WHY WOMEN, BUT NOT MEN, ARE JUDGED FOR A MESSY HOUSE
Claire Cain Miller
They’re still held to a higher social standard, which explains why they’re doing so much housework, studies show.
Even in 2019, messy men are given a pass and messy women are unforgiven. Three recently published studies confirm what many women instinctively know: Housework is still considered women’s work — especially for women who are living with men.
Women do more of such work when they live with men than when they live alone, one of the studies found. Even though men spend more time on domestic tasks than men of previous generations, they’re typically not doing traditionally feminine chores like cooking and cleaning, another showed. The third study pointed to a reason: Socially, women — but not men — are judged negatively for having a messy house and undone housework.
It’s an example of how social mores, whether or not an individual believes in them, influence behavior, the social scientists who did the research say. And when it comes to gender, expectations about housework have been among the slowest to change.
“Everyone knows what the stereotype or expectations might be, so even if they don’t endorse them personally, it will still affect their behavior,” even if they say they have progressive views about gender roles, said Sarah Thébaud, a sociologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an author of one of the papers.
The additional time that women spend on unpaid household labor is a root of gender inequality — it influences how men and women relate at home, and how much time women spend on paid work.
“One possibility is what people believe is expected of them to be a good wife and partner is still really strong, and you’re held to those standards when you’re living with someone,” said Joanna Pepin, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, who wrote the paper with Liana Sayer, a colleague at Maryland, and Lynne Casper from the University of Southern California.
Other possibilities, Ms. Pepin said, were that men created more housework; single mothers were more tired; or children did more chores when they lived with a single mother.
Women tend to do more indoor chores, research shows, like cleaning and cooking, most of which occur daily. Men do more outdoor chores, like lawn mowing or car washing, which happen less often.
Another recent study, in the journal Gender & Society, looked at people in opposite-sex marriages and found that even though men who live in cities spend less time on outdoor chores than suburban or rural men, they don’t spend any additional time on other kinds of chores. Women spend the same amount of time on chores regardless of where they live.
The pattern demonstrates how much housework is considered women’s work, said the researchers, Natasha Quadlin at Ohio State University and Long Doan at the University of Maryland, who used data from the American Time Use Survey and the Current Population Survey.
One way to be masculine is to do typically male chores, they concluded — and another way is to refuse to do typically female ones.
These studies relied on survey data to show what people do. A study published last month in Sociological Methods & Research tried to explain why women do more housework. The researchers conducted an experiment to uncover the beliefs that drive people’s behavior.
They showed 624 people a photo of a messy living room and kitchen — dishes on the counters, a cluttered coffee table, blankets strewn about — or the clean version of the same space. (They used MTurk, a survey platform popular with social scientists; the participants were slightly more educated and more likely to be white and liberal than the population at large.)
The results debunked the age-old excuse that women have an innately lower tolerance for messiness. Men notice the dust and piles. They just aren’t held to the same social standards for cleanliness, the study found.
When participants were told that a woman occupied the clean room, it was judged as less clean than when a man occupied it, and she was thought to be less likely to be viewed positively by visitors and less comfortable with visitors.
Both men and women were penalized for having a messy room. When respondents were told it was occupied by a man, they said that it was in more urgent need of cleaning and that the men were less responsible and hardworking than messy women. The mess seemed to play into a stereotype of men as lazy slobs, the researchers said.
But there was a key difference:Unlike for women, participants said messy men were not likely to be judged by visitors or feel uncomfortable having visitors over.
“It may activate negative stereotypes about men if they’re messy, but it’s inconsequential because there’s no expected social consequence to that,” said Ms. Thébaud, who did the study with the sociologists Sabino Kornrich of Emory and Leah Ruppanner of the University of Melbourne. “It’s that ‘boys will be boys’ thing.”
Most of the time, respondents said a woman would be responsible for cleaning the room — especially if the occupants were in a heterosexual marriage and both were working full time.
“The ways it gets reinforced are so subtle,” said Darcy Lockman, the author of a new book about the unequal division of labor, “All the Rage,” and a clinical psychologist. “‘I should relieve my husband of burdens’ — it’s so automatic.”
Social scientists have been observing these pressures for decades. In 1989, the sociologist Arlie Russell Hochschild wrote “The Second Shift,” documenting how even in dual-career couples, women did significantly more housework and child care than men. In 1998, the sociologist Barbara Risman described in the book “Gender Vertigo” how people feel pressure from members of both genders to perform certain roles.
Since then, men’s and women’s roles have changed in many parts of life — but not regarding housekeeping. In a study last year, Ms. Risman showed that Americans are now more likely to value gender equality at work than at home.
Bigger forces shape these beliefs. Employers increasingly demand employees to be on call at work, for example, which can end up forcing one parent (usually the mother) to step back from work to be on call at home. This happens for same-sex couples, too, showing that it’s not just about gender — it’s also about the way paid work is set up.
Policies that encourage men to take on more responsibility at home — like use-it-or-lose-it paternity leave in Canada and Scandinavian countries — could increase their involvement, evidence suggests.
Most people mollify psychic pain by attacking back; we yearn for revenge. But achievement striving is better. It opens the mind to the possible, instead of hitching it to the horrible.
In 2015, Dee Carroll was billing $17 million a year in her Washington, D.C.-based organizational development firm, heading a team of 18 in two locations, including a recently added IT arm, when her board suggested bringing on a chief financial officer. She found a candidate, and the board approved of her hire. Carroll, with a Ph.D. in business administration and 28 years at the helm, turned her attention back to growing the company.
“We were doing well,” she recalls. Every once in a while, she checked the books. The numbers added up, but she couldn’t figure out why the borrowing wasn’t decreasing on her line of credit. “We’re self-financing,” the CFO assured her. Then a day came when some documents needed reviewing and she called the bank. Its numbers and her numbers didn’t align. Carroll summoned outside auditors to search for a discrepant half million. The day she confronted the CFO, he admitted to running two sets of books. It took forensic accountants months to figure out how the guy had walked off with more than $2 million.
Carroll cashed in her 401k and filed for reorganization to keep the company afloat—while she spent a year in and out of hospitals with stress-induced illnesses. Then the bank froze her assets, and it was all over. “I was so angry, all I wanted was to get my hands on that CFO and punch him out,” says Carroll. Miraculously, a few months later, the day came when she could. They found themselves side-by-side in the parking lot of a giant Walgreens—she in her old Land Cruiser, he in a new Audi. Ever the planner, she pulled out her phone and called her attorney: “Get down here—and prepare to get me out of jail.”
Carroll chased the CFO through the superstore. He outpaced her. So she shifted strategies: I’ll just ram his car. Behind the wheel, it hit her. “If he had me going like that, he was in control of my life. I drove off—and I felt good.”
