No one enters into a marriage expecting it to fail, but unfortunately, many marriages do.
If you’re considering marriage, or are already married, it’s important to be aware of these potential pitfalls so you can work to avoid them.
By getting to know the causes of failed marriages, you can take steps to strengthen your own relationship and ensure you have a happy and bright future together!
Let’s take a look at the 10 reasons why marriages fail, so you can create a rock-solid marriage with your spouse! ❤️
10 Reasons Why Marriages Fail
1. God is not the leader
THE most important foundation for a successful marriage is a shared faith in God. When both husband and wife put God first in their lives, it gives them a common purpose and direction that can help to weather any storms they might face.
In a healthy marriage, each partner recognizes that God is the ultimate leader, and they strive to follow His will for their lives, both individually and together. This doesn’t mean that there won’t be disagreements or difficult times, we are all human, but it does provide a foundation of trust and respect that can help to carry the couple through.
If you and your spouse are struggling to keep faith at the center of your relationship, the first step is to both COMMIT to putting God first, no matter what. And I DO mean, NO….MATTER….WHAT!
Everyone falls down. Everyone sins and messes up. But it has to be the couple’s main commitment toward putting God first. To choose HIS will over our own selfish little kingdoms we create for ourselves.
For example: Often times, arguments can easily and politely be solved by going to the Word of God (Scripture is the authority), instead of fighting over individual rights.
If your husband is looking at something trashy online and you see it, you get upset and rightly so, but telling him he’s wrong and yelling at him, isn’t going to convict him and it’s not our job as wives to play the Holy Spirit.
Rather, have a very open and straightforward conversation about it. Here’s what the Bible says about it. Let’s listen to a sermon on the topic. This way, the information is coming from God, the source, the final deciding factor, rather than one person. Because in a marriage, there are a lot of things that are gray areas.
Things are not always so black and white, but if you’re both committed to following God and putting Him first in your individual lives and in your marriage, you’ll both be on the same page most of the time.
It will also diffuse a lot of anger and hostility in a marriage. If I try to say to my mate, “Hey, this is what we should do”, they see it as coming from me, a biased little selfish perspective right?, but if rather than confronting them at all on it, personally, I’ve found the best way to tackle it is to listen to a sermon together or study out for myself what the Bible says on a topic together.
If you’re in love with God and want to be pleasing to Him, you’re always going to be listening to sermons together, reading the Bible together, praying together, etc. and if you are, it’s very simple to pick a sermon that is about what you want to confront them about (their sin) all while being open to your sin (be humble about your own sin, ladies! Don’t use this as an excuse to attack, but out of a genuine heart’s desire to grow together in the Lord), without saying a single word to them.
LET GOD BE GOD. Let the Holy Spirit work in their lives. If they are not convicted about it, pray they are, but let God lead them in their Christian walk. Our job as a wife isn’t to nitpick, but to encourage and edify our spouse (and brother in Christ), raising him up, encouraging him to be the best man HE can be for Christ.
Next, make a second commitment to always try your absolute best to walk in the spirit. The difference in a person’s whole attitude when they are walking in the spirit vs. when they are walking in the flesh is night and day! Of course, we all fall off the horse and need to get back up, but if one of you has fallen down, the other can come alongside and HELP you get back up.
Figure out what works best, as each person is different. What can you do to help your husband get back into a right relationship with God when he’s fallen down? Try your best to help him because not only does it affect him and his Christian walk (and heaven’s rewards), but it affects you, your family, and your marriage. HE (and you) both need to be walking in the spirit as much as humanly possible.
If you find that YOU’RE the one not walking in the spirit (again, everyone falls down), figure out what caused you to stumble so you can take action not to do it again.
Was it a movie that set you off the path? Was it a lie? Figure out where you went wrong so you can prevent it in the future and in the meantime, PRAY! Pray that God help you get back on track. That He help you walk in the spirit again and if you’re feeling rebellious and just don’t want to walk in the spirit at the time, pray that He help you WANT to walk in the spirit again. Ask your husband to pray for you as well. Together, try always to walk in the spirit together.
Next, pray that God instills a HUNGER for God’s Word inside of them. A hunger toward wanting to BE righteous and honorable. The best thing you can do as a couple is to be running the race of endurance, like Paul talks about in the Bible (Hebrews 12:1-3), TOGETHER.
Are you both completely committed toward serving God?
Creating a life that is on fire for Jesus Christ?
Being a mission to others, getting the Word of God out there?
If you both are focused on good works and helping others come into a right relationship with God, YOUR relationship will be all the more blessed! 💯
RUN toward God, and run TOGETHER.
