As a child, you dream of finding the perfect person, getting married and living happily ever after. Unfortunately, marriages are delicate creatures that a couple can easily end in divorce if not careful.
To have a successful relationship, you first need a solid foundation to grow together as a couple. A strong foundation keeps minor things from damaging your marriage to the point where the only option is divorce. When you maintain bad habits—and there are plenty of them—your marriage can end.
There is good news, though. If you aren’t legally divorced from your partner, it’s not too late to save your relationship. All you need to do is figure out which bad habits are contributing to your union’s demise and fix it. But that’s easier said than done.
However, you should never give up on marriage easily because if you can realize what you’re doing wrong, there’s a good chance you can save your relationship. Look for the toxic habits and ensure you do everything possible not to continue that unhealthy behavior.
Harmful Marriage Habits That Can Lead To Divorce
1. Name-Calling, Criticizing, and Blaming
Marriage counselors say it isn’t the arguments and fights that are the issue; it’s how you fight that creates problems in the marriage.
It doesn’t matter who you are, how much money you have, or how much in love you are. If you are part of a couple, you will have arguments.
When we disagree, we often get angry; when we get mad, we tend to go for the jugular and resort to name-calling like loser, jerk, and a–hole!
We may not mean it, but once it’s out there, it’s out there. If you ever become furious, walk away and continue the discussion later. Nothing good ever comes from a shouting match.
When you blame or criticize your spouse, it’s almost as if you’re saying there’s plenty to complain about with them, but you’re perfect. That’s never the case. When people blame, they often fail to see their part in the error.
These tactics belittle your spouse–the person you promised to love and cherish til death do you part. Even if it was their fault this time, mistakes happen. Stop acting like you never made any blunders, and learn to be more patient and less judgmental.
When you feel like you’re blaming your spouse, pull back a second and consider how you could’ve played a part in the situation.
For example, if you’re mad at your partner and blame them for showing up late to your dinner party, think about your part in the mistake. Could you have called or sent an email to remind them?
Yes, we get that the squeaky wheel gets the oil, but when you constantly complain loudly, you only get short-term gains, and everyone else–including your spouse–gets the headaches.
Eventually, your spouse will also build up a tolerance for your nagging and simply ignore you, which creates a whole new set of problems.
So, how do you stop whining so much? Start by realizing the thing you’re complaining about isn’t a big deal after all. So what, you asked him to take out the garbage, and he forgot? Is it too much trouble for you to take it out?
Remember, your spouse can complain about plenty of things with you, so don’t think you’re the only one who gets frustrated.
When you find yourself lamenting about all the annoying things they do, shift gears and focus on all the good they do.
Often, we only look at the negative and forget about the positive. For example, remember when he made you your favorite meal after a hard day at work? Or how about the time she drew you a bath because your muscles were achy after your workout?
3. Rudeness or Bullying
This isn’t a third-grade playground; it’s a marriage. When you mock or are rude to your spouse, you’re saying, “I don’t respect you enough to treat you like an adult.” Why would you bully someone you claim to love for life?
Bullying wasn’t cool as a kid, but it’s definitely not okay as an adult. In a sense, you’re telling your partner they don’t count in your eyes.
If you feel like you’re being rude or bullying your partner, excuse yourself and calm down. When you both are ready to continue the discussion, take turns and allow each other to voice their concerns. Trying to see things from their point of view may help deal with the issue.
4. Using Logic All the Time
Two things you should never say to your spouse (or anyone) in an argument; calm down and be logical. When you say this, your spouse is probably thinking, screw you and screw you again!
Stop playing the dispassionate person all the time. It cuts you off from your emotions and tells your spouse in a not-so-subtle way that their feelings don’t count, either.
Instead, listen to what they have to say. Try to see things from their point of view; if you still can’t, learn to agree to disagree. You won’t always see eye-to-eye, so if you can’t come to a resolution, put the issue to bed and move on.
5. Sarcasm and Passive Peacemaking
If you’ve ever been in an argument and your spouse says something like, “Whatever you want, Dear,” you know how aggravating that is. It’s a type of passive placating that only makes you angrier because you know they’re being sarcastic.
They’re not interested in hearing your side of things or resolving the issue. They are saying, please shut up but in a passive manner that only makes you burn up inside. You want to fix the problem, too, but passive-aggressive behavior isn’t the way.
For the person using the passive peacemaking method, you think you’re solving things and keeping the peace, but you’re not.
Eventually, the discussion will resume because you’ve assumed the martyr role or “taken the higher ground.” Most likely, you’ll end up defensive, angry, and holding a grudge. Now, what did that solve?
