Top 12 Things Women Do to Destroy Their Marriage
How Women Hurt Their Husbands
While both husband and wife should take responsibility for their part in a marriage, below are twelve mistakes common to women, which can completely destroy a marriage. When women exercise the following behaviors, it can create a hostile environment, where no one feels safe or comfortable. There are also plenty of ways that men can destroy a marriage as well.
It is important to remember that the main goal of marriage should be peace and happiness. If life is stressful, then work on changing your perception and start making positive changes in your life.
You can see peace instead of stress. You are only one thought away from a peaceful life. If you feel unhappy, seek the things that will fulfill you in life. Just be happy. The only person you can change is yourself.
12 things that women do to destroy their marriage:
- Using harsh words
- Having unrealistic expectations
- Using sarcastic and critical language
- Criticizing him in front of your family and friends
- Withholding affection and physical intimacy
- Disrespecting his opinions
- Undermining his authority, but demanding he takes full responsibility
- Never being happy
- Demoralizing him and crushing his spirit
- Picking the wrong man
- Focusing on work over the marriage
1. Using Words to Hurt, Maim, and Destroy Your Marriage
Women are adept at brandishing the sharpest words in order to shame, demean, and belittle their man. Words are like toothpaste, once they are out, there is no getting them back in. Regardless of how sorry you are afterward, the damage has been done. All the sorries in the world will never take back the sting of your angry words, once you have unleashed them on your hapless husband. Over the years, this type of constant verbal abuse can wear on your husband and make him very unresponsive to you and care less about you.
Rather than use your words as a weapon, use them as a healing balm to comfort, encourage and uplift your husband. And as grandma always used to say, "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all."
2. Having Unrealistic Expectations
Seeking fulfillment from one person, and projecting your unhappiness onto him when he doesn't measure up will quickly destroy your marriage. If you feel unhappy, first examine reality. You will be happier if you shape your expectations to fit the reality of your situation. Expecting your spouse or children to make you happy is unrealistic. Make yourself happy.
Imagine if you could only have one friend for your entire life. Would that work for you? Most women have several friends, who fill several roles. We have a friend with whom we like to go shopping. One friend likes to work out with us. One friend leads a bible study. One friend loves to have coffee on Wednesday mornings.
Each person in your life fulfills a different and important role. None is more important; they are just different. If you expect your husband to complete you and bring you eternal happiness, not only are you setting him up for failure, but you are also setting yourself up for disappointment.
Rather than look to one person to fulfill your every need, try expanding your circle of influence, to include a variety of people, who fill your life with different blessings. And most of all, look to yourself. Find ways to feel complete and happy with who you are as a person. First, seek to find your own happiness, within yourself. Then, rather than look to someone else to complete you, find ways to complement each other's lives.
3. Using Sarcastic and Critical Statements, Gestures, and Facial Expressions
This is a quick and easy way to show your husband that you don't respect him or his opinion. Men can become overwhelmed by the barrage of criticism coming at them. The result is they shut down, withdraw, and seek kindness and approval elsewhere.
Have you ever experienced someone discounting what you have to say, without actually listening to you? When you are critical or sarcastic with your husband, he feels attacked and unvalued. Listen to him, without adding your two cents worth. If you'd like to ask questions, wait until he stops talking. Don't interrupt with a story about how the dog threw-up on the carpet. Let him have a few minutes to be the center of your attention. And if you absolutely must get dinner made, invite him to join you in the kitchen. Tell him that you would like to hear about the rest of his day, and mean it.
Another way to show disrespect is to roll your eyes or make sarcastic facial expressions. These are just as irritating for your husband, as they are for you when your teenaged daughter does it. There is no need to be rude, even if you've been married forever. It is more important to give him your attention, to look at him and to listen than it is to roll your eyes or shake your head in exasperation. You are trying to build a bond, not destroy the man you love.
4. Criticizing, Belittling, and Making Fun of Him to Your Friends and Family
When you criticize and belittle your husband, you not only diminish your husband in your eyes, but you also poison those closest to you. You force them to take sides, and of course, they choose your side, because they want to be loyal to you. Your friends and family don't live at your house. They don't see what goes on day after day. They don't see the good things your husband does. The only view they have of your husband is the one that you present to them. If you are constantly badmouthing and belittling him, then they will view him as a bad partner for you.
