Divorce rates are at an all time high. Why?
Couples have gotten complacent in their marriages. No judgement–it’s easy to do. It’s easy to take the one you love for granted.
It’s easy to let bad habits overshadow a healthy relationship.
My husband and I have been happily married for 8 years. But sometimes these bad habits creep into our marriage.
Sometimes the expectations we have for our spouse are monumental–and unrealistic.
We expect them to fill a void they weren’t created to fill, so we often become disappointed when they don’t act (or react) in the way we expect.
Disappointment sets in, and we forget their value.
It’s easy to overlook the simple things our spouse does that we used to take great joy in.
When we stop finding joy in the simple moments, we often become ungrateful about any gesture our spouse shows. Over time, this creates frustration and ruins the relationship.
The easiest way to combat ungratefulness is to communicate with your spouse. Talk about those moments of disappointment while they are small.
Lack of Tact
When tensions get high, it’s easy to say the first thing that comes to your mind, with no filter. The longer you are together, the easier this is.
Culture can play a huge role too. My parents are Jamaicans and Jamaicans can be blunt.
Growing up, I was taught to be assertive and say what’s on my mind. My husband is a southerner, and southerners typically don’t operate that way. In our marriage, we’ve had to make our own rules and learn how to communicate in a way that works for us.
I’ve learned how to express my feelings tactfully, and not use my upbringing as an excuse.
Unwilling to Compromise
I’ll be honest. This one has been a tough one for me. I was raised to be fiercely independent.
I’m the oldest of four kids and am pretty driven. I know what I want, and I work to get it. When my husband and I got married, we were both 26. We married because we were madly in love, and had many of the same goals, morals and values.
However, life and experiences sometimes change us. We believe that our way of solving a problem is right and we don’t want to give in.
My husband and I once had an argument that resulted in 2 days of not speaking. It absolutely killed me, but neither of us refused to “give in.”
After we made up, we realized that the notion of “not giving in” was toxic to our relationship. We got nothing accomplished but hurting each other.
As a counselor, I know how damaging baggage can be when it hasn’t been dealt with.
Baggage doesn’t just stem from previous relationships, but can also stem from family/friendship issues or even deep rooted personal issues.
My husband and I combat baggage by talking openly about things that have hurt us in the past. It can be difficult in the moment, but it saves us some pain and heartache in future arguments/discussions.
We also learn certain words or phrases that can be a trigger for negative reactions so that we don’t always take those negative reactions personally.
The key to a successful marriage is growing together.
Life will constantly throw things your way, and it’s important to communicate and weather the storms together.
It is normal to change–that’s the only real constant in life.
If you marriage suffers from any of these bad habits, it’s not too late to fix them!