The Marriage Graveyard: 7 Signs Your Marriage Heading for Divorce

Half of every marriage in the U.S. will end in divorce. As alarming as this is, these figures are even higher when you consider factors such as socio-economic status, ethnicity, and education. It’s not a small problem, it’s a social epidemic that plaques the moral fabric of our society. Although this number is high and can be distressing, the truth is marriages that are working don’t simply stop working overnight. In many cases there were precipitating factors leading up to the split. Sometimes those factors were ignored or trivialized, but in most cases they existed and could’ve been rectified before they became irreconcilable. Whether you’re driving 30 miles per hour or 100, the road to divorce usually has some noticeable road markers and I want to help you before your journey ends like half of the people on the road to happily every after.

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You stop talking

I didn’t really understand what people meant when they told me one of the keys to a successful marriage is communication. After years of marriage I was forced to critically assess how I communicate, how my wife communicates, and decide what to communicate about. This takes time and emotional energy that can be exasperating to the point you elect to say nothing. Most men like to be drama free which can translate into not talking, but this doesn’t resolve issues that transpire. It only forebears their impact and compounds the ramifications.  When you stop talking you stop connecting, and when you stop connecting you are more susceptible to a host of other issues. There are inevitably seasons when someone will invest more in the relationship than the other. So, let’s imagine you’re investing 70 percent and it seems like you’re solely responsible for initiating, sustaining and cultivating intentional times of communication. You’ll quickly start to feel like the marriage’s success is totally on your shoulders and if you stop working the marriage will digress. That’s when you might stop talking and stop trying. It’s not because you don’t care, it’s often times because you are tired and want your spouse to help carry some the load; however, nothing is discussed at this point. Nothing good, bad, or indifferent. There’s minimal conversation that is usually functional and can be answered in yes/no statements.

You stop having intimacy and sex

This is a monumental issue and I would argue one of the most deeply embedded causes of marital challenges. I once heard Pastor Keith Battle say, “regular sex protects.” Intimacy is not sex and sex doesn’t create intimacy, but both are vital for marital longevity. Despite what popular culture, pornography, music, and romance films have taught us, sex is a very complicated and complex topic. We find our fears, insecurities and authentic feelings in the bedroom. There is a direct correlation between intimacy and sex, and they both have to be cultivated and protected in the sacred context of marriage. When you stop dating, cease discovering new things about one another, and stop trying, you will inevitably lose intimacy and sex. This can create destructive behaviors such as infidelity, self-gratification, and anger. Sometimes people can have an affair with the lights on and fully clothed. Sometimes creating an emotional bond with someone can be an external substitute for an internal deficiency. Teddy Pendergrass said it’s good loving somebody when somebody loves you back. He didn’t say that person has to be your spouse.

“Intimacy is not sex and sex doesn’t create intimacy, but both are vital for marital longevity.”

You fall off each other’s calendar

Time is a non-renewable resource we are unable to redeem no matter how much we contend, plead, or beg. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. When people told me marriage is work, I understood this conceptually, but practically it didn’t register until marriage became burdensome and the idea that love is organic dissipated. When we had to schedule everything, and I mean everything, it became difficult because our real priorities manifested. I don’t have to ask you what you value because your calendar will tell me. When you lose intentional times for connecting, sharing, planning, and rediscovering each other, it’s only a matter of time before things start to go downhill.

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Start becoming resentful

The term resentment means to feel great pain or hurt in response to. Resentment is like hurt enveloped in anger and frustration. Resentment starts with an emotional laceration left unhealed that leads to bitterness, anger and even hatred. You can’t see it, touch, taste it or smell it, but it can and will control you. It’s the feeling that intoxicates you with vitriolic hatred when he walks into the room. It repulses you when she speaks. It consumes you. Resentment usually takes a while to build and it takes a while to heal because it’s layered with deep wounds, unforgiveness, and pain. You know resentment has taken over when you incessantly blame her for something that happened years ago, or you make future decisions based on past inflictions.

