Contents

Introduction

There are many things that can destroy a marriage that couples may not be aware of.  It is obvious that such things as adultery, abuse, or addictions can quickly or suddenly destroy a marriage.  However, there are other things that degrade the marriage over time, and it can happen so slowly that the couple aren’t aware of it.  Then one day the true state of unhappiness of the husband or wife is exposed and the other may think that the situation just happened, when in fact it was happening for years or decades.

I have been married for about 33 years at the time of this writing.  I have learned many things and have made many mistakes during my marriage.  I have also taken the initiative to learn much about marriage so that I would have a good one.  After three decades of learning about marriage, observing other marriages, and evaluating my own over time, I have learned a lot about what affects a marriage, what makes a marriage a good one, and why people grow apart and divorce.  People are complex beings, so there is always more to learn about what makes a marriage work and what breaks it apart.

I wrote this article to present to you what I’ve learned about what destroys a marriage and what you can do about it.  It is good to know what you may be doing to silently destroy your marriage, but that information isn’t very useful unless paired with solutions.  Therefore, I will include things you can do about the practices that destroy your marriage.  I hope that you will use the information herein to help build for yourself a happy and fulfilling marriage relationship.

Now, let me present to you practices that can slowly destroy your marriage
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Ignorance About Marriage

Most people do not actively learn about marriage.  They have no idea about what makes a good or bad one and what can destroy it. That is strange because we spend a lot of time, energy, and finances to prepare ourselves for other endeavors, such as a promotion on a job, a project, a business venture, etc.  For some reason, we neglect to educate ourselves in something that has a profound effect on our lives.

Ignorance in marriage produces the perfect environment for the slow burning practices that degrade a marriage.  Ignorance will provide the opportunity for bad practices to gradually dismantle the marriage leading to separation or divorce.

We therefore tend to take our marriage for granted right from the beginning, or more precisely, before it gets started.  We don’t even consider that there are dynamics in a marriage relationship that we may be ignorant of.  We assume that things will work out as time goes by.  Many people who get married aren’t prepared for it in any way.

The situation is worsened if one is educating themselves about marriage and the spouse is not.  That leads to a lopsided marriage, which can spawn ill feelings and resentment.  Both husband and wife should educate themselves about the marriage relationship even before they are married.  Perhaps many people would not get married when they did if they knew what they were getting in to.

Ignorance in marriage is not only about the dynamics of the relationship.  It is also about knowing your spouse.  We tend not to consider that our spouse is a human being with a completely different background than yours.  They do not see things the way you do and therefore, may not interpret what you do the way you intended it to be interpreted.  Getting to know your spouse is imperative for a happy and fulfilling marriage.

 

The Solution

The solution for ignorance is knowledge. Therefore, a couple need to purposefully educate themselves about the marriage relationship.  They can learn things about men and women behaviors respectively, concepts such as love language, and much more.  Of course, the greatest education is in themselves and their spouse.  We need to know our spouse so that we can properly and effectively interact with them. We need to learn about ourselves so that we can improve and stop bad practices in marriage before they cause severe damage to it.

There is a plethora of resources available about marriage.  There are books, articles, blog posts, videos, forums, and more.  I’ve even questioned people as I was out and about.  You may be surprised at what works for others that you may not have considered.  Use those resources to stamp out ignorance so that your marriage would be a great one.

 

Lack of Intimate and Candid Conversation

A couple should talk to each other candidly.  They both should make the other feel safe to talk about anything about the marriage.  If honest communication is not practiced in the marriage, then issues go unresolved and bad practices are allowed to continue, which will slowly degrade the relationship.  When issues go unresolved and even new issues arise because of lack of communication, then resentment can set in and cause the couple to drift apart until one day the volcano erupts and the victim wonders why.

The Solution

Talk to your spouse.  Have honest conversations with your spouse about your feelings and issues that exist in the relationship.  Don’t be condescending, judgmental or confrontational.  Just relay in a respectful manner what is going on from your perspective.  Also, realize that if your spouse reveals an issue that they are having involving your behavior, then take it as a good thing because now you have the opportunity to adapt and change your behavior to squash the issue altogether.  Do not allow your ego or pride to warp your interpretation of your spouse’s honest communication about the marriage.

