The major reasons marriages end in divorce are pretty well documented. In her article, 5 Common Reasons Marriages Fail (& How to Keep Yours Strong), Michelle Boudin writes that divorce attorney, Libby James, cites five common causes for divorce cases:
Attrition – growing apart
Mental health issues – narcissism, depression, bi-polar issues, etc.
Alcohol and Substance Abuse – which puts strain on the relationship emotionally, financially, and sometimes physically.
Financial Issues – gambling, secret spending
Adultery – fed by ease of access to others through social media**
There’s nothing new here, but what caught my eye was her short answer for making marriages strong—communication. Talk more. Spend more time together talking. Things will get better. This is a common teaching in marriage books and articles.
However, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs makes an important distinction. He teaches Ephesians 5:33 is the litmus test for good communication. This verse says, “Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” (ESV). Eggerichs contends that unless communication to the wife is filtered through love and communication to the husband is filtered through respect, even well intentioned communication efforts often fall short of strengthening marriages. Learn more by visiting Love and Respect Ministries.
Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn stress another aspect of communication. Their research demonstrates that there are God-designed differences between men and women that, if misunderstood, create miscommunication and stress in marriages.
Their books, For Men Only and For Women Only address six filters through which men filter communication and six filters through which women filter communication. It is essential to be aware of these fairly universal filters if spouses wish to have the effective communication.
Jesus said, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate" (NIV). For ACD, understanding the information Dr. Eggerichs and the Feldhahns present can greatly reduce the fear of inadequacy, fear of abandonment, and fear of trusting people that often contribute to divorce.
Check out these powerful resources and strengthen your relationships and marriages with effective communication!
*Steven R. Covey>Quotes, accessed 2-9-19 https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/298301-most-people-do-not-listen-with-the-intent-to-understand.
**5 Common Reasons Marriages Fail (& How to Keep Yours Strong) by Michelle Boudin, accessed 2/1/19,
Image: Rome Visit by Ed Yourdon