Have you found that your marriage is starting to decline out of fiery love and passion? Do you feel like you are no longer compatible or happy together? Unfortunately, this is a very common thing to happen in a marriage. This doesn’t mean it is the end. It’s only the beginning! The first step is realizing that problems are natural. Now that you know you are feeling this way, you can start trailing your emotions to discover why. As you continue to read, you will discover many bad habits people develop that unfortunately, frequently destroy their marriage. Maybe if we are aware of our habits and their effects, we can change the negative behaviors before we lose the love of our life.
Here are 20 of the biggest mistakes people make that can jeopardize a marriage.
Telling Your Parents Everything
Your parents may be your best friends, but there’s a new significant other in your life that has bumped your family out of the number one spot in your life. There should be a line drawn between your partner and your parents. You have married your partner, and this divorces your parents from any right to know every little detail in your life. You wouldn’t want to lose your partner’s trust for the sake of your nosy parents.
Not Making Time For Your Spouse
I hate to break it to you, but you have make time for you boo. Especially in a marriage, it is very important to set aside time to connect with your partner. Never allow work, hobbies, or friends get in the way of your connection with your spouse, because they are your priority relationship now. It is smart to balance your schedule so to show that you value the time of your partner, which ultimately will make them feel loved and appreciated.
Bringing Home Your Work
Working during your together time is not “quality time.” You are simply just co-existing with your partner at this point. Just because you share the same air doesn’t mean you share the same heart beat. Leave your work at work. You are gone all day, and your partner expects to spend some time with you when you’re home. Don’t be a slave to your work. It’s not healthy for you, your wife, or your marriage. There’s an exception for those who work from home, but even those people need to set aside special time with their spouse.
Things can get under your skin, and you’ll feel the need to express those things. But make sure you are in the right state of mind before you start nagging. You can usually communicate the same exact thing without being irritating. It’s all about how you deliver the message. If you try to share your thoughts with your partner in the heat of the moment, chances are you are going to say something without thinking it through. By constantly complaining and nagging your partner, you risk them pushing away from you… which can lead to them hiding things from you.
Cope with your own insecurities and learn how to compromise. No one is perfect. Love your spouse. Don’t nag them.
Being A Liar
Lying is toxic to any relationship. Marriage should be built on trust, loyalty, and honesty. Lying violates each one of those. This one should be pretty self explanatory because the truth always reveals itself. If you are caught trying to cover up a lie, you will destroy your partner’s trust in you. Lying puts your spouse in a very stressful situation — not knowing when you are being truthful or not. Once you lose trust, it’s nearly impossible to build back.
Respect is a representation of your love for your partner. “Respect” means many things but ultimately, respecting who your spouse is should be a priority… you should respect your spouse’s time, privacy, decisions, etc.
There is a difference between respecting and submitting. There must be a mutual compromise. With respect you show love, value, and trust.
Not Communicating Effectively
Communication is vital in any relationship, and is a basic requirement for a healthy marriage. If you aren’t expressing yourself, your feelings can become bottled up. This can create anger and resentment that can spew out at inappropriate times.
Bottom line: in order to sort things out in a relationship, you need to communicate clearly.
Not Being Intimate
Intimacy isn’t always physical. It is the ability to let someone see in and through to your soul. It is taking the step into complete transparency and vulnerability. Without intimacy, there can be no flame. Without a flame, there’s no desire. It’s important to maintain chemistry under the sheets or else sadly, your partner may try igniting a flame with someone else.
So maybe you think you’ve mastered communication. But just because you are able to speak with your spouse doesn’t mean that you are communicating effectively. Arguing is usually initiated when someone is triggered by a particular comment or action made by the other person. Arguing words are spoken through filters of emotion, rather than in consideration of the other person’s feelings. The diagram below is a useful guide to proper communication.
Never apologizing for mistakes (big and small) can result in major resentment. You can’t always expect your spouse to act like it’s all OK. Even if they act like everything’s all good, it takes an apology for them to actually heal.
Being Too Proud
Being independent when you’re single is fine. You have no choice. Not letting go of that independence in a marriage is toxic. You have vowed to become one. Even if you don’t need help, it’s thoughtful to include your spouse in everything you do.
Asking for help doesn’t mean you are incapable or dependent. It just means, “hey, I love you. I want you to be involved in everything I do.” When we hold onto pride, we push often push people away. The purpose of marriage is to be together no matter what.
