Every Marriage Has Problems?
In our society, the belief that every marriage has problems
has become an accepted mindset.
Should people entering into marriage expect domestic
troubles such as constant arguments, spousal fights, abuse,
sleeping in separate bedrooms, slamming doors, lingering disagreements,
domestic violence and then eventual divorce?
Does every marriage have problems?
Who Says Every Marriage Has
I never met him personally but Bill Koch, the energy magnate,
owner of Oxbow Corporation, was going through a tense high
profile divorce. His now ex-wife had filed assault charges
against him, but later recanted. At some point, Mr. Koch,
through his spokesman, said: ‘‘every marriage
has its problems, and my marriage to Angela is no exception.”
That opinion is held by most newlyweds, people married for
years, singles and those diligently seeking to be married.
It is also held by those who are born-again and those who
haven’t accepted Christ.
How did so many people come to believe that all marriages
are problem prone? Primarily, instead of preaching and teaching
God’s standard for marriage, most ministers have adopted
the, ‘‘every marriage has problems,” as
their theology. Next, it is ingrained into the mind of almost
every marriage counselor and therapist. They are trained to
believe that, ‘‘every marriage has its problems.”
Finally, the church and our society have heard, “every
marriage has problems,” for s-o-o-o long and it
has been repeated by s-o-o-o many people, that problem prone
matrimony has been widely accepted as the standard and rule
of thumb for every marriage.
What does the Written Word of God say about this issue? Has
the church and the masses missed it when it comes to marriage?
Are all marriages bound to be problem prone? To answer those
questions we need to first define problem.
A problem is: 1). A person, matter, or situation that presents
perplexity or difficulty. 2). To be difficult to deal with,
hard to handle, or unable to control. 3). to be troubled or
confused. When it comes to marriage there are two types of
problems, internal and external.
External Marital problems
External marital problems are those difficult situations,
matters and issues of which we have absolutely no control.
Examples include being laid off, the cost of gasoline, beef
or lettuce, the stock market fluctuations, a company going
out of business or the rising cost of health insurance. I
could submit a long list of circumstances and situations that
happen in life, which everyone must know how to handle. Once
a person marries, they must know how to deal with these circumstances
and situations as One Flesh. If not, their lack of
knowledge can be one of the factors that ignites internal
Internal Marital problems
Internal marital problems are issues that sprout up from within
the marriage over which both spouses have control. Some examples
are quarreling, fighting, abuse, domestic violence, overspending,
infidelity, lack of communication, being insensitive to one
another, agreeing on child rearing and dealing with in-laws.
Based on what everyone is saying, it is natural for every
marriage to have internal problems.
Is that the true picture of marriage? I have friends who
are police officers in various states and they all tell me
the same thing: “domestic hostilities make up the
majority of their 911 calls.” On average, police
officers spend one third of their time dealing with spouses,
live-in lovers, and other tense family related issues. In
most cases, the spouses are either mutual combatants or one
of them is a victim of abuse or domestic violence. When the
officer pulls them apart to find out what precipitated the
incident, inevitably, one or both of them will say, ''Officer,
every marriage has problems and our marriage is no different!”
Why do couples have internal marital problems? There are three
1. They chose the wrong mate,
2. One or Both Spouses Do Not Follow The Book on Marriage,
3. Not Following or Ignoring God’s Pre-Marital Guidelines
Choosing The Wrong Mate
A man once came to me desperately seeking prayer for his marriage.
He and his wife were going through an ugly divorce and an
extremely bitter child custody battle. After talking with
him, it was clear that he believed what they were going through
was normal for every married couple. He had the ‘‘every
marriage has its problems,” syndrome. Their divorce
included numerous heated accusations, and visits from (DCFS)
Department of Children and Family Services to investigate
child neglect and abuse by the wife against their child. The
husband wanted things to work out between them. He didn’t
want a divorce so he asked me what I believed he needed to
do to save his marriage.