The desire for revenge, she felt, “had stripped my courage, my convictions, my confidence. It had me beating myself up for my failures: ‘I should have known.’ ‘I should have checked more often.'” Crumbling was not an option. “I decided I’m not going to give him the pleasure. He’ll only see me flying high.”
And maybe he does—literally. Carroll has not only successfully launched a new company, she spends much of her time traveling the globe, promoting “emotional emancipation.” She focuses on persuading women that no one controls what they can accomplish. “I needed to embrace the possible,” she explains. “Now I can grow.”
What Carroll apprehended, sitting in that parking lot, was that nothing she could do to punish the CFO could harm him as badly as her desire for revenge was harming her.
Rerouting the Amygdala
Revenge-seeking has deep, seemingly instinctual roots in the human behavioral repertoire. Since the dawn of civilization, the highest authorities have sanctioned harming someone in the same manner as he or she has harmed you. From the 1754 B.C. Code of Hammurabi, the sixth Babylonian king, to the Bible—Exodus chapter 21: “You shall appoint as a penalty life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth”—the ancients specified how the impulse for revenge was to be carried out.
From the time we are barely able to put together full sentences, we yearn for revenge, screaming, “That’s not fair” in response to a perceived injustice (a sibling getting dessert that we don’t, because we are being punished) and following that outcry with the vow, “I’ll get you!” targeted at Mom, Dad, or the babysitter for giving preferential treatment to the kid who shares our bath.
As adults we’re only slightly more sophisticated in response to abuses by others. A small insult—getting cut off by a driver—can launch a highway chase for miles, either to cut that motorist off in the same way or to deliver the hand gesture known as “flipping the bird.”
Most people seek to mollify psychic pain by attacking back. But there is a better, far more adaptive way—showing ’em, by achieving something personally and socially significant related to the offense. To first turn the other cheek and then build something meaningful, to oneself and to others, out of the abandoned anger requires a psychological shift—within just about anyone’s reach—that harnesses the brain’s amygdala, its processing center of danger, and redirects its impulses.
When you cope with psychic pain via achievement striving, your mindset is on the possible. Revenge-seeking hitches it to the horrible.
“A man that studieth revenge keeps his own wounds green, which otherwise would heal and do well,” wrote English philosopher, statesman, and scientist Francis Bacon. He captured the core problem with revenge: It demands ruminating about wrongs, which amplifies their significance, aggravates what sparked anger, and makes it impossible to let go.
Freud was the first to dissect the amplification of suffering brought on by anger born of distressing events. Paradoxically, despite the pain that such recollections cause, the events are “reviewed, repeated, or rehearsed”—through dreams or obsessional ruminations.
The continual mental replaying of an event, however humiliating, is a primordial propensity to revisit hurtful interactions in an attempt to master through imagery what could not be mastered behaviorally. As the initial injury is relived, negative alterations in cognition and mood grow progressively worse—negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world, exaggerated blame of oneself or others for causing the trauma, feelings of isolation, and difficulty experiencing positive affect. The original insult remains a focus of cognitive imagery.
Failing to consummate revenge fantasies turns them into obsessions. American literature offers the definitive example of obsessional revenge seeking in Herman Melville’s Moby–Dick; or, TheWhale. After losing a leg to a white whale, Captain Ahab embarks on a hunt to destroy that whale, a quest that ends in his demise. To this day, “white whale” is another term for an obsessional pursuit.
My own clinical experience corroborates what decades of medical evidence demonstrates: People who harbor thoughts of exacting revenge exhibit systemic turmoil, courtesy of an activated amygdala preparing against the threat of attack. They experience sleeplessness, owing to nonstop rumination; irritability; hyperarousal; and distractibility that often impedes their ability to function. As Confucius said: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”
Orthopedist Richard “Rock” Barnes, 46,* walked into my office because I had written a book about burnout. Trained as a psychiatrist, he had worked at a prestigious mental hospital before feeling burned out. His remedy—changing medical specialties by retraining and moving across the country—wasn’t working.
In our initial session, Barnes didn’t seem burned out so much as burned up—consumed with rage from an incident early in his career. A patient under his care had been sexually exploited by a senior psychiatrist. Barnes had sought to avenge the wrong by exposing the abuser, but learned that filing a claim would harm the fragile patient and would be refuted by the VIP doctor as a tale told by a mentally ill woman.
In my office, Barnes raged at himself, but especially at the abuser. And he railed at the vestiges of a medical hierarchy that had made him feel so impotent as a young physician. How, I asked, could he “right the wrong in an ego-syntonic manner?”—that is, in a way congruent with his values, his personality, his self-concept, and his future. Certainly not by killing the doctor.
A decade and a half later, Barnes is still mending bones but he is also helping physicians everywhere to articulate perceived problems at their institutions without fear of rebuke or retaliation. Through an organization he started, first at his own hospital, he speaks at hospitals around the country, reducing the likelihood of abuse like that his patient suffered.
My work with Barnes led me to recognize that it’s possible to say “Screw you!” to harm-doers in indirect but active ways that are not only personally gratifying but also socially constructive. Revenge is so tightly bound to pain because the eye-for-an-eye mindset is backward-looking, focused on the original insult—but also because it is irreconcilable with most people’s goalsfor themselves.
“Showing ’em,” not “socking ’em,”—taking a behavioral step beyond the amygdala’s bidding—brings relief not least because it jump-starts growth. It renders people no longer vulnerable to the forces that originally harmed them. For that reason, it directly enhances feelings of self-efficacy and power.
For sure, psychotherapy has value. It is especially useful for exploring conflicted feelings. But dealing with revenge through psychotherapy may bring slow healing. En route to relief, the victim must relive the original injustice. Mind and body return to the scene of the crime, again and again. Achievement striving, on the other hand, need never recall the actual insult.
The Power of Striving
Some Turn Away from avenging a wrong as if they had an innate understanding of the Buddha’s observation: “Anger will never disappear so long as thoughts of resentment are cherished in the mind. Anger will disappear just as soon as thoughts of resentment are forgotten.” But for most, this is near impossible.
Revenge is rooted in a brain network involving the amygdala and temporal areas that are fired up very specifically by acts of perceived unfairness perpetrated by another human being, University of Geneva researchers recently found. The greater the neural activation, the greater the inner push for punishment. It’s common for people to yield to the urge.
But rage for revenge is thoroughly alterable. If the dorsolateral area of the prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a key area for emotion regulation, is activated during the provocation stage, the amygdala is muted, inhibiting the desire for later punishment, neuroscientist Olga Klimecki and colleagues observe in ScientificReports. “The DLPFC is coordinated with the motor cortex that directs the hand that makes the choice of vengeful behavior or not. There is a direct correlation between brain activity in the DLPFC and behavioral choices.”
