1. Giving the children first place
We all adore our children; that is clear. But there can be a problem when hubby gets pushed aside in favour of the little ones. It won’t be long before he gets the message that he’s just not as important anymore if you consistently choose to spend time and energy on the children, putting their needs over his and your own. Remember, in a few short years the children will be grown and flown out of the nest and then you and your husband will be alone together again.
2. Seeing my husband as another child
A small step further down the slope from putting children first is treating your husband as another child. Nothing could be further from the truth. Maybe this makes you feel like “supermom” but it is very disrespectful towards the man who in fact fathered your children. No matter how much your husband’s parenting skills may be lacking in your opinion, seeing him as your second or third child is not going to improve matters at all. Sometimes the shoe can be on the other foot and the wife is treated by her husband like another child in the home. This is usually a sign of abuse and unless resolved usually ends unhappily.
3. Not setting boundaries with in-laws
In-laws are a controversial topic at the best of times. If firm boundaries are not set right from the start, untold havoc can be wrecked in a marriage. Remember, first and foremost you married each other and not each other’s families. Yes, families and parents will always have an extremely important role in our lives, but they also have their place and should not be allowed to come in and encroach on areas of privacy and decision making which should belong to the couple alone.
4. Not learning to fight right
Lack of conflict resolution skills is perhaps one of the number one reasons for the disintegration of marriages. Whether it is stonewalling or yelling uncontrollably or both, these kinds of behaviour can be extremely corrosive to any marriage. Learning to fight right is a skill that needs to be honed with commitment and determination if you want your marriage to thrive. It requires time, effort and willingness on both sides to sit and talk through difficulties, with respect and love.
5. Needing to be in control
This is a tough one – who’s the boss?! Often it’s the little everyday things (as well as the bigger things) where we women often seem to need that last word. Why is it so hard to admit when he may have a better idea? If we would just step back and allow that man we married to make those wise decisions of which he is probably very capable we may be in for some pleasant surprises. It is worth remembering, marriage is not the place to compete, but rather to complete one another.
6. Not meeting intimacy needs
This can swing both ways, but generally as a wife there can be times in your marriage, especially with young children, when you feel pretty exhausted. The last thing you may feel like is making love, while for your husband it may quite likely be the first thing. Within reason, if this becomes a regular pattern of consistently not meeting his intimacy needs, it can mean a slow death for your marriage.
7. Not making an effort to look good
After several years of marriage, it can be easy to settle into a comfortable routine of just pulling on the first and easiest outfit, even staying in your pj’s all morning if you can. We all know that inner beauty is what counts most, but don’t underestimate the value of looking your best on the outside too. This is one more way of showing respect to the man you love, that you care enough to make yourself look pretty for him – and in most cases he is sure to appreciate it.
As you may notice, most of these mistakes described above involve “omissions” or good things we have not done, and then there are also “commissions” or hurtful things we have done. So yes, marriage is hard work and we need to constantly work on doing less of the harmful things, and more of the helpful. If ever there was a worthwhile reason for hard work, it is marriage.