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8 mistakes that'll kill your marriage unless you make these 8 repairs

Posted July 12

Everyone knows infidelity and abuse destroy a marriage, but there are other, less-talked about behaviors that can be dangerously damaging as well. These eight mistakes silent kill marriages everywhere — thankfully, there are also ways to repair the damage.

1. MISTAKE: Treating your spouse like a kid

REPAIR: Nag less, wish more

When your spouse does something that annoys you, it’s easy to treat them like you’d treat a younger sibling or your own kids. But husbands and wives shouldn’t get in the habit of nagging each other. You’re equal partners, not mother and son or big brother and little sister.

Don’t say everything on your mind, especially when it's inconsequential (like wearing a certain outfit or using the toothpaste the “wrong way”). Just learn to let those things go. When you really feel like you should voice your annoyance, phrase your words as a wish instead of a nagging criticism. Say “I’d love it if you spent less time on your computer and more time with me,” instead of “You’re addicted to your computer. Are you ever going to get off?”

2. MISTAKE: Going into marriage with assumptions

REPAIR: Have an open mind & talk it out

It’s harmful to assume specifics about the roles you and your spouse will fill. Just because you’ve seen husbands on TV always fixing things around the house doesn’t mean your husband will come with a 120-piece toolbox.

Instead, be open to options when it comes to "husband and wife roles" in your marriage. Have a good discussion with your sweetheart early on about how the two of you want to balance different household and income responsibilities.

3. MISTAKE: Letting little road bumps make you doubt

REPAIR: Understand no marriage is perfect

When you’ve just had a fight, doubts can start creeping up about the future of your marriage. You’ll ask yourself, “Will we always fight like this?” or even, “Was this marriage a mistake?”

Step back and take a good look at your relationship as a whole, keeping in mind that no marriage is perfect. You’ll probably see your recent argument as a little road bump you can easily get over, not a dead-end. Accept that some fighting is a normal part of marriage, and then work together to argue the right way, when the occasion calls for it.

4. MISTAKE: Being passive aggressive

REPAIR: Have completely open lines of communication

You might have been able to get away with passive aggressive behavior with roommates, but that’s not the way to go with your spouse. Hiding your real thoughts while harboring disgruntled feelings is a surefire way to damage your marriage.

The more open and transparent your communication is with your spouse, the better. Don’t expect your spouse to read your thoughts — they could be completely oblivious to something that seems obvious to you.

5. MISTAKE: Not letting your spouse help you

REPAIR: Accept their support

Thinking you can still handle everything on your own even after you're married leads to two problems. First, you might actually need the help, and now you’re taking too much on by yourself. Second, you could handle things on your own, but your spouse is left feeling useless, which damages your marriage.

When your sweetheart asks you what’s wrong or what they can do to help, don’t reply with “nothing.” You’re in a companionship now, and you need to let your spouse lift you up when they offer their support.

6. MISTAKE: Prioritizing other things over your spouse

REPAIR: Make your spouse #1

Things can get pretty hectic. Between work, kids, housework, school, social commitments and just life in general, we're busy and it's easy to forget about maintaining a good relationship with your spouse. Things will definitely fare for the worse if other demands take priority over your partner.

It’s hard to rearrange your priorities when they are firmly set in a daily routine, but your marriage is worth that rearranging. Prioritize your marriage over everything, even your most pressing matters, because in the long run, your relationship is the most important thing in your life.

7. MISTAKE: Pornography

REPAIR: Value your sweetheart over those images

Porn is typically filled with violence, domination, infidelity and abuse — things not ever part of a healthy marriage. Research has shown that pornography can leave users unsatisfied and even violent with their spouse. It also often leads to less sex and less satisfying sex in marriage, and it can cause feelings of betrayal, guilt and distrust between spouses.

The best way to save your marriage from the lethal damage of pornography is straightforward and simple: stop using it or never start using it. Your love for your spouse should be infinitely more than your love for those images — value your sweetheart over porn.

8. MISTAKE: Losing your dating mindset

REPAIR: Date your spouse

It’s great that you grow more and more comfortable with each other as the years go on, but that nonchalance can wipe out your romantic spark. Can you remember the last time you asked your spouse out on a formal date?

The answer to this romance-less slump is easy ... just date your spouse. Hone in that inner boyfriend-girlfriend mode to date, flirt and surprise them. Sure, spend some Fridays curled up in sweats watching Netflix, but remember to also put in effort to keep things interesting.

Don’t let these mistakes ruin your marriage — repair the damage and don't let things go unrepaired. Your marriage will thank you for it.

McKenna Park is a staff writer at FamilyShare. She's a happy wife, puppy mama, ice cream addict and film nerd. Contact her at mpark@deseretdigital.com.

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