You should never have gotten married to begin with.

Marriage, like many other areas of life, is not to be entered lightly. Unfortunately,

many, if not most marriages do not live up to the expectations that were

anticipated at their beginning. There can be many reasons for this, but we will be

exploring three of the top reasons that people who are married are really

divorced, and what can be done to help correct this problem.

We should never have gotten married to begin with.

The process of choosing someone we would like to marry is not an easy one. We

date people to see if we are compatible with each other in a variety of areas.

Areas we look for compatibility include food we like to eat, music we like to listen

to, activities we like to participate in, spiritual practices we like to observe and

cultural, or family traditions we like to participate in, to name a few.

Other items that are very important comes down to simply how we are wired. Do

we like to touch and be touched, is it important to spend most of our time

together, do we like to do things for people and have things done for us, do we

like to compliment people and be complimented in return, and do we like to give

things to other people and have things given to us, or not.

Of course, one last item that is very important is the physical attraction and

passion we have for that person.

When it comes to choosing someone we want to marry, we usually do a very

good job with the physical attraction part, and then fail miserably when it comes

to the other areas. Physical attraction and passion are very important, however

when that is what the marriage is built upon, it is destined to fail miserably. No

amount of physical attraction and passion can stand up to people who are not

compatible or do not have the same wiring in how they interact with others.

In fact, the physical relationship will mask the other issues for a while. This

usually lasts just long enough for the two people to become very comfortable

with each other, and for the people around them to become comfortable with the

idea of these two people being together. When this happens, even though the

relationship is not what either hoped for, it has become very comfortable for all

concerned and the thought of hurting the other person, or the people around

them makes it too difficult to end the relationship, only to postpone doing so until

later, or choosing to just exist together, which is as if they are not married at all.

We want to change them to be like us

One of the interesting things in the process of choosing someone to marry, is

often, we choose someone that is very different than we are. This is actually a

very positive thing, if we can still check the other boxes of compatibility and

wiring in interacting with others.

This desire to choose someone very different than ourselves makes perfect sense

when we think about it. Each one of us has strengths and weaknesses. The

person we choose to marry often has the opposite strengths and weaknesses. So,

when the two combine in the relationship, their strengths and weaknesses

complement each other, where one is weak, the other is strong, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, this is not what usually happens. I had a friend once put it to me

this way, “we spend our life looking for someone who is different than we are, to

offset our weaknesses, and after we find them, we spend the rest of our life trying

to change them to be like us”.

In our humanness, we have such a desire to be right, or to have our own way. So,

even though we know we have a weakness in certain areas, we would rather

argue or fight to be right than to let someone else who is strong in that area be

right or have their way.

When we choose to argue and fight to be right in areas where we are weak, then

the marriage is dysfunctional and again will likely end, or just exist, which again is

as if they were not married at all.

We allow things to become routine.

This is one of the biggest issues facing every marriage. There are so many things

that come into play with this. First, and maybe foremost, we simply get lazy. Life

is hard and has many responsibilities. When you are sharing life together, it is so

easy to find a routine that both of you like, that makes life just a little bit easier.

There is nothing wrong with this at times, however our tendency is to get into

that routine and never change it.

Second, we are simply tired. Our pace of life and all that must be done, can wear

us out. If feels good to relax with your mate and to unwind and let the stress of

the day melt away as you relax together. Again, there is nothing wrong with

allowing yourself to recharge your battery, but when this becomes routine, the

tiredness turns into boredom and life can start to feel very dull.

Third, somehow, we start to think it is more important to take care of the

responsibilities, or the things that come up outside the home, than it is to stay

focused inside the home. The person we are closest to is often the one most

easily taken for granted, and even though we may not want it to seem that way,

we send a clear message of what we think is important when we start taking our

mate for granted.

Fourth, we simply get selfish. When we think more of ourselves, we are

concerned with how we feel or what we need, instead of thinking these same

thoughts for our mate. When we fall into a pattern of only wanting our needs

met, this becomes a habit and we start a routine that will be almost impossible

for us to turn around.

What can we do to change this?

1. Make sure you are compatible with the person you plan to marry.

Again, you can be very different people, but you need to be compatible or

the differences will be too much for the marriage to overcome. The simple

parts of life like enjoying meals together, listening to music together,

participating in activities together, observing spiritual practices together, or

attending cultural, or family traditions together, will not be so simple. At

first, you may go through the motions and try to enjoy these together, but

over time this will not hold up. You will find that one of you sacrifices

yourself to allow you to do things together, or you will end up each going

your own way and doing these things alone, or with friends instead of your

mate. If you find yourselves arguing and fighting about these things before

you get married, you may want to rethink the marriage altogether.

