• Dr. Jacob D van Zyl



by Dr. Jacob D van Zyl tel 013 752 2000

Practice@37A Ehmkestreet, Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, SA

BLOG (26/4) posted on 2019/08/10


In my previous couple of blogs, I reflected on different aspects regarding post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the following couple of blogs I would like to reflect on the marriage in which I would like to compare the marriage with two trees standing and growing together – almost appearing to be one tree. In today’s society marriage is continually under pressure. The divorce rate is alarmingly high! At the rate families are dissolving, we will soon have a whole generation of young adults from broken homes. In the next couple of blogs, I want to show why there are so many marital problems; how to handle conflict and communication in the marriage, and which problems can arise from the differences between men and women, and the sexual aspect of marriage, in order to help you to stand and grow together as two trees appearing to be one in marriage.

Marriage is an integral part of society. It cannot be denied that marriage is an important subsystem in our society. This explains the fear among many mental health professionals, that the crises in marriages are weakening the basic structure of society. Many young people nowadays choose not to marry, but to rather live together, at least for a certain time. In my practice I deal with people who have marital problems on a daily basis. Often these people are members of a church. Many of these people come from broken homes. Marital problems which result in divorce have become a reality we face every day. Frightfully few families escape this.

Why are there so many marital problems?

1. If you don’t know yourself well enough, or haven’t found yourself, it will be very difficult to experience happiness in your marriage. Your unresolved inner conflicts create emotional baggage, and this will be a stumbling block for you and your partner to stand and grow together... You will blame your partner for many things that are actually wrong with you. You have to take ownership of your own personal problems. Only then will you be prepared to deal with them, and not project your personal issues and problems onto your partner. If you continue to do so, it maintains and worsens your marital problems.

2. Stress, accompanied by the speed of the rat-race and many demands which face each individual, definitely forms part of the bigger picture where marital problems originate. People are forever chasing after something. Do you? This might mean that you and your partner barely have time to talk about the day, and most likely not about any problems that might have been lurking around for some time. The possibility in the regard exists that you also do not make any time – either as an individual or a couple – for a spiritual connection.

3. That is why one of the biggest causes of marital problems seems to be the lack of communication, which goes hand in hand with a lack of time for each other. When last did you make time to really hear how your partner is? Maybe you are avoiding him or her because you know there is something wrong. Maybe you fear that your conversation will lead to some kind of conflict. Maybe you don’t want to bring up an old issue again. In this process you are just drifting further apart. Our society is characterized by couples where both the husbands and wives have full time jobs, which of course seriously limits the time we have to talk about things.

4. Often another cause of marital problems is finances or rather the lack of financial planning. This stems directly from the fact that people don’t have time (or don’t make time) to sit down and talk to each other; or to make financial plans with the help of a financial advisor or planner. Therefore they never get to talk about the planning of their finances on the long-term. Of course there is also the problem of self-centeredness. Maybe you still haven’t learnt to talk about ours. Maybe you still refer to mine. This will lead to a power struggle and competition with one another – mine versus yours – instead of working together as a team towards a common goal: ours. The grip of materialism, as well as he desire to own more, drives you to want more. This can place your marriage under tremendous pressure. You then tend to forget that there is wealth in simplicity.

5. An issue that frequently comes up in marriage counselling is the sexual aspect. Men normally have a stronger need for sex. In general women see sex as emotional communication. If there is not enough emotional communication in the relationship, a woman will not be ready to give or receive sex. One reason for the sexual frustration in marriages, might very well be the overload of sexual stimuli in the media. Your sexual fantasies and thoughts are not directed towards your partner anymore, but towards empty models with neither name nor soul. This actually makes you unfaithful to your spouse, and gradually the gulf between you widens.

Feel free to send your questions regarding the marriage / marital life to or contact my rooms at 013 752 2000 in order to make an appointment.

This is: BLOG (26/4) posted on 2019/08/10 – check this blog for the next update in about one month’s time

© 2018 by 4 Keep Sakes 

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