Striving toward positive goals, research has long shown, naturally subdues the amygdala. In my own clinical experience, the majority of patients experiencing profound trauma are able to flourish afterwards by channeling their anger into a meaningful endeavor, typically one that focuses on others. They do well by doing good. Revenge becomes an opportunity for exercising values mobilized by the insult.
Not all wrongs to be avenged are born of injury inflicted by individuals. Social injustice is a prime motivator, too, and the one that impelled lawyer Barry Scheck to create the Innocence Project, a consortium of attorneys that, since 1992, has been devoted to overturning wrongful convictions of (mostly) indigent people.
While in elementary school, a fire destroyed Scheck’s family home, injuring his parents and killing his beloved sister. At first debilitated, by high school he was academically motivated enough to gain entry to Yale, where he protested the Vietnam War on the grounds that the deferments granted to students discriminated against poor teenagers. He used his law degree to become a public defender in New York’s then-distressed South Bronx and a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society.
After co-founding a law firm specializing in civil rights litigation, he joined the “Dream Team” that got O.J. Simpson acquitted of double murder charges in 1994. By then, the Innocence Project was already deploying its legal skills to show the world that those who suffered injustice had an ally to undo what was done to them.
If ever a deed could conceivably justify the wish to exact lextalionis, the death of a child by murder might top the list. Yet that is not what happened in May 1980, when 13-year-old Cari Lightner was struck and killed by a drunk driver. The driver, who had been convicted of drunk driving offenses three times in four years, never even stopped his car. And when he struck the girl, he was out on bail for a hit-and-run arrest two days earlier.
Candy Lightner’s pain at her daughter’s death was amplified when the responding police officer told her, “Lady, you’ll be lucky if this guy gets any jail time, much less prison.” As she later told People magazine, “This was not an ‘unfortunate accident.’ Cari was the victim of a violent crime. Death caused by drunk drivers is the only socially acceptable form of homicide.”
The societal pass that drunk drivers received at the time served, Lightner recalled, to “double my anger.” And she immediately vowed to make people horrified by the consequences of drunk driving. Four days after Cari’s death, she quit her job and organized Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (later, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, or MADD).
Indefatigable in her quest to save others from a similar tragedy, Lightner was named to the National Commission on Drunk Driving in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. MADD has sparked new penalties for drunk driving and changed the legal drinking age in many states.
Significant as the achievements are, they pale in comparison to what Lightner got from harnessing her anger and taking up a cause instead of seeking revenge. She not only gained kudos from around the world, she also gave meaning to her daughter’s life.
Getting out of oneself and giving back constitute a sure antidote to the emotional cancer of rumination. An added advantage of working for a cause is that you don’t act in a vacuum. On the contrary, such endeavors demand contact with like-minded people. Social support is the best-documented balm for almost every ill of mind and body.
Photo by Reinhard Hunger
Beating ‘Em at Their Own Game
Doing well by doing good could have been the epitaph for Benjamin Franklin, drafter of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and one of the richest men in American history, certainly its ultimate Renaissance man. Writer, philosopher, scientist, diplomat, musician, and oenophile, he spoke five languages—exclusively self-taught; he also invented bifocals, the urinary catheter, and swim fins! You probably recall schoolbook illustrations of Franklin flying a kite in a thunderstorm to study electricity—a daredevil venture that led to his invention of the lightning rod (which has saved countless lives and millions of dollars).
What’s missing from textbook accounts of Franklin is the truth about his early life. Because his father could not afford to send Benjamin to school, he arranged for his older son James (then in the process of establishing a printing business) to employ Benjamin, at age 11, as an indentured apprentice. Almost immediately, James became so jealous of Ben’s precocity that he demeaned and beat his younger brother regularly.
Things only got worse as Benjamin mastered the basics of printing and learned to read and write better than most adults in Colonial New England. He asked his brother if he could write for his newspaper and was denied. But instead of getting angry, he turned to writing articles under the pen name Silence Dogood. Slipped under the door of James’s shop, they quickly became the most popular part of the paper. When James learned who wrote them, all hell broke loose. Benjamin fled to Philadelphia, arriving with three shillings in his pocket and rags on his back.
Although wronged, Franklin never once sought to exact revenge directly or engage in displays of dominance. Instead, he found a psychologically satisfying way to “show” his brother—and thrive: by behaving better than him. He was driven to become the best printer in the 13 colonies. Starting as a journeyman in Philadelphia, Franklin soon established his own shop, leapfrogging from printing mundane legal forms to culturally significant pamphlets, newspapers, and books, including his own. As the leading printer in Colonial America, he ultimately printed its currency.
In 1748, after amassing the equivalent of more than $10 billion in today’s money, Franklin retired at age 42. It was time, he said, “to do something useful.” His next 42 years (40 beyond the life expectancy of males at the time) were a case study in generativity—not simply a Founding Father of the country and its first foreign diplomat, he also founded the American Philosophical Society, America’s first scientific society, its first science library and museum, and the nation’s first modern liberal arts college, later renamed the University of Pennsylvania.
Franklin stands as the quintessential example of coping with the pain of trauma in an entrepreneurial, ego-enhancing way—by building something that not only helps the world but brings authentic personal rewards, from praise and respect to a host of new and exciting experiences.
years of marriage, I’ve come to learn a lot about men and their triggers.
Personally I’m overly emotional which has made me fall as well as progress in
life. Evidently, men have difficulty communicating their emotions. This has
been misinterpreted by women.
woman opens up emotionally, she can speak nonstop, cry and laugh at the same
time. She can juggle her emotions and thoughts with ease. Men on the other hand
think more than they feel; they do either one of them but never both at the
example, once a man confesses his love to a woman and things fall in place, he
thinks that the only reason to have a real conversation is money or breaking
up. So when you walk up to your husband each time
you get emotional and tell him the dreaded words “We need to talk,” he quickly
realizes that he has to think and feel at the same time. That’s something that
is a real challenge to men which may feel like life is being sucked out of
want to start a discussion, it might seem like he’s not engaging enough. This may
make you feel unappreciated. Due to the fact that women talk faster when
excited, it interrupts your husband who is
already struggling to find the right words.
happens, he may lose track or shut down because he feels cut off and is unable
to express his feelings. At this point he becomes what we interpret as cold, a
state which makes any woman race her mind into conclusions.
changing from the kind, friendly wife your
husband knows to a resentful, nagging stranger all because of conclusive
imaginations which women are good at! In the circumstance even the strongest,
most patient man will become withdrawn.
why women should take time to understand how they differ from men when it comes
to talking. It would give everyone a little more empathy when it comes to
discussing emotional issues. Understanding one another is a big step towards
creating and maintaining an emotionally fit and loving relationship.
