MARRIAGE KILLING HABITS
Black and white wrong and right. Maybe you see some random couple having a knock down drag out fight in public. Maybe you find out a friend has been having an affair. We see marriages fall apart everyday.
Sometimes it’s complicated. Other times it’s blatantly obvious that this couple’s marriage fell apart because of a marriage killer. What’s a marriage killer? A habit or occasional act that kills the quality and/or life of a marriage.
Marriage Killer #1 – Berating
Don’t berate, i.e. tear down your husband. One of the husband’s greatest needs is to be respected. When a wife belittles her man by tearing him down with words respect goes flying out the window and his manhood is stomped into the mud. A man constantly berated by his wife will eventually find respect and adoration in the eyes of another woman.
THE THINGS YOU SAY ABOUT OTHERS, SAY A LOT ABOUT YOU.
Instead, use your words to build up your husband. Brag about him to your friends, his friends, and directly to him. Say thank you for anything special that he has said or done for you lately. When you catch yourself saying something negative, back track and follow up with a positive statement. The habit of berating your husband honestly reflects the condition of your own heart. But rewiring your heart and feelings is another topic for another day. However, these are some practical ways to keep killing your marriage in the form of berating.
Marriage Killer #2 – Nagging
NAG • GING, verb : annoying or irritating (a person) with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging.
Don’t nag. Nagging is defined as annoying or irritating a person with persistent fault-finding or continuous urging. Read that again and look at all the negative words! Annoying. Irritating. Fault finding. Guess what? Everyone has faults! Constantly having them pointed out by your spouse is definitely a marriage killer. It comes across as controlling. No one wants to be controlled. Control is a perceived threat.
Rather than continuously nagging your Mr. to get something done, present your request by first explaining your perspective. For example, “Will you please fix that crappy back door knob?!” is turned into “I noticed the back door’s knob is really wiggly. It makes me nervous that someone could break in and rob us. This weekend when we don’t have anything on the schedule would you be willing to look at it and burglar-proof us?” Notice that the example above starts with starts with “I”. Starting a sentence with I will turn a criticism into a complaint, which Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott say is healthier in marriage. It takes the focus off your spouse and reduces the threat level.
If you ask your husband to do something and it doesn’t get done for a period of time, nagging can be very tempting. After all, asking nicely once didn’t work, right? This is where honest, open communication is key. I know, I know, easier said than done. Try explaining that the door knob (our earlier example) is causing you stress and that it’s a big priority for you. He may honestly have no idea how important something you’ve asked him to take care of is to you. If it still doesn’t get done, then you have an issue. First, take care of the stinking door knob. Figure out how to do it yourself or hire it out. Then, in good timing, bring up the issue of him ignoring it. Listen to his perspective and try to really understand. And remember his good will…and that killing is a crime. 😉
Marriage Killer #3 – Hitting
We all know hitting is wrong. Maybe you’re like our seven year old and used to be in the principals office quite often for hitting. Well you’re all grown up now. Don’t hit.
Why do wives smack their husband’s anyway? I can tell you…because it’s something I’ve actually struggled with. You see, I have a quick witted husband and I do not have the quick wit to quip back. So what would I do? I’d smack him in the arm or on the side of the thigh. Most of the time it didn’t hurt him physically. Only when I’d accidentally hit just the right spot. My man is tough. It wasn’t his body or feelings that got hurt. It was the disrespect shown.
Instead of smacking or playfully hitting your husband, try an absurd fake laugh or a stupid face or a movie quote that you both know to playfully roast him.
If you’re actually hitting your husband out of anger though, you need to get help. Try taking some deep breathing exercises, meditation classes, or find a counselor. There are so many ways to work out issues that have caused long harbored anger and resentment. It can get better.
Marriage Killer #4 – Cheating
You may be thinking “Duh”. But this includes so much more than the physical affair. An emotional affair with someone other than your spouse is just as toxic to your marriage.
Dr. Willard Harley gives us the example of a bank account. Look at your heart as a bank account that holds love. Your spouse deposits love into the account when he does something loving. On the flip side, when your spouse hurts you or neglects to meet a need, it is compared to making withdrawals from your heart. A red flag of imminent danger should warn you when your love balance gets low. The longing for deposits of love will make a woman’s eye wander, her affection find another, and her confidence go to someone else. A woman will give her admiration to another man and emotionally bond with him long before her body is ever given away, if it ever is.
Learn to recognize when your love account is running low. Keep a careful watch for interactions with members of the opposite gender that deposit into your heart. I’ve found the best way to receive love deposits from my husband is to carefully examine what deposits I can be making into his account. That may seem completely cliché. The fact of the matter is meeting each other’s needs is a cycle. Get on a crazy cycle of disrespect towards him and he’ll respond by withdrawing love. Be purposeful to speak love into his heart and meet his needs and he’ll instinctively reciprocate.
A POSITIVE SPIN
Be on the look out for these four marriage killing habits in your relationships. Keep your eyes open to self awareness and do an analysis every now to make sure you’re not berating, nagging, hitting, or cheating in any form. Instead, focus on the good habits that healthy, happy marriages exhibit!
For more ways to turn things around and improve the quality of your marriage, check out:
Check them out! XOXO
Want to go the extra mile as a wife and really boost your marriage? Take the “Wife for the Win” marriage challenge! It’s five days of emails with five aspects of wifing (yep, it’s a verb) to focus on. You can do anything for five days, right? 😉