I need to explain what he was asking me. He had told his
wife he was a man of God but, he had met her at a strip club
where he spent a couple of days a week staring at nude dancers
while sucking down brewskies, (that’s slang for
beer). She did some table dances for him, he asked her
out, they engaged in sex, and four to five months later, they
were married. He found out after their wedding ceremony that
his wife was addicted to an assortment of drugs. He committed
to helping his new bride overcome her addictions, but before
they could properly deal with that issue, she became pregnant.
They laid aside her drug issues and focused all of their attention
on their soon coming child. This all happened within a year.
Two years after giving birth his wife seemed like the picture
That was until she got an itch to get back into the fast
lane. She missed the excitement of having men drooling all
over her, wining and dining her, giving her free drugs and
booze, and treating her as if she was an immortal prima donna
goddess. Unable to resist the temptation, she strolled into
a strip club, performed an audition and within a few minutes
she was back to nude dancing. While her husband was at work,
she would leave their 2-year-old child with other female strippers.
On one occasion, the neighbor called the police because his
wife left their child crawling around in the front yard for
three to four hours while she was somewhere getting tanked
up on cocaine.
He begged his wife to attend drug, marital, and pastoral
counseling, but she refused. In the end, she dragged him through
the divorce court and took everything he owned. She got the
house, most of the assets, alimony, full custody of their
child, and he had to pay her child support every month. All
of that, even though she was cited by (DCFS) on three occasions
for child neglect and openly admitted in family court that
she was a nude dancer with a major drug addiction. What did
she do with the money? She smoked and snorted it away! It
shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why
they were having internal marital problems?
(1) He was living a lie. True men
of God don’t hang out at strip clubs gawking at nude
dancers and sucking down brewskies. I don’t know what
he thought he was going to gain by telling her he was a
follower of Christ. His wife called him exactly what he
was, a true hypocrite! She mocked his confessions of Christianity
and rightfully so! The truth is, he saw this woman showing
her nakedness, he lusted after her body, and he got his
heart’s desire. He just didn’t get what he expected.
(2) His wife was neither marriage minded nor marriage material.
She had brazenly rejected Christ. At that point in her life,
her gods were booze, sex, drugs, and cash. God calls such
females, strange women, (See Proverbs 7:5-23). This man
had a Fantasy Island fueled ideology that he could marry
this strange woman and somehow convert her into a portrait
I watch individuals choose defective mates and enter into
marriages like that all the time. When internal martial problems
surface, they turn around and say, “every marriage
has problems and our marriage is no different!”
Wrong answer! Every marriage does not have internal problems!
Some Christians, bless their hearts, want to get super duper
spiritual and say, “let’s pray and believe God
for a miraculous restoration!” What is God going to
do? Force his wife to stop dancing at the strip club? Make
her stop snorting cocaine? Make her take proper care of her
Don’t misunderstand me, I believe in God touching people’s
hearts and turning their lives around. He touched my heart
and turned my life around, but prior to that point, I would
have made a terrible husband. Amongst other things, I didn’t
know my God-given purpose and I knew nothing about manhood,
being a husband or fatherhood. Men like that do not make good
marital partners; they become internal marital problems. If
the wrong mate, someone who is difficult, hard to handle,
troubled or confused, and expect God to convert your problematic
marital partner into a living epistle, you need to know this
- you are living in a fool’s paradise!
The majority of men and women who closed their eyes and tried
to pull off that marital stunt, opened their eyes and found
themselves being dragged through the nightmarish blood sucking
divorce court mill. If not the divorce court mill, through
the brutal family court. If not the family court, they found
themselves enmeshed in abuse or domestic violence. Their lists
of problems are never ending. Get this point engraved in your
mind… choosing the wrong mate is one of the primary
reasons people end up in marriages besieged with internal
marital problems. It is not because every marriage is destined
to have problems. For instance, men are commanded to completely
avoid dating or marrying these types of females:
1. A contentious woman:
one who likes to quarrel with words, provoke disputes, argue
and fight, (See Proverbs 21:19).
2. A nagging woman: one who constantly
complains, finds faults or scolds a man with her tongue,
(See Proverbs 13:19).
3. A strange woman: one who profanes God
by either her words or deeds, (See Proverbs 22:14).