Also, make sure you are wired the same way in at least two areas. If you

like to touch and be touched and your mate doesn’t, or if you like to spend

time together and your mate wants to spend time with friends, or if you

like to do things for other people and your mate doesn’t, or if you like to

compliment and be complimented and your mate doesn’t, or if you like to

give and receive things and your mate doesn’t, this will be a source of

conflict. You don’t have to match in all the areas, however the two of you

should be similar in the areas most important to you, or you will find

yourselves arguing and fighting continually over these areas. Again, if you

find yourselves arguing and fighting about these things before you get

married, you may want to rethink the marriage.

Finally, make sure physical attraction is not the only, and most important

area you look for. In fact, when you are dating, if you are sensing that

something is missing in the relationship, stop doing things physical for a

period. If physical is the only thing holding the relationship together, it will

become painfully evident if you stop doing this. As we said before, physical

will mask issues in the relationship, so if you stop the physical, the other

issues will rise to the top when the mask is removed. Then you can either

resolve these issues or end the relationship before you get married.

2. Stop trying to change your mate.

You picked someone different than you for a reason. You were drawn to

someone because they were different than you. They completed a side of

you that was lacking. So, quit being self-destructive to the relationship in

having to be right, or having your own way, and realize that your mate

should have their own way as much as you. If we could only view the

marriage relationship as a give and take, then there could be a functional

relationship where each person’s strengths were maximized, and the

weaknesses were minimized. The person who has strengths in certain

areas would take the lead in those areas, and the person who has strengths

in other areas would take the lead in those. This will require teamwork

with each side understanding their strengths and weaknesses to know who

should take the lead in different situations. This simple fact alone can

resolve many of the problems most relationships have.

3. Do not allow your relationship to become routine

The very existence of your marriage may rely, in large part, to this issue.

When you find a routine that both of you like, enjoy it and find pleasure in

this, however don’t become lazy and let this routine become the major part

of your marriage. Remember we are human, and as such we are fickle. We

get bored very easily with things that become routine and when we get

bored in our marriage, we will look for adventure outside of our marriage.

This is a primary reason that affairs occur within marriage relationships.

The irony is, that if we were in a marriage relationship with the person we

were having an affair with, we would probably fall into another routine and

get bored with them as well. Have we ever thought about having an affair

with the person you are married to? If we put the time and energy it takes

to have an affair into the relationship with our mate, we would probably be

amazed at the results we would see. Instead of allowing ourselves to

become lazy and fall into a routine, have an affair with your mate. Not only

will this add adventure back to the relationship, but it will also add a spark

of creativity and excitement that will keep the marriage vital year after


If you continually find yourself tired and simply wanting to relax together, it

may be time to assess what all you have going on. Again, it is good to find

time to relax together, but if you are run down and always finding

yourselves tired, you may need to adjust your schedule. We know there

are seasons of life where it is impossible to stop doing some of the things

we have to do, however many times we are the ones adding things into our

schedule we would be better off not doing. Look at your schedule and see

what areas you can eliminate to feel more rested and give more energy to

the marriage. You will find there is more value in scheduling time for your

marriage than there is in scheduling things outside your marriage that take

your energy needed to keep your marriage from becoming a tired routine.

Along with this thought, realize that nothing outside the marriage

relationship is as important as what is going on inside the marriage

relationship. Do not ever take your mate for granted and see other people

or things as more important than they are. This is the quickest way to the

end of a marriage. Your mate must always be the most important person in

your life. Everything we do must consider them before we consider

anything outside the marriage relationship. Every decision we make to put

something else in front of our mate, communicates to them that they are

not the most important thing in our life. It must be a conscious effort to

make yourself put your mate above everything outside the marriage.

This also includes our own selfishness. There is no question we must take

care of ourselves or we will not be able to give to anyone else, but taking

care of ourselves must never be at the expense of our mate. In our

marriage relationship, we should always think of our mate as importantly as

we think of ourselves. This means that every decision we make will not

only take our desires into consideration, but also our mates. When we do

this, we are always able to come up with better solutions for the marriage.

Instead of finding solutions that just meet our own needs, we find solutions

that meet both our needs and our mates needs. Not only does this make

for a “win/win” solution, it also shows our mate how important they are to


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