After you speak badly about him, they will never look at your husband the same way again. Even when you get over your tirade, and everything is great at home, they will still be mad at him. Your friends and family members want to protect you from danger and harm. If you are constantly referring to your husband in a negative light, then they will want to protect you and your children from this monster you married, even if he isn't really a monster.
When you speak poorly of your spouse, your close friendships and relationships will remain irreparably altered against your husband, in time, this can destroy your marriage. He will never understand why your friends don't like him, and why your mother is mean to him.
Rather than trying to make excuses, don't start down that path. When you speak of your husband, use uplifting, encouraging words. If he is acting like a jerk, you don't need to gush about it to everyone you know. Your constant complaints against him will create a wall between your husband and your friends, which he can never overcome.
5. Withholding Affection and Sex
This can cause a huge rift in your marriage, whether you realize it or not. Men are wired differently than women. Your husband needs physical release through sexual intimacy. It is not just something he is demanding of you; it is something he needs, physiologically speaking.
When you refuse to meet his need for physical release, you are making a much deeper statement; you do not care about or respect his needs. This is not about whether you like or dislike sex. It is much more important than that. Your spouse needs to connect with you on a physical level, whether you are in the mood or not.
As much as you need emotional release and closeness, he is wired to need physical release and closeness. Neither is wrong. You are just different. While you want your emotional needs met, it is important not to lose sight of his needs. Think of it this way; what if he stopped talking to you for three days? How about a week? What if he didn't talk to you for an entire month? Unconscionable, right? Likewise, it is unfair for you to cut him off from what he needs. You are in a relationship with a man you love, and you expect your needs to be met. In the same way, you need to meet his needs, regardless of whether you share the same needs and desires.
Tips to Save Your Marriage
6. Disrespecting His Insight, Opinions, and Advice
Men and women are different on many levels. Men are fixers. By nature, if you present a problem, he will come up with concrete steps to solve the problem. When you are dismissive, it sends the message that you do not value him. When you come to your husband with a problem or a concern, be ready for him to create an action plan to resolve your conflict. It may not be exactly what you would do, but he is offering a solution. The least you can do is listen to his suggestion, and thank him for his input. Before you reject his idea out of hand, take some time to consider what his opinion is. Think about what he said. You don't have to do everything he suggests, but listen and think about it.
If you just want to bitch and complain, call a girlfriend. Girlfriends are great listeners. They will not try to fix you. Women like to talk things out, without being fixed. Sometimes you just need an ear to listen, not a solution. When that is the case, perhaps your husband isn't the person to approach.
If you must whine at your husband, tell him upfront that you don't require a solution, just an ear to hear. He will still offer suggestions, but if you tell him, before you begin your rant, that you don't need an answer, just to vent, then he won't be offended when you don't take his advice. And sometimes, you could surprise him and actually follow his advice. It might just work.
7. Undermining His Authority, but Demanding He Take Full Responsibility
In any organization, there must be a leader, someone in charge. The head over the whole organization, who says, "The buck stops here." Typically, the person who carries the responsibility ought to be the one who has the final say. Families and relationships are much like any other organization. There must be someone in charge, someone who will take full responsibility when things go wrong, and someone that everyone can turn to.
You, of course, are welcome to take that role, if you are willing to be fully responsible when the chips are down. It is easy to be critical of the person in charge, and it is easy to think that you could do a better job. The hard part comes when it is time to take responsibility. Rather than making decisions without regard for your husband's input, and then blaming him when things don't work out, try instead to work together. You can decide together how things should be done, and you can offer him the final say when decisions need to be made.
Don't become so focused on your own feelings and fears (i.e. I'm afraid he'll make a bad decision. I feel like I make better decisions) to override his feelings and fears (i.e. I am responsible to take care of the family. I'm afraid no one in the family respects me.) Be gracious in light of his decision making. You can respectfully disagree with a decision without attacking his ability to lead.
