It’s the seventh month, what an awesome privilege to be alive. How has it been so far reading from me each week? Like the famous management guru, Ken Blanchard said, “Feedback is the food of champions.” I love to know how these thoughts have been of help to you, or anything especially you will want me to write about, with regards to the family.
Last month (June), I focused on managing (preventing) interferences in marriage. But this month, I will focus on how to have a comeback from a marital breakdown.
A breakdown is said to have occurred when the normal functioning of a machine, person or relationship is disrupted due to some failure. This failure can be system (complete) or partial (affecting only some parts).
The bottom line in breakdowns is that losses are usually recorded. The common losses are financial, time, materials, or even manpower. Let us try and bring this home to marriages and families. When anyone experiences a marital breakdown, the normal functioning of that person or the relationship becomes disrupted. In some cases, either partner or the children could even become incapacitated – financially, emotionally, intellectually, socially, or otherwise. This gives us an idea of how important the normal functioning of the relationship is.
Like in machine breakdowns, causes of marital (or relationships) breakdown are also similar. A few of these causes are:
- Not Reading the Operator’s Manual
It can be amazing how people just begin to work on a machine without first trying to understand the mind of the manufacturer with respect to the machine. It is like installing a software application (I am yet to see anyone who really took the time to read through a software policy before installing it). We may be able to do this for software applications, but for human relationships, especially marriage, knowledge is key.
- Improper maintenance
The main purpose of regular maintenance is to ensure that all equipment required for production is operating at 100% efficiency at all times. Through short daily inspections, cleaning, lubricating, and making minor adjustments, minor problems can be detected and corrected before they become a major problem that can shut down a production line. A good maintenance program requires company-wide participation and support by everyone ranging from the top executive to the shop floor personnel.
There are sound principles that guide the proper functioning of a marriage union. Some of these are mutual respect, open communication, mutual gratification, watching each other’s back, trust, etc. When these elements are lacking on a daily basis, a breakdown may be inevitable.
- Overrunning machine’s capability
Your spouse has a limit to their mental, intellectual, financial and social capacity, and so do you. While it may not be good to stay on the same level you were at when you got married, but it may be even more injurious to try and overrun your spouse.
It is your duty to help each other grow, but you should do this steadily and systematically. Keep raising the bar, but gradually. When the strain becomes too painful, it may lead to a breakdown.
- Improper weather-related use
There is an environment where your spouse can function maximally. It is your duty to try and understand this and create it for him/her. If, for example, your spouse loves it quiet, cool and serene, try as much as possible to create this environment for her. In an environment where there is rancor, cynicism, hatred, in fact, any form of disorder, breakdown is inevitable.
- Ignoring warning signals
The last point I love to share in today’s article is the fact that the signs are always there. Consider how it all started and compare it to what you now have; is this how it used to be? Did you notice any signs of withdrawal, aloneness, or bottling up? Did you notice a change in language, moods, and willingness to communicate? Did you notice a sudden disinterest in chores, sex, and those activities you both used to enjoy? These are just warning signs that a breakdown is imminent. It is better to nip it in the bud before it becomes a giant tree.
I do hope these thoughts have been beneficial today. Is there anything you will love to add to the list? Is there any of the points you are having issues with? I will be just a beep away to hear from you.
I value you.
Dele Ayo Bankole
He is an Associate Family Systems Engineering (FSE) Practitioner, a family and behavioral change therapist. He is the Principal Family Strategist at the High-Impact Family Centre. He helps to design unique strategies for wholesome family and organizational experience. He can be reached on Phone/WhatsApp (08064980357) and Email, highimpactfamilycentre@gmail. com. If you have any comments, feedback, questions, or suggestions, he will love to hear from you.
“Together, we can make an emotionally healthy Africa possible!”