Marriage mistakes – we all make them. But the longer we are married, the less we should have “marriage don’ts” lining the hallways of our relationship.
I like looking at some of the internet search phrases people use to find my blog and recently, someone landed on my blog by searching “things you should not do to your spouse.”
Since, I don’t have a post along those lines, I thought it would be a fun topic to address today!
Because it’s just as important to know what not to do, as it is to know what to do.
Without further ado, here they are; 8 marriage mistakes to avoid aka things you should not do to your spouse or marriage!
1. Hang it out to dry
In our marriage, I have the quicker tongue; which means I tend to err on the side of not-so-funny. Aka I say the wrong thing at the wrong time.
James 3:11 is a good reminder for spouses with a sharp (or wandering) tongue “does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?”
We cannot send out life and death at the same time; it’s one or the other. I love James 3:11 though, because it affirms our ability, through the help of God, to control our tongue.
We can discipline ourselves to bring life to our marriage. This discipline also includes discernment; knowing who to talk to when we need outside counsel and advice.
2. Marriage mistakes – singing the “you always/you never” song
Our minds have this astonishing ability to recollect to the finest detail, our spouses past mistakes wherever we get into conflict.
In the heat of the moment, our spouses can become 100% bad in a particular area.
But think about it; would you have married them if they always did what you are accusing them of doing? Probably not.
Before you allow the “always” and “never” words to leave your mouth, remember no one ever got motivated to change by a verbal or emotional beat down.
Plus such words are often exaggerated and rarely move your relationship from where you are to where you want it to be.
See this related post 6 Phrases You Should Ban From Your Marriage
Jim Rohn said no one ever drifted to the top of a mountain; you climb up.
While a great marriage is a grace-fueled journey, it’s also an intentional undertaking. Every day you wake up, make choices and pick attitudes that say “I still do.”
A happy marriage won’t be handed to you on a silver platter. You work at it.
Spouses who are committed to building a strong marriage understand that quitting or disengaging in any area of their marriage will never be an option.
Where abuse, infidelity, abandonment, addictions are present, see this post Divorce: When a Wife Feels She Has Done Enough)
4. Live without boundaries
We don’t normally leave treasures like gold out in the open, vulnerable and unguarded.
We store our treasures in safe secure places.
Marriage is a high treasure. When you took your vows, your spouse became # 1 in your life, after God. All your opposite sex relationships (and other distractions) ought to bow to that one relationship.
Read these posts
5. Marriage mistakes – shunning help
You don’t know everything. No one does.
That’s why you need mentors – someone who is further down the road than you are.
Someone who can offer perspective and insights that’ll strengthen and transform your relationship.
The thing about mentoring or doing life with a village is that these relationship don’t just fall into your lap. You cultivate them.
You can also learn a ton of things through reading good books, marriage blogs, sermons and podcasts.
Read this Why Married Couples Need Other Friends
6. Keep a dry prayer closet
Dr. Frank Fincham, Director of the FSU Family Institute says
Our research shows that praying for your (spouse) can bring you back to the common goals. When people pray, they become one with their spouse.
A subtle shift occurs. Praying regulates your emotion and it never leads to anger. Knee-mail is social support available 24/7..
Your one-flesh journey needs to be bathed in prayer. Prayer changes your environment, but first it changes you.
See these posts
7. Play tit-for-tat
We struggle to give ourselves to our spouse when we feel they are not meeting our needs.
Obviously a healthy marriage is where both spouses do their best to meet each others needs.
But God is the only Person who can meet all our needs perfectly.
When we only give or pray or serve or smile or kiss or initiate sex when our spouse is playing nice, we set our marriage on a shaky foundation.
God can enable you to give even when your spouse is not giving back. You can change the dynamics in your marriage through responding, not reacting.
8. Keep the peace
We are called to be peace makers, not just peace keepers.
A strong marriage involves intentional pursuit of peace.
Timidity, passivity, ignoring problems does not make a marriage stronger.
It’s true that we can’t make our spouses change or force them to address issues. (I wrote about it here)
But we can communicate, do our part and keep things at the forefront. We can’t give up or quit in the name of “keeping the peace”.
Question – what other marriage mistakes can you add to the list?
Are you madly in love with your husband but suspect your marriage can be better? Or maybe you are the imperfect girl married to an imperfect guy (like the rest of us!) who is tired of fighting, fussing, misunderstandings and distance. You long to restore joy, healing and happiness to your marriage. There’s hope! Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years will help you learn how to work out the kinks, find joy in imperfection, positively influence your marriage and create the marriage of your dreams, God’s way Amazon Paperback I Amazon Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF
Image credit: Photo by Andrew Small on Unsplash