Stop having accountability

I don’t know any successful marriage that doesn’t have genuine accountability and an edifying community. Accountability is the process of having someone or some people call you into account for your actions. Financially, an account is a record of business dealings or assets. Being accountable means we have people we trust inquiring of our relationship transactions. This can be a group of married friends with similar values, your spiritual leadership, a counselor, or a couple who’ve been married significantly longer than you. Over the years I’ve seen several marriages dissolve and one of the most consistent factors is a lack of accountability. There were no people with whom the couple could share intimately about sex, failures, successes, challenges, agreements, etc. Since every relationship is different I can’t prescribe a magic pill for success, but I know undoubtedly, if you have a relationship without accountability the likelihood of its survival is slim to none.

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You stop trying

Too many people get married with an unconscious expectation that their spouse will make them happy. The degree to which this belief manifest itself varies, but lots of us feel this way. I was included. We believe the person will do something to make us better, stronger or more powerful. While this can be true, in some regard, no one can give you or bring out of you what’s not already in you. Through real conflict fairy tale beliefs like these get violently abused, and unless we’re willing to challenge them, we won’t do the necessary work of critical self-reflection, healing, and unselfish love toward our spouse. This takes lots of work and sometimes it’s much easier and more peaceful to just stop caring. Stop forgiving, stop talking about issues, stop going the extra mile, stop thinking, stop being intentional; just stop. It’s even easier when you masquerade your apathy behind a busy work schedule, parenting duties, ministry obligations and anything else that doesn’t require you to roll up your sleeves and work on your marriage.

“No one can give you or bring out of you what’s not already in you.”

You experience stalemate syndrome

Stalemate syndrome occurs when one or both people feel like they cannot advance the relationship and their efforts are futile. He feels he cannot move and is stuck on a dead-end street. She feels her unhappiness will last forever. There are no winners, just a mutual consent to lose. Essentially, the marriage is at a stalemate. That’s 50/50 marriage; I only give what I get. A 50/50 marriage is unsuccessful and hinders the brilliance and glory God wants to give the world through you. Contrary to popular belief marriage is not 50/50. At times marriage will be 60/40, 70/30, 90/10 and 100/0. Stalemate syndrome is painful and can cause some men and women break boundaries because the fight or flight mentality is enacted. Fighters will break boundaries to pursue a win-even at the cost of the relationship-and flighters will retreat into quiet spaces of emotional isolation. Neither benefits the relationship or the development of the individual.

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Marriage is not for punks and it takes years, often decades to build the kind that you want. Ephesians 4 instructs us to be patient and bear with one another in love. After the wedding bells have been rung, the smiles on the photos fade, and the twinkle you once had diminishes will you still commit? Will you keep the course for the sake of your destiny, legacy, and future? Unfortunately, half of the people who say “I do” will say “I quit” before they can get to happily ever after. There are, however, a group of people that will endure and experience the richness of life-long companionship and love. There are some who choose to defy social norms and write love stories of victory and hope despite the bitterness, unhappiness and hopelessness of society. They chose to write with pens dipped in Godly courage on notepads of commitment and resilience. They choose to write their own History and Herstory.  Will you?

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4 Words to Describe Marriage

Umoja: The Swahili term for unity appropriately describes the fundamental aspect of marriage. We are united for the purpose of making the world a better place, and to honor God. This is exceptionally important for me to remember in times of disagreement, discouragement, and discord. God has united us, and we are becoming one; a process that inevitably creates friction.

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Sesa  Woruban: This West African phrase describes a symbol made of the morning star and rotating will. It reinforces the concept of transformation or change of character. Marriage will challenge, frustrate, and change us, however we decide if that will be for good or bad. I’m learning that in order to truly love my wife how God intends I have to be intentional about cultivating behaviors that produce a transformed life. And this is hard. Very hard. I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t change who you are, but the truth is you must. Especially, if you’re like the rest of us with issues and you want to be different. If you’ve done what you’ve always done…you know the rest. Our character should always be on the refining wheel.  

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Ujamaa: Although this term is primarily associated with economic togetherness for the greater good of society, there are many transferable principles to marriage. Similar to umoja, we are united in our ideologies, finances and economic power (ujamaa). We work to acquire so that we can distribute.  My wife and I lived many years raising salary for the work we did and it was a constant faith test. It was often uncomfortable depending on the Lord to work through our supporters. During this time we gained perspective that allowed us to know the value of money, as well as create habits that exhibit good financial stewardship. We now love to give. It’s a blessing to help remove barriers between God’s people and His work. Our savings, investments, and lifestyle are all meager attempts to position ourselves to be luxurious givers. We don’t want to live life making every major decision based on our finances. We stack this dough so we can help His kingdom grow.