4. An adulterous woman: one who will without
shame destroy her marriage or someone else’s marriage,
(See Proverbs 30:20).
Women are also commanded to avoid entering into a
relationship or marriage with these types of men:
1. A lazy slothful man:
he won’t take care of his responsibilities. These
men will leave you hanging, (See Proverbs 6:9-11).
2 A man given to wine and strong drink:
these men are on a path of self-destruction and they have
no qualms about taking you along for the bumpy rough ride,
(See Proverbs 23:29-35).
3. A hot-tempered man: whether it is domestic
violence or other criminal activities, these men will find
ways to get into trouble, (See Proverbs 19:19).
4. An adulterous man: without shame, these
men will destroy their marriage or ruin someone else’s
marriage, (See Proverbs 6:29).
Keep in mind, I’ve only described a few of the individuals
to avoid. These men and women are not submitted to God. If
you marry one of them after God has warned and commanded you
to avoid them, you will eventually regret your decision.
One or Both Spouses Do Not
Follow The Book on Marriage
Here is the second reason spouses have internal marital problems.
The Book on Marriage is the Bible. The Written Word
of God reveals how to prepare for marriage, how to choose
a mate, and certain type of people to avoid at all costs.
Additionally, The Word of God instructs us how to conduct
ourselves in marriage. When you follow those instructions,
you won’t end up in a marriage with internal problems.
Here are some of those instructions:
1. The husband is commanded to love
his wife as Christ loved the church, (See Ephesians 5:25)
2. The wife is commanded to reverence her husband, (See
3. The husband and wife are commanded to submit to one another,
(See Ephesians 5:21)
4. Husbands and wives are commanded to pray together, (See
I Peter 3:7)
5. Husbands and wives are commanded not to deprive or defraud
one another of sexual intimacy, (See I Corinthians 7:2-5)
6. Spouses are commanded not to let the sun go down on their
wrath. In other words, do not go to bed angry with each other,
(See Ephesians 4:26).
God’s Divine Standard
God’s design for marriage does not include all of the
trauma, drama and tension most marriages and households are
engulfed in. What becomes a slap in God’s face and a
shame to the Body of Christ, is the mass number of Christian
couples who must call the police and invoke the judicial system
to settle their marital issues. I’ve been in courtrooms
and personally watched these couples, who say they love God,
go to combat against one another. I’ve watched them
make false accusations, death threats, and pronounce curses
on their soon to be ex-spouses. After the dust has settled
and their marriages are ripped apart, many of them respond
by saying, “every marriage has problems and our marriage
was no different!” Once again, wrong answer! Read God’s
divine standard for every marriage.
And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and
in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
God’s divine standard for a husband and wife is dwelling
together in a peaceable habitation. Did you get that? That
word peaceable means a friendly, safe, happy and prosperous
household. The Word of God goes on to say…
1 Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh
in his ways.
2 For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt
thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
3 Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine
house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
When it comes to marriage there are two standards. Man’s
standard, which says, “every marriage has its problems,”
and God’s standard, which you just read. God’s
standard for marriage does not include arguing, fighting,
slamming doors, sleeping in separate bedrooms, divorce court,
or frantic 911 calls. I don’t go through long drawn-out
counseling sessions with couples having internal marital problems.
It is usually not needed. I just determine which of the instructions
God gave to husbands and wives that they are not following.
If both the husband and wife say they are born again and they
are having internal marital problems, either one or both is
lying… they are not saved. Or, one or both of them is
rebelling against the Written Word of God. Or, one or both
of them does not know God’s instructions for spousal
What I want to know during counseling, is, “Who is
it? The husband or the wife, or is it the both of them?”
As the husband, is he loving his wife as Christ loved the
church? Does he even know how Christ loved the church? As
a husband, if he doesn’t know how Christ loved the Church,
it is not possible for him to properly love his wife. Is he
dwelling with his wife according to knowledge? As a wife,
is she constantly complaining and nagging her husband? Does
she try and provoke quarrels and arguments? Is she a contentious
wife? One with a poisonous tongue? Is she like the woman in
Proverbs 14:1, prone to tear her marriage and household down?