8. Never Being Happy
One of the quickest ways to destroy your marriage is to spend all your time acting miserable and unhappy. The goal of marriage should be peace and happiness. It is to this end that you have an obligation to be happy. If the goal is to be happily married, it is up to you to exercise self-control. Only you can make yourself happy. If you believe that your happiness comes from other people or having things or external circumstances, then you will never be happy.
You are in charge of your happiness. It is a decision. You can choose to be a miserable, unhappy grouch, or you can suck it up, pull your boots on, and show up in your marriage as the person you'd like to be.
There is no need to express every angry, bitter or resentful thought. Everybody gets pissed off, frustrated, and irritated. There isn't anyone to blame. You are choosing to respond to your circumstances with that attitude. You can choose a different path. By owning your own problems, you can take responsibility for your own happiness. Each day, work on bringing your best self into the relationship. Regardless of what happens, you are only one thought away from peace.
Remind yourself every day; I can see peace instead of this. And then, work to see the peace that is available to you.
9. Demoralizing Him and Crushing His Spirit
If asked, most men believe their wives to be more moral and spiritual than themselves. Often, the wife agrees. She does not see herself as sinful or wrong. She feels her greatest "sins" lie in being deeply disappointed by her husband's failures and her children's shortcomings. Beyond this, wives typically admit to bad behavior and attitudes but attribute it to hormones, chemical imbalances, and a dysfunctional childhood.
Woe to the husband who dares suggest his lovely bride could use improvement in some aspect of her life. Labeled a heartless, uncaring, unrighteous lout, he is silenced by an angered, wounded wife, cloaked in self-righteous indignation. She then feels perfectly justified in attacking every flaw, magnifying every misstep, and pointing out every failure, until he feels ashamed for living. You are not your husbands Holy Spirit. Stop trying to correct every little flaw you perceive in his character and set about removing the blinding plank from your own eye.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes. You can build him up or tear him down. The choice belongs entirely to you.
10. Picking the Wrong Man
You repeat the pattern again, and again. You meet a man, you like him, you start dating. Then you begin to notice the tiny flaws, the chinks in his armor. He yells, just like your Dad did. He drinks and becomes abusive. He is mean to your kids. "It's o.k.," you tell yourself, "I'll fix him after we get married."
Stop right there. There is no fixing it!
The man you date will be the same man after you are married. Inherently kind? He'll still be kind. Addicted to pornography? He'll still be addicted. You cannot change the basic nature of other people. You cannot love them into changing. You cannot nag, or pout, or complain them into changing. If the relationship feels unhealthy during dating, getting married will not fix it. He will not magically become more responsible, more reliable, or more loving after you marry him. So if you want a good husband, find a good man, date him, and marry him.
While this list may seem daunting, it is important to remember that the main goal of marriage should be peace and happiness. If life is stressful, work on changing your perception. You can see peace instead of stress. You are only one thought away from a peaceful life. If you feel unhappy, seek those things that will fulfill you in life. Just be happy. The simplest route to something is to just be. The only person you can change is yourself.
11. Focusing on Work Over the Marriage
It can be easy to fall into the trap of spending too much time at work and not enough time at home. This neglect can have a negative impact on a marriage. While it is hard to find that proper balance between work and home life, focusing on your marriage is still important. Your husband wants to spend time with you, and depriving him of that time so you can focus on your work will cause some friction and resentment.
If you don't give the time of day to your husband and the two of you never see each other due to work commitments, your marriage will be on the rocks very quickly. Many women fall into this trap because they want to focus on bettering their careers. It can be hard to make the time to be with your husband when you are working a full-time job, but if you are serious about maintaining your marriage, you'll have to find a way to make it work.
I think this goes without saying, but if you cheat on your husband, you will ruin your marriage. There are some lines that cannot be crossed, and that is one of them: infidelity is a big deal-breaker, and your husband will not be able to forgive you for such an act.
