As I’ve interacted with countless married couples over the years, I’ve discovered that some of the most damaging threats to a marriage don’t happen on purpose. They are the subtle, stealthy actions and habits that chip away at the foundation of a marriage without us even noticing. To protect your marriage, and to respect your spouse, please watch out for these four common behaviors…
1.Allowing a “busy season” to turn into a “busy lifestyle.”
We all have seasons at work or school or with other obligations that are busier. We sometime have to buckle down and get things done, BUT when one busy season leads straight into another and we’re consistently living life at a frantic pace, our relationships will suffer.
I understand that we need to work hard to provide for our families, but I also believe that our families can do with less of almost everything else if it means having more of us. Time is the “currency of relationships” and if we want to invest into our marriage, we have to be willing to invest our time.
There have been many times when I’ve made plans for myself or for our whole family without first checking in with Ashley. I’ve certainly never intended any disrespect in this, but I’ve come to realize that this practice is disrespectful. When you are married, your time is never yours alone. Consider your spouse in EVERY decision you make, because every decision will impact him/her in some way.
3. Discounting your spouse’s feelings or opinions.
There will be times when your spouse has an opinion or perspective that you don’t understand. In these moments, it’s crucial to show respect and thoughtfulness to your spouse. You won’t always agree on everything, but even in disagreements, you need to remember that your relationship with your spouse is always much more important than whatever you’re disagreeing about.
4. Focusing on “someday” instead of today.
When a couple keeps hitting the “snooze button” on their dreams, those “someday” goals and experiences never seem to happen. Start making those “someday” goals a reality today. Put that trip in the calendar. Schedule a date night. Keep dreaming new dreams and creating new experiences together. Remember that every day with your spouse is a gift so never take one day for granted!
Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.