If they get side-swept, wait for them. Don’t keep running past them. The point of living life for Christ as a married couple, is to run together. Pray for them, do what you can to help them get back into the game of running for Christ. Don’t lose YOUR fight for God while you wait, but wait for them. If you’re married, it’s a team race.
Your spouse is your best friend and being there for one another is important. Being best friends is the foundation (after God) of your entire marriage. Don’t begin to go off without your best friend, it will only lead to separation of souls.
That doesn’t mean stop your individual studies and growing in the Lord yourself, it just means, you’re a team, do this thing called life together. ❤️
Once you both are committed toward putting God first, walking in the spirit, and running for God, take the time to nurture your faith as a couple so you can give your marriage a strong and happy foundation.
Simply put, if God isn’t the center of the marriage, you both will struggle because if GOD isn’t your focus, something, or someone else always will be.
2. Lack of communication
Couples who don’t communicate openly and honestly with one another are more likely to run into problems down the road. It’s important to be able to share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse, and to listen to their perspective as well. If you’re not communicating effectively, it can lead to misunderstanding, resentment, and even an affair.
Listen, we ALL want to connect to someone. TRULY connect at the most deepest, intimate level of our souls. To feel like we CAN share our souls with someone and we are SAFE to do so. You MUST be meeting that need in your spouse and them with you also.
Again, you want to cultivate that “best-friends” mentality in your marriage. If you’re not spending time investing in one another, they will find that investment with someone else, whether a friend or another lover. Everyone has needs to be met and we must actively work HARD on meeting all our spouse’s needs! 👈 I cannot stress how important that is.
There is a sense of deep fulfillment when you can truly talk to your spouse. MAKE the time to talk. And if you’ve been married a long time and think you know EVERYTHING about your spouse, think again. You don’t. Here’s a great tool to invest in your relationship: Conversation Starters Binder. It’ll help you come up with LOADS of things to talk about (hours and hours worth, EVEN if you’ve been marriage a long time!!!) 🎉 It’s a great investment into your marriage.
Make a commitment to studying them for the rest of your life. Get to know them so that you can meet their needs, both in spirit and physical. It’s really hard to divorce a person who is meeting every single one of your needs!!!!!!!!! Think about it!!! 💯
3. Lack of trust
Trust is an essential part of any relationship.
It helps to build a foundation of mutual respect and understanding. When couples trust one another, they are more likely to be open and honest with each other.
However, when trust is lacking, couples may start to keep secrets from one another. Keeping secrets from each other can lead to misery (or infidelity)! Make a commitment with your spouse that you won’t keep any secrets from each other.
Sometimes that can be difficult. It can lead to SUPER awkward conversations, but it’s really better to HAVE those awkward conversations than to keep things buried inside.
The more you allow your spouse into those “hidden” areas in your life, the more you feel free to be yourself (not wearing a mask or trying to be someone else). You feel freer and more accepted and loved because they know you, all of you, who you are right down to the core and still love you. We are all fallen creatures and we ALL need someone to REALLY love us, despite those shortcomings.
As you share with them and build that trust, they share with you and you build that trust for yourself with them also. It’s a two-way street. The more you share, the more you talk, the more you communicate, the more you begin to trust each other.
Talking should be a safe place. Your marriage partner should be your #1 best friend (outside of God). If you’d run to tell a girl friend something, it should be your husband instead. It’s not that you can’t tell your girl friend something ALSO, but that your husband should be FIRST.
Your bond with HIM should be stronger than any other relationship on the planet!
When couples feel that they can trust one another, they are more likely to feel closer and more connected. As a result, trust can help to strengthen the bond between two people the more you talk things out and trust each other.
Infidelity is one of the most common reasons why marriages fail. When one spouse cheats on the other, it can cause feelings of betrayal, anger, and insecurity. Even if you don’t recognize those feelings as they are buried, they are still there and must be dealt with.
You feel like you’re not good enough. You don’t understand WHY they would cheat. Weren’t you doing a good job of being a good wife? Not perfect of course, but doing well? Are you not pretty enough? WHY did they cheat? Not knowing the inner workings of their mind and why they would do something like that can cause a lot of pain and insecurity that you would bring over into a possible next relationship.
You have to work those things out BEFORE entering into any relationship (whether that be taking your husband back if he is genuinely repentant or a new relationship with someone else).
If you’re finding yourself struggling with fidelity in your marriage yourself, it’s important to seek help immediately so that you can address the underlying issues. This can be in the form of counseling, therapy, or even just talking to a trusted GODLY friend. Whatever you do, know this: God would never want you to cheat on your spouse.