 

Avoiding Conflicts

Some people think that a couple should avoid having arguments or conflicts.  They view conflicts that spawn arguments to be harmful to the marriage.  However, this is very far from the truth.  Two people who spend as much time together as a married couple, will have conflicts.  They will have disagreements, heated discussions, and arguments.  You will make each other angry, upset, disappointed, rejected, and much more.  After all, don’t you have arguments or disagreements with your friends and family.  Sometimes they break up the relationship, but that is because they do not seek resolution and do not recognize the fact that people have different perspectives.

Avoiding conflicts will enable bad practices to continue and spawn a plethora of ill feelings towards your spouse, such as resentment.  A bad practice that fuels the practice of avoiding conflicts is not speaking up or being timid.  We have to work to improve ourselves so that we can be honest with our spouse and then speak up. Remaining silent about issues in an effort to avoid conflicts will only hurt the marriage in the long run.

The Solution

Do not avoid conflicts in your marriage.  Welcome conflicts and then resolve them.  Speak up if you determine that something is not right in the relationship or you were offended by your spouse.  Be respectful at all times when dealing with conflicts in the marriage.  The ultimate goal is to identify issues that can hurt or is hurting the relationship and then eliminate them.  This may require compromises from the husband and wife.  However, the outcome is a better marriage.

Not avoiding conflicts in marriage does not mean that you identify every little disagreement between you and your spouse.  For example, is the fact that your spouse cooked chicken and you wanted beef a source of conflict?  I doubt it.  That is a single incident that is not a real conflict.  Sometimes conflicts can be resolved on your side alone through compromise.  Conflict resolution does not mean that your spouse has to make changes to suit your desires.

 

Unwillingness to Change

Making a marriage work will require you to develop and change as a person.  There may be things that you are used to doing with family and friends that will not work with your spouse and you therefore, will have to adapt.  The mistake that we make is that we expect our spouse to change to meet our needs.  People do change, but it is typically because of something they will gain from that change or as a response to how their spouse interacts with them.

If you are unwilling to change then many issues within the relationship will go unresolved and that will eventually spawn resentment, which is a silent killer of marriages.

The Solution

Be willing to change your behavior in the context of marriage.  Take seriously the issues that your spouse identifies and make the necessary changes with yourself if required.  Don’t merely expect your spouse to acquiesce to your desires and needs.  You must be willing to change yourself so that you meet their needs.

Sometimes it is tough to hear the objections that your spouse may have of you.  However, remember that those objections should be seen as their willingness to make things better and an opportunity to do your part to accomplish that goal.  Don’t allow your pride or ego to cloud your judgment with regards to adapting to make your marriage a happy one.

 

Giving a Higher Priority to the Children

Prioritizing the children above your spouse is one of the greatest bad practices that will destroy a marriage and even damage your children.  However, this practice happens very often.  Too much attention is given to the children at the expense of spending time with your spouse and nurturing the relationship.  You don’t realize that a bad marriage relationship will adversely affect your children.

For example, a wife may spend much time with her children to ensure they have the best education.  She may spend a lot of time with them at home and give little to no time to her husband.  This will cause the husband to feel rejected and neglected, which will in turn spawn ill feelings and then resentment, which will slowly destroy the marriage.

Another problem that may occur when the husband or wife over-prioritizes their children over their spouse, is that they may undermine the efforts of the spouse with regard to raising the children.  For example, a husband may undermine his wife by allowing the children to do things that the wife has already forbidden in an effort to appease his children.  He thinks more of his children’s approval than his relationship with his wife.  This can cause resentment in the wife and result in the slow degradation of the marriage.

Another significant effect of prioritizing the children above the marriage, is not only the possibility of resentment towards the spouse, but also resentment towards the children.  For example, the husband may start to feel ill about his own children if his wife consistently spends time and energy for them and gives little to no time for him.  His own children may become a stumbling block between him and his wife.

The solution

Do not allow the children to have a higher priority over your marriage relationship. Be sensitive to what you give your attention to and ensure that your marriage always has a high priority.  Your marriage relationship will affect everything in your life, so it deems much respect and a high priority.

