FamilyLife Blog

3 Ways to Ruin a Marriage

by | Apr 6, 2020 | Crisis & Repair, Marriage

I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t get married because I had a desire to be miserable for the rest of my life. I didn’t walk down the aisle in my wedding dress dreaming about the terrible marriage we would have. And I certainly didn’t say “yes” when he put the ring on my finger because I knew it would bring great unhappiness, many tears, and constant fighting. While I didn’t make it my goal to find ways to ruin marriage — I found them, nonetheless. (Or maybe they found me.) 

In any case, here are three ways to quite simply and efficiently ruin your marriage.

1. Fight Dirty

Chances are, even if we’ve been married for as little as one week, we already know the buttons we can push to hurt our spouse. We know the places they may feel insecure, inadequate, or especially weak, and it’s all too easy to put on our boxing gloves and hit those places when we’re upset and want a little revenge.

Couples in unhappy marriages use these tactics often. It can give us a feeling of personal power when we point out our spouse’s weakness. Or if we’re feeling attacked, it gives us just the right ammunition to fire back with words that wound.

Fighting like this is a surefire way to keep harmony and peace out of your marriage and keep anger and bitterness in.

2. Focus on the Negative

One of the simplest ways to damage a marriage is to think constantly about all of the things our spouse does or says that annoy us. It could be their snoring, or the fact they can’t seem to find the hook for their towel each morning. It might be bigger things like working late and not calling, or spending more time on the phone than with the kids. These things aren’t great, of course, but the more we replay them in our mind, the worse we’ll think of our spouse.

Want an even quicker way to harm the relationship? Consider each annoyance a personal attack, or use words like, “I can’t believe you…” and finish the sentence with whatever was irritating. 

Pointing out each time we’re annoyed or aggravated with our spouse will ensure that they feel a lack of respect and will cause them, in turn, to dwell on all of our negative traits, too. It’s a perfect cycle — if you want to ruin a marriage.

3. Make Yourself the Focal Point

Let’s face it: we all like things to go our own way, and when they don’t, we can get a bit irked. One of the best ways to make sure marriage is a disaster is to focus on our own ways, needs, and wants all of the time. 

Be sure to think of yourself first, serve yourself as most important, cook the dinners you like, take the vacations you want, set up a schedule that works best for you, and demand for things to go this way! If they don’t, it’s OK to simply whine and grumble until our spouse sees clearly who is obviously the most important one in the relationship. It may take time for them to realize this — obstinance and persistence is key!

Being self-serving will keep you in disagreement and discord for years to come.

In case you want a few ways to help your marriage rather than ruin your relationship — if you’re one of those couples who strive to keep it strong, who choose to invest in their marriage, and would like some ideas on how to foster connection and intimacy — check out our Weekend Getaway!