Women Are Guilty:
example would be my own experience. When l want my husband and l to discuss
something, l walk up to him while he’s watching his game and tell him that we
need to talk. He gives me that look of “Oh my goodness, what have l done now?”
He then has to pause his game and wait for my million words – which he can
summarize in one sentence. Once I’m done talking, his response is usually calm
and in very few words. This doesn’t mean he’s not excited; it’s just the way
took time to understand him, l would get all upset and emotional and race my
mind into conclusions. “He acts like I’m bugging him,” l would think to myself.
Once l conclude that something is not right, and commit to finding out what it
is… You do not want to know the extent of my amateur investigations.
addition, l acted differently and stayed on negative vibrations which the whole
family picked up on. All of that was just because my husband’s reaction was not
in conformity with my expectations. I can only imagine what was taking place in
his mind as he tried to figure me out.
the Reality Lane:
perfect husband only exists in fairy tales but your marriage is in real
life. Stop focusing on your husband’s mistakes and start recognizing the
wonderful things he does. By doing so, you will encourage him to do even more
to become the man of your dreams.
human nature to focus more on the wrong than the right. As the saying goes,
thoughts are things. You will attract more of what you invest your energy in.
Things are prone to happen, If he wrongs you, don’t announce him to the whole
neighborhood and on social media.
on your knees and allow the One who controls all things to make the necessary
adjustments. A praying woman is a powerful woman! Take this from me.
Men Are Not
often feel overwhelmed with stuff, wishing that their husbands would help. I’ve
been there too. The only way you can get anyone to help is by communicating.
How many times have you heard women complain about their husbands not helping
with house chores?
remember when we both worked all week from morning till late. We would catch up
with everything on Saturdays. First thing l wanted to do after breakfast was
shopping, then cooking and cleaning at the same time.
My husband would
want to just relax and enjoy a beautiful day with his family. That means he
would call the kids and choose a nice family movie. Any woman reading this can
already see the look on my face, when l walked into the family room and found
them watching a movie.
of asking for help, l would go shop, come back and start cleaning and cooking.
By the time “the movie” was over, I’d have completed everything and showered. What
would have taken less than two hours with help took a maximum of four hours. It
would then be a resentment-filled, stressed-out weekend – because no one helped
again, my husband would spend the day trying to cheer me up. He remained
clueless about all this, until l decided to verbally complain. If mama ain’t
happy, ain’t nobody happy. Men are strong, aren’t they? I know I’m spoilt rotten
but l thank God for His grace has changed me.
we shoulder a lot of responsibilities and go through a lot of hardship. However,
we should never allow life and its challenges to break the person God created
us to be. We don’t have to camouflage our identity to blend with circumstances.
Why am l
saying this? l have spoken to many hurting women who confess to changing their
personalities in retaliation for bad experiences. If you were created a humble,
kind and loving person, continue being you and find the grounds which allow you
to do that. Each creation thrives in its own unique habitat. Find yours and
bloom as you.
If by any
chance there are existing issues with your marriage, look at the person in the
mirror first before blaming anybody. More often than we realize, we create
marital problems from very small issues. With our thoughts being too noisy, we
miss out on the facts which steered things to the wrong direction. We live in a
very stressful world, and everyone is seeking peace, acceptance and love.
life’s essentials are missing in our own homes, our families are more likely to
be scattered in search of them. For this reason, make your family miss home
whenever they are out there. All women have the ability to do this, not just
for your husband but for your sons and daughters too. Build a solid foundation
for your family, will you?
best, I love you all.
world never fails us; our inability to learn and change is the culprit.”
Love is beautiful and the best gift anyone can give and receive. When two people decide they are compatible enough to spend the rest of their lives together, they commit as husband and wife. They make wonderful future plans and begin their journey right after the wedding.
What to Expect:
In this journey, there are things to love and hate about each other, rules to be agreed upon, which will govern the new relationship. Although the good times will always outdo the grays, there will be moments of insecurity. Whereas most people might think infidelity is the only giant to be overcome, there are more frequent hurdles to overcome.
Committing to a marriage is more than just fidelity. It involves standing together through thick and thin. Accepting each other’s weaknesses that were not noticeable before exchanging the vows, laughing and sometimes crying together.
Reality in Marriage:
Things really change after the honeymoon. In the awakening into reality, many give up thinking there’s someone better out there for them. The fact is, nothing in life grows overnight. Marriage isn’t an exception here. Every good thing under the sky takes time to build.
There will be days your husband/wife will want to be alone. That doesn’t mean she/he has stopped loving you. Everyone needs some alone time to quiet their mind. It is healthy and necessary for a happy relationship. The best you can do is allow them the space.
Simple decisions will become almost difficult. In marriage, they say two become one. Well, this is easier said than done. It is not easy to blend two completely different personalities – not with each partner expecting the other to become more of what they fantasized.
You don’t get to choose your living room color by yourself. If you had a certain pattern on your spending habits, you cannot continue the same. Everything must meet right in the middle of both your choices. You basically do away with the freedom to make major decisions.
This is where balance is very important because if one feels over-powered, they are more than likely to seek other options. You’ve heard people having a big wedding only to divorce a few months or years later. That happens because of unrealistic expectations which couples have when they exchange their vows.
No matter how compatible you are with each other, there will definitely be days when you will experience conflicts. In such situations, you must learn how to maturely deal with disagreements before they get out of hand.
It is unrealistic to expect things to always flow smoothly. You will experience small and, sometimes, huge cracks along the pavement. If you are committed to making your marriage work, forgiveness, patience and apologies are very important.
Avoid Breaking Up:
I believe most divorces are due to arrogance of one or both partners. When nobody is willing to take responsibility for their mistake and work toward being a better person, a marriage union turns into a roller coaster of unsolved issues, leaving both partners wanting out.
To keep and grow a healthy relationship, discuss issues with your partner as they arise and watch very carefully the words coming out of your mouth. Careless use of words can break a relationship to a point of no repair. If you listen more and speak less everything will work out very well because it gives you time to think and choose what to say.
Things can get a little bit rocky during the first years of marriage. Learning to adjust into the commitment and giving away most of the freedom is the biggest culprit. With patience, however, everything starts settling down.
Saying you’re sorry is easy, but learning to apologize the right
way with these 8 essentials and 3 ways can save your love and bring both of you
Flowers and cards can say, “I’m sorry” but alone, they just don’t cut it
when you are trying to give a sincere apology to the person
When we honestly apologize to someone, it is because we want
We want to be let off the hook for whatever wrongdoing we’ve
done, or hurt we’ve caused.
And you can’t always receive the forgiveness you seek when you
simply flop down a bouquet with a generic thank-you card.