Raise your children as a unit without undermining the efforts of the other.  For example, a wife may undermine her husband with regards to him teaching a boy to be a man.  A husband may undermine his wife by trying to nurture his “little princess.”  These should not be.  Your spouse is much more important than the children.  They will grow up and leave the nest, so to speak, but your marriage will go beyond that.

 

Giving A Higher Priority to Work and Religion

We can become so focused on making a living and our religious convictions that we end up neglecting our spouse and therefore, the marriage.  The husband may work long hours to be successful and make lots of money purportedly for his family.  He may even work a lot at home still neglecting his wife and children. A wife may spend lots of time preparing meals and housework (not that men don’t cook or clean), or working on her own career, that she neglects her husband and marriage.

They both may dedicate themselves to church or religious activities, and once again neglect their spouse.  The bottom line here is that a couple may allow the pursuit of money, prestige, or religion to subvert their pursuit for a happy marriage. Spending an exorbitant amount of time with work and religion will leave less time and energy for your spouse, which may result in them feeling unimportant and neglected.  This will in turn provide an environment for resentment to spawn and silently kill your marriage.

The Solution

Don’t allow work and religion to undermine the pursuit of a happy marriage.  If we give a higher priority to work, business, or religion, then the result is that the marriage relationship will wane.  Always give your marriage a high priority in your life so that it has a chance to grow into a happy one and stay there.  Make time for your spouse to spend time with them and nurture the relationship.  Get up from your desk and go home or go to where your spouse is and spend quality time with them.  Prioritize your marriage above all of your activities.

 

Too Much Television and Social Media

Television and social media can be silent killers of a marriage.  If the husband spends too much time watching sports, for example, then he sends the message to his wife that the games are more important than her.  Now of course, there are times when a man or woman wants to watch the game or their favorite show on television.  The problem occurs when watching television becomes the main event of the day and little to no time is reserved for your spouse.

How much time do you watch television each day?  How much time do you spend with your spouse?  Watching television together is not the same as quality time.  Quality time with your spouse means that you are engaged with your spouse.  You can’t be engaged with your spouse if you’re watching television too much.

Another very bad practice is spending too much time on social media.  I see this all the time with many people (even outside of marriage).  A couple is sitting next to each other, but one is preoccupied with Facebook, email, Pinterest, YouTube, and other social media, and at the same time totally neglect their spouse right there with them.  This becomes a problem when it is consistent from day to day, month to month, and year to year.

It isn’t so much that social media and television are bad.  Like anything, they should be used in moderation so to speak.  The problem comes when television or social media takes a higher priority than engaging with your spouse.  You are saying to your spouse that you would rather engage with people and things virtually than to engage with your spouse physically, intellectually, or spiritually in intimate conversation or activities.  This is indeed a significant silent destroyer of marriages because it gradually degrades the relationship between husband and wife.

The Solution

Turn the television off and talk to your spouse.  Get your face out of Facebook and social media and spend time engaging with your spouse.  Always make time to spend quality time with your spouse.  We all have 24-hours in one day and how we spend them is up to us.  Ensure that you do not allow television or social media to dominate the little time that you have that could be spent with each other.  Spend less time watching television and engaging in social media to spend more time engaging with your spouse when the opportunity arises.

 

Taking Your Spouse for Granted

It is a natural progression to begin to take your spouse for granted shortly after the wedding day.  That is not to say that malice is intended, but rather the novelty of marriage begins to wear off and the couple may get caught in a rut of day-to-day life.  The husband may take for granted that the wife will have a meal ready most evenings, she will keep the house clean, etc.  The wife may take it for granted that the husband will fix things around the house, help her with cleaning, and stereotypically take out the trash.  This may go on for years without the couple realizing the damage that it is doing to the marriage.

Now, I realize that it is not the women’s job to cook and clean because men can do that too.  I also realize that women are just as capable at fixing things as men are stereotypically expected to do. The couple may settle on household duties that can cause expectations to develop resulting in them taking each other for granted.

