5 Habits That Can Destroy Your Marriage
1. Disrespect and a lack of love become the norm.
In Dr Emerson Eggerich’s book Love & Respect, he writes that when a husband feels disrespected, he has natural tendency to react in ways that feel unloving to his wife. When that wife feels unloved, she reacts in ways that feel disrespectful to her husband. This “crazy cycle” goes on and on, causing a relationship to disintegrate. Wives, don’t wait for your husband to act lovingly to you, bringing your flowers or speaking words of tenderness. Give him unconditional respect. Husbands, don’t wait for your wives to show respect, give her unconditional love. Shower her with tenderness, no matter how moody or mean she may be.
2. Downtime equals screen time.
How much quality time do you spend each day with your spouse? Sitting across a dinner table while both of you texting does not count. Being in the living room together while one person checks email and another person watches TV does not count. Whether we’re checking our phone, playing video games, or watching a movie, constant screen time poses a huge threat to a meaningful connection in a marriage.
3. Children come first.
I have two children in elementary school and one in middle school. When I’m an empty nester someday, I want to be close to my husband. I don’t want to spend 20 years hyper-focused on my kids, centering my whole world around them, just to be staring at a stranger (my spouse) after the kids leave home. I don’t think you want that either.
Children seem needier so we can pour our energy – too much energy – into meeting their need and want. But make no mistake. Having a child-centred family is not healthy to your baby, toddler, child or teen. The best gift you can give to your children is a rock-solid, loving relationship with your spouse. The Bible tells us in Genesis 2:24 that a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. You are one with your spouse, not with your children. In God’s design, your children are destined to leave you and create their own families. Your spouse is the adult you’ll be with for the rest of your life, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health.
4. Laugh less, kiss less.
Most people get married to a person they have fun with. No one you’ve met has laughed their way to divorce court. The joking, teasing, flirting, and smiling at one another can wane as the years go by. Working hard, paying bills and having kids can extinguish romance and laughter in a hurry. That’s why it’s important to schedule fun activities and spend time together so you keep creating inside jokes and happy memories.
5. Always think of yourself first.
If you want to be unhappy, keep asking yourself “What has my spouse done for me lately?” We live in a “me-first” world that has influenced the home. It’s natural to behave selfishly. It’s unnatural to act as a servant. Yet the Bible clearly tells us that Jesus came not to be served, but to serve. If you want to ruin your marriage, consistently evaluate situations by asking “Is this good for me?” When you are lobbying for yourself in a marriage, no one wins.
But if instead you ask, “Is this good for us?,” you will act more generously to your spouse and that goodness will certainly boomerang back to you. When you make the decision to serve your spouse and consider his or her needs as important as your own, you move from being a victim in your marriage to a victor. The victim says “I’m not being treated fairly.” The victor says, “I’m going to out-serve you. God will bless me when I’m blessing you.”