Boy meets girl. They fall in love. They get married. They live happily ever after. That’s how the story goes. But how often does that scenario not play out to be true?
I don’t think any of us go into our marriage thinking that we are going to fall into the 40-50% divorce rate category, right? It is not like we are making divorce our goal. But often times we all have on rose colored glasses that make us believe that all we need is true love to be happily married. Thank you, Disney!
But once you’ve been married for any length of time you soon realize that you do need more than Disney’s version of true love to make your marriage last. Being happily married isn’t going to just happen. Happy marriages take husbands and wives being intentional. Our attitudes and behaviors truly matter.
If there are things that we should be doing to be happily married, than certainly this logic applies to things that we shouldn’t be doing.
Bad habits and destructive behaviors can negatively impact our marriage and ultimately will destroy our marriage.
10 Habits That Will Destroy Your Marriage
Our pride can take a toll on our marriage. When we are constantly focusing on our own needs and wants than we are slowly sucking the joy out of our marriage. This way of thinking makes you think that you should be served and loved more than your spouse. If your spouse doesn’t fulfill your expectations or love you the way that you want them to then you immediately have a wounded spirit and start to push your spouse away. This is a very dangerous path to take.
Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom. Proverbs 13:10
2. Critical Spirit
When we are constantly criticizing our spouse we are tearing down the walls of our marriage. No one likes to be around someone who is picking them apart. When our spouse feels like they can never measure up to our standard we creating an environment that is hostile and will ultimately be destroyed. There is a trick to saving your marriage from this habit!
Ruth Bell Graham said it best, a happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers. How true is that? What other earthly relationship do we have that requires us to exercise forgiveness the most? None. Marriage let’s you see another person’s faults and quirks up close and personal for the rest of your life. There are going to be countless times that require you to forgive your spouse. If we cannot forgive easily we are choosing a behavior that will destroy our marriage.
“The first to apologize is the bravest. The first to forgive is the strongest. And the first to forget is the happiest.”
Coming right off of forgiveness is bitterness. When we refuse to forgive those that hurt us it begins to take root in our hearts. If you are in a struggling marriage it can be too easy to let your hurts become bitterness. But the funny thing about bitterness is that it isn’t hurting your spouse it’s hurting yourself. You are poisoning yourself.
Our spouses are going to hurt us, let us down and disappoint us. There is no way around that. But we don’t need to let bitterness destroy our marriage.
Both wives and husbands need to be respected in a happy marriage. But the one thing that men want in marriage is to be respected. They desire that above everything. Yes, that means above sex and affection. If it is the one thing that will make marriage better for them than when wives disrespect their husband we are destroying our marriage. The longer we disrespect them the more long term damage we are doing to our marriage. Ladies, we need to be respecting our husbands. It is so important to a happy marriage. Be good to your man!
6. Lack of Affection
Married people are supposed to be showing affection to each other. That’s a no-brainer, right?
Affection is among the top things that a wife wants from a marriage. We want to feel loved, cherished and desired. Simple acts like hand holding, kissing, arms around the shoulder, and hugs make a woman feel loved. When men stop doing the these they are slowly destroying their marriage.
Affection can be a wide variety of things but it definitely includes sex. Being intimate with our spouse must be a priority in our marriage. When you neglect this area you are allowing temptations into your marriage that shouldn’t be there. Without intimacy you are losing your closeness with your spouse. The Bible is very clear on not neglecting this! Sheila, at To Love Honor and Vacuum has so many resources, I recommend checking her out if you need help in this area!
It is so important to be filling our spouses love tank. You never want to get to a point where your spouse starts looking else where for the affection. Let’s be intentional at making our marriage thrive!
This emotion is often the cause of much harm, both physical and emotional. Anger is mentioned hundreds of times throughout the Bible (wrath, anger, angry, etc…). Here’s an interesting study idea. Look up what happens when a man is angry in the Bible, and then look up what happens when God is angry in the Bible. Man’s anger always leads to destruction and in scripture, murder was often the result (Cain, Haman, Esau, Saul, Herod, etc…). God’s anger always led to justice.
This is why James 1:20 says, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God”. I cannot think of even one instance in my marriage where anger has led to a positive outcome.
Moses broke the stone tablets in his anger and had to rebuild them. What will you have to rebuild because of your anger?
The purpose of anger is to correct an injustice. But why don’t you leave that to God next time it crops up in your marriage?
Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19
Take a look at this list of sins:
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: Colossians 3:5
Right there among fornication and idolatry is the sin of covetousness. Wanting something that we can’t or shouldn’t have is a pretty big deal to God. It can also have a terrible impact on marriages. All the way back in Exodus 20, God was pretty clear in the 10 commandments to Israel, that we shouldn’t covet our neighbor’s wife or anything that is thy neighbors.
Covetousness starts with a small seed of discontentment. Spouses get their eyes set on earthly goods and end up buying things they shouldn’t or being financially irresponsible. Money problems wreak havoc on marriages every year and discontentment is often the source. Maybe you are unhappy with your mate’s appearance, work ethic, or habits. Discontent leads to covetousness, which leads to serious problems down the road. Stay away from this habit.
9. Taking Your Spouse For Granted
We can get too comfy in our lives and take those around us for granted. But what if you woke up tomorrow and your spouse didn’t. What if your husband didn’t come home from work? Life is unpredictable. No man knows how many days he has left. So let’s make every day count. Yes, you are married and you live with your spouse and see them more than most people but you aren’t promised another day with them. If we changed our thinking to this way of thinking how different would our lives look?
Don’t take your spouse for granted.
Life gets crazy sometimes and busy seasons can come and go. But when we let the busyness of life continually pull us away from our spouse we are in danger of destroying our marriage. We need to be purposefully setting aside time to be with our spouse. We need to be connecting and sharing our lives with each other for a healthy marriage. Even amidst the craziness of life we need to set time aside to connect.
If your budget doesn’t allow many date nights then be creative with at home dates. Stay up late or wake up early to spend time with each other. Read a book together or play a board game. We can never invest too much time into our marriage. It is time well spent and we will reap the benefits of it for years to come.
Remember, habit is a wonderful servant but a horrible master. If you can develop good habits in your marriage it will serve you well for many years to come. If you allow bad habits to creep in, you can look forward to years of struggle instead. Nip those bad habits in the bud!
Your turn! What habits do you need to get out of your marriage?
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