During counseling, I have had spouses try to persuade me
to agree with them as they attempted to justify why they went
off on, cursed out, or struck their spouse. Listen to me carefully,
you are not responsible for your spouse’s actions, you
are responsible for your actions. And you are obligated to
obey the Written Word of God no matter what anyone is doing,
whether it’s your husband, wife, children, pastor, employer,
or President. You cannot use your husband’s or your
wife’s actions or lack of actions as justification to
commit sin. And make no mistake about it, if you and your
wife are arguing, yelling, screaming, name calling, cursing,
shouting at each other, or fighting, you have sin in your heart!
You do not need counseling, the both of you need to follow
the instructions in Matthew 5:22-24.
In that passage of Scripture, God commands us to settle disagreements
immediately and be reconciled to one another. This will only
work if two people are born-again and submitted to obeying
the Word of God. If one spouse refuses to obey the Scriptures,
you will have major internal marital problems. Especially
if you married someone God warned or commanded you not to
marry. You can pray for them and intercede for them, but you
have no guarantee they will obey the voice of the Holy Spirit.
I am not trying to discourage anyone, I am sharing with you
the undeniable consequences of sidestepping the Word of God.
I know Christians who ignored II Corinthians 6:14 and married
an unbeliever and their marriage is rift with strife. Their
unsaved spouses resent them when they attempt to tithe or
give offerings. Their unsaved spouses don’t go to church
and do not want them spending that much time in the sanctuary
of God. Their unsaved spouses don’t pray or read the
Bible and discourage them from praying or reading the Bible.
Their unsaved spouses patronize strip clubs and nightclubs
and freely indulge in destructive vices such as adultery,
pornography, drugs, and alcohol. If you are a Believer and
you marry someone who is not committed to obeying God’s
Word concerning marriage, internal problems will usually become
the cornerstone of your marriage. Let’s examine the
final reason spouses have internal marital problems.
Not Following or Ignoring God’s
God gives us premarital guidelines to follow, things to do
and not to do prior to getting married. He gives us these
guidelines to protect us from the dangers, pitfalls and heartaches
involved with love, sex, relationships,
and marriage. For instance, He commands women not open up
to a man emotionally or stir up love in her heart until it
is God’s timing, (See Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:4 and 8:4).
Unrighteous men easily exploit the women who reject that command.
The results… these women end up with their emotions
They have been cheated on, lied to, tricked, and toyed with.
They have had numerous sex partners, live-in lovers, failed
relationships, and marriages. They have contracted sexually
transmitted diseases and had abortions. They have been date
raped, dumped, dismissed and left pregnant and alone. They
have personally experienced abuse, domestic violence and have
otherwise been misused. Because of the ill treatment they
have received at the hands of males who were meandering manhood,
many of these women take on the false belief that all men
are dogs. They unconsciously see males as the enemy…
one they cannot do without. By the time these females do get
married, they bring into their marriages, harmful emotional
baggage which very few men are prepared to handle, or are
willing to deal with.
The men who do not follow God’s pre-marital guidelines
learn very early in life to devalue the female gender. They
treat sex as a sport. In their minds, words and phrases such
as: respect, honor, rites of passage, fidelity, integrity,
truthfulness, manhood, and fatherhood are just useless entries
in a dictionary. By the time these males get married, they
have been fully indoctrinated in how to exploit and abuse
women. Their wedding rings and wedding vows do not change
their modus operandi. Their wives become another notch on
their list of female victims.
I have tracked thousands of couples who decided to forgo
God’s pre-marital guidelines. Unfortunately, the majority
of their marriages ended up in the garbage dumpster along
with the other marriages that could not stand the test of
time. If you want to avoid a marriage rift with internal marital
problems, you must:
- Avoid choosing
the wrong mate
- Commit to follow the Book on Marriage and only choose
a mate who has also made that same commitment, and
- Learn and follow all of God’s premarital guidelines.
If you cover those three areas, you will have a love story
worth writing about!
© Copyright Gillis Triplett Ministries.
2004 - All Rights Reserved. International copyright secured.
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