You and your spouse are allies—not enemies. Did you get that? You may be thinking: well, of course, we aren’t enemies! But you’d be surprised. I remember when my sister and I were young and we were sharing a room. Technically, we shared a room, but we did not want to share the same ‘space’, so we took tape and put it down the middle of the room so as to deter one another from going into the other’s space. You could be doing the same thing subconsciously in your marriage—you might have drawn a line down the middle of a situation; if you spouse crosses the line in any way, you feel justified and they become the enemy. Don’t make your spouse your enemy, make them your teammate! Fight for your marriage by avoiding these four silent marriage killers.
Comparison leads to discontentment. When Mark and I had young children, we went on vacations (very inexpensive trips, mind you!) with other families and their children. I remember getting frustrated with Mark and started to verbalize how I wish he was more like my friend’s husband. By my verbalizing it, it created an ongoing, snowball effect of me being discontent with my own husband. Social media is definitely exacerbating the issue because people are only going to put the best of the best for people to see—you aren’t going to see the messy parts. It isn’t healthy! Be content with what God has given you and find joy and comfort in that.
Criticism leads to bitterness, despair, and hopelessness. Don’t immediately find what is wrong in things, be quick to compliment. The Bible says that the power of the tongue has power to tear down or build up—so, ask yourselves this even today: Are those words building up? Or tearing us down? Remind yourself to compliment and encourage someone else, especially if that is a love language you know of.
Busyness leads to neglect. They aren’t necessarily bad things to be busy with, but we often tend to neglect God or our spouse instead, when really those things should be put first. I often volunteered with different activities or classes of my kids, and would forsake time with Mark to focus on these things. We soon realized that we should have a team mindset on the family schedule, so we would discuss volunteer opportunities before committing. Or, if you are the breadwinner of the family and have the opportunity to move up the chain, still try to commit to discussing or really thinking about the opportunity cost before accepting.
Lust leads to adultery. Fight lust with a sexually fulfilling relationship between you and your spouse. Try to understand what each other’s needs are and try to fulfill them. Intimacy needs to be purposeful, so sometimes it won’t feel fiery and romantic, but it’s really important to take care of one another to help deter temptation. Read more on what to do when you’re not in the mood. Also, be open for inspection. Allow your spouse to look at your phone, or social media accounts, bank accounts and the like.
If you want to hear a little more discussion from Mark and I on this topic, listen below.