Becoming increasingly familiar with each other, getting trapped in a rut, and unchecked expectations can easily cause us to take our spouse for granted.  They become a tool in Household, Inc. (as I like to call it), and not a person who has feelings, dreams, and desires.

The Solution

This may sound trivial, but don’t take your spouse for granted.  Compliment your wife or husband on their cooking, cleaning, home repair abilities, etc.  Realize that your spouse is a person that has feelings and would like to be acknowledged for what they do.  This is only human nature.  We want to feel that we are appreciated and that our accomplishments have meaning.  Therefore, give your spouse their props so to speak.

If your spouse cooks a good meal then say so.  Compliment your spouse regularly.  I learned the power of complimenting people way back in junior high school when I noticed the reaction of a girl when I told her she had on nice shoes.  Years later, I took note of the reaction of a guy that was walking down the street with his German Shepherd when I told him that was a very nice dog.  He lit up like a Christmas tree.  Complimenting people has power, and I believe it helps us feel good about ourselves or our accomplishments.  It also helps encourage us to go farther than we otherwise may have gone without it.

Honor your spouse. If your wife cooks and cleans, then help her sometimes.  Wives should get involved with the things that their husbands do and let them know that their efforts are appreciated.  Make this a normal practice in the marriage.  Be honest with your complements so that they don’t become scripted traditions in Household, Inc. so to speak.

 

Allow Others to Influence The Marriage

One of the most devastating things that you can do to destroy your marriage is to allow outsiders (family, friends, in-laws, religious leaders) to influence your marriage.  This will not only affect your marriage, but it could also affect children close to you.  I was very negatively affected by hearing about a marriage that had gone awry when I was a child.  I thought that things were very unfair, and that the wife’s family got in the way and destroyed that marriage.  I suppose that even to this day that I am very sensitive to outsiders interfering with a marriage.

We allow others to influence our marriage when we divulge personal information to them as a matter of course.  We may talk to our friends and family about intimate things within the marriage.  That should never be.  We may allow our family and friends to give their 2-cents with regards to troubles we are having in our marriage.

When we allow others to interfere with our marriage, we bring their opinions and pains to our relationship and then dump them on our spouse.  We begin to see our spouse the way that they see theirs after being hurt in their current or past relationships.  We allow baggage of others to slowly destroy our relationship and we may never realize what happened.  Perhaps many marriages would have been repaired if family and friend kept their noses out of it.

We also have to be careful not to blindly take the advice of others with regard to our marriage.  Sometimes we may be too quick to follow the paradigm of someone else based on their marriage, bad or good.  What works or didn’t work for someone else may not apply to you.  So, learn to resolve issues in your own marriage and use others only as resources.

The Solution

First, do not share personal information with family and friends unless it is someone that you truly trust and respect. Even then, it is not necessary to divulge the details of issues within your marriage because your perspective may be clouded by your feelings or misunderstandings, which may paint an inaccurate picture of the situation.

Second, learn to communicate effectively with your spouse so that you learn to resolve issues on your own.  Don’t run to your friends every time something happens in your marriage that you don’t like.  Talk to your spouse first.  Keep your personal business to yourself and do not allow others to negatively influence your marriage relationship.  You are the gatekeeper of your marriage.  Protect it always.

 

Lack of Intimacy and Sex

I cannot discuss what can destroy a marriage without discussing the topic of intimacy and sex.  A lack of intimacy and sex is a sure-fire way of slowly destroying a marriage.  Intimacy and sex are fundamental to the bond between husband and wife and without it, that bond is easily broken.

Intimacy and sex are not necessarily the same thing, though sex is a form of physical and emotional bonding.  Some might suggest that it is also a spiritual bond.  In any case, a lack of intimacy, especially lack of sex, in a marriage will slowly cause its demise.  After all, a marriage is a bond between the husband and wife.  If a fundamental part of that bonding is absent, then the marriage will suffer.

Intimacy occurs when the couple engages each other at an intellectual, emotional, spiritual, or physical level.  It’s not about function and how well the couple work together, but rather the togetherness itself.  For example, two people working in an office may work very well together, but that doesn’t mean that they are intimate with each other.  Their relationship is purely functional.  A marriage should be greater than a functional relationship.

