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The 'Silent Marriage Killer' Revealed (Photos)

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There's no shortage of marriage advice available to anyone who seeks it.

For example, a search on WorldCat, the Online Computer Library Center's database, returns 98,768 books with the word "marriage" in the title.

Derek Harvey, who InspireMore describes as a "gifted leader, writer, speaker, musician, and visionary,” has added to that body of advice.

"My goal is to come alongside you as a 'creative entrepreneur' and equip you with tools, tips and tricks to make doing what you love a whole lot easier," writes Harvey on his website.

On Oct. 12, he wrote an article for InspireMore about what he learned while attending a marriage seminar six years ago.

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The seminar presenter asked the audience if they knew what the "silent marriage killer" was.

Having been through premarital counseling, Harvey thought he knew the answer to that question, so he responded aloud, "Sex, money and communication!" 

But he was wrong. "Those are symptoms of the real problem," the expert advised. "The reason marriages end in divorce is because of one thing ... unmet expectations." 

"Since that seminar six years ago, I have seen the pain and frustration that plays out from having unmet expectations, not just in marriage, but in all relationships," writes Harvey. "It’s a deadly venom that flows to the heart and wreaks havoc in relationships."

Like all good self-help gurus, Harvey came up with a simple formula to help deal with the problem. He expresses it as the equation: "EXPECTATION [minus] OBSERVATION [equals] FRUSTRATION"

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Harvey advises people to let reality (observation) take precedence over what they expect.

"In other words, go with the flow," he summarizes succinctly. "Set aside your unmet expectations and face reality head on. Then, after the fact, have a conversation with whoever is involved about what you expect and why."

Composer and rock star Frank Zappa, whose 26-year marriage ended only due to his death in 1993, also advised not setting expectations too high. 

In his 1989 memoir, "The Real Frank Zappa Book," he advocated marriage as a "Dada concept" -- referring to the art movement that arose after World War I as "an all-out assault against not only on conventional definitions of art, but on rational thought itself," as defined by the Museum of Modern Art.

Zappa advised against thinking of marriage as a "special career" at which one must "excel."

"No matter what fantasies you maintain regarding ... your personal relationship … everything gets modified within the contexts of 'spouse-ism' and 'dad-ism,'" he wrote.

As for his own relationship with his wife Gail, Zappa said that although they were best friends, their marriage worked best when they saw each other the least.

"Gail has said in interviews before that one of the things that makes our relationship work is the fact that we hardly ever get to talk to each other," he added.

Sources: WorldCat, Derek Harvey, InspireMore, "The Real Frank Zappa Book" via The Pierre Houle, Museum of Modern Art / Featured Image: Pixabay / Embedded Images: Derek Harvey/Twitter (2)

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