Apologies take effort, and you should take the time to formulate
a genuine apology with the following eight steps.
The 8 essential steps of apologizing to a lover
#1 Find out what exactly happened. Don’t guess what the issue
is, ask your boyfriend/girlfriend or spouse to clearly tell you what you said
or did to hurt them.
#2 If you are at fault in the situation, then you should take
responsibility for your actions.
Placing the blame elsewhere is immature and will set you back
further, possibly risking your relationship.
#3 You should prepare your apology, taking into account what
you want to say and how you want to say it. Also, you should keep the delivery
of your apology, such as the time and place, in mind.
#4 Say sorry sincerely. If you’re not genuine, the apology
will definitely fail and you will be back to square one.
#5 Be grateful and thank the person for listening to you.
Depending on what you’ve done, that could be more difficult than you
#6 Don’t assume you will be excused, and instead ask for
#7 Remember to be patient. Sometimes, accepting an apology
can take time, and your partner needs space to think about what comes next.
#8 Follow through on your word. If, in your apology, you
agree to do something, or stop doing something, make sure you honor those
Now, while these are the fundamental steps to creating a
meaningful apology, you also need to take into consideration the differing
degrees of an apology.
While a modest sorry might be acceptable if you forgot to call,
that won’t fly if you’ve done something severely untrustworthy like break an
Depending on the amount of hurt you’ve caused, and the nature of
the situation, you can apply the eight essential steps of apologizing to one of
these three different degrees of apologies.
The 3 differing degrees of apologies
#1 The Simple Apology
The first degree of apology is for those small things that
we could just let pass by without any apology at all.
But, if you truly love your partner, you will want to
acknowledge even the smallest wrongdoing, and give a short but sweet apology to
let them know you care. Your partner will be thankful that you are concerned
with all of their wants and needs, and have taken the time to address why they
For example, my boyfriend’s work involves being contracted out
to many different fundraising, and promotion events, that often run late into
the night. I attend many of these events, but when I don’t, I simply ask him to
send me a quick message so I know approximately what time he will be home.
If I don’t get a text, I wake up well into the night freaked
out, worrying that something bad has happened. My anxiety is probably the
result of losing too many people to road accidents, but it is still something I
need his help with soothing, when he is going to be working late.
One night he forgot to text me, and I sat up until 3:30 am
trying to contact him. His phone died, and he didn’t think to send a message
from a friend’s phone. I was upset, all I needed was a quick update so I didn’t
need to worry.
When he got home and I confronted him about the situation. He
was defensive at first, and didn’t seem to think he had done anything wrong.
After I explained where my anxiety came from, he offered the perfect simple
He kissed my forehead, hugged me and said, “I’m sorry that I
worried you. Next time if my battery dies I will borrow someone’s phone and let
Short and simple, and yet effective. If he had chosen to shrug
it off instead of apologizing, I most likely would have harbored secret
resentment over that. It was something little, yes, but it still mattered to
#2 The Nice Gesture Apology
No one is perfect, and sometimes, even the most organized person
can forget an important date, event, or responsibility.
I’m not a freak over birthdays but a nice good morning birthday
kiss, and tea in bed would be nice. But this year, my boyfriend forgot, and all
I got was a rushed goodbye kiss, and no mention to expect anything fun later
Thanks to social media, my boyfriend realized his blunder
mid-day and called me, and he promised to make it up to me. He organized a nice
gesture apology in the form of a dozen heart balloons *I’m not really one for
roses*, and a delicious birthday cake.
A good gesture apology doesn’t need to be too big, but it can’t
be too small either. It should be just enough to let your partner know you are
#3 The Wholehearted Apology
The third degree of apology is for those of us that have really
messed something up big time. This apology isn’t for forgetting to call, or
mixing up a birthday. It is in response to something that could cause serious
The wholehearted apology is somewhat less concerned with what
you do, or what gifts you bear, and more about what you say, and how you follow
Imagine you have done something you cannot take back, and many
consider a deal breaker – you’ve cheated on your partner.
No amounts of flowers or chocolates are going to offer your
partner the apology they need if monogamy was something you promised each other
in your relationship.
The wholehearted apology thus should begin with some deep
reflection on why you are in this situation in the first place, and where to go
next. Even if you’ve done something so big that it might mean the end of your
relationship, you still need to offer a well thought-out, wholehearted apology.
You need to think of exactly what it is that you want to say,
and how you want to say it. You need to be honest, and insightful. Don’t say
things that are typical, and what your partner is expecting. Say the truth,
even if it sucks.
Wholehearted apologies are the hardest, because sometimes, you
won’t be forgiven. The best that you can do is to offer your sincere regret,
uphold the promises you made after the apology, and try to learn from your
Apologizing in love
While these essential steps, and different degrees of “I’m
sorry” can help you out if you’ve made a mistake in love and need to apologize,
they are not fail-proof.
Not all things can be forgiven. If you’ve done something truly
menacing or cruel that could likely have a lasting impact on a relationship,
regardless if an apology is given or not, forgiveness might be hard to come by.
It’s best to steer clear of such a situation from the beginning,
and instead be honest and trustworthy throughout your relationship. Then you
won’t need to do so much apologizing.So the next time you’ve fumbled in love and want to apologize and say
sorry, in a small or big way, keep these 8 essential steps and 3 different
kinds of apologies in mind. And for your relationship’s sake, do the right
“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together
― Dorothy Allison
I loved him like a brother, and he treated me as such. He told
me I was a genius and that the world needed to hear my music. He was a ball of
passion, and when he spoke it always felt like a battle cry to fight for a
better life. I was working as a teacher, spending my summers with struggling
artists who gave me that energy and community I craved. When I met him in
Toronto, I felt like I found new family in my own hometown.
His family wasn’t so abundant—his parents struggled with
addiction and were trying to take the earnings he made producing music. It was
killing his spirit, and I could sense it. So without consulting my parents, I
invited him to live with me. He was the brother I never had.
We got matching tattoos and promised each other that there would
always be two of everything. We hustled the music, threw shoes, networked,
and talked about what we could do artistically and for the scene in the city.
The summer had ended and now I was back to grinding the 8-5 shift. It was
killing my soul to be working knowing there was so much to create. Then he came
to me with an opportunity that changed my life forever.
It was a songwriting deal, worth $120,000, to write 10 songs for
an unknown artist who apparently had major connections. We’d get paid to write
the songs, and with that money we could be full-time artists. Without much
thought, due diligence or reflection, I took a leave of absence from work, and
we moved into a rental property that I purchased as a responsible adult. Then
we got straight to creating.