Sex is something that is required in a marriage. Without it, the marriage will suffer.  In some cases, lack of sex may have an immediate effect and in other cases it may slowly destroy the marriage.  Sexual intimacy is how a couple bonds with each other and send several messages to each other.  Through sex, a wife relays to her husband that she desires him, loves him, and wants to be his, especially if she initiates sex.  A husband relays to his wife that he desires her, is vulnerable to her, and loves her through sex.  A plethora of problems will develop if sex is neglected in a marriage.

I should point out that in many cases, a lack of sex in a marriage is a symptom of another problem.  The wife may feel unappreciated or emotionally disconnected from her husband, which causes her not to be open to sex with him.  A husband may feel unwanted and rejected by his wife, which causes him to pull away from her.  Therefore, when dealing with problems with sex and intimacy in a marriage, it is expedient that the couple determine what the cause of those are.  They may find that if they resolve those issues that intimacy and sex will fix themselves so to speak.

The Solution

Have more sex.  I don’t say that to suggest that merely having more sex with solve the intimacy problem in a marriage.  As discussed above, having more sex and being more intimate with each other may mean that other deeper issues have to be resolved first, which will then result in more intimacy and more sex.  Remember that your spouse is a human being and mere mechanics won’t necessarily fix a bad relationship.  Instead, learn to discuss issues in your marriage to resolve them so that an environment is established where intimacy can readily occur and be maintained.

Prioritize the marriage and work to promote intimacy between you and your spouse.  Turn off the television and get away from social media for a while and spend more time with your spouse intimately.  Talk to your spouse, cuddle with your spouse, be sensual to your spouse, etc.  Always seek to be intimate with your spouse because it is a huge part of a marriage.  Work to purposefully and actively strengthen the bond between you and your spouse.

 

Lack of Pursuing God Together

The context here is a Christian marriage.  Therefore, it is imperative that the couple pursue God together and accomplish God’s purpose for the union.  Sometimes a couple is unequally yoked, so to speak, even though they both may profess to be Christians.  One may actively pursue God by reading the Bible and meditating on the Scriptures, studying the Bible, and spending time in prayer, while the other may merely go through the daily grind without doing much to strengthen a relationship with God.

When a couple does not grow together in a pursuit for God and his kingdom, they may eventually grow apart.  I call this a lopsided marriage.  One is growing in faith whereas the other is not.  This will cause one to make decisions based on revelation from the word of God, which may seem foolish to the other.  It can also cause frustration and stress within the marriage due to the lack of collaboration in pursuing the things of God.

Once again, if the spiritual growth of the couple is lopsided, then resentment can show its ugly head.  One is trying to live a life of faith and in the power of God, whereas the other is at best religious.  One speaks about the great things that can happen to them by faith and the other is content with natural things and human abilities.  This can stress the relationship because the husband and wife will be on two separate planes, so to speak, regarding spiritual growth and the mode of moving forward as a couple or family.  The couple will eventually live separate spiritual lives, which will affect other areas of their lives together.

Another adverse effect of being spiritual lopsided in the relationship is that the spouse that is not pursuing God will have a negative impact on the spouse who is. For example, suppose the wife tells her husband that she wants to believe God for a new house, but the husband starts shooting down that idea because of finances and credit.  That could have a negative impact on his wife because it could plant seeds of doubt and diminish or uproot her faith for a new house.  Being unequally yoked in spiritual development could have an adverse effect on what the couple accomplishes together.

The Solution

A couple should be together with regard to spiritual growth.  They should work to be compatible spiritually, i.e., in the things of God.  They can read and study the Bible together.  They can discuss what they have learned from their individual and joint Bible studies.  They can definitely pray together about things pertaining to their family.  Work to be compatible spiritually by being actively engaged with each other regarding your spiritual development as an individual and as a couple.

When discussing your goals and desires, it will be more natural to visualize those things from the context of faith and the kingdom of God.  The couple will be together with regard to their goals, which is extremely beneficial for accomplishing those goals as a couple.

