8 of the Worst Marriage Habits[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/268348830″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
Do you ever wish that sometimes you could just write a long list to your spouse of all the things he does that drive you insane?? I have done this. Yes, miss marriage advice lady. But there have been nights when I have been so freakin’ mad and hurt where I sit on my bed crying and thinking to myself, “How could he act like that?! Doesn’t he think of me at all??” And then, after looking through my list, I begin to realize that sometimes I struggle with #3, too. And he probably thinks that I do #5 a lot. And then I begin to realize that if he wanted to, my husband could write an entire list himself of things I do that drive him nuts. And we could exchange lists… and then what? I realized that a lot of the problems in my marriage weren’t actually my husband’s fault at all. Sometimes they were. But a lot of the time, I was just as guilty as him for a lot of things I had on his list. So I crumpled up the list and thew it away. I wrote my own list of things that I knew I needed to work on in my own life. A couple years later, here is a list of some of the worst marriage habits, and what to do instead.
To the wives (or husbands) who need to hear these tips most, these are some things I’d firstly like you to know:
- I am not condemning you. Please please please know that at one point or another in my marriage, I needed to hear just about every single one of these tips!
- Not everything in this post is going to be easy to hear, you might not even like some of it. But who ever said that fixing and/or improving a marriage was going to be easy? I know, marriage would be a lot less hard if we could just tell our spouse everything he/she is doing wrong and get them to fix it. But the hard truth is, sometimes they’re not the problem. Sometimes the problem rests with us.
- Why should you listen to these tips, anyway? Hey don’t take my word for it! Be an observer. Look at the marriages around you and think about the ones who follow tips like these and those who don’t. I think you might begin to notice a difference.
1 Complaining to your friends
This point is number 1 for a big reason, guys. Believe me when I say that I know the feeling of just needing to complain to someone! I mean, some things are just really hard to bring up to your spouse but you feel as though you will have a mental breakdown if someone doesn’t know what you’re dealing with. I get it. But being totally real here, complaining about your husband to others is one of the worst things you can do for your relationship with him. Having a friend who will actually fight for your marriage is hard to find. What (sadly) too many friends will do is blindly side with us because 1. they don’t want to hurt our feelings and tell us if we’re overreacting or 2. they’re biased (probably why we went to them in the first place, and 3. it’s not their marriage. It honestly doesn’t really affect them if you have a healthy one or not, other than maybe having to listen to more future complaints. I have seen so many well meaning friends give awful, extremely selfish advice to their married friends. Be so very careful.
*JUST AS IMPORTANT*
I’d like us to take a moment, grab your husband’s loafers, and take a walk in them. Imagine a scene where he met up with one of his buds for coffee (or to workout? Whatever he does). They spend the first few minutes of the hangout chatting about life and then his pal asks how you (miss wifey) are doing. He says you’re fine and then begins to open up about how you nagged him earlier or how he doesn’t feel appreciated for all his hard work and how sometimes you can just be plain mean.
Now, do our husbands do that? I’m going to say no. Anything past “What’d you have for lunch today?” Is probably veering towards too personal for them. We as women, though, could probably open up to the cashier at Wal-Mart without thinking twice. Sometimes we just need to be heard. We find it way easier to express our feelings, complaints, and fears to our peers. And yeah, this can be a great thing but that can also be hugely detrimental to the moral of our spouse if we use it to complain about him to our pals (or family).
Next time you feel the urge to complain about your spouse to a friend or family member, think about how it would make him feel if he accidentally overheard you. This simple thought has saved me from many would-be regretful complaints!
2 Laying in bed on the phone
I’ll be the first one to say that this is something that Josh and I have done a lot. Honestly, it’s just our go-to thing to relax and wind down before we hit the hay. But. I can’t help thinking about the moments lying in bed spent not talking, not thinking about each other, scrolling through Facebook, Pinterest, what have you, and letting the moments slip by where we could have been talking about our future, our past, our son, praying together, or just cuddling and laughing! (You know, the way you thought going to bed together would be like before you started living together). It might sound cheesy but just think of all the special moments that are lost in the few minutes between getting in bed and falling asleep.
Instead- Josh and I have made a rule that phone time needs to be done by the time we’re both in in bed. If he’s waiting for my in bed because I’m putting 200 lotions on my face, then fine, scroll through Twitter. But once I’m in bed, you better be cuddling. Give it a try and see if you don’t regret it 🙂
3 Knowing your spouse too well
Ever say something like, “Husband, can you fix the running toilet, paleeaaase???” and get a response like “Um… yeah, ok! I’ll do that tomorrow!” And you think,”Um, no. No, you will not. You will forget I even asked you in T minus 2 minutes.” and then you respond out loud pretty much the same way.