They Never Did
He explained the money would come soon, but weeks went by with
no word. Weeks turned to months, and with no income, I was quickly accumulating
debt by swiping credit cards, and negotiating a bigger line of credit. I wasn’t
worried, when the money came in, it would wipe the debt clean, and we’d have
plenty to play with.
He told me about all the friends that owed him money, and how we
could start collecting to cover the bills, but he wasn’t finding much luck. As
the months went on, I began to ask him more questions, and he became more and
more defensive. One day he went out of town to collect some money from a family
member. A mutual friend disclosed to me that he had been asking people to lend
him money, and that in fact, no one owed him anything. I called him to clarify
this, and he immediately hung up, and I never heard from him again.
He literally left his belongings in the apartment and never came
back for anything. Clothes, a computer, keepsakes, it was as if he fell off the
face of the earth. I was confused, devastated, and heartbroken. I had never had
my heart broken by a friend before; it was a foreign kind of betrayal I
couldn’t wrap my head around. Beyond the betrayal was the slow sinking reality
that I was in deep trouble with my finances. I had accumulated over $80,000 in
debt and had no way to pay it off. It turns out the songwriting deal was never
real—he had forged documents, changed names, and was planning on borrowing
money from others to cover it. When that didn’t work, he ran out of options and
That was seven years ago. The years that followed were the
hardest years of my life. I fell into deep despair and turned to NyQuil and
muscle relaxers to numb the pain. I blamed the world and everyone around me for
not warning me of his sleazy ways. I stayed in bed for weeks, and ate very
little, hoping the cavalry would come to save the day.
They never did.
A Challenging Time
During the worst moments, I thought the worst thoughts about
him. How dare he do this to me, after I let him in my home, and allowed him to
live with me for a year rent-free. I was nothing but amazing to him! I treated
him like a brother! And this is what I got in return?
But I learned to let it go, gradually.
Of course, I didn’t let it go because I thought what he did was
OK. I let it go because I could not afford to carry such a heavy burden of
resentment and regret with me. If I was ever going to get myself out of the
mess I was in, I needed less baggage…
He wasn’t evil, he was scared. He bit off more than he could
chew, and instead of facing the consequences of his actions, he ran away. All
of that was out of my control. And for me to maintain my sanity I had to focus
on what was in my control.
What was always in my control was my thinking and expectations.
I expected him to be honest with me, because I was honest with him. But that’s
not how things work. As I write this story, I am at a friend’s house in Austin,
TX. I can hear the neighbour’s dog barking really loud. If I went over and
stuck my hand through the fence, that dog would probably bite me. I can’t
assume or expect him not to, just because I don’t plan to bite him. Dogs do
what dogs do. Scared people do what scared people do.
So I forgave him, little by little, and began taking more
responsibility for what happened. It was hard work. But doing so helped me let
go of the resentment and regrets that were holding me back
Truth be told, it’s easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves, and
cast ourselves as the victims in life. And it’s not only easy, it’s quick and
convenient too. It gives us an immediate opportunity to feel connected and
significant. We connect with ourselves because we feel like no one else
understands what we are going through (as if I was the first guy to ever be
betrayed by a friend). It also gives us a subtle high of significance, because
we start to convince ourselves that life is conspiring only against us, as we
question what we did to deserve its wrath.
This quick fix doesn’t last though, and what accompanies it is a
long and drawn out feeling of powerlessness. We have no power because we’ve
blamed everyone and everything except ourselves. Thus, for me to find power in
my situation, I had to take some of the responsibility, because only in those
areas would I find the power to improve my circumstances.
Again, it took plenty of practice, but I gradually became more
mindful of my expectations, and instead of kicking myself (with my 20/20
hindsight) for all the danger signs that were right in front of me, I decided
to extract the wisdom from my past experience. I promised myself I would use
that wisdom until I was glad I went through such a challenging time.
I Am Cavalry
Over time, my broken heart healed, I got stronger, I got back on
my feet and spent the next four years getting myself out of the hole. Through
selling my possessions, finding odd gigs here and there, touring, and
writing my book Unlearn, I finally got to a $0 bank
And gradually, I began to feel sincere gratitude for the journey
I was on, and what I went through to get to where I was.
Figuring out how to go from $80,000 in the hole to $0 also
helped me grow from $0 to a bank account with decent savings. My struggling
days taught me the value of minimalism. I became a dramatically better judge of
character, and looking back I realized how resilient I really was.
I no longer hope for a cavalry, I am the cavalry. I am no longer
afraid to lose because with loss comes learning. I don’t question whether
I need to trust others, because I know I can trust myself. Challenges and
resistance make us stronger, so either we make ourselves uncomfortable so we
can grow, or life does it for us.
We Can Choose
Although I’ve now completely forgiven my old friend, and even
thanked him for the lessons I’ve learned, it all happened internally. I never
made any proclamation or tried to contact him. After the passing of a mutual
friend, he tried to reach out, but I didn’t need that energy in my life. I had
already let it go, and there was no need to re-introduce it back into my life.
We need to let things go and forgive others, not for their sake,
but for ours. We need to rid ourselves of the weight we carry around holding
grudges, regrets, and the other burdens that try to pile up. We also need to
let go so we can create a space where self-love exists, because most likely
we’ll need that space to forgive ourselves, too.
I have indeed forgiven. And I am truly grateful.
Had I not gone through such a heartbreaking experience, I would
have never dug deep into myself to write Unlearn. I
would have never crossed paths with the amazing Marc
& Angel, or read their books. And,
most importantly, I would not have grown into the person I am today.
We can’t see into the future, but we can choose how much of our
past we deliberately carry with us into today.
We can choose to let go and move forward, one day at a time.
Now, it’s YOUR turn…
I would love to hear from YOU in the comments section.
What do you need to let go of (or forgive), to move forward with
Hi there beautiful, so you’re now having sleepless nights because of the way your boyfriendtreated you at the restaurant in front of everybody? You need to wipe off those tears and put a smile on your face. He just doesn’t know your worth because he cannot see it. He probably wanted to spend just one night with you but it turned out to be an ongoing thing because you became too attached.
Women tend to fall in love too quick which is very unfortunate. When a man first asks you on a date, he’s probably thinking of the cookie and nothing more. Once and if he wins the game, he’s on to the next plan. While the woman becomes hooked immediately and starts seeing a future husband. This results to the woman noticing lack of interest which she then define as cold.
2. He’s Seeing Someone else:
Girls love attention and to be cuddled every once in a while. It is something learnt from childhood. The habits we develop as babies stay with us for a lifetime. We just don’t bring them out all the time. I believe there’s a little girl in every grown woman and a little boy inside every man. For this reason, a woman notices very slight shift in the attention she’s used to getting. Unless your boyfriend is going through some emotional issues, the way he treats you should not change suddenly.