 

Resentment

It is difficult and perhaps impossible for a marriage to thrive when resentment has latched itself onto the husband, wife, or both.  Resentment is extremely unhealthy for the marriage.  It is caused by ill feelings about an issue or behavior that goes unresolved.  Over time those ill feelings morph into outright resentment for the spouse and may persist for years or decades.

A husband may resent his wife for not having sex with him or not spending quality time with him.  A wife may resent her husband for not helping her and being emotionally engaged with her.  Resentment is germinated by a persistent behavior and then grows into separation in one form or another.  Just because a couple remain together in the relationship or household, doesn’t mean that they are together at a heart level.  The marriage can degrade into a functional relationship and this could last for decades, which could in turn spawn more resentment.  The marriage in that condition for a long time is ripe for separation and even divorce.

The Solution

The best way to keep resentment from occurring in the marriage is to be honest and open with one another and to resolve conflicts as they occur.  If your spouse has a behavior that you really don’t like and negatively affects you with regards to the relationship, then be honest and say something about it, respectfully, of course.  If you do find resentment in your heart towards your spouse, then objectively consider the source of the resentment and do something constructive about it.  Remember that the objective is always to work towards a happy and fulfilling marriage and therefore, to keep things that would jeopardize it at bay so to speak.

Another thing that you can do to short-circuit resentment in your marriage is to practice forgiveness.  Forgiving your spouse for hurting you in some way is the best thing you can do to keep resentment from growing in your relationship.  However, still be sure to resolve conflicts as they occur else you may find yourself forgiving your spouse repeatedly about an unresolved issue, which could then ironically spawn more resentment.

 

Unforgiveness

Closely related to resentment that can destroy a marriage, is unforgiveness.  Unforgiveness is basically holding on to resentment towards your spouse.  Forgiveness is, therefore, the release of that resentment. Another way to think of unforgiveness is holding grudges against your spouse.  Perhaps you were hurt deeply by something your spouse did to you and you now hold a grudge because of it.

The problem with unforgiveness is that it allows resentment to flourish like a virus or weed in your marriage.  An interesting thing about unforgiveness that people who hold grudges don’t realize is that unforgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.  Holding resentment towards your spouse will only hurt you and subsequently your marriage.

The Solution

Forgive your spouse.  Tell them if they hurt you.  Don’t allow resentment to germinate in your heart because it will cause worse problems later.  Be honest with your spouse about what bothers you.  Sometimes we don’t realize that we hurt someone, so it is imperative that you tell your spouse when they hurt you.  This can short-circuit bad behavior immediately.

Again, forgiveness means to release the resentment towards your spouse.  In other words, refuse to hold a grudge so that your marriage can grow.

 

Financial Challenges

Financial challenges can cause a couple to drift apart because of the stress involved.  However, I would like to point out that financial challenges, or any challenge, is an opportunity for the couple to come closer together to overcome the challenge.  Anyway, the stress of not being able to purchase the things you’d like, losing a home, getting things repossessed, etc. can put a severe strain on a marriage.

Sometimes it is not the mere financial challenge that causes issues in a marriage, but rather how it happened.  A spouse may be irresponsible with finances and cause the couple to suffer the consequences.  The husband or wife may make a bad financial decision causing both to suffer because of it.  So, financial challenges may sometimes be a symptom of another problem such as money management or responsible spending practices.

The Solution

The solution to overcoming financial problems in marriage is to stick together through it all.  We all make mistakes, so don’t resent your spouse for making one.  This also implies that financial decisions should be made after discussions and mutual consent to move forward with that decision. Furthermore, life happens so to speak.  The husband or wife may lose their job, or a severe medical issue can arise causing finances to be affected.  Stick together and work through it.  Trust God to get you through it.

Another thing to do is to determine what caused you to get into the financial situation that you are in and then work to resolve that.  If money management is a problem, then learn how to effectively manage your money as a couple.  If excessive spending is a problem, then learn how to curb your spending.  If it was something outside of your control, then work through it together with God’s help.  It is in situations like this where a lopsided marriage is very damaging.  If the couple is spiritually compatible, then they will be together in faith getting through the situation with God’s power.  If not, then more stress can occur in the situation because of being unequally yoked spiritually or in disposition about the situation.