When your spouse is giving you passive-aggressive treatment, walk away. You’re only going to get angrier and may say something you regret. Instead, take a walk and come back when you’re calmer and your spouse is ready not to be so complacent.
Common Issues That Destroy Even Happy Marriages
Even though marriage is supposed to be “happily ever after,” don’t be fooled into thinking married couples don’t face issues and challenges. While couples can solve many common marital problems easily, other issues face a more formidable challenge. These tougher challenges are sometimes a sign that the end of the union is near.
Here are common marriage problems that can break your relationship:
1. Overstepping Your Boundaries
Once you’re married, it’s common for one partner to figure they can change the other partner into something they want. The other spouse may become angry or upset that there’s something about them you don’t like. Whether it’s their clothing style or fundamental beliefs, trying to change your partner is an invasion of their personal space.
If your spouse isn’t interested in changing, don’t do it. Even if you feel you’re helping them by trying to change them, you’re doing more harm than good if they’re offended.
2. Talking to the Opposite Sex in an Overly Friendly Manner
Believe it or not, flirting is a big issue in a marriage and causes all types of friction. If one partner constantly flirts with the opposite sex and their partner doesn’t like it, it can cause problems down the line, especially if that wasn’t your personality before you got married.
If you flirted before marriage, your partner might be used to your playful behavior. Even so, if they don’t like it now, you should do your best to curb that personality trait for the betterment of your marriage.
3. Moving on before Becoming Divorced
If you’re separated but not officially divorced and are working on reconciliation, you shouldn’t be on dating apps “in case it doesn’t work out.”
Some people in the working it out phase have already moved on and have profiles up on dating apps, which isn’t cool, especially if there’s a chance you’ll get back together with your spouse.
Instead, concentrate on fixing your marriage instead of looking to meet other people. However, if you agree that using online dating apps is okay, then have at it, but only if you have reached a mutual agreement.
But understand that dating other people can be a distraction to reconciliation. It’s best to wait until the divorce is finalized before looking to meet other newly single people.
4. Lack of Communication
It’s important to note that talking and communication are two different things, even though people often use them interchangeably.
Talking is more about giving information with no need for a response. It leaves plenty of room for criticism, blaming, and complaining.
Communicating is a nonverbal and verbal exchange of information that needs a response. Since it takes more than one person to communicate, it requires a connection between people within a safe space to share their knowledge and ideas without judgment.
When spouses don’t practice proper communication, it’s easier for them to get into the habit of speaking to one another ineffectively. If they do not rectify their poor communication skills, they may have more serious problems.
People stonewall when they want to stop an argument or a constructive conversation in its tracks. When one spouse wants to discuss the issue, and the other doesn’t, often the other spouse will use one of the previously mentioned tactics (distracting, passive peacemaking) to divert attention away from the issue. Unfortunately, not much can happen when one spouse refuses to talk about it.
Sometimes, you have to pick your battles, and this one might not be worth it. You can walk away and resume the discussion when your spouse is ready to address it. Or, you can squash the topic altogether—your choice.
6. Throwing in Distractions
If you think you’re being cute by being silly during a disagreement, think again! When you’re fooling around all the time, being hyperactive, or refusing to focus on the discussion, it’s often an attempt to sidestep intimacy or difficult situations. This can be frustrating to your partner, especially when they’re trying to be serious so they can resolve the issue.
Tell your partner if you’re not in the mood to discuss the situation. Sometimes, we want to maintain our good mood and don’t feel like having a serious conversation, and that’s okay. But instead of being distracting, let your mate know that.
Or, maybe you had a bad day at the office and want to unwind when you get home. Let your spouse know that you really want the issue to be resolved, but you’d rather talk about it tomorrow.
Doing so will give you time to relax.
Plus, you’ll be more refreshed and may even come up with a solution much faster than if you tackled the problem when you felt drained.
7. Making Decisions on Your Own about the Significant Things
Sometimes, making minor decisions, like what and where to hang a picture, is acceptable. But when you need to make significant decisions about finances, your children, or your family life, you both need to be involved.
You disregard your partner’s input when you take on the sole responsibility for life’s major decisions. Doing so shows a level of disrespect and may cause major arguments in the marriage.
In this case, the remedy is simple–stop making all the decisions and get your spouse’s input. If you don’t involve your partner, it can cause animosity and resentment in the marriage.
No marriage is perfect. You need to work on it for it to be successful. This means patience and understanding with your partner. It also means learning to pick your battles and letting go of the more minor issues that ultimately don’t matter.
When you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you commit to giving the union one hundred percent.