- Matching Bad Behavior with Bad Behavior
Even mature couples can succumb to immature behavior. Name calling, personal attacks, and raised voices are a few examples of “low-blow” tactics that can severely damage a relationship. Perpetuating this fighting style will only lead to more hurt and anger. Try walking away and clearing your head next time you find yourself being provoked.
- Negative Vibes
You may not even be aware that your marriage has fallen into a pattern of negativity. We make snide remarks or criticisms that serve to hurt and discourage our partner over time. Mean jokes, quick tempers, and belittling your partner’s dreams are all ways in which you hurt your marriage daily without even realizing it. You must remain cognizant of your words and tone, and stay positive in the way you talk to your spouse.
- Using the Word “Divorce” Lightly
Once you begin threatening the “D word,” you are allowing its negativity to enter the realm of your relationship. By liberally suggesting divorce you communicate a message of hopelessness, which wears away at your mutual trust and security. Make a plan to only use the word “divorce” if that is truly your intended course of action.
- Focusing on Being Right Instead of Happy
When fighting with your spouse, the endgame should not be to win. Instead, focus on both parties being happy with the resolution. It’s easy to say “I told you so” and rub your spouse’s nose in their mistake when you’re right, but this only serves to make your spouse feel demoralized, defensive, and resentful. Be considerate of your partner’s feelings and don’t fight to be right.
- Telling All Your Problems to Friends and Family
The problem with divulging all of your marital troubles to your entire circle is that they are completely biased. They can become too involved and negatively influence your relationship. As long as verbal or physical abuse is not a factor, it is best to keep small fights and disagreements between you and your partner, and work through them on your own.
- Forgetting Small Gestures
Expressing your love in creative ways is crucial to maintain a strong bond. Try leaving a note on the mirror, sending a sweet text, or even doing a chore you normally don’t. By remembering small gestures, you let your partner know that you are still “checked in” to the relationship, and that the stress of daily life does not override their value.
- Forgetting Real Intimacy
Of course you know that sex is a priority in most healthy marriages. Try vowing to touch your partner lovingly at least once a day (outside the bedroom). A hug from behind, a squeeze of the hand, or an unexpected kiss can all go a long way.