The ultimate goal is to avoid financial situations altogether and if they do occur, then work together to resolve them as you would any other issue in the marriage.  Do not allow financial issues to cause a rift between you and your spouse.  Work hard to get through financial problems together even if your spouse made a bad decision.

 

Unfair Distribution of Responsibilities in the Household

A slow killer of marriage is when one believes that they have an unfair share of the household responsibilities.  For example, the wife may cook meals, clean the house, ensure the kids are ready for school while her husband comes home and watches television or enjoys some other type of leisure.  Over time, the wife may begin to feel as though she is being taken advantage of by her husband or that he doesn’t care enough to help her. This could spawn resentment towards the husband.

If the couple is not working together as a team and have agreed upon household duties, then ill feelings can result.  This is especially true as the household grows and responsibilities increase.  Perhaps it was easy to clean the house before children came on the scene.  However, there is a lot more work to keep a house neat and clean when children live in the house too.  This could be exacerbated if pets are involved as well.

Another area of unfair distribution of responsibilities is in the management of the relationship itself.  One may begin to feel that they are the only one trying to improve the marriage or make a good one, whereas the other is merely going along with the flow of the daily grind so to speak.  The one actively working to establish a good marriage can begin to feel that their spouse doesn’t care about the relationship and only wants the associated benefits.

The Solution

Be fair when it comes to managing the house.  Help each other in whatever you are doing.  For example, the wife may get more involved in household finances if the husband is the one that handles that.  This will help to keep him from perceiving his wife as always spending money without being responsibly involved with financial management.  He may begin to resent his wife for not getting involved in home maintenance or lawncare but expecting him to help her with dishes and house cleaning for example.

Again, honest communications between husband and wife will help to keep unfair distribution from slowly destroying your marriage.  Obtain mutual consent on who does what in the household.  Even then, offer to help your spouse do things.  This way you will have more time to spend with each other or for personal quiet time after the chores are done.

 

Neglecting Personal Space

Always being together may seem like a great idea in a marriage, but it can result in the slow destruction of the marriage.  It is a great idea for a husband and wife to spend quality time together.  However, each of us needs some alone time where we can enjoy our favorite personal pastimes.  There are times when the husband and wife need to be away from each other.  They may begin to feel overcrowded if their spouse is always up on them so to speak.

For example, every time your wife wants to go out, you feel that it is your duty to go with her.  Sometimes she may want to go alone just to enjoy herself shopping.  The same applies to the husband as well.  Sometimes we would rather be alone.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t want to be with your spouse.  No.  It simply means that you want to spend your time alone to do something where you don’t have to consider what your spouse wants.

Neglecting personal space applies to yourself and your spouse.  If you don’t make time for yourself then you may begin to foolishly resent your spouse for not giving you the space you desire.  Neglecting to give your spouse the opportunity for personal space can cause them to resent you for it as well.

The Solution

Give your spouse the opportunity to have some alone time and ensure that you make the time to be alone yourself.  Of course, you should discuss this aspect of your relationship so that you can avoid misinterpretation of your actions, i.e., you don’t want your spouse to think you don’t want to spend time with them.

Perhaps you like to sit back and listen to music and get engrossed by it.  Then go by yourself, put some headphones on and listen to your music.  Don’t think that you have to spend every moment available with your spouse.  Perhaps you want to go hang out at the outlets or something.  Then do it, but let your spouse know what is going on.  After a while it will simply be a normal part of your activities.

 

too Many Negative Experiences

In general, if you have more negative experiences with your spouse than positive ones, then the net experience you have with them is negative.  That negative experience will slowly erode your marriage because we all tend to pull away from unpleasant things.  If your marriage is unpleasant to you overall, then you will tend to pull away from your spouse in search of pleasure.

I learned about the love bank concept from the book, “Love Busters: Overcoming Habits That Destroy Romantic Love” by Willard F. Harley over 20 years ago.  Each experience that you have with your spouse will either cause a deposit or withdrawal into your love bank.  The more positive experiences you have, the more deposits.  The more negative experiences you have, the more withdrawals.  Therefore, you should work to have positive experiences with your spouse and mitigate the negative ones.