You see, men call themselves players but they don’t play it very well. They don’t know how to balance their game. If your boyfriend has someone else, he will treat one of you lowly.
3. He Wants Out:
Yeah sweetie, this one is harsh but it is what it is. I’ve had friends go through this and finally the big shock. Men are known to create cold atmosphere or treat women ill just to find a loop out. If your boyfriend is treating you like trash, baby girl just pack up and leave while you still have your dignity. It can turn ugly and leave bad scars on your little delicate heart. You know he’s not gonna be man enough to tell you straight up.
4. He has no Respect for Women:
I know of men who verbalize their disrespect for all women in general. They do not respect even their own mother for reasons best known to them. The problem is, they still date women. These are the beauties who become victims of violence at the hands of the man they claim to love. It is so awkward that l lack words to describe them. When you’re in a relationship with this type of men, they find ways to make a slave out of you. Sadly, they still physically abuse you whenever they feel like.
5. He’s not all that into you:
I know this is a bitter pill to swallow, but truth will set you free. Have you ever heard women complaining of how badly their men treat them regardless of all the nice things they do for them? If a man is not into you, not even money can buy his love.
Using money to trap a man will only keep him around while he’s filling up his belly with your money. In today’s world especially, there are men out there who stay with a woman for the gain. Once they get everything they want they dash for the door very fast.
Thought for the Soul:
“Others cannot mistreat us, if we deny them the power to do so.”
Getting through depression is one of the toughest things a
person can live through. But there is hope! Find out how doing volunteer work
Depression, like most mental health issues, is surrounded by a
stigma that makes it nearly impossible for those who suffer from it to discuss
the problem openly and get the help they need, when they need it.
In our culture, admitting you have a mood disorder is more or
less like acknowledging you are too weak, frail and lazy to handle what life
throws at you. Seeking help kind of makes it worse, because now it is as if
you’ve added an “incapable of solving own problems” stamp on your forehead.
But that’s not the whole truth, is it?
If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression,
you know there is so much more to it.
You’ve seen firsthand the holes this self-feeding fire can burn
through a person’s life. You’ve witnessed the person that once was slip through
the cracks of what used to be a complete human being and into a puddle of
self-loathing and isolation.
How do people battle depression?
Sadly, therapy is not always an option. Medication can fail as
well, as it often doesn’t perform as expected, or has side effects that are
So how is one supposed to get better? In a society incapable of
recognizing the signs of a person who needs help, how can someone find their
way to recovery? And it’s also equally important to ask how one can handle it
without being judged, being told to suck it up and get a grip, without being
shamed into hiding?
How can volunteering be beneficial to those suffering from depression?
An avenue not thoroughly explored, yet one absolutely worthy of
the attention is volunteering. Its nature is humble and unassuming, yet
combines multiple factors that promise to bring improvement and stability to
#1 The thrill of the unknown trumps the feeling of
worthlessness. Mastering new skills or dusting off old ones does not
necessarily cause a revolution the first time around, but it does leave a mark.
It marks a place and time of accomplishment- the moment your hands and mind
gave birth to something good, something meaningful.
Once this happens, there is no going back. It would be like
trying to undo the sunrise. Little by little, or hopefully with full jet power,
the feeling of being useful and needed can help keep the depression at bay.
You will recognize your ability to make a difference and that as
your efforts grow, so do the results. The value of such a realization is
invaluable, as it is one of the first milestones on the road to a
#2 Passion, purpose and direction will stop looking like words
from motivational posters. If we lose our way, whether on an
actual trip or while going through life, we tend to resolve to these options –
going back to a point where we knew where we were, taking chance turns in the
hope they will bring us to where we want to be, or reaching out for help. The
reality is that these don’t always work out and then we lose ourselves
It’s this feeling of being stuck, this time we spend being
stranded, that cripples us mentally and emotionally. We doom ourselves to
repeat the same numbing routine until we finally give up and accept it is all
there is for us, or worse – it’s all that we deserve.
Breaking the cycle seems pointless, because if you were good for
anything else, you would have found out by now and started doing it, right?
Wrong. Depression lies. Remember this. Depression lies.
Who knows, maybe you’ll turn out to be an amazing cook, great
with animals, really handy and capable of fixing and building things, a
researcher with a keen eye for details, an influential public speaker or an
organizer able to set up a massive event in the blink of an eye. You really
never know until you try, and once you do know – there will be no stopping you.
You will make life fall in line with what you want it to be and
continue on a road paved with hard work and fulfillment.
#3 Finding your happiness in the joy of others. Does this sound too
cheesy? Too much like a Sunday sermon? Even so, it doesn’t make it any less
Humans are hardwired to mimic other humans’ smiles. This, in
turn makes our brain send out feel-good signals all over our body, especially
the face, which results in, you guessed it, more smiles. Think of it as an
eternal loop of positive emotion injections.
You’d be surprised how much smiling goes on while charity
happens. And even if you choose a field that does not suggest a lot or any
actual human contact, like animal shelters or online databases, this doesn’t
mean there won’t be grins involved. Gratitude, appreciation and respect can
clearly be detected, despite the method of communication being body language or
Alleviated stress and reduced anxiety are self-generated
doorways to higher confidence and life satisfaction.
In other words, volunteering provides a natural, healthy boost
to your mental health, and it has the potential to rekindle your zest for life
and help you like who you see in the mirror. The benefits it produces when
fighting depression could be compared to those of a long standing meditation
#4 Volunteering builds a solid support group around you. We’ve all heard
stories about the bonds formed by soldiers fighting side by side, police
officers patrolling in the same car, even wild animals brought together by
These bonds are formed from the simple yet concrete-strong
foundation of going through the same experience, with the same goal, as part of
the same team. Show up and do what you are there to do – this is pretty much
all it takes.
Volunteering brings together people from all walks of life, and
although these combinations seem random, even chaotic, they work out. The idea
that unites them usually tops whatever it is that divides them. This translates
to those people being there for each other much more than you’d expect.
#5 It’s the right kind of selfish. It’s commonly
accepted that charity work is an act of selflessness, an island of altruism in
our otherwise hectic and competitive lives. But reality is never this
Don’t get us wrong, all the positive statements people make
about it are undeniably true. Dedicating time and efforts to a cause, without
expecting any financial or material gain, is as noble as it sounds.
Yet you do gain something, don’t you? Or at least find something
you thought you’d lost along the way.
For instance, it gives you a reason to get out there, something
constructive to take your mind off whatever it is that is torturing you,
self-respect, a feeling of identity, of acceptance and belonging, of being
connected, a spark of creativity and thirst for life like you never knew them
Bottom line is that volunteering is about rewarding yourself
just as much as it is about serving others. Probably even more, because once
you start seeing yourself in this new, better light, you will have shrugged off
some of the burden depression has you carrying. And this, right there, is what
can help you heal.
