7 Bad Habits that Can Destroy Your Marriage

When two people commit to getting married, they vow to be together forever. But as the years go by, it is easy to get into a marriage rut, allowing small annoyances to bloom into bad habits. Those habits, when gone unchanged, can slowly erode a firm foundation of a marriage. Here are seven habits that can cause damage to a marriage:

1. Not praying together

The saying “the family that prays together, stays together” rings true, especially in marriage. Satan wants nothing more than to destroy a unit of two people–especially Christians—who are unified in their quest to glorify God in their relationship. The best way for him to destroy that unity is through a lack of prayer.

Sure, it seems easy enough to skip one day of praying together. But soon that one day becomes two which becomes three, which soon leads to moths (or years) without prayer. How can a couple remain connected to the vine when their way of connecting to God is cut off from the roots?

2. Fighting Dirty

All marriages experience conflict. But what will you do when you (or your spouse) fight dirty? This means launching into a character assassination or degrading the other person in an effort to “win” the argument. You may win the argument with a few blows below the belt, but the war will have just begun.

Those words, if you haven’t apologized for them, will just pile up. Like toothpaste from the tube, you can’t take them back. Keep your fights clean by sticking to the issue at hand and the underlying fears and insecurities that lie beneath them and you’ll have a marriage that can weather any storm of conflict.

3. Bringing up the Past

When you fight with your spouse, do you stick to the current issues–or do you drudge up past mistakes, failures and sins? God gave us memories so we can appreciate the past. But we must choose to either allow our past to ruin our present or to use it as a way to redeem ourselves and others.

If God chooses to “forgive our sins as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12) why can’t we? Jesus was clear that if we don’t forgive others of the times when they have wronged us, God won’t forgive us of our sins. What a sobering statement! This demonstrates Jesus’ passion for Christians to freely offer the same forgiveness as Jesus did on the cross. It won’t be easy—neither was his crucifixion—but he chose to do so because of his great love for us. And we need to love others with the same level of respect.

4. Staying unhealthily connected to your immediate family

There is a reason why in Genesis God ordained that man “should leave their father and mother and the two will become one flesh.” Your mother, father and siblings are your foundation to lean on during your childhood. But once you become married, you are to lean on your spouse and start a family with them. That means enduring trials together as a family unit, not involving your parents or siblings.

There’s nothing wrong with asking a parent for his/her advice, but valuing their opinion over your spouse only spells trouble. When making major life decisions, make sure you make it with your spouse, not your parent.

5. Putting conditions on love or respect

When a marriage has experienced a major trial like infidelity or other sign of unfaithfulness, the victim in the relationship may feel entitled to disrespect the other partner or withhold love for fear of being hurt again. Yet, the recipe for a successful marriage lies within Scripture: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband” (Ephesians 5:33).

As wives, we should respect our husbands, whether they deserve it or not. When wives can show their husbands respect, we can in turn show ourselves to respect, and thus honor our marriages.

As well, husbands must love their wives whether they deserve it or not. It may not always look like holding hands or other physical signs of affection in public, but loving your wife means listening to her, supporting her during trials, and taking her opinions into account before making a decision. When a husband loves his wife, he also brings honor to his marriage. A marriage that has honor will eventually go back to a loving one.

6. Prioritizing being right rather than having a right relationship

In today’s world, Christians are known more for what they are against than what they are for. When this is the case, their example of Christlikeness gets marred. It is the same in the marriage relationship. When a partner cares more about being right than in the right relationship, the marriage relationship reflects less of the bride of Christ and more like two selfish people who only want to get something out of the relationship than giving to it.

Each partner must commit to giving of themselves fully to the marriage rather than having to prove the other wrong, especially during conflict. Stop trying to be right and winning in the marriage and follow the example of Christ, who spent His life-giving and emptying himself so we (and your spouse) can have the fullness of life our father promised.

7. Shutting down communication

One of the best parts of a marriage is when two people share intimacy both in the bedroom and outside of it. This means both partners communicate their feelings and emotions without fear of condemnation from the other. A marriage should be a safe place where people can express themselves fully. But when there is unresolved hurt and resentment that had not been dealt with, partners shut down and only communicate on a superficial level.

The relationship can deteriorate to the point where the best level of communication revolves around “how was your day?” Neither partner feels safe enough to express their discontentment with life or each other.

This reduces the relationship to nothing more than roommates. Christ’s relationship with the church needs to be more than just roommates. God wants our fellowship, and so does our partner. Imagine if your relationship with God was nothing more than a list of prayer requests. How healthy would your relationship be? Take the time to resolve conflict and heal from hurt so you can keep your communication at a deep level.

