Why Marriages Crash and Relationships Fail

Lately, I’ve been asked severally by young men and women about relationship advice as it pertains to settling down with a significant other. Now while I don’t advertise being a relationship counselor, I am a personal coach. So I’ve since realized that there are major distinctions that must be made so people begin to first of all understand who they are before seeking what they desire most in a partner.

Personally, I believe people desire in others either what they lack in themselves or that which they desire in others values that they also hold dearly.

Let’s put it this way, a young lady, Ms. Dayo who is a humanitarian with the United Nations, who believes strongly in the values of:

1. Contribution
2. Freedom
3. Loyalty
4. Love

She will gravitate strongly towards a journalist working as a correspondent with Aljazeera Network, let’s call him Kenneth, without much money but with similar set of values perhaps in such an order:

1. Love
2 Contribution
3. Freedom
4. Recognition

The person may not be a humanitarian, but could be fulfilling the same purpose through their profession or volunteering in a cause. Within this relationship, each person finds fulfillment in sharing ideas, stories and a network of similar minded individuals.

If however for some reason, Ms. Dayo due to social pressure from her parents to marry into a rich home, breaks up with Kenneth and marries Chief Tokunbo Ajayi, whose main values are as follows:

1. Money
2. Power
3. Respect
4. Recognition.

After a lavish wedding in Dubai, she’ll end up answering his surname, living in a hilltop mansion, drive the latest Mercedes SUV and have servants at her beck and call. However she may never find fullfilment. She’ll live her life wondering what would have been….

If she decides to start an NGO to cater to the needs of the less fortunate, her rich husband may never truly understand her reasons why. He and his friends may donate towards the foundation, but he may later sneer at her choice of a career due to the fact that it isn’t making money and holds little potential to wield much influence in political matters. When he invites her to accompany him to visit the Minister at IBB golf course, she’ll decline and find more fullfilment in spending the weekend at the orphanage her NGO supports. After a while he starts to resent her choices, makes fun of her and witholds his cheque book.

These factors are what most divorce couple face when they cite “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for their divorce. Mrs Dayo Ajayi may to other lead a fairy-tale life, but until her highest values are being met, she would never quite see it through the eyes of the other ladies at the country club they attend on Sundays, whose values may be more similar to Chief Tokunbo Ajayi.

So before choosing a life partner, it is important to clarify on your personal values first, then see if that which you truly desire is a partner who shares your values or whose highest values match those which you lack in yourself but cherish in others.

Marriage isn’t a piece of cake, neither is it a short-term project. So understanding this, could spell the difference between success and failure. If you find out that your values are clashing with those of your spouse, all hope isn’t lost. The first step to change is an acknowledgement of where you are now and an awareness of what’s missing.

So take a sheet of paper and a pen, write out your values and clarify them in a descending order of importance. If Chief Tokunbo Ajayi was to do this exercise, he should then introduce the values he desires to adopt into his top 5 values and become aware of his need to adjust his thinking to adopt these set of new values. Hence, his list that once looked like this:

1. Money
2. Power
3. Respect
4. Recognition

Would now look more like this

1. Love
2. Money
3. Respect
4. Contribution
5. Power

Values can be introduced subtly by our conscious mind into our subconscious. This isn’t a compromise. it is called flexibility. Something each human is capable of being if they want to, we’re not stuck in a single place like trees. The big question then is, do we want to change? Can we find enough compelling reasons to do so? Anyone can change if they find enough reasons why.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are snarky, offensive, or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “Why Marriages Crash and Relationships Fail

  1. This is simply mind blowing truth. I’ve learnt something profound from this piece already. Thanks, Ebuka for this article!

    More grace to your pen/brain.

  2. Very nice article and straight to the point. I don at know if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thanks