If you have more negative experiences than positive, then ill feelings can develop towards your spouse, which could lead to resentment.  We have already discussed the damaging affect resentment has on the marriage.  You have a lot of influence on the number of positive experiences with your spouse, as we will discuss shortly.

The Solution

The solution is quite simple.  Have more positive experiences with your spouse than negative ones.  It’s simple, but not necessarily easy to do.  For one thing, you cannot control what your spouse does that may cause you to have a negative reaction towards them.  However, you can control what you do so that you avoid having negative experiences with them, or them reacting negatively towards you.  For example, is it worth it to tell your wife how messy the house is when you can just take the initiative to clean up yourself?  Besides, where did the idea come from that the wife is supposed to clean the house?

Invest in good times with your spouse.  Do pleasurable things together.  Go on date nights, give each other a massage, be sensual to each other, talk intimately with each other, etc.  Do those things that will result in pleasure and good experiences together.  Do what you can to mitigate negative experiences with each other.  Turn marital challenges into good experiences instead of focusing on the negative.  In other words, find the good in the bad.

 

Jealousy

Jealousy can destroy a marriage quickly and slowly depending on the intensity of the jealous feelings.  Jealousy is a natural disposition of any person.  The word “jealous” means to demand loyalty in the relationship.  This is what is meant when the Bible says that God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:14).  So being jealous is understandable. However, sometimes feelings of jealousy are unfounded or unreasonable.

A wife may become jealous of her husband if he consistently comes home late from work and his grooming behavior has changed.  Those are typically signs that he is in a relationship with another woman, perhaps an affair.  A husband may become jealous of his wife when he notices that she spends a lot of time with a particular guy.  These are exacerbated by secretive behaviors.  Sometimes these jealous feelings are unfounded and there is no affair or anything close to it.

However, if you become overbearing about the issue and want to observe your spouse all the time, then you are asking for trouble.  Your spouse may be very loyal to you, but you will create another problem if you question that loyalty.  We should expect loyalty from our spouses, but we should not assume that any change in their routine or behavior is the result of an affair.

The Solution

Address your insecurities about yourself with regards to your spouse.  Talk to your spouse about how you feel, so that they will at least understand why you are acting so strangely so to speak.  Reinforce your love and desire for your spouse if you feel that they are overly jealous of you.  Be open to what is going on in your life so that you can mitigate suspicions of an affair.

Work on yourself to identify why you feel overly jealous of your spouse.  Why are you jealous?  Be objective.  You may find that something else is going on inside of you, such as insecurities about your spouses love towards you.  Other issues can feed the feeling of jealousy, such as lack of sex, lack of intimacy, lack of communication and lack of time spent together.

Ultimately spend time working on yourself and your marriage.  Do all you can with your spouse to establish a wonderful, happy, and fulfilling marriage.  That way you have confidence that your spouse is not having an affair and there is no need for you to be jealous of them.

 

Conclusion

There are many things that can slowly destroy a marriage as discussed in this article.  The important thing that couples should do is be aware that there are things that could destroy a marriage and there are things that can be done to build a happy one.  A couple should always purposely work to build a happy and fulfilling marriage and guard against those practices that would degrade it.

The ultimate solution is for the husband and wife to practice honest communications.  Talk about issues that arise in the marriage and be quick to resolve them.  Do not allow resentment to flourish in the relationship.  Couples should educate themselves about marriage so that they would recognize those things that could degrade it.  We do that with so many other things, but for some reason neglect to educate ourselves about marriage.

Pursue God together and pursue a happy life together. Remind yourself regularly that your spouse is a human being.  Don’t take them for granted and don’t expect them to change to meet your needs.  Seek to improve yourself always so that you would be a better person, parent, and spouse.  Don’t be afraid of conflicts because revealed conflicts are opportunities to make the marriage that much better.

Always work to improve your marriage as well as yourself.  Be blessed in your marriage and be a blessing to your spouse.  Mitigate the chances for other things to slowly degrade your marriage so that over time, your marriage is like a tree by the bank of a river that produces fruit and prospers.