Marriage is far from easy but when two people are committed to making it the best relationship they have, Christ is glorified, and they enjoy an abundant life of love and laughter God wants for them. If you are exhibiting these marriage habits, do the hard work to break them. This can include anchoring yourself in the word of God, seeking the help of your church or a therapist, or enlisting the help of accountability partners. Strive to be the spouse your partner deserves.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Should Your Boyfriend Talk To You Every Day? Here’s How Often Healthy Couples Communicate

Communication in a relationship is very important. I know. You’re shocked, right? What a revelation! Oh, what? You’re not shocked? You’ve heard this a million times? Yeah, well, that doesn’t make it any less true. Communication is one of the most essential ways we connect, and it’s how you keep a healthy relationship, well… healthy. But what exactly does the “right” amount of communication look like? Like, should your boyfriend talk to you every day? Or is a few times a week good enough?

To make things even more complicated, you basically have a boyfriend communication device on you at all times, so it’s easy to just whip out your phone and blow them up. And on the flip side, it’s just as easy to spiral into a panic when you don’t hear from them as often as you would like. I mean, they have a phone, don’t they? It’s been 15 minutes! Why haven’t they replied? They obviously hate you, or are dead, or have pulled an Edward Snowden and defected to Russia. Or just maybe their ringer is off. Anyway…

With this kind of constant access, it’s hard to know what’s considered too little or too much, so we turned to the experts to get some advice on how to recognize what constitutes healthy amounts of communication, and how to fix it when it’s getting out of control.

Should you be talking to your partner every day?

Young curious guy likes millennial beautiful girl looking with interest watching smiling lady sitting nearby in cafe using smartphone, flirt in public place, dating and love at first sight concept

Shutterstock

There’s no “right” answer to this question because there are a lot of factors at play. According to relationship and etiquette expert April Masini, there are three things to consider: The age of the relationship, the comfort of the people in the relationship, and what’s actually happening in your lives at the moment.

“If you’re dating someone and it’s a new relationship, you may be communicating multiple times a day because romance is strong and you’re both chatty, or you may be communicating a few times a week because you’re both playing the field and there’s no real commitment yet,” Masini says. So, take stock of where you’re at in your relationship, and if the amount of communication seems to make sense in that scenario.

You can also pay attention to your communication patterns. Depending on how busy your lives are, you may only have time to chat once or twice a day. Maybe what seems odd on paper actually makes perfect sense in practice. It’s your version of normal.

How do you know if your communication frequency is healthy?

But how do you know if your version of normal is healthy? According to best-selling author and relationship expert Susan Winter, the way to know if your communication is healthy is if it’s actually working. Are you in sync with your partner, or do you find yourself frequently misunderstanding one another? “Are you and your partner are on the same page as far as values, goals, and day-to-day conflict resolution?” Winter asks. If the answer to any of those questions is no, then you need to work on your communication styles and frequency.

You should also consider your general happiness in the relationship. Masini warns that if communication begins interfering with your ability to conduct your day, that’s a sign that things are seriously amiss. Communication shouldn’t be making it difficult to concentrate at work or keep you awake at night. If either of those things begins to happen, it’s time to set some boundaries — stat!

Do you need to worry about talking to each other too much?

Lonely sad girl waiting for text message from smartphone on the table | Couple separated from each other

Shutterstock

Not really. Some people just prefer to communicate more than others. The only time this is a problem is if it’s actually interfering with your ability to work, sleep, or live your life normally. Or, if your partner doesn’t have the time or desire to speak as frequently. Don’t take it personally. Different strokes, for different folks.

If it’s not healthy, how do you fix it?

So, you’ve discovered all is not well in Communications-ville. That’s OK, you still have options. According to Masini, the key is to “approach the issue as a relationship problem where you both make adjustments. Then, you try different things, depending on what the problem is and who you both are.” It’s all about finding a balance by adjusting the amount of communication and discussing which topics are off-limits, depending on the form of communication (i.e., over text message or face-to-face). Chances are, with a bit of tweaking, you can find a happy medium.

There are lots of things to try, but if you just don’t seem to be finding that right balance, rather than giving up, call in for reinforcements by seeking some professional help, Winter suggests. “It’s well worth the time and money to learn to preserve the love you’ve created.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

You can check out my books here: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=charles+wiedenmann&ref=nb_sb_noss_1