"As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."  Proverbs 26:11

When good
marriages go bad
telltale signs it's
heading for divorce


whengoodmarriagesI met Victoria when she came for counselling following the breakdown of her marriage. She had decided to divorce her husband because during the short five years of their marriage he constantly abused her verbally and physically, did not help with money in spite of having a good job, was unfaithful to her several times – while having two children together in the midst of it all.

The relationship made Victoria's life miserable. She was devastated, traumatized, and had become a nervous wreck.

But what puzzled her was why and how things went so bad. She had met him in church, so he was supposedly a Christian. He was so kind and good to her in the beginning, the kind of man that her friends envied her for. The first few months of marriage were great. What went wrong?

Good marriages go bad for different reasons. And to begin with, it's important you know that good marriages CAN go bad. If you are happily married today, don't assume that things will always be fine because you "love each other and have always been happy together." Marriage is like a beautiful garden that needs to be carefully maintained, if it is to stay beautiful. Neglect it even for a week and the weeds will start growing.

I have observed a few telltale signs of marriages on the way to divorce:

"Neglect it even for a week and the weeds will start growing."

No longer first in each other's life. When you were dating, you couldn't wake up, work, eat or do anything else without thinking about each other. All your thoughts, plans and actions revolved around the person you loved. After marriage, a few years down the line, you slowly begin to let other things take center stage – your children, the house, your career, your work, yourself. You stop sacrificing for one another, doing things to please one another, and start thinking much more about yourselves. If you intend to continue that way, better start contacting the lawyers.

In Victoria's case, the problem started much earlier. Actually, it started before marriage. She married a man she didn't know. Though he was in his forties (she in her thirties), Victoria didn't bother to find out about his past and who he was. She assumed that he was a good man because she found him in church. "He was in church four times a week, gave his tithes, carried his Bible, and prayed so fervently during the services. I thought he was a man of God." A big mistake, which she paid a high price for. When it comes to giving yourself to someone in marriage, remember: If it looks like a duck, walks like and duck, and quacks like a duck, it means nothing – you still have to make sure it's a duck.

Marriage is a difficult thing and all couples make mistakes. But don't be a fool to see the mistakes and keep repeating them. Join us this Tuesday, April 13th at 7pm for the first of seven sessions of the Succeed in Marriage Course. If seven evenings could rescue your marriage, wouldn't the effort be worth it?

Have a great week!


Pr. Renato Cardoso

 


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