Marriage is hard, relationships are hard, and we all do bonehead things that cause problems once in awhile. Occasional lapses in sanity are forgivable, we are only human, but it’s the habits we create that will set off the divorce grenade.
I have compiled a list of ten habits or personality quirks that can have a very negative impact on your wife and relationship. As a married woman who has been on the receiving end of a few of these myself, I can attest to the hurt that they cause. If I can help one marriage and save one woman from losing her mind, then I will have done my good deed.
1. Taking her for granted
– Most couples now have to have a two-person income to run a household, especially if they have children. Often women will just go about the household duties on autopilot without so much as a second thought. Maybe she prepares dinner or makes sure your work shirts are clean and pressed. Whatever it is, it’s nice to hear a thank you once in awhile. We don’t need to have validation that we’re doing a good job; it’s the need to feel appreciated in our relationship that matters. Saying thank you or offering recognition is a small gesture that carries a lot of weight.
2. Putting other things over your relationship
– Get off your phone! Come home from work on time and unplug. Have conversations, watch a movie together, and just give your wife the time of day. Work can be taxing and sometimes Facebook or playing a video game is a great way to unwind, but don’t choose to do these things at the expense of your marriage.
3. Undermining her parenting
– The key to children is both parents have to be teammates. If kids find a weakness between you they will attack it with the fervor of a rabid honey badger to get what they want. If your wife tells junior, no don’t tell him yes. Don’t shorten punishment times and please don’t throw her under the bus because you want to be the laid back parent. Stand beside her, even if you don’t agree. You can discuss it out of earshot of the kids later.
– You are not fifteen. You are an adult with responsibilities and your video game time needs to take a backseat. The same can be said for regular bar hopping with your buddies and shirking your responsibilities at home. No woman wants to be a replacement her husband’s mother and frankly, she shouldn’t have to be. She married someone who was supposed to be her equal and share her life with him accordingly. There is nothing wrong with a little indulgence or Call of Duty once in awhile to unwind, but if certain activities consume your life it may be time to reevaluate. And pick up your socks without being asked.
5. Underestimating what’s important to her
– To you a problem or complaint may seem trivial, but to her it’s not, because she brought it up in the first place. By dismissing or undercutting what she’s telling you you’re hurting her and slowly chipping away at the security of your relationship because she can’t trust that she can come to you. Listen to what’s bothering her and don’t take it personally. Actively participate in the conversation and come up with a solution together. She will be so grateful to you for it.
6. Choosing your family over her
– Family is important. Just because you marry doesn’t mean you just dismiss or reject your family, but boundaries need to be set. If your parents tend to meddle and you side with them over your wife, you’re creating a huge rift. She may already feel like she won’t measure up to you and your family’s ideals so by not standing by her you only reinforce these insecurities. Love and respect your parents, but it may be time to cut the apron strings.
– This one is the big brother of taking your wife for granted and immaturity. To keep a household running everybody has to chip in and pull his or her weight. Excuses like a full time job or commute or the like are just that, excuses. If she can still get the laundry put away and dinner on the table you can wash dishes and take out the trash. Find a system that works for the two of you or better yet, take the initiative! If you see she’s swamped or overwhelmed clean the toilet and pick up the groceries. It will give you a feeling of accomplishment and she won’t feel so encumbered. Remember, you use all of the same things she does in the house so you can clean them too.
8. Selfishness… in bed
– We get it, you guys are simple and don’t require as much prep work, but don’t leave her hanging. It’s very easy to go through the motions or get into a routine where as long as you orgasm, mission accomplished; time for bed, right? Well no, not quite. If a woman is unsatisfied in the bedroom she’s going to stop participating. This is why there are so many stories of the cold-fish housewife, she’s unhappy. Go back to when you first started dating and reflect on what worked them. Lavish some attention on her, engage in foreplay, and attend to her needs. Both of you win in the end.
– As a byproduct of the unsatisfied wife, pornography can snake its way in as a replacement for marital affection. Some husbands spend more time with the anonymous women on their laptops than in bed with their wives. As a consequence many develop an addiction that destroys their relationship. I understand some couples watch together. The visual often works to encourage a couple and maybe inspire them to try other things. The key word there is together. The wife isn’t shut out in those cases. If that works for your sex life, go for it. Again, if it comes at the expense of your relationship, there’s a problem. Pornography is a major cause of divorce for a lot of couples as some women consider it akin to adultery.
10. Make her feel bad
– This point is very broad because different things are triggers for different people. If you’ve had a few kids and your wife is self-conscious about what’s happened to her body don’t make comments, don’t touch her where she doesn’t want to be touched, and seriously, no jokes. Pointing out how other women look can chip away at a woman’s confidence. Casual comments about everything from her weight to her cooking to how she folds the towels can be bruising after awhile. Just imagine if the roles were reversed and she jiggled your beer belly or pointed out the hot guy on the sidewalk. Not so great.
Having a happily married life can be simple if you let it be simple. Remember you entered into a special partnership with a woman YOU picked. The reasons don’t matter, you chose this woman over all others. Treat her with respect and appreciation and she will return the sentiment in kind.
Almost every difficulty and cause of divorce is well within our realm of control; it’s exercising our God given ability for restraint that will be the deciding factor on whether your relationship will be on the track for divorce or not.
If any of these sound familiar, take step back and reflect a minute. I’m sure you’ve noticed the signs that something isn’t right with your wife, the signs are very clear if you pay attention. Step up and talk to her. I guarantee it will be make the difference in your happily ever after.
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Author: Syliva Smith
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. By taking purposeful and a whole-hearted action, Sylvia feels that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one.