5 excuses unhappy couples make

When we’re committed to something, we make a way. When we’re not, we make an excuse.

My wife, Ashley, and I have connected with couples from all over the world, and one alarming trend we’ve discovered is that there seems to be an “Epidemic of Excuses” in modern marriages. What I mean by that is many couples seem to be caught in a trap of justifying an unhealthy marriage or even a choice to divorce by making excuses instead of working together to make a better marriage.

Below are some of the most common and destructive “excuses” out there. If you find yourself using these, I encourage you to take a step back and reevaluate. This post isn’t meant to minimize the very real challenges you may be facing; it’s meant to give you hope by changing your perspective. Changing your perspective is the first step in changing your marriage.

This is not a comprehensive list, but these are among the most common marriage-damaging excuses:

My spouse doesn’t make me happy anymore.
One of the biggest dangers with romance novels and pornography (as well as much of our mainstream entertainment) is that it warps our minds into thinking other people (even our own spouses) exist for our our happiness and pleasure. This is a distorted and destructive view. It’s selfish, and selfishness is the enemy of love. It’s not your spouse’s responsibility to “make you happy.”

The kids have to come first.
It’s true that we should be willing to jump in front of a moving bus to protect our children, but I’ve heard way to many people use this excuse to  justify an unhealthy marriage while trying to look like a selfless martyr for their kids. If you really want to protect your kids, then love your spouse! Give your children the security that comes from seeing their parents in a loving, committed relationship with each other! You’re teaching your kids what marriage should look like, and chances are good that they’ll grow up to repeat the kind of marriage (or divorce) you model for them.

We’d be better off apart.
On the surface, this seems like a selfless admission that the best thing for everyone would be to part ways. It’s almost never the truth. It’s usually an excuse to take a quick exit from your marriage instead of dealing with your issues and then taking those same issues into a new relationship and repeating the same dysfunctional cycle with someone else.

My spouse isn’t doing their share.
It can be incredibly frustrating when one spouse is consistently working harder than the other, but you need to give your very best even when your spouse isn’t doing the same. This is a very tough truth, but your level of commitment cannot be conditional upon your spouse’s level of commitment. Marriage is not 50-50; divorce is 50-50. Marriage has to be 100-100. It’s not dividing everything in half, but giving everything you’ve got. Your spouse is more likely to respond positively to your selfless example of excellence than to nagging, coercing or complaining.

I’ve got nothing left to give.
I know many people are in exhausting and frustrating places where there seems to be no hope, but I’ve seen too many marriage miracles to believe in the word “hopeless.” Don’t give up! Invest in each other. The resources below can help you get started. Remember that a “perfect marriage” is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.

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Love Magazine: 5 excuses unhappy couples make
5 excuses unhappy couples make
Love Magazine
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