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Are you noticing cracks in the foundation of your marriage?
It can be a frightening feeling for couples that have been married for years, and if they’re not sure why it is happening.
Unbeknownst to even the most devoted spouse, there could be sneaky ways that one or both people are unknowingly sabotaging their relationship.
If simple changes aren’t working to restore order in the home, it might be worth some extra reflection on our own behaviors and whether they may be leading to problems within our marriage.
Here are 15 possible guilty culprits that could mean we’re undermining our marital bliss without realizing it.
There are varying levels of communication.
Some couples survive on little communication.
Others need a lot.
Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, you need to talk to your partner.
Keep them informed about what is going on. Talk about your goals and dreams, both as individuals and partners.
Some people agree with the adage of never going to bed angry, while others enjoy giving themselves time to think.
You figure out your communication style and go from there.
#2. Show Affection Daily
Not everyone needs the same amount of affection from their partner, but being physical is critical to the success of your marriage.
This could mean a long, intentional hug, cuddling on the sofa while watching a movie, or even holding hands.
The more physical you are, the more likely you will keep the connection alive.
#3. Know They Mean Well
If you are in a healthy relationship, both people care for and love each other.
So when they let you down or hurt your feelings, know that it most likely was not on purpose.
This is important to remember because when we are disappointed, we sometimes can then act out against them, causing more issues.
As one person shared, “No matter what, your starting point should be that your significant other meant well and certainly did not mean to upset or hurt you. (This assumes a healthy, non-abusive relationship.)”
#4. Accept Who They Are
One important thing to remember is that each person is who they are.
If your goal is to change them, know you will fail.
This doesn’t mean people can’t change, but they have to want to change. You can’t do it for them.
So to be happy, you must accept who they are from the start.
If you are with someone for the long term, you need to respect them, and they need to respect you.
A lack of respect will quickly destroy any marriage, no matter how much you love the other person.
Therefore, no name-calling or being mean to the other person.
If you are short with them, make sure you apologize, and mean it.
#6. Have Similar Financial Habits
Money is a leading cause of divorce, so you need to ensure you are both on the same page.
While there are cases of a saver and spender finding happiness, this is rare.
In fact, I argue that in these instances, the two people are closer in financial habits than it seems, and there only needs to be some adjustments to make it work.
Before you tie the knot or even propose, you need to have long talks about money.
This includes goals, like when you want to retire, how much debt each person has, how comfortable you are with debt, do you save, etc.
The more you are on the same page, the less struggles you will have.
#7. Let Them Be Themselves
Related to the previous point, you have to let them be themselves.
This means giving them space to pursue their own hobbies and interests, and you do the same.
Of course, you need to develop joint hobbies and interests as well.
This is one of the trickier parts of marriage, finding the healthy balance between the two.
You don’t want to lose sight of who you are, but you also don’t want to only focus on yourself and lose your partner in the process.
#8. You Both Will Change
You aren’t the same person you are at 30 that you were at 20. And you won’t be the same at 60 as you are today.
Neither will your partner.
Knowing and accepting you both will change is critical to success.
As long as you prioritize your relationship as you grow, you will remain happy.
But if you don’t, you will slowly grow apart.
Then one day, you will wake up and question why you are married in the first place.
#9. Make The Marriage a Priority
Life gets busy with work, and if you have kids, they take up a lot of your time too.
It is critical no matter how busy life is, you keep your marriage a priority.
This could mean a weekly date night.
If you can’t get out, pick a night each week when you cannot do housework or other things and spend quality time together.
Doing this will help to keep your marriage strong, even when life is crazy.
#10. Have Fun Together
Never lose sight of having fun together.
If everything you do together is serious conversation and you cannot relax, it will be an unhappy life.
So find ways to have fun, whether playing board games, seeing a comedy show, or developing new hobbies to share.
#11. It’s Not All Sunshine And Rainbows
Whether you are married or dating, you know relationships are not always perfect.
You will have disagreements. You will let the other person down, and they will let you down.
But just because you hit a rough patch doesn’t mean you should divorce.
You promised each other that you would be there through good times and bad.
So when the bad times come, you need to put in the time and effort to get your relationship back on firmer ground.
#12. Pick The Right Person
This is arguably the most challenging part of marriage.
There are many people out there and many that we connect with.
The trick is picking the one that fits right.
This doesn’t mean they fit you perfectly, but they fit you, you fit them, and you fit together.
Know that there will never be a perfect match, but you need to match on the major things about life.
#13. Different Parenting Styles
An often overlooked quality in partners is their parenting style
If you plan on having kids one day, it is critical you are both on the same page when it comes to discipline and how to raise them.
Otherwise, there will be many arguments and hurt feelings.
#14. Lacking Quality Time
It’s all too easy for distractions such as work, social media, and personal hobbies to take away from the time couples spend together.
When quality time is sacrificed, it can lead to feelings of neglect, frustration, and resentment.
A lack of quality time can cause a loss of intimacy and emotional connection, two key components that are vital for a successful and happy marriage.
#15. Not Forgiving
When individuals hold onto grudges and refuse to forgive one another, it can be extremely detrimental to the health of the relationship.
Not forgiving can lead to bitterness, resentment, and a breakdown in communication, ultimately driving the couple apart.
Without forgiveness, spouses will struggle to see eye-to-eye on important matters and intimacy can become strained, eroding the foundation of the marriage from the inside out.
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This thread inspired this article.
Jon Dulin is the passionate leader of Unfinished Success, a personal development website that inspires people to take control of their own lives and reach their full potential. His commitment to helping others achieve greatness shines through in everything he does. He’s an unstoppable force with lots of wisdom, creativity, and enthusiasm – all focused on helping others build a better future. Jon enjoys writing articles about productivity, goal setting, self-development, and mindset. He also uses quotes and affirmations to help motivate and inspire himself. You can learn more about him on his About page.