Aleteia

6 Habits that will destroy your marriage, and how to avoid them

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As Valentine's Day approaches, it's a good time to take stock. Are you making these mistakes in your relationship?

When they celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony, a bride and groom promise “till death do us part.” But a parting can certainly occur well prior to death if there isn’t an effort to protect the relationship from danger.

A lasting union is not built with mere sentiments, but with determination and sacrifice.

Here are 6 things that must be avoided if husband and wife are to keep their vows.

1. Being the center of the world

Remember, you’re a couple. Always consider how your decisions and actions might affect your spouse. Don’t close yourself in on you and your sentiments. Your spouse’s emotions have to be taken into account. Ask his/her opinion on the important decisions that will affect the family and listen carefully before reacting. You are together in this endeavor and decisions can’t be made autonomously.

2. Seeking absolute control

Finances, housework, child-raising, trips, etc. There are plenty of things that can be controlled alone. But if you want a healthy marriage, you have to curb the tendency to take over everything. Let your spouse have a voice. Matrimony is an alliance, and if it’s to be a happy alliance, you can’t always have the last word. Give your spouse the opportunity to take part in decisions. Learn to give in.

3. Showing disdain for affection

Sex, cuddles, kisses, hand-holding and other signs of affection — without these ingredients, matrimony becomes a melancholy and cold routine. You don’t need sex every night to be happy, but all human beings need affection. Even if it’s just a kiss, a hug, or cuddling on the couch for a movie, make it a priority to show your spouse some sign of affection every day.

4. Abusing with words

Insults, constant criticism, judgments — these things drag down a person’s self-esteem. Don’t cause frustrations for your spouse. It’s normal to get irritated every once in a while, but don’t allow anger to get the best of you, such that you speak with cruelty. Learn to talk of your frustrations without using insults. Have some self-control.

5. Dispensing with time together

It’s true that the kids are important, but so is quality time as a couple. Your relationship is the foundation of the family; make it a firm foundation. Your children will see you as an example of what a dignified marriage should be. Find time to be together without the kids. Learn to make the best of companionship with your spouse.

6. Lying to maintain peace

So as to avoid arguments or difficult conversations, many people take the easy way out by telling lies or withholding information. They can end up growing accustomed to this venomous vice. No marriage can endure when illusions are the foundation. Be honest and build your relationship on truth. Fidelity doesn’t refer just to sex; it also means being emotionally honest with your spouse and taking his/her sentiments into account.

[Translated and adapted from Aleteia Spanish through Sempre Familia]

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