Today I would like to share with us some subtle mistakes we make as couples that could wreck our marriages or strain our relationships. Many marriages have been dissolved because of these mistakes. I think when we point them out it will help us to be aware of them and stay away from them. The only way not to make a mistake twice is acknowledge you made a mistake and understand why what you are doing is wrong and never do it again.
Before I continue I would like to state that this list may not be exhaustive but we will find some it very educative.
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1. Lying. Have you had of the word “white lie”? Many couples tell their spouse lies just to get out of uncomfortable situations, some lie because they are afraid of the truth while some lie just to protect others. As we deceive in one area of life, a truth is revealed about another area. Lying in marriage reveals the true unhealthiness of the relationship. A lie doesn’t mean the whole relationship is unhealthy, but it does show an area of serious concern. We lie because we think lying is easier. It will get us what we want without anyone being hurt; and it often works….for a time; yet eventually, lies are discovered.
When lies are discovered your spouse feels deceived and start thinking you have always been lying to him/her. Lies create a cloud of doubt in the marriage and this could precipitate distrust in the marriage. We should try as much as possible to practice honesty in our marriage to encourage greater bonding. It might be difficult in the moment, but it will pay great rewards over a lifetime.
2. Comparing your spouse with someone else. There are about 7Bilion people on earth. These people are entirely different. It is not possible for them to behave the same way is same environment all the time. This also applies to the person we married. Your husband or wife is different from your neighbor’s or colleague’s partner. So there should be no bases to compare your spouse with anyone. People who compare their partner have difficulty maintaining positive perception about their partner. This is a source of stress and conflict in our marriage. One of the reasons why people compare is because they thought it help to improve their spouse; the reverse is always the case. The spouse being compared with others is always demoralized as a result of this comparism. He/she will always feel he can’t measure up. Comparing your spouse makes you blind to his/her strengths and this will precipitate more bitterness.
If you have any concern about your spouse or partner or you think there are areas he/she needs to improve on, you can communicate that to him in a very calm and respective manner that will make him/her want to change. Shift is from within and will be resisted if it is forces from without.
3. Putting other things/ people before your family. I was astonished when I heard one of my respected preachers told me that “it is wrong to put church before family”. At first I thought he was mistaken but after a deep thought and better understanding I came to realize that this is true. The excuse people who put work before their family normally gave is that, they want the best for their family that’s why they are working hard. The question is what it will profit you if you work so hard just to put food on the table but nobody to dine with. By the time you are ready for family your wife has become someone’s side chick while your children have become inmates. It doesn’t make sense if you are doing something for your family but that same thing is source of problems in your home. Always put your family first above anything or person. Don’t lose the joy and laughter in your family because of man or woman. Family is precious.
4. Disrespect. When we disrespect ourselves in our marriage there are bound to be fight everyday in our house. We can make fun of each other or call each other funny names but we should know where our boundaries lie. When we agree to be together as one, we vowed to respect the bond that ties the both of you together. Don’t take each other for granted. If you respect your spouse you will not intrude into his/her privacy. You will not search your partner’s thing without permission. If you have any doubt, discuss it with your spouse. It’s also a sign of disrespect if you think your partner shouldn’t have an opinion of some issues that has to do with the marriage. A partner that is disrespected will not give all for the family because he/she will think that they are not valued.
5. Keeping our partner in the dark. We have seen cases where a man is acquiring properties without the knowledge of the wife or vise versa. This is not good for the marriage because keeping secrets shows that are some issues with the marriage. Communication is the soul of the marriage when we fail to communicate or let out information to our spouse it weakens the bond in the marriage. It’s advisable to let your spouse know as much as possible what is going on with us.
By Korede Odufuye: Life and relationship coach.