Four Behaviors That Are Ruining YOUR Marriage

Four Behaviors That Are Ruining YOUR Marriage

February 5, 2016 2 By April Kirkwood

I was having dinner with a friend who’s about to start a very painful divorce process after years of mental chaos.  It’s one thing thinking about it; it’s quite another really doing it.  The thoughts become so convoluted .

You know the internal war in your mind night after night, moment after moment.  We toss and turn asking:  “should I stay?” “should I go?” “Is it me?”  “Am I wrong?” “Am I asking for too much to feel the love is desire?”


I looked in her eyes and I saw the sadness, panic, insecurity, and loss that happens to all of us when a major life change is about to strike and our heart is broken.

I gently touched her hand reaching out for answers about my own relationship myself and others who are in similar situations.  I asked her, ‘when did you stop loving him?’What happened?’ ‘When did something so right go so wrong?’ ‘When did he become the enemy?’


It saddened me to see the obvious heartache permeating through each sentence she tried to express her conflicting messages and the fear of so many things unknown for both herself and her husband.  After all of it, we really didn’t come up with concrete answers that eased her mind or mind.  I came up with the idea that love left after years personal violations corrupting what they once felt would last a lifetime.

Make no less than this judgment:  Divorce is a death and the process is filled with despair, regrets, grief, and loss.

I don’t think anyone goes down the isle thinking that their marriage is going to fail.


Divorce equals heartache.

So, I wernt home and headed to work on marriage. I searched through my psych books and decided to try and help fend off others from this hole divorce brings into someone’s entire world like a wrecking ball destroying everything in it’s way.

Here’s what I found.

 It’s not too late for many marriages.

You loved each other once and you can love each other again.

Stop these behaviors NOW.


 Research shows that most divorced couples eillicit these three deadly behaviors: harsh startups, stonewalling,and contempt.

A. Harsh startups:  To put it simply, what starts badly, ends badly. Discussions that begin with criticism, sarcasm, or contempt is self-defeating. Women are much better at this type of destruction.

Example: Wife sneers and rolls her eyes as her guy comes through the door remarking,  “I hate it when you know your’e coming home late from work and don’t have the courtesy to let me know.  Your’e rude and inconsiderate.”

B.  Stonewalling is tuning someone out to avoid getting hurt.  Men do this most. Nothing get accomplished when someone is shut down.

Example:  Woman says dreaded words to husband, “We need to talk.  I’m unhappy about some of the ways you speak to me in public.” Man responds, “I’m really exhausted right now. Some other time” as  he saunters out not waiting for a reply.

C.  Contempt is any form of sneering, eye rolling, mockery, or name-calling to make the other person feel awful. Tone is the best indicator of contempt. Ninety percent of all communications in noverbal.

Example: A man may tell his wife, for example, “I really do care about you,” and she replies sarcastically mocking him, “Oh sure, you really do care about me.”

HERE’s the key to a happy marriage!


The core component that makes some marriages work and others fail is quite simply friendship. Couples that are able to maintain mutual respect for each other and enjoy each other’s company is key. These behaviors ignite romance and also protect from the It’s time for you to up your genuine friendship with the one you love.

Key:  The purpose of marriage is “shared meaning.”  A marriage is headed in the wrong direction if one partner has to sacrifice his hopes and dreams for another.

Three tips to make your marriage more friendlier are:

 1.  Keep up with your friend’s life.  Stay in touch with their feelings, wants, and the basics….like what size bra they wear, who their friends are, how well their team is doing this season.

2.  Research shows it’s not the Saturday night dates or trips that make a marriage happy.  It’s the warm conversations, the simple gestures of kindness and support that keeps romance alive. Heat up her car in the morning, bring him a cup of coffee while he’s shaving.

3.  Many theories state that all relationships eventually get reduced to power struggles.  If your relationship has been reduced to this kind of warfare, after that, it’s a down hill spiral.

Give yourself a chance to hear the other point of view, be flexible, and share the power. He’s knows a lot more about gardening so let him teach you.  She’s a great negotiator; ask her for help with the frenomy on your job.

Today’s thought:

 Sometimes is wiser to be kind than right.

The back view of a couple embracing at the beach. No visible faces showing. Black and white image.

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