But again, let’s take a walk in those Johnston & Murphey’s and pretend this was us. Actually, I don’t have to. Do you have a chore that you HATE doing? Mine is laundry. Our pile of clean laundry that has yet to be folded is the bane of my existence. More than once (probably about twenty-three hundred times to be exact) I’ve told Josh, “Sorry for this huge pile of laundry, I’m going to try and tackle it today.” He looks and me, bites his lower lip, looks sideways and says, “K.” And I KNOW he thinks I won’t do it! He’s right, anyway. I won’t. But he’s learned by now that if he says what he’s really thinking, like, “Chels. Let’s be real, that pile of laundry isn’t going anywhere.” I would probably have a fit and start explaining to him all the other things I have to do in a day and bla bla bla.
The point is, give your hubs the chance to do what he says he’s going to do and even if you think he won’t. Have a heart-to-heart with him if you need to. Just remember to give him the benefit of the doubt and be forgiving. We all need to be cut some slack here or there!
4 Resenting sex
I never felt this more strongly than when our son was under a year old, and I’m sure it’ll come up again. As a mom, I got so tired of feeling so needed all the freaking time! My baby needs me, my work needs me, my friends need me, and my husband too? Can you just go play for a little while and let me do what I need to do?? Sex began to feel like another empty box on the to do list rather than a release and time of intimacy that I got to spend with my husband and partner in life.
If you’re feeling as though sex is another chore on the to-do list, try to communicate with your husband that you want to have this intimate time with him, you might just need some time to mentally prepare. And hey, there’s no harm in scheduling sex, either (as long as you still allow for some spontaneity and initiate it yourself now and then!). They say that your biggest sex organ is your brain. Try to sort out all the things that are distracting you from being alone with your husband- body and mind- so that you are able to be all there during the times you can be intimate together.
5 Having friends of the opposite sex
I’m going to lay down the tough love on this one. The only friend of the opposite sex that a married person needs is their spouse. Yeah, you have coworkers, acquaintances, and mutual friends, but not friends. If you need to confide in someone, let it be your spouse or a friend of the same gender. I know this might not be a popular one, but cutting out the possibility of jealousy, competition, and suspicion makes marriage a whole lot simpler for both you and your spouse.
I wanted to take a moment to clarify point #5. My point here is not that men and women can’t have any friends of the opposite sex. I’m friends with all of Josh’s friends. They text me to say hello, congratulations, happy birthday, etc. from time to time. The thing is, they’re mutual friends. I have male friends that Josh didn’t know before we started dating, but over the course of our relationship, he now knows them and is mutual friends with them. my friends are Josh’s friends and his friends are mine. We’re transparent about our friendships.
My point in writing this section was that I really believe there’s a problem when married women confide in men and married men confide in women, especially about their spouse. In those cases, we’re looking for a type of validation and appreciation that should be coming from our spouse and if there’s something we feel we can’t talk about with them, I would recommend that that person try to work hard on bridging that gap with their spouse, or talk to it with a friend or family member. Of course, not everything is black and white and of course there are special cases, etc. But in general, I believe that’s is the most healthy for husbands and wives to be best friends with each other. The end.
6 Not being happy to see your spouse when they come home (or when you come home).
Most of the time when this happens, we actually have no idea that it’s affecting our spouse negatively. When we or our spouse come home from work, our minds can be in 10,000 other places than our spouse and how their day went. Maybe they’ve been missing us all day but we still have the sound of a crying baby ringing in our ears. Or maybe we’re just really caught up in our own thing and we kind of just give a quick, “Hey” when they walk in the door and not much more than that.
Do this instead: When you or your spouse gets home, try your best to set aside what you were doing and/or thinking about to be in the moment with them for at least the first 10 minutes that you are together. That way they know that they were missed, you are happy to see them, and it makes a difference to you that they are home.
7 Always doing your own thing.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. SO many of us ladies can become loners- I’ll do my thing and you do your thing- cat wives after a while (no, it’s not a super power). By all means, be your own person, love your own hobbies, have your own preferences BUT do stuff with that man you married over there! I mean, you live together, you might as well do stuff together. Josh and I love to binge on Netflix shows. How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Dr. Who, anyone??? And then after the show, we talk about it, look up fan theories. We’re total geeks but hey it’s our thing! We also love working out together.
8 Forgetting to laugh
I usually try not to take myself too seriously. But sometimes if I’m busy with something and my husband is trying to have fun with me at the same time I can easily assume that he doesn’t know (or care) how much work it takes to keep our home nice, or whatever else I’m worrying about in that moment. Instead what I need to remember is that all he’s really trying to do is have fun with his best friend. He does appreciate how much I do and he’s not making light of that. Let’s be real, our husbands didn’t get married so they could have an in-house maid. They want a friend, a lover, a companion! Don’t forget to be your husband’s friend, live in the moment, and laugh together!
So, see anything that needs to be added to your own list? I’m still working on some of these myself, and my husband has a list of things that he’s working on too (not one that I wrote up for him, but things that he has come up with on his own because he also cares about our marriage just as much as I do). A funny thing happens when you realize your spouse actually cares about you and your marriage.
Anyway, remember guys, if you totally loved this post, share with your friends! Don’t forget to look me up on all of the socials as I LOVE to chat with you guys!
And lastly, got any bad marriage habits to add?? Share them in the comments below. Get the discussion going!
Love you guys!
Grab my couple’s devotional!