HOW PROMISING MARRIAGES TURN SOUR
Things being equal, we are attracted to, and fall in love with people of the opposite sex who are similar to us, or whose characteristics compliment ours.
While some of these connections fail, some last the test of time because the person involved is reasonably competent and our expectations for the relationship are fairly met.
This tale that begins with a little attraction ends in marriage for most people.
Often, the decision to settle down with the chosen one is a product of profound consideration and acceptance of the fact that the person in question is not perfect, but at least manageable. And we assume, and pray, that he/she continues to be manageable, or even improve in the long run.
This however is not always the case, as a little while in marriage, things begin to deteriorate and the once happy couple who thought they knew each other so well start to see each other as total strangers.
Why is this so?
To fully understand this mystery, you need to first understand the psychology of love.
The Psychology Of Love
Love is the strangest emotion. Unlike anger, worry, surprise and other emotions, love has multiple dimensions. It is an experience, or a feeling that is characterised by a sense of calmness, relaxation, cheerfulness, and or liveliness. It is the absence of pain and worry.
In the context of this subject matter, love is synonymous to feeling good.
How Love Develops
When you receive genuine compliment, affection or touch from a significant other, your brain receives these stimulation and activates the brain reward centre (the Limbic System), which releases chemical substances that produce the pleasing sensation that you feel.
Key chemicals released include dopamine and oxytocin. Phenylethylamine, a chemical substance similar to amphetamine that relieves depression and elevate mood is believed to be involved too.
How much love you feel depends on the frequency and intensity of attention, affection, complements and other romantic gestures that you receive from your spouse. These gestures are acting like a drug; they increase the secretion of love hormones which reduce stress, improve mood, produce good feelings and also increase the bond between you and your spouse.
How Love Fades
The same biological process and bond hormone (oxytocin) that binds us together plays a major role in separating us.
Oxytocin is not solely a love hormone, its effect varies across situations. Simone Shamay-Tsoory put it thus: “…when the person’s association is positive, oxytocin bolsters pro-social behaviour; when the association is negative, the hormone increases negative sentiments.”
Keywords in both processes are “frequency” and “intensity.” The more frequent and intensely you have positive association with your spouse, the stronger the bond between you two. And the more frequent and intensely you have negative interactions, the faster the bond between you two weakens, thereby increasing the likelihood of seperation and divorce.
Now, let’s look at how marriages turn sour..
The Role Of Personality
There is something called personality, that is, the sum total of one’s way of thinking, feeling, and acting that is unique for the person, and makes him/her different from everyone else.
Across the globe, there are no two people who think, feel, or act the exact same way.
If this is true for identical twins, how much more for you and your spouse.
Throughout our existence, we’ve learned to eat certain kinds of food, talk, and act in ways that are typical to the environment we lived in, things we are exposed to, or groups we belong to.
In light of the fact that no two people have the same life experience, our pattern of thinking and acting are always conflicting.
I quite agree that there are times when people behave in certain ways to demean or to avenge for the pains their spouse had caused them, but most of the time, the triggers of misunderstanding and resulting conflicts in marriages are not deliberate attempts to demean or to hurt.
If your intentions had ever been misunderstood, you understand what I am talking about.
People need to understand and accept the fact that no one is perfect including one self. Your spouse may offend you today, and tomorrow, you will unknowingly, implicitly or explicitly, offend your spouse.
In a relationship where mutual trust and understanding is lacking, conflicts and hurts are recurrent and intense. Although the couple sometimes make up, the scars last much longer and are piling up. You already know the direction that such a union is heading.
The Role Of The Supernatural
The role of the supernatural is a conversation we must have as far as this subject matter is concern. We can not ignore spiritual issues because it is true and is the foundation and the essence of our existence.
Marriage is an institution created by God. And He, who understands it best, gave us a governing philosophy.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord… Now, as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:22&24.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loves the church…” Ephesians 5:25.
Any practice outside this philosophy is a sure recipe for chaos and frustration.
But the truth is, it is almost impossible to love someone that is more like a thorn in the flesh unconditionally. However, it is possible.
Sarki Gadah is a Christian Psychologist, a Writer, and a Speaker. He specialize on remediating withdrawal challenges in addicts and also help couples in the brink of divorce or separation safe the relationship and rediscover their passion so they can be happy ever after.