned that my previous client is literally about to file for divorce. Prior to marriage, when they were boyfriend and girlfriend, it was great. Without going into her backstory, it was an awesome relationship and then something changed and shifted their entire world together. The life changing event happened to her husband and he never recovered.
As long as one of you is determined to recreate a new relationship, continue to do the right things for your spouse and not give up when your spouse is being rude then you have a fighting chance to turn things around. The more you give without expecting your spouse to return the favor to you, you will be rewarded and blessed. Sometimes you have to depend on your faith and prayer. Prayer will change things around for good.
- You think everything is going to be 50/50 in the relationship.
Listen do not fool yourself. You have to be 100 percent in the beginning of the relationship. Your spouse has to be a 100 percent in the beginning of the relationship. When you two are in the relationship, sometimes it is going to be 60/40. Sometimes it will be 80/20. Sometimes it could be 90/10. This usually depends on the stage you two are in. This depends on what your partner and yourself are able to give.
For example, maybe you do not have the pressure and stress from work or the children. In this case, maybe you are the one that has to give the 80 percent and your partner can only contribute that 20 percent. Yes, you are supposed to make your spouse a top priority. However, it will not always be this way because having a 50/50 relationship all the time is a fallacy. More often than not you want things to be equal but those peaks and valleys in the relationship can make this challenging at times.
During those peaks and valleys it might be equal. At other times it will not be equal. The question is will you stand the test of time or are you going to sit around complaining? Are you going to sit around saying mean things about your spouse? Are you going to go and report how horrible your spouse is to your friends or family? Will you complain how horrible the marriage is? Or are you going to say, you know what, this is where we are at today. This is just a phase we are in at this time in our lives. And anytime I have the time to spend with my husband, I am going to be as present as I can be in those few precious moments.
Remind yourself that you are sacrificing your creature comforts for a short period of time. Will you commit to that? This goes back to the challenges that are going to surface in your relationship? The thing is you never know what challenges are that are around the corner in your relationship.
For example, you both were two healthy whole individuals when you first met. Then a freak accident happened and now you find yourself facing the decision to stay or to go. You start asking yourself, “Is this person really worth staying around for?” or “How will our lives change after this?” or “Will I be able to handle this new life and accept it as it comes?”
There will be some challenges in your marriage. The question will be, will you two make it our on the other side together or a part?
- People keep divorce in the back pocket and use it when they want to give up as an easy way out.
When times get rough and rocky in the marriage many people are ready to throw in the towel and just walk away. They believe this is the way to get back to their happy place and stop being sad, angry or not getting what they want from their spouse. They use divorce as a weapon which means it was an option even before they married.
Whenever you make your spouse feel like it is not a stable relationship. You are now walking on sinking sand. You are breaking down the foundation you worked so hard to build. You are essentially saying you are one foot in and one foot out the door. If things stay this hard then you are gone for good. And any time your spouse makes you angry, you will make it known that you want a divorce. Or maybe you leave the house and actually go and file for divorce just to prove your point.
Take the option of divorce off the table. Slow down. Remain patient. Get to the root of why your spouse lashes out the way they do. Remember this is really a cry for help and they do not know where to start to climb out of the hole you two are in. Remember why you fell in love with your spouse in the beginning of the relationship. Stop looking for the easy way out. Anytime you have options, you are not fully committed to any one of them.
- You do not slow down and see your spouse’s point of view.
Some of this is you being selfish. Some of this is you not being aware of what you are doing. And, then, some of it is you just not caring.You are so focused on you getting what you want in the moment. This is the moment you want it to be done, as if it is an emergency. Yes, it could be an emergency, however, your emergency is not necessarily your spouse’s emergency.
Instead of giving your spouse the benefit of the doubt you make their life a miserable hell for the moment and even beyond. You remain pissed off at the world punishing everyone in your path. You never took the time to see or ask what was going on in their world or if this was a good time to take care of the thing you wanted done. You stay stuck in those feelings and you believe your spouse was being inconsiderate and did not take your point of view into consideration. Nevertheless, the flip side of that is that you also did not take your spouse’s point of view into consideration. You did not step outside of the situation and ask some qualifying questions to see if it was really about you? Or if it was about something else?
It simply may have just slipped their mind. It was not anything you needed to take personal. This was an unnecessary fight that occurred. Slow down and see things from your spouse’s point of view. Do not always make it about yourself.
- It throws out your security.
Trust brings about security. Security comes in the form of feeling safe. The safety comes from your finances, thinking about your spouse before you think about yourself, not making a decision without speaking to your spouse and thinking about how it is going to affect your family. It shifts and shakes your security, especially when we have not dealt with our baggage.
- You are disillusioned about your real spouse.
Before saying I do, there was an illusion that the person you chose to be your life partner is going to be perfect. You believe they will never make you upset. You believe they will never disappoint you and never make you feel like crap. This happens at times. Not necessarily on purpose but it definitely does happen. You will be disappointed. You will have to look at your spouse differently and face who is standing in front of you versus who you would like to be standing in front of you. Believing your spouse was one person or acted a certain way only to find out and see who they really are can be shocking and a bit disappointing. However, you have to be realistic and know that the honeymoon stage can only last so long. Now you are faced with believing who your spouse is or stay suffering with whom you wish they were. The choice is yours. What will you choose to do and how you will see your spouse from now on?
If you want to start down the road of creating your marriage and building it stronger before and even after you say Ido but have no clue what steps you should take or you simply do not see how you can start to turn things around in your relationship then send me a message at email@example.com or schedule your Life Changing Strategic coaching call today!
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All the best!
Life & Relationship Strategist