Each of us has our own boundaries that must not be crossed and our own specific behaviors and actions that we would consider intolerable in a marriage or any other relationship. What would be a deal-breaker for one couple would be a bump in the road or an area to work on for another.
However, marriage counselors and family therapists have identified several behaviors that are considered to be the most often blamed for a divorce. If you want to save your marriage and stop a divorce from ending your relationship, these behaviors have to go.
Therapists Shari and Bob Stritoff have a post on their marriage page for About.com that lists what they consider to be the 8 behaviors that will sink a marriage. We wanted to share them with you here. This is just a synopsis, so if some of these behaviors are an issue in your marriage, please read the entire article.
1. Physical, Mental or Emotional Abuse
Any kind of abuse is intolerable and few people are able to stop the behavior in themselves or in their spouse without help. Please seek professional help if you are being abused or are abusing your spouse.
2. Breaking Your Promises and Being an Undependable Spouse
The more promises you break, the more you say you will do something and then don’t, the more you are late or not where you say you will be, the more your spouse will lose trust in you.”
A marriage without trust is often irretrievably broken.
3. Being Jealous
Jealousy is equally hard on both spouses. The one who feels jealous is in an almost constant state of stress and the other partner feels trapped. Jealousy is often rooted in issues outside the marriage. You may want to seek counseling if it’s an issue for you.
4. Inability or Not Wanting to Forgive
Resentment over past hurts or betrayals will slowly eat away at your spouse’s love for you and doom your marriage. Not forgiving your spouse also harms your own health. Forgiving doesn’t mean you forget or that you condone hurtful behavior. Don’t let your stubborness or wanting to get revenge cause the end of your marriage.”
5. Continuing to Have Unrealistic Expectations
When we’re young and first married, we commonly have ideas about our spouses or about marriage that are naive and unrealistic. Usually, we grow and learn and adjust our expectations. If you don’t, however,
Disillusionment will grow as your expectations continue to be unfulfilled. Once you identify which expectations are based on marriage myths and are unrealistic, talk with one another about having achievable expectations.”
6. Putting Romance on the Back Burner
Couples go through stages in their marriages when it’s easy to set romance aside for “later”, when you’ll have more time, energy or desire, but this can ruin a marriage quickly. Make a commitment to keep the romance alive now and find ways to make it happen.
7. Refusing to Listen to or Communicate With Your Spouse
If you shut out your spouse when you’re stressed or distracted or angry, you’ll eventually stop hearing what’s wrong, and what’s right, with your marriage. Keep communication open, even when things aren’t going well.
8. Being Unkind or Uncaring Towards Your Spouse
It’s easy to forget that our spouse deserves the same courtesies and kindnesses we give everyone else. When kindness and common courtesy leave the marriage, your spouse may too.
If any of these behaviors are an issue for you or your spouse, it’s important to admit them, address them and seek help if you can’t change them on your own. Doing so can save your marriage and stop divorce from ruining your family.