Cheating is SIN. Don’t do it. If he’s already cheated on you, so you feel like it’s okay to cheat back, take the proper steps first, as outlined in the Bible. It is OKAY to divorce someone if they have had a physical affair. So in this case, you are free to divorce him and THEN, be with someone else (only physically intimate within the boundaries of a marriage). But never retaliate and cheat for cheating.
The most important thing is to be honest with yourself and your spouse about what is going on. If you are feeling tempted to cheat, talk to your spouse about it. Say, look, I’m REALLY tempted to be with this person, here’s why, here’s what’s happening. I don’t want to cheat but my flesh is weak. How can we work this out so I don’t cheat? Just be honest. Your husband can oftentimes, come up with great solutions.
Maybe it’s helping you never be alone with that other person and being aware of it to prevent you being alone with the other. Maybe it’s walking with you through reading the Bible more and memorizing verses that can help you when you are tempted.
Maybe it’s your husband putting his arm around you when you’re in public and around that other person, showing that you are HIS and that you belong to him (this can often cause the other person to back off).
It may mean saying goodbye to a job. If you work somewhere and you’re tempted by someone, leave. Remember Joseph in the Bible ran so fast she had his clothes in her hands!
It may mean ending a friendship with someone you care about. Chose your spouse and marriage over them!
It may mean, you go to another store when shopping.
Wherever, whatever it is that you’re tempted, close those doors and close them quick! Don’t allow yourself to be tempted. The flesh is not always stronger than the will to not cheat!
Do everything it takes, however drastic (without sinning) to not cheat.
Guard your marriage and protect it at all costs (outside of sin). Don’t spend time alone with the opposite sex. Don’t have friends that are the opposite sex, not when marriage. It leads to too much getting close, and that closeness needs to be with your spouse! Don’t fool yourself. Remember that a lot of affairs start off with: “She’s just a friend”.
5. Financial problems
Money is often a source of stress in relationships, and it can be even more difficult to navigate when you’re married. If you’re not on the same page financially, it can lead to arguments and resentment.
It’s important to be honest about your financial situation with your spouse and to work together to find a solution that works for both of you. Don’t hide spending habits and don’t act like you know everything about budgeting or finances – that won’t help at all and instead will hinder, prolong, or even create your financial problems to begin with.
On top of that, spitefully spending money will only lead to devastation, which can lead to arguments about who spends what and why.
It is critical to have financial transparency with your spouse to help prevent money from becoming a source of stress in your relationship. This will save so much hurtful drama for you both.
6. Substance abuse
Substance abuse is a serious problem that can destroy marriages. If one or both spouses are addicted to drugs or alcohol, it can wreak havoc on their relationship on so many levels.
Plus, addiction can affect all areas of your life, such as your personality and who you were when you were addicted. Things won’t be the same, and you may have to start all over again, even with your marriage. It’s not worth it. If you don’t drink, DON’T start (Ephesians 5:18). If you don’t do drugs, DON’T start and if you do, STOP.
Not only can substance abuse lead to financial problems, but it can also cause infidelity, domestic violence, and health issues. If you’re struggling with addiction, it’s important to seek help so that you can get your life back on track.
Lack of communication about substance abuse is one reason why marriages fail because it creates a web of lies. Just be sure to be open with your spouse about your addiction problems. Your spouse loves you and should be open to receiving all information from you with no judgment, and should seek to only help you and what is best for YOU.
7. Domestic violence
Domestic violence is a very serious problem that can have a devastating impact on marriages. When one partner feels like they have to resort to violence in order to get their point across, it creates an incredibly toxic and dangerous dynamic within the relationship.
Not only is it emotionally scarring for everyone involved, but it can also lead to physical injury or even death. If you’re being abused by your spouse, it’s important to seek help so that you can get out of the situation and get to a safe place.
When my ex-husband got physically violent with me, I went to live in a place that was especially created for domestic violence and rape victims so that me and my kids could be safe.
It was a hidden house, in the middle of a residential area where no one knew about and was “off the radar” (in order to protect us all). There is help, I promise you. Just talk to people (welfare is a good place to talk to as they know all the resources!) even if you’re not trying to qualify for welfare, just going and talking to them will get you the resources you need. The police is another good resource, but I believe that welfare knows all the resources MUCH better.
Either way, get help. You should not stay in a place you are not safe. That doesn’t mean divorce right away, it just means get safe!
8. Resentment and bitterness
Without a shared faith, it can be all too easy for couples to drift apart and eventually grow resentful of one another. When couples hold onto resentment and bitterness, it can poison their relationship.