Not Choosing Love
Often, the reason why marriages fail is because people forget that love is a choice, not a feeling. You choose to love your partner every day. Even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you have a rough day at work, you get in an accident, you hear some bad news, or you just aren’t “feelin’ it,” you still love. Marriages frequently end because spouses “lose the spark.” Unless cheating was involved, there’s simply no reason not to try and work past your temporary feelings.
Creating False Expectations
Let’s make something very clear: your spouse is not responsible for you happiness. Believe it! In fact, it’s no one’s responsibility but your own. It’s never a good idea to expect validation from others because you will always be let down. You are in charge of your own emotions and feelings.
Not Viewing A Relationship As Teamwork
If you aren’t working together, you’re doing marriage wrong. You should work toward unity in all things. What one partner lacks, the other can supply. That’s how a relationship works: by making decisions together, helping each other, and supporting each other. Constantly building each other up is the best strategy to working as a team.
Being A Slob
Stereotypically, the woman is the one who is supposed to clean the house, but it’s no longer 1945. Every couple has their own opinions of cleanliness and how to share the household chores. For some spouses, this is a constant struggle. Couples need to work together to maintain a tidy home. This means taking initiative in the little things such as leaving things the way you found them (clean), taking out the trash, washing the dishes, etc. Help your spouse and make them happy. This problem is the easiest thing to change, but one of most common problems in a marriage.
Not Staying Healthy
Let’s be real. Being healthy makes everything better. If you aren’t taking care of yourself by eating well, exercising on a regular basis, and getting enough sleep, then you are just stirring up a recipe for disaster. We all know that cranky people are not the best people to be around. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you will look and feel your best and be able to enjoy life with your spouse. This is something you both should work for together to live a happy, long life. No one wants some one who doesn’t care about themselves, or worse…blames the other for their irritability.
Being A Bully
Bullying your spouse is not OK. No one likes a bully. But maybe you act this way because you are also bullying yourself. This is an emotionally draining state of mind to be in. It puts your spouse in a tough situation, because no matter how much they try to love you, they can’t because you don’t even love yourself. You don’t believe in yourself, you don’t think you are worthy of praise, etc. It’s heartbreaking to watch someone you love beat themselves up over petty things that aren’t even true.
Catch yourself if you ever find yourself bullying yourself and seek help to turn around your thought process because it isn’t healthy for anyone.
Being Overly Dramatic
If you overreact to every little thing, it can be wise to take a breather and re-evaluate your response. Constant overreacting causes tension between two people because one always feels like they have to walk on eggshells. Sadly, overreacting may even be caused from a deeper issue of insecurity. Why do you feel the need to overreact? What is being triggered? These are the questions you need to ask yourself if you are going to overcome this obstacle in your marriage.
Taking Your Partner For Granted
Sometimes marriages reach a point where one person fails to realize how lucky they really are to have found such a great partner. It is important to make your spouse feel valued and appreciated for the things that they do for you. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a spouse who treats them well. Don’t let your spouse think that all they do goes unnoticed, or they might find someone who actually appreciates it.
Being Irresponsible With Money
For the love of money…I mean, for the sake of your marriage. Many marriages are torn up due to reckless spending. Couples need to work together in making a proper budget plan for their goals and bills. Deceiving your spouse about bad spending habits is just a recipe for disaster. Talk about it and don’t be afraid to admit if you have a problem.
Not Being Supportive of Career
It’s always tough when your spouse’s job takes up majority of their time. We often claim that we “hate their job” when in reality, it’s not the job we hate, but the lack of time we get to spend with our loved one. Make it a point to communicate your actual feelings, rather than expressing them in a passive aggressive way. This way you can talk about it and come up with some kind of solution where you two spend time together on a certain day of the week.
Talking Bad About Your Spouse to Friends
You and your spouse are a couple. You are supposed to stand up for each other and support one another. If one person says or does something, it’s not always wise to share that information with others. It may have been said or done only for you. There is a fine line on what to share and what not to share. Protect your spouse and respect them as a person. Bad talking will only make them not want to trust you.
Letting the Romance Die
Just because you got married doesn’t mean its a solid done deal. You need constantly pursue your spouse. Go above and beyond by taking them out on extravagant trips or romantic dinners. Write them a love letter or take them out dancing. Whatever it is that your spouse enjoys, plan it. It is important to maintain a spark within your marriage so things don’t become dull. You both deserve to feel desired.