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Nkyinkym: Life is full of adversity, therefore we must adapt. Whether it’s internal or external; conflict will arise. How we deal with it determines who we become. In four years of marriage we’ve had to manage to financial hardships, unexpected job losses, family travesty, marital difficulty and more. The measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience but where he stands in adversity, and I once heard a pastor once say if you want to know who you will be in the future simply look at your character today. Ultimately, we are a sum of our decisions and how we respond to what life brings.

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I’m grateful to live life with someone that truly loves God, has a passion for helping others, and is committed to His design for marriage and purposeful ministry. Marriage ain’t easy but it’s a lot more simple and richer with the right one.

The Breakup: 10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job

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There are few things worse than being stuck on a dead-end job you hate, and for far too many people this is exactly what they endure day after day. For many of us, the burden of working in a meaningless occupation, with an out of touch supervisor, and coworkers with whom we have superficial relationships is not enough to prompt us to leave. No, we have to be dropped from the nest and engulfed in flames on the way down before we get the picture. To avoid all of that, take a look at these signs to help you recognize when it’s time to quit.

10. You try hard to find reasons to stay: Chances are if you have a genuinely  good job you don’t look for reasons to stick around because leaving is the furthest thing from your mind.  However, if you constantly question why you’re still working there and try to convince yourself to stay, perhaps it’s time to go.

9.  You hate going to work: If you dread Monday mornings more than anything and days at the office make you depressed, you probably shouldn’t stay there much longer.

8. You frequently look for reasons to miss work:  Do you find yourself counting the days until the weekend or your next day off?  Do you like cashing in on sick days, vacation time, and personal days? Do you spend more time thinking about the reasons you should call in instead of focusing on work?

7. You avoid conversations about what you do: This is not for folks with top security clearances or G14 classified assignments. This is for the folks that really hate talking about what they do because it reminds them of the fact they work a depressing job. Some of their closest friends still may not know what they do for a living.
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6.  You complain, complain, complain: Sometimes a grumpy attitude isn’t indicative of a dreadful  job; sometimes we simply need an attitude adjustment. Other times, it’s a sign we don’t like what we do. Instead of being the coworker that sucks everyone else into their vacuum of despair, change your situation and leave.

5. You emotionally detach from your work: People who detach aren’t emotionally touched by anything. No success, failure, setback, or incredible victory. If you find yourself simply going through the motions then it’s time to make a motion towards the exit sign. Save yourself some heartache and get out while you can.

4. You don’t have any opportunities for growth:  Does your current position offer any opportunities for professional development? How far can you advance in your company? Does your environment encourage you to learn new things that will help you improve the organization? If your company doesn’t have room for growth, invest in your education, or professional development that’s a huge red flag. Anything that isn’t growing is dead.

3. You are not challenged or utilizing your gifts: Can you do your job with your eyes closed and both hands tied behind your back? When was the last time you worked on a project that allowed you to employ your gifts, talents, and areas of passion?

2. You are hanging on for the paycheck:  You know something is wrong when the best thing about your job is the 1st and the 15th . Sometimes we can be slaves to money while still being broke. Harriet Tubman said, “I freed thousands of slaves and I would’ve freed thousands more if I could’ve only convince them they were slaves.” We can get so caught in the grind that we become oblivious to the fact that Franklin and Jackson have more control over us than we’d like. Just because you don’t know you’re a slave doesn’t make you any more free.

1. Your health starts to decline: I once worked with a guy that would get nauseous, depressed, and would experience high levels of anxiety every time he came to work.  He was so stressed by the job he was hospitalized. Life is stressful enough. You don’t have to add to it by torturing yourself with a job you hate! It’s simply not worth it.

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Norman Cousins once said, “The tragedy of life is not death, but what we let die inside of us while we live.” If you’re dying inside because you’re stuck on a job it may be time to develop an exit strategy. Do you know what you want? Do you know what drives you and makes you happy? Do you know what you’re passionate about? Faith is taking the first step without seeing the entire staircase. Now may be a good time to leap out of the safety of what’s familiar and into the glorious opportunities of the unknown. In the words of George Eliot, “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” Will you prepare for flight or wait to fall from the nest?

