In the course of many marriages, couples sometimes get stuck in this very strange and weird zone, there is usually no real issues but the usual progression of love and affection expected in a relationship reaches a plateau, it will neither deteriorate nor progress. In this zone the couple can either have a cordial relationship devoid of emotions or a slightly rancorous one. They may enjoy each other’s company but are usually on edge whenever they disagree on issues, with each focusing on and amplifying each other’s faults rather than their strengths.

The dearth of mutual trust is an indication and confirmation that a couple has arrived here. Problems that arise are either left to fizzle out or may cause friction for a few days or weeks, the couple then defaults to their original positions with each one going about their business like two friendly strangers confined to the same space. To an unsuspecting onlooker, they appear a happy or even perfect couple, only the couple is aware of their situation. This literally is the situation in most marriages.

There may be a couple of reasons why couples get here without realising it. One of the main culprits is an unforgiving spirit especially with regards to infidelity, disrespect and hurtful verbal abuse, these evoke a deep sense of resentment. We all have our faults and no one is above mistakes, therefore it is impossible to live together without hurting each other one way or another. This on it’s own is not the problem, the real catalyst that encourages the trajectory towards a relationship plateau is a couples inability to let bygones be bygones. Holding on to a spouse’e past mistakes affects everything in a relationship from intimacy to things as simple as having a conversation.

“I forgive you” and “I have left it for God to judge” are the most abused words in relationships, while they convey a temporary reprieve for the offender, it gives the offended absolutely no comfort except they are said sincerely. True forgiveness isn’t always easy and goes deeper than just saying the words. Your thoughts, utterances and actions towards the offender must reflect forgiveness without ambiguity. Making references to offences committed against you in the past clearly shows you still harbour ill feelings, this may irritate the offender who believes they have apologised enough and have done the required penance for the offence.

A spouse may exhibit character traits which are not agreeable to you, after a period of complaining , fighting and trying to change them, you may give up and arrive at the decision to accept those traits and let him/her be. While this may offer some level of emotional protection to you in the interim, the long term effect is the development of a detrimental attitude of indifference towards the relationship itself. Your spouse may reciprocate by honing in on this and respond in like manner, the undesirable plateau is therefore reached.

Ego tripping is another reason why a couple gets stuck in this zone. Respect and love are pivotal to a successful relationship. A women who is not well catered for may lose respect for her husband if her respect for him is predicated solely on providence. The man realising this may instead of trying to enforce his right to respect and cause more harm resign himself to faith and accept things as they are. Since men are the purveyors of romance and sex which are important to a relationship, a man who feels disrespected my switch off as a way of emotionally protecting himself. Both will be blinded by ego and cannot see the ambers of disunity fuelled by their actions.

A couple’s inability to accept individual faults and sincerely work on them to foster a loving relationship will ensure that a plateau is reached. The inevitable repercussions of dwelling for too long in this zone will hunt them in the evening of their lives. It may take just a little compromise from one person whom God touches in a special way to achieve a happy marriage, let that person be you because life is too short to dwell in bitterness. Narcissism, pride and ego will destroy you and everything around you if not checked. There is neither a victor nor vanquished in resolving a crisis in your home – Sir Stanley Ekezie