Our brains do a wonderful job of seeing what we expect to see, and we are much more likely to view our husband as doing everything wrong when we have developed a negative view of him.
After spending years working with couples, individuals, or people who have been through a breakup or divorce, it seems that there are problems that keep coming up over and over again.
Wouldn’t it be good to know where to really concentrate our efforts, to give marriage the best chance possible?
Here are 6 marriage mistakes that can easily lead to divorce:
1. Talking with friends about the rotten thing you think your husband did to you.Research suggests that friends are often more upset when they think their bestie is being mistreated than when they are experiencing the same treatment themselves. Besides, most of us don’t really understand how our conditioning and wiring as women, and our husband’s conditioning and wiring as a man differ. So conversations about men with women friends often lead to husband bashing that helps nobody. Resolution: Limit talking about upsets or problems to two people: For example a trusted friend, coach or therapist.
2. Thinking That Talking About Problems With Your Husband Is The Answer. All too often women think that talking to our husbands is the way to make them see how their behavior has been affecting us. If the behavior doesn’t change when we first bring it up, we want to talk more, longer, or louder because we think maybe they didn’t get it the first time. One of the highest pet peeves for men is that feeling of being nagged or badgered, especially if they don’t know what is really the matter. The other problem is that the rules of polite, kind, nice conversation that we try to follow as women, often come off as indirect, manipulative, and mysterious to men. Women will then often conclude that their husband doesn’t care because he hasn’t changed. Resolution: Learn communication skills specifically to talk with men, and spend more time DOING fun activities.
3. Thinking That Your Happiness DEPENDS On Your Husband Changing. Research has shown that happiness does indeed increase when your husband changes, yet that change originates with YOU. Paradoxically, the women who focused on becoming more of the person they would like to be, rather than focusing on how their husband had to change, were happier down the road. Resolution: Focus on being the best you.
4. Living Parallel Lives. Living parallel lives is the slippery slope to disconnection. The bonds of marriage thrive on interest in each other, enjoyment of each other’s company, working toward common goals, and spending time together. Couples who are trying to reconnect after children have left home often come to realize that they don’t know each other anymore. Resolution: Take the time to know what is important to your husband, and allow him to know what is important to you.
5. Focusing On What’s Wrong. One of the most difficult scenarios I come across is seeing couples where one or both people are stuck viewing each other through a negative lens, and expecting the worst. Our brains do a wonderful job of seeing what we expect to see, and we are much more likely to view our husband as doing everything wrong when we have developed a negative view of him. A relationship coach can help regain a balanced view. Resolution: Balance your concerns with a positive view. A relationship thrives when we see our partner through rose-colored glasses.
6. I deserve. These words need to be banned from your vocabulary. The mentality that goes along with using these words includes a form of entitlement that kills the softness that is needed for a couple to cherish each other. The words include a demand that your husband do what you want him to. This is very different from knowing internally that you are worth more, and having the communication skills necessary to ask for more. Knowing what you are worth helps you inspire your husband to cherish you. Resolution: Focus on knowing your own worth. Get clear about what is important to you in a relationship, and learn how to ask for it.
Read this article in Your Tango