MANILA, Philippines - For Herald Cruz, counselor at the Center for Family Ministries at the Ateneo de Manila University, there are five reasons why marriages crumble, and eventually fail.
Citing research and his experience in counseling, Cruz said all other issues of married couples can be traced to money woes, sex problems, differences and incompatibilities, unfaithfulness and matters related to in-laws.
"Sa counseling, we try to look at the root cause... Hindi tinuturo kung sino ang mas malaki ang problema. Ang sinasabi namin, it takes two to create a problem, and it takes two to solve a problem as well," he said in an interview on radio dzMM's "Rated Korina" on Wednesday.
"Marriage can give you a taste of heaven as well," added Cruz, who has four children and has been married for 19 years.
Here are Cruz's suggestions on how married couples can address these five problems:
1. Money woes
Signs: Debts and several loans; impulsive buying; not living within your means
Solutions: Don't spend more than what you earn; try to save as much money as you can; consult a financial adviser
2. Sex problems
Signs: Husband/wife is not contented while the other feels it's too much; husband/wife starts to look for another person for intimacy
Solutions: Discuss what is comfortable and enjoyable for you with your partner; go out on regular dates (without the kids) to fuel intimacy
3. Differences and incompatibilities
Signs: More frequent quarrels; spending less time together as a result of being separated by interests
Solutions: RUACH (recognize differences, understand, accept, change yourself or adjust, heal your heart)
Signs: Husband/wife is always not around or neglects partner; existence of a "third party;" husband/wife hides too many secrets
Solutions: Discuss issues and begin accepting each other; address each other's needs; consult a conselor
5. Matters related to in-laws
Signs: More quarrels over in-laws; couple feels obligated to let in-laws make decisions about the family
Solutions: Discuss how you can set boundaries with in-laws; move out if in-laws are hard to deal with; consult a counselor