Whatta Man, Whatta Man: 7 Signs He’s A Keeper

Most women want to know how to find a good man, or at least, how to know when a good one has found her. Although each man is unique, there are some common characteristics of every quality man. Here are a couple of ways to recognize whether he is a knight in shining armor or a scrub in dusty denim.

Prioritizes his relationship with God. This is the most vital characteristic in identifying a quality MOG (Mand of Gawd). Does he set aside time to study the word and apply what he learns? Does his lifestyle reflect what he reads? A man who keeps God on his calendar will keep you in his heart. It was once said, “let God make a man out of him before you try to make him a husband.” If God’s love is intricately interwoven into the fabric of a man’s DNA, then his hobbies, character and desires will reflect what HE wants and not what he wants. 

“Let God make a man out of him before you try to make him a husband.”


He has integrity: Does he keep his word? Is he committed to demonstrating a lifestyle of superior character even if it’s only in front of an audience of one? Does he admit when he makes mistakes and is willing to correct them? Does he exhibit trustworthiness in his business, personal relationships and family? Perfection is unattainable; however walking towards it is something every man can strive towards. Integrity is a one way street without detours or exits. 


He works: According to Genesis, before Adam got a boo, he had work to do. This doesn’t mean he has to have a traditional 9 to 5, 10 to 8, or 12 to 12; it simply means he lives out Ecclesiastes 9: 10 every day. A man that understands the value of hard work and discipline doesn’t wait for opportunities to knock, he breaks down doors in pursuit of them.  This kind of work isn’t simply isolated to income generating activities; this is transferable to ministry and initiatives that produce spiritual capital. Employees can be downsized and given the cold shoulder, but a hard working man can create opportunities from obstacles .

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He has vision and knows how to lead: A man without a vision is like a driverless semi-truck speeding at 85 on the highway. He’ll either fall short of his destination, seriously hurt himself in the process, or significantly injure others along the way. In most cases, it’s all of the above. John Maxwell said, “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.” A man’s influence and ability to make decisions is critical to fulfilling God’s purpose.  Having vision and strong leadership are prerequisites for greatness, not byproducts. Can he initiate tough conversations? Does he speak up and stand up in the face of that which contradicts his personal convictions? There comes a time in life, and often it’s more than once, when a man can no longer remain neutral. Edwin Chapin put it this way, “Neutral men are the devil’s allies.”


Can he kill the bear: I recently had a conversation with a divorced woman and she said her husband was apathetic and couldn’t kill the bear.  At first I was confused. Was she referring to his inability to hunt or literally kill bears? No, she was simply asserting most women want to know their man can and will protect her in the face of danger. Be it economic, spiritual, or physical. A man doesn’t have to return from the woods with a bear paw to prove his manhood, but if it’s date night and Smokey wants to start trouble, your man better be ready to drop him. When you look at models of manhood such as David, Moses, Elijah, Joshua, and many others, they were all willing and able to kill the bear.

“Submit to one another, out of reverence to Christ…”
– Ephesians 5:21

He knows how to submit: Ephesians 5:21 tells us to submit ourselves to one another. In today’s society the big “S” is taboo, but submission in marriage simply means, sub-mission: being willing to walk humbly under the greater mission of God’s plan and purpose. Submission also relates to the way he acknowledges and associates with a strong, Godly community in which he receives wisdom, rebuke, and accountability. Submission isn’t being too weak to drive; it’s being strong enough to take the backseat.

He is a D.I.I. man:  In life we all go through the stages of dependence, independence and interdependence.  A man depends on God, walks independently from the opinions from others, and recognizes his need for interdependence. A Godly man doesn’t need a woman to become a man; he wants her and recognizes how God uses her to help him become a better man. There’s a difference between having real challenges and unnecessary drama. Godly men know the difference. A D.I.I. man has learned the art of keeping God at the core, using other men to help him grow and uses wisdom to make solid, biblical, grown-man decisions. When he becomes a D.I.I. man, he can truly move from success to significance.


Men aren’t born, they‘re made; and in today’s society it’s very easy to lose sight of this and have a hard time recognizing authentic, biblical manhood.  Men come in various packages, but the contents are all the same. They are the most powerful people on the planet, and when a man walks wholeheartedly in his purpose he is unstoppable. Good men can change their circumstance, but Godly men can change the world.