I once knew of a couple where the wife confided in me that she did not like something the husband did. It wasn’t anything illegal, or sinful or bad at all that he did. Just a decision he made to increase the home’s value and she got so upset about it.
For years, she hoarded that resentment toward him and I watched as their marriage went from being the “it couple” to being a sham. All pretty and perfect on the outside, but completely fake on the inside because she was hiding stuff: resentment and anger.
I don’t know where this couple is today, but while I knew them, I saw this poison in her own heart begin to infiltrate other areas also.
She started becoming a fraud and to be honest, I’m not sure if she’s even a Christian at all. It’s a very, very sad story to me, one so real that I think about it often. It haunts me how all this happened over something that is not sin (his decision) and how EASILY sin can entangle ALL our hearts, poison our lives, and ultimately, destroy us from the inside out.
If you’re feeling resentful of your spouse, it’s important to communicate your feelings and work together to resolve the issues. Otherwise, the resentment will only grow and eventually lead to the end of the marriage, whether you stay together and go through the motions or a physical ending of the marriage.
Learn to forgive, even when you’re wronged (this is what I use to help me sometimes and it DOES help! Just smell it and put one drop on your wrist and rub it in.)
Listen, no relationship can withstand unforgiveness!!!!! 💯
9. Not discussing things before marriage
When you’re in love, it’s easy to overlook potential problems that could arise down the road. However, if you don’t take the time to discuss important topics with your partner before you get married, you could be setting yourself up for trouble.
Finances, religion, goals in life, and children are all important topics that should be discussed before tying the knot. By having these conversations, you can ensure that you and your partner are on the same page and want the same things out of life.
You may not agree on everything and that’s okay. That’s normal, but it’s important to be aware of each other’s views and determine if the other person is WILLING to consider your point of view on things.
You BOTH want to be open to bending and compromising. You’re taking TWO separate and complete lives and MERGING them into one. You want to discuss as much of these things as humanly possible before marriage because building trust and that solid “best friends” relationship is the foundation of a marriage (under God, of course).
If he’s not willing to bend and is completely stuck on topics that you don’t feel you can adhere to, then you need to talk about it and decide if you’re willing to accept those things. He should feel free to talk to you about anything, even sins, and you should be willing to talk to him about yours too. You both need to realize that everyone sins and it’s not a complete rejection if someone shows their sins, but that it’s more about if he is willing to do everything they can NOT to sin.
- Do they take precautions against sinning?
- Do they run to the Lord with their whole heart?
- Do they love God and you?
- Do they sacrifice for you?
- Do they put God first in their life?
- Do they obey Him in all areas?
- Do they submit to Him in tough areas or do they fight for their own rights?
If they do not do these things while dating, it’s going to be even harder to encourage them to do them while MARRIED!
As you talk, it’s not so much about the actual things you’re agreeing or disagreeing on but rather the heart BEHIND the words. Do they want to be the best person they can be or are they completely satisfied with who they are now?
As Christians, we are ALWAYS growing and being molded and shaped into the person that God wants us to be. Are they?
If he’s willing to bend and see things from your angle, if he’s willing to consider your point of view and think about what he feels, then this is the best kind of guy you could be with. 🎉
But these are all questions you want to ask yourself before getting marrying and if you are already married and don’t know or haven’t talked about it yet, get on it! 🙂 Find out what they believe. Find out all these things. It will only lead to you guys becoming closer!
Just be sure you are talking about everything in a loving and safe way. Not coming from a point of attacking or anything. If the conversation starts to feel attacking, it’s best to step away for a little while, think and process things, and then come back to it and talk about it later. Either way, talking is VITAL to a healthy best friends kind of marriage.
10. Different life goals
One of the most important aspects of a successful marriage is having compatible life goals. If you and your spouse are on different pages, having different hopes, dreams, and goals for life, it can make it difficult to find common ground because one person is working toward one thing and another person is working toward another. Your end result won’t be together.
However, this doesn’t mean that your relationship is doomed forever. With some honest communication and a willingness to compromise, you can overcome any obstacle. It’s important to sit down and discuss your goals so that you can see where the other is coming from and be on the same page.
Once you have a better understanding of each other’s perspectives and life’s goals, it will be easier to find a middle ground. Remember, marriage is all about compromise. If you’re both willing to meet in the middle, you can make your marriage work no matter what your life goals may be.
Remember, if you’re married, don’t give up. Don’t think that your marriage will just babysit itself. It won’t. A great marriage takes time, practice, and a willingness to change daily and be the best person that God wants you to be. You need TWO, count ’em, TWO people committed to doing that to make a marriage work!
With that in place, you can overcome any obstacle in your relationship and build a strong foundation for a successful future together. 🥰