Volunteering is a two-way street where both, those helping and
those being helped, exchange mutually positive feelings. Though you extending
your help will be much more obvious, the act of volunteering allows you to
receive positive vibes and emotions from those who reward your charity with
If you are in a relationship, you obviously have good and bad days. That’s normal in all relationships. The up’s and down’s are not enough reasons to push a relationship off the cliff. Those are moments meant to strengthen you. I like to think of a palm tree when the downtime comes. You must have watched either live or on the news when there are bad storms in countries with many palm trees.
They don’t seem to be very steady when the winds begin to blow but if you pay close attention, those palms bend to an extent of breaking but they never lose their ground. In this same way, some of the things relationships face are meant to make things more solid. The biggest problems come from little issues left unresolved. These problems don’t go just because they were left unaddressed. Let’s take a close look at 6 reasons why relationships fail.
1. Ignorance About Petty Issues:
Many relationships become victims of their own weaknesses. Small problems become an ignored enemy which gives it the power to win. You cannot underestimate an enemy and expect to come out victorious. Those small issues you notice but fail to fix could become the biggest threat. To stop them from destroying what you’ve worked hard to build, you will need to identify them. A problem well identified is half way solved. Once you do this, write them down and find some stress-free time to discuss and solve them.
2. Lack of Emotional Discipline:
Many relationships suffer emotional abuse. Normally one partner plays the role of the abuser knowingly or unknowingly. When we allow our emotions to run wild, we fail to recognize the red flags and thus do not make conscious efforts to apply the much needed breaks when necessary. When this happens, a crash becomes imminent.
Take control over your emotions, don’t allow them to control you. We all have feelings but they must be guided. If you want to protect your heart and relationship from unwanted abuse, control your emotions. Don’t feel entitled to get whatever you want when you want it from your partner.
Do you know that the number one reason people find themselves in wrong relationships is emotional indiscipline? They let how they feel control their actions and reactions!
3. Lack of Appreciation:
Never take people’s goodwill for granted or think they are kind due to weakness. When you abuse a privilege acting like you’re entitled to it, you put yourself on a dark spot. You may lose everything this way. Get into the habit of appreciating what others do for you and be respectful while at it. This goes a long way and pushes others to want to do even more for you.
Lack of communication falls under this category. You see, when you have someone you care about and make no effort to reach out to them, they may interpret your silence as disinterest. A short text or phone call matters a lot. If you have been quiet on someone you love or care for, don’t wait for them to break that silence. Take the initiative to reach out. Don’t miss out on a good thing because of pride.
Thought for the Soul:
“To have good relationships with people at any level of life, good personality must be present. You must be in a position to concede and compromise some things. Have an understanding heart so that you can forgive.”
Find out how you can make your marriage shift from worst to great again.
The need to be loved is a primary emotional need for all mankind. A trigger for an invitation to share love on long-term basis. This desire is a phenomenon that follows us from childhood. If you remember your child hood memories, nothing made you happier than your parents love.
As an adult, when you found someone to reciprocate this feeling, it fulfilled your desire to be loved. Marriage presents the opportunity to share love on a deeper level for a long time. Love is free and it does not come with conditions or stipulations, it radiates independently like the sun.
Yearning for Love in Marriage:
The need to feel loved by your spouse is at the heart of marital desires. Married couples should understand this. In today’s society, we often find ourselves neglecting each other’s feelings in search of material possession which are no replacement for human emotional love.
If you think of a two-sided weighing scale; both weight must be equal for it to balance. Marriage is the same, it takes both spouses to balance things out. There must be consistent deposits into the love account by both partners.
The Beginning of Marital Problems:
The distraction from daily hassles has wrecked many marriages as it Creates emotional distancing. For example; a husband who spends all his time chasing material possession has no time to connect with his wife. In return, she feels ignored and starts drifting away emotionally, which leads to a lonely wife syndrome.
When and if her husband desires her, she turns him down because she feels ignored until desired. She has valid reasons but since they’re unspoken, her husband too turns into a victim of undesired. A contributing factor for most infidelities. Both couples are more than likely to seek emotional fulfillment outside of their marriage.
Attention Seeking in Marriage is Normal:
When marital problems begin to surface. Couples might start feeling burdened by each other. For this reason, they may start giving each other the cold treatment. I have friends confess to not having spoken to their husbands for weeks. You see, nature cries out to be loved by another; which makes isolation devastating to the human psyche.
The very reason solitary confinement is one of the cruelest punishment. Everyone desires to be intimate and to be loved by someone and marriage is ground to fulfill these purpose. It is not meant to be an isolation chamber. Therefore it is ok for a woman to seek her husband’s attention and vice versa. Couples who acknowledge each other stay together.
Understanding your Commitment:
When you got married, you entered into an intimate union. Living any differently can make love elusive. Something that changes both your feelings from how they were in the beginning of things. This is why you often hear people complaining that their spouse changed.
Married couples should avoid cold treatment at all costs. Emotional separation triggers arguments, disrespectful words and even hate. This doesn’t mean that there was no love in the first place, it simply means the inner person became emotionally empty. How does this happen?
Let’s think of an automobile, when gas tank is full, you can drive longer distances. If the tank is empty, the engine won’t run as intended. The same is true with love, you must refill your partner’s emotional desires constantly.
When emotional feelings are left unattended because of the busy life schedules. They sadly dry up, as a result; husbands complain that their wives don’t love them anymore and vice versa. Remember the fire you both had in the beginning? It cannot continue burning if there’s nothing to fuel it.
The Grass is Never Greener on the Other Side.
Marriage is like a silver trophy award which you received for maintaining the flames. You earned it through consistency. Unfortunately most couples get too comfortable and place the trophy on the shelves. Once the silver gets tarnished, they toss it into the garbage for a replacement.
The very reason for three, four and even five failed marriages. They don’t realize the same old mistake will tarnish the new trophy as well. What I’m l trying to say? Taking old habits into a new relationship will end things in the same direction as the previous one.
One must have clear understanding of marriage fundamentals and patience to build stability. I also strongly believe in God’s intentions for marriage. A man was declared the head of a home and so shall it be. Wise women build their homes while wise men put strong foundations.
It is easier to work on a familiar situation than walk into the unknown. If you have been considering separation, pull your tarnished silver from the shelves and give it a good polish. Separation should be a last option. Things don’t just get rocky in marriage. Couples get too comfortable and neglect their roles.
Unless you are in a violent relationship, get to the bottom of the problem and start working on each other with great respect and kindness towards one another. If there’s violence involved, please walk out before it’s too late and seek professional help. Good luck in your relationship.