Not Trying New Things
Just like Ellie and Carl in the adorable movie Up, spouses need to try new things. Elli and Carl bonded over their excitement and desire for adventure. Try looking into some of your common interests and pursue dreams together. This will allow you both to not only learn more about each other’s dreams and desires, but to switch up the norm when pursuing these dreams. Don’t get stuck in the same cycle of life and allow it to put a damper on your marriage life. Marriage is a gift! Explore it.
Failing As A Parent
\Not syncing in the parenting category can put a harsh vibe on your marriage. Your kid will soon learn that you are not on the same page, and might use it to their advantage. You need to stick together as a team so that both parties are on the same page and remain respected by the child. By not working together, you are working against each other (which should never be the case). This all reverts back to communication. Express how you feel about your child and their actions and how you would like to proceed with action. Compromise is better than sabotage.
Nobody ever makes progress when they are being passive aggressive. It’s an ineffective communication strategy. You either hurt someone with your comments, or you don’t express your feelings enough that the other person may feel like you are just joking or that it’s not a big deal. You need to communicate your feelings directly, period.
Not Working On Your Bad Habits
A huge milestone in your marriage can be the day you admit that you have a problem or a bad habit. However long it takes you to realize, it is well worth it because now you can get help to fix it. The first step in overcoming a problem is realizing you have one. Do you and your spouse a favor and improve your bad habits.
When entering a marriage, you will continue to grow in relationship with your spouse. You will be exposed to all their quirk and flaws. You’re in it for life and we all know that no one is perfect. Imperfect people make some bad decisions sometimes, and it’s up to us to be able to easily forgive them. We’re not talking about everyone, just your spouse — the one you vowed to love until death parts you. Without forgiveness, there will never be peace within a marriage.
Hello! Reality check: the world doesn’t revolve around you! Don’t get caught up in your own wills and desires. Marriage is about compromise, sharing, and working together. Don’t allow your marriage to be a one-sided relationship. It’s not fair. Treat your spouse the way you want to be treated. It’s not worth losing your marriage over a little selfish mentality. Your spouse deserves love and attention too.
Affection is very important to both parties. Especially if your love language is physical touch. Little kisses, holding hands, hugs, massages, and putting your arm around your spouse are all just a few examples of showing affection. This is a way to physically connect without having to say words. It demonstrates your love and affection for your spouse. Lack of these gestures can lead to temptations that are not going to benefit your marriage in any way. Make sure to show affection and maintain that intimacy.
Bitterness is a toxic poison that can ultimately kill you and your spouse. It’s like a black cloud that encompasses your heart and mind alike, completely preventing you from seeing or speaking clearly. It’s just words full of hatred, resentment, and hurt. It doesn’t accomplish anything and it pushes people away.
Not Valuing Your Loved One
Your spouse wants to be the apple of your eye. They want to feel loved and adored by you. Make sure to make your spouse feel valued by you. Remind them why you married them. Even if they’re dorky, make them feel like the coolest, most attractive person around. Talking about people you are attracted to on a regular basis is not esteem building at all.
Not Being Present
There is a difference between spending time together and co-existing. With all the different apps and technology out there, we can easily get caught up in our watching Snapchats or keeping updated with Facebook. We might even get sucked into the our favorite TV show. Unless it’s a show you both bond over, you need to unplug! Your relationship should be a high priority over any piece of technology you own.
Codependency is Not the Business
I been talking about unity and togetherness, but sometimes couples have that nailed down a little too much. Yeah, I’m referring to those needy, clingy, codependent spouses. This is not attractive in the least bit. It is healthy to be independently together. Spend time with friends and get away for a little while. Have a girls/guys night and have some fun! Constantly being together can cause dullness or even resentment because you might be demanding too much of your spouse’s time. But don’t take this the wrong way. You will be doing your spouse a favor if you challenge them to be a little more independent.
Love is Not a Competition
With technology encompassing our generation and altering every decision we make, it easy to get into the comparison game. Technology can be awesome because we get to keep in touch better with out friends and family by seeing all their updates. But this can also make things difficult in marriage. Because you are constantly seeing what other couples are up to, you may begin to desire what they appear to have on social media. You begin doing things not because you purely want to, but also because you can’t wait to post it on social media for all to see. There’s no longer any privacy in relationships because it’s all about making everything we do public. Once dinner is on the table, we take 15 minutes before we eat it just to take the picture, find the perfect filter, and post it (along with a comment about how perfect life is). It has become madness, and it’s time we revert back cherishing the moments we have with each other rather than getting sucked up in a cyberspace battle to appear as the “best” couple.