We all make mistakes, yet we all want to do the best we can to create a long and happy marriage. Being aware of the biggest and most destructive pitfalls and blunders you may make in marriage can help you make them less often, and train you in a new way of thinking and handling things so that, one day, you can hopefully eliminate them.
As you read through this list of the top four marriage mistakes, be honest with yourself. Honestly evaluating your problem areas will help you become a better spouse and partner, and may save your marriage.
Accepting the Death of Romance as Inevitable
Romance does indeed wax and wane, but the wives tale that romance must die in a long-term marriage is silly – and dangerous for your relationship. Human beings were created with a strong desire for romantic love, and if marriage is not providing it, lots of people are tempted to find it elsewhere.
But that is not the answer to our innate desire for romance. Instead, fan the flames of your romantic relationship with each other by doing what you did in the beginning: Flirt, laugh, make time for making love, date, communicate, compliment one another, put the other first, and simply enjoy being in the company of the one you love.
Romance will have its ups and downs, but it does not need to die off! Accept this as fact, and keep it alive!
Putting the Kids First
Your children are (or will be) highly important! They need you to train them, love them, care for their needs, and play with them. They need not only quality time but quantity time as well. Yet what many parents fail to take into consideration is that children also need to have a father and a mother who love each other and take care of their relationship so the child can have a stable, thriving home.
Not only that, but for you to best care for your children, you need that marital stability, too. Your spouse is your most effective sounding board because, together, you can make the best decisions for your family. Your spouse is your best friend and therefore a wonderful release from parenting frustrations. Do not put your marriage second; you, your spouse, and your kids deserve better.
Quitting the Academy
The Academy of Knowing Your Spouse, that is. Knowing and loving your spouse is a life-long journey, and only those who put in the classroom time will graduate with honors – and may be the only ones who graduate at all! Quitting school can have devastating results on your marriage. People change, and if you are not studiously paying attention, you will flunk the test.
So stay in school. Study your spouse every day, ask questions, and actively apply what you learn.
Avoiding Hard Conversations
Avoiding conflict does not make the source of it go away. In the Bible book of James, we see the finest and most effective rule for constructive communication: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”*
Learn how to use conflict to enhance the study of your spouse by first listening without interrupting, without just trying to get ammo for your side, and without thinking of how to answer. Let your spouse know you understand what he or she is saying, and clarify things if necessary. Then clearly and calmly express your views, thus allowing your mate to learn about you, too.
Hard conversations are important to your relationship when you keep an eye toward loving resolution.