In my previous blog on my first year of marriage, I briefy touched on the 4 F’s that lead to Divorce. My husband and I learned them while attending premarital counseling with our church. While they can lead to failure in marriage, they really can also apply in premarital relationships as well.
The first F is Friend. As married women and men, and even single women and men seriously dating, you really have to be mindful who you confide in with your relationship worries. Dogging your spouse to your friends can sometimes lead to judgement and even encouragement to leave your spouse or participate in cheating or disrespectful activities. In marriage, you really need friends that encourage you to work through your problems and really want to see your marriage succeed. I have been that friend that always told my single friends when my husband did something wrong to me back when we dated and when we were engaged. While some of them were very receptive to being a listening ear and giving sound advice, some developed this negative connotation of him leading to me forgiving him and moving on while they held grudges. I know the old saying “Keep what happens in your marriage in your marriage” but if you don’t release and vent to somebody at times, I swear you could go insane bottling all that up. I thank God for my circle that I can confide in…betta get yours!
The second F is Family. Very similar to friend. Family may not be as forgiving as you are when you forgive and move on. Family can also potentially not like your spouse and deliberately try to break your relationship up. There has to be a level of respect for your spouse from all parties involved and if there is not, you have to decide if that family member is more important than your significant other. I personally have not had a parent not be too fond of me and make it known or anything, but we all have seen situations where mom doesn’t like this woman for her baby or daddy thinking this man won’t love my daughter right. Or look at Kandi on Real Housewives of Atlanta. Momma Joyce had the Old Lady Gang helping her with a No Todd Campaign when Kandi wanted to marry her now husband Todd. Parents are a touchy subject and a very fine line, but as an adult, a line has to be drawn on how parents’ feelings and views affect the decisions their children make as adults around who they love.
The third F is finances. This one hit my home hard and still does from time to time. In my relationship, I am the spender and my husband is the saver. My husband is the strong one when it comes to budgeting and saving, so I have given up trying to do things my way in this department. In the beginning, totally different story. When we got married, we became one, or so I thought. I was ready for joint bank accounts, joint credit cards, all that. My husband…not so much. He still FIRMLY believed that we should keep any and all money related things separate. He did not want anything to do with me joint wise cause I had more debt. I had the lower credit score. In his mind, I was the burden he did not want to carry financially and if that meant watching me drown while he flourished then oh well. We went to talk to our pastor about finances in marriages, and I still remember us getting home and him saying I want to divorce, cause I ain’t doing any of that he just told us. That was a month after we got married. Marriage Counseling taught him to slowly start building trust in me and giving me opportunities to show him I could practice discipline on my spending habits. It also taught me to look within and find out what it is that would send me into these retail therapy swings. I had no clue that as far back as college I would sometimes take my feelings of loss from losing my dad and I would try to fill that loss with nice and new things to make me happy again. It started to roll into whenever I was down or felt I was at my lowest, I would rack up debt then pay it off. It got to where I was charging way tooooo much to fill that void and I couldnt just pay it off with a bonus or income tax check. I am still working through some debt (student loans…bruh Imma die with those lol), but my husband has developed a more supportive mindset to helping me and educating me. He has me on a pay off my debt plan and we use google docs to track my spending and debt paying. Trust, we still have our moments but I am very thankful we have gotten this far. We even have a joint account! Very restricted on what goes in but it’s a start! lol
4. Fidelity (or lack thereof)
The fourth F is fidelity. Not just in a sense of cheating, but doing what you say you are going to do in general. If expectations were developed and agreed on as a couple, then follow through with those. In my home, whoever gets out the bed last, makes the bed. If the trash is piling up, my husband takes the trash out. We do not go to bed with dishes in the sink. Things as small as that go a long way when you both said you would do them. My husband hates me leaving the bed unmade (which tends to happen a lot these days going back to work after a baby), but I am really trying to make a better effort to get on track with it. As far as cheating, that is understood I am sure on how that can lead to failure in a marriage or relationship. No one wants to be embarrassed or made to look like fool by someone they love. Marriage is a commitment before God, and adultery is a commandment. All I can say is nothing should be worth losing your marriage/family. I don’t care how good it looks or how much money it makes. If you gotta cheat, think about why you committed to begin with.
These seem self explanatory, but it is so easy to slip and slide that slope of failure in a marriage. Reach one teach one!