Any marriage needs to be an equal and balanced partnership in order to be successful. That means that each partner needs to respect the other and contribute the work that is necessary in any relationship to keep it functional. Sometimes habits can form within a relationship that are not very healthy. If you catch them early, you will likely be able to eliminate them from your behavior before they do too much damage.
Consider these 10 habits that could be destroying your marriage:
1. Words that Hurt
You know that words have a lot of power in any situation, but especially in a marriage. It is essential that you practice thinking before speaking. Even when you find yourself very upset or angry, you need to deeply consider what you want to say and how you want to say it. Remember, words cannot be taken back so make sure what you say is something you want your partner to hear.
2. Letting Expectations Rule
Expectations must always be tempered, and when it comes to relationships, even more so. This is because people cannot be responsible for the way you feel inside of you. It is not realistic to base your inner happiness or satisfaction with the quality of your life on your partner, their character, or their behavior. No person could fulfill another person, and it is not their responsibility.
3. Criticism and Sarcasm
Whether they’re coming through your words, tone, or body language, criticism and sarcasm are very fast ways to create distance between two people. When you’re sarcastic and critical with your partner, chances are you leave them feeling slightly negative about themselves, or something they’ve said and done. The person you’re married to should be able to trust you to support and listen to them about everything, not worry about whether you’ll react with sarcasm and criticism.
4. Put Downs in Front of Friends and Family
You and your partner are a special team. You share things that only you know about and you have a relationship with specific boundaries that does not involve anyone else. While you may be more open in terms of expressing criticism or making jokes when you are alone, you need to respect your partner when you are with family and friends. Putting them down in front of other people is an excellent way to damage the trust between you.
5. Sex and Affection as Weapons
People have different needs. While some may place higher priority on emotional needs, for others, physical needs sit center stage. Whatever you do, don’t withhold sex and affection as a form of punishment.
6. Disregarding Point of View
Remember that you are two different people, which means you will have varying takes on many things in life. That is okay and should be celebrated. Just as you wouldn’t want to be dismissed or ignored, when your partner shares their perspective or opinion with you, it’s vital to validate what they’re saying and express that you recognize their way of thinking, even when it’s different from yours.
7. Double Standards
Figure out what responsibilities you’d like your partner to take on, and then stick to that assertion. You cannot want someone to be responsible and then step into their place if you think you will do it better. Be honest and clear about what you want and are willing to give.
8. Lack of Joy
Your partner is definitely the person that you can and will want to share everything with. That means you will share your deepest worries and stresses. Just try to remember that it can get heavy if the only things talked about in a relationship are the difficult or painful things. Think back to when you first met, and try to relive the feelings of joy and fun.
9. Trying to Improve Them
There is nothing written that says you know what is right and wrong more than your partner. Everyone has different ways of thinking and doing things. Don’t spend all your time trying to ‘improve’ your partner’s ways. That will only turn into resentment. Embrace them for who they actually are.
10. Wrong Partner
Sometimes the truth is really hard to swallow. If you find yourself in a marriage that simply drains the energy out of you and your partner, no matter what you both do, you may just be with the wrong person. Accepting it and moving on will be painful, but staying in the wrong relationship will be something much harder to live with further down the line.
Be aware of your own habits so that you can live in a healthy relationship.
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