Here are three ways to poison your marriage. Maybe you can add some ways yourself in order that we can avoid them.
The Silent Treatment
One sure way to make your marital relationship like a freezer is to never communicate with your spouse. In marriage, silence is not golden; it is a warning sign. It is better to get things out in the open than to say nothing at all because silence communicates indifference, apathy, or unhappiness. When partners are silent, they will never reach reconciliation because if there’s no open dialogue, there can never be an agreement to reach or any open discussion about the issue. By not talking, the door remains shut to a solution, and that’s one sure-fire way to poison any marriage.
I believe that the most important words we can ever say to anyone, especially our spouse, are “I’m sorry” and “I love you.” Failing to say these words will harden the hearts of those around you. It’s like saying “you don’t matter, even if what I did to you was wrong; so what!” When we apologize, we lower our fences, demolish the walls around us, open up, and let others know that we do wrong things, which tells them what they already know anyway–we’re not perfect. Not only do we do wrong things, we must admit when we do. That transparency actually encourages your spouse to admit their faults, too, and makes them more likely to confess their wrongs and apologize. I have not seen anything that throws water on a heated argument better than saying “I’m sorry” and “please forgive me.” Holding onto negatives in a marriage will surely poison the one holding it and the other party, too.
Children or Pets Over Spouse
It is a bad sign when one parent wants to spend a lot more time with the children or pets than with their own spouse. They put the children before their partner. They might even take the child’s side or the pet’s side against their spouse when the child or pet is clearly in the wrong. They show much more loving affection to the children or the household pet than they do their own mate. I know of one man who feels like he’s in third place in his own home. His wife puts the children’s interests above his. She does the same thing with their pet cat. The children and cat get all the attention, and the man gets leftovers, if there’s anything left over at all. Of course, I heard only his side of the story, but have you noticed how some people elevate their own pets above everyone else in the home?
Marriages are in deep trouble in this nation, even among Christians. We are often too full of pride to seek good, Christian marriage counseling. The concern with this is that sometimes couples wait too long to seek help and then reach a point of it being too late to save the marriage; the damage has already been done. I think it’s a great idea to set aside a specific time each week for you and your spouse to spend together. Have a date night, take a walk together, or just cuddle. Marriage takes a lot of work, and neglecting marriage could be the worst decision of your life.