Relationships: Characteristics of a ‘destructive’ atmosphere in marriage


It’s just two more Thursdays before the year ends and I am excited to realise that for the whole year I have consistently written to you some awesome articles on marriage and relationships. It is my belief that you have been blessed and helped by these articles and you surely have made improvements in your relationships. I would be glad going into the new year knowing I did help make a good difference in your marriage, for that is what I love doing.


Today (December 17) is even more special in that it is our 27th anniversary in marriage. It is special in that my wife and I are celebrating 31 years of great friendship that has overcome so many hurdles in its journey. A friendship that has matured in trials and tribulations to become the ministry that it is today and for that we give all thanks and credit to our God who has become a great friend to us. I will not be wrong, therefore, to take this opportunity to declare a joyful anniversary to my great wife and friend Nonhlanhla Adilate Moyo, nee Masuku. Be refreshed and your boundaries enlarged even beyond what you can imagine. I still do.

And so, on our anniversary, let me show you a few characteristics of home atmospheres that can destroy your marriage. Remember that you make your marriage what it is. Stop looking and pointing a finger at others, it’s you. Herewith some facts.

When God is not part of your marriage
When God does not build anything, those who build, labour in vain. Marriage is more of a spiritual thing and you cannot understand it without God who created it. Some of us just invite God to justify our egos and He is never the foundation and pillar of our marriage. Such marriages may seem strong and exciting, but they are built on sand and little storms sweep them away.

Love is demanded and forced
Where the other spouse demands to be loved, respected and recognised as “the” spouse, then there is disaster on the way. I have seen spouses who will use fear, intimidation and threats to enforce love. You see, love is not out of fear and force. Do not manipulate each other, but love each other. Your spouse must not work to earn your love. They must not bring money to earn your love, otherwise this is as good as prostitution. Love is free in a successful marriage.

Keeping too many secrets
Too many couples still live as individuals and not couples. They are hiding everything from each other and even hiding themselves too. They do not understand the concept of marriage. Marriage is about transparency and not secrets. A couple keeping unnecessary secrets is destroying their trust and their love.

Blaming is the main language
Blaming each other is never a language of love, but of destruction. Some couples live by this. The wife blames the husband and the husband blames the wife for everything. There are no children in the marriage, the wife is blamed. There is no electrical power, the wife is blamed. In a marriage where the wife has become a maid and worker, destruction is already home. Some couples are very critical of each other. They see no value in their spouses. How did you marry that person if they are as a failure as you think? An atmosphere of strong words, criticism and grumbling is detrimental to all the statutes of a successful marriage. Some marriages are like prison for couples who are emotionally tortured, despised and insulted. Where is love in all this?

In-laws are in control
If you want your marriage to be hell on earth instead of Heaven on earth, allow your parents or siblings to call the shots. This is a recipe for disaster in many families. Marriage is between the two of you and the only third party is God. When you let your sisters, brothers and parents run your affairs, you will be enemies with your spouse. I pray that we would value marriage in the way of God where the man leaves and cleaves to his wife. These people can give advice, but cannot dictate terms and set the atmosphere. I always say do not marry if you still want to be mama’s boy or girl. A marriage is for grown-up and mature people. You do not marry for your parents or relatives, but for yourself. Wives are never communal. You and your relatives can share anything, but your wife.

No team work

A couple is a team and winning couples work as a team. Many couples lack this mindset and operate as individuals allowing the enemy to set them on each other. There is no consultation at all. Communication is poor and one-sided. In such an environment, friends are more important than the spouse. This is all a recipe for disaster. Where the spouse wants to control the partner, abuse is inevitable. Some spouses have a controlling spirit and they want to be everything. I think this is not the nature of love. Love does not create victims and does not strike others with fear. In fact, love liberates and gives hope and peace of mind.

Perhaps as we end the year, most of us need to pause and take stock. I am talking about those who are serious with marriage. Where are you as a couple? Falling, floating or stable? Understand this clearly, you can make it.
Happy Christmas to you all.

Kilton Moyo is the creator of Fruitful Marriages, a renewal and enrichment programme, and is pastor, counsellor and author of The Sex Trap. Call or whatsapp on +263 775 337 207, +263 772 610 103 or +263 712 384 841.