5 Worst Mistakes Good Spouses Make

By Sarah Winfrey on 9 April 2015 0 comments

Marriage is hard. Almost anyone can tell you that. It takes constant effort to nurture this relationship so that it remains close, connected, and dedicated as the years pass.

"But," you say, "I'm a good spouse. I don't cheat. I love my partner. I accept their faults and I work on my own. Won't my relationship last?"

Well, I don't have a crystal ball, but I do know this: Even good spouses aren't perfect. Even with a huge amount of love and the best intentions, it is easy to make mistakes that can hurt your relationship.

But the first step is knowing what to look out for. Specifically, this list of the most common mistakes that good spouses make.

1. They Stop Putting in the Effort

When you feel lovey-dovey about your partner, it's easy to do the little things that make them happy. Maybe you prep his coffee pot for the morning, or bring her a glass of wine in bed. With that loving feeling, these things seem to come naturally.

Fast forward a couple of years down the road, though. Your job is hard. Your spouse is stressed about money. Even the best spouses have days when they come home and collapse on the couch. When this happens, not only are you not thinking about the coffee or the wine, but you don't even want to make dinner.

When you're stressed and tired, it's easy to let the little kindnesses, the things you do just because they make your spouse happy, slide. However, while you may not be able to do all the things you once did for your partner, you can still put forth the effort to show them that they're valuable.

Be the one who offers to make (or pick up) dinner. Set an alarm on your phone so you remember to make the coffee. Surprise your spouse, even if it's only with takeout from their favorite restaurant. These little efforts remind your spouse that they are important to you, even when things are hard and busy.

2. They Speak Disrespectfully

Good spouses respect their partners. They listen when their partner speaks and they honor what is said, even when they disagree.

Even good spouses, though, can lose respect for their partner in the middle of a heated conversation. This comes through in the tone of voice they use, the things they say about their partner or their partner's ideas, and whether or not they can give their partner the benefit of the doubt. It can even come through in what they say about their partner to other people, later on.

Even if the argument is really and truly over and you're exaggerating or kidding around later, talk to and about your partner respectfully. If you can't do so, ask for a break until you feel like you can again.

Even if you do respect your partner and you're just upset, speaking disrespectfully can harm your relationship. It can cause your partner to doubt your respect for them overall, and if that becomes a habit, it can change the way you think about your spouse in general.

3. They Believe Their Happiness Depends on Their Partner

Sure, you're close to your spouse. After all, you're a great partner. But there's a difference between being close and depending on someone else for your own happiness. Whether you feel like you need your partner to change in order for you to be happy, or you feel like everything is chugging along just fine until your partner falls into an illness or a depression; giving someone else that much control over your happiness is never a good idea.

Instead, focus on yourself. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? Work towards your own goals and you will be happier than if you hand over control of your satisfaction to someone else.

Also, being in charge of your own happiness makes you an even better spouse. Your partner won't feel like they have to be someone or something they're not just for you. And they will know that, whatever happens, even if they get depressed or seriously ill, they won't take you down with them.

4. They Wait Until They Feel Like It to Have Sex

Sure, you like sex. Sometimes you even love it. And you're a great spouse, so you make sure your partner enjoys it, too. But the longer you're with your spouse — even when you love them dearly — the easier it is to let other things get in the way of physical intimacy. And it's even easier when you tell yourself that it's better to wait until you're in the mood.

However, physical intimacy is important to a marriage. While it doesn't feel romantic to approach your spouse (or let them approach you) sexually when you're tired, stressed, and really just want to watch TV, your marriage will be better if you do it.

Remember that you enjoy sex, even when it's not the first thing on your "Want" list, and choose to engage your partner on this level. Take it slow, and you may find yourself enjoying it a lot more than you thought you would, even if you weren't in the mood.

5. They Let Arguments Get off Topic

Even good spouses get upset sometimes. I mean, anytime you have two people together in the same space for longer than a couple of hours, they're likely to disagree. The fact that you and your spouse sometimes argue has nothing to do with how good of partners you are or how much you love each other.

When you do argue, though, try to stay on topic. Work through one issue at a time. If things are so heated that you or your partner keep bringing up other issues, step back for a while to cool down and refocus.

If things come up that you really want to talk about, write them down. Then you can bring them up after the original issue is settled, or later on when things are cooler between the two of you. It's perfectly fine to talk about all of your issues, but best not to talk about them all at once.

Do you consider yourself a good spouse? What mistakes have you made in your marriage?

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