How Menopause Can Ruin a Marriage
As a woman enters menopause, it can make her less intimate with her husband. Due to her changing hormones, she can become less affectionate towards her spouse. The menopause transition can be a difficult time, and it's a matter of biology so it cannot be avoided. Both sides have to be understanding of each other and work together to deal with the changes brought on by menopause. This is not an excuse to be terrible to your husband though, you still have to be aware of the things you say to him and your overall relationship. Using menopause as an excuse to treat him poorly is a bad way to go about it.
5 Ways Women Can Save Their Marriage
There are ways that women can help save their marriage. Keep in mind that both sides have to be open to saving the marriage. If one side has done something major (like cheating), it would be very difficult for the marriage to be saved. Here are five things you can do to help save your marriage.
Ways to save a marriage
- Marriage counseling
- Working to repair the relationship
- Rekindling the romance
- Fixing the issues that can be fixed
- Listening to each other
1. Marriage Counseling
Going to a certified marriage and family therapist and getting counseling is a great way to start the process of working on your marriage. The therapist will help you and your husband work through your issues and develop strategies for working through your issues.
While there are many people out there who do not like the idea of going to counseling, if you and your husband are serious about saving your marriage, going to a therapist is the first step.
2. Working to Repair the Relationship
Both sides have to agree to work on repairing the damage that has been caused. Even if most of the damage was caused by one person, you still have to decide to work together in restoring the marriage. Setting ground rules for communication and identifying areas of the marriage that need the most work are two important things to do first.
3. Rekindling the Romance
If you have both decided to work on fixing your marriage, reestablishing the romantic part of your relationship is a must. Start by going out on dates again and other things that you used to do at the start of the relationship. Take it slowly, just like you did when you first started dating each other. Reigniting that spark of romance in your marriage will help immensely.
4. Fixing the Issues That Can Be Fixed
As a couple, the two of you need to figure out what problems can be fixed. According to marriage expert Dr. John Gottman, about 70% of problems in relationships are, by nature, perpetual and unresolvable (e.g., you want kids but he is infertile). This means figuring out the other 30% that can be fixed and accepting that the other problems will never be fixed.
5. Listening to and Supporting Each Other
This point may seem obvious, but if you want to save your marriage, you have to work on supporting each other and listening to each other. Listen to your husband's needs and try to understand where he is coming from. Create a warm home environment where the two of you can continue to work through your issues and get them resolved. Also, understand that these marital issues will not disappear overnight and it may take some time to resolve them.
Questions & Answers
The article talks about a man's physical need for sex. Well, this is true for a lot of women, including myself. What are women, who have a real the real need for physical intimacy, and our husband is the one withholding any sexual favors? We have two kids in college, have been married for 24 years, and together for 27 years. My husband is a recently recovering alcoholic, after 35 plus years of heavy drinking.Helpful 14
What if the husband continues being insensitive, irresponsible? Has an affair? Why should the wife keep doing this? Should it not happen from both sides?
Yes, it should happen from both sides. If the husband is having an affair, is insensitive and irresponsible, then the wife needs to look after her own well being. I'd start with counseling and move forward from there.Helpful 13
When my wife brings up former and better lovers right after a poor performance and the feelings of emasculation become all too real, should I just forget about sex and do those others things that make her happy?Helpful 4
Wow, thank you for writing this column. I can honestly say that I have seen all of these tactics put to use, sometimes more than two in one day. Except for #10, my wife has shown me the effectiveness of her verbal proficiency; most consistently on #5, which may demand an article of it's own! ;) WHY?
Thank you for your question. I'm not sure what, exactly, you are asking "why" about. If you mean specifically number 5, the answer is kind of simple. She doesn't feel connected to you. For whatever reason, your wife feels disconnected emotionally, and for most women, when they feel disconnected, then they cut off sex to get your attention. It's a catch-22 because both parties are hurting and feel neglected. The best marital advice I learned said that the more mature person acts first. So, if you want to be the more mature person in this situation, you forgive her first. You move first to rebuild the relationship. You move things forward. Women want to feel loved, appreciated and acknowledged. Reconnect with her to rebuild your physical intimacy. Talk and listen. Gently hug and kiss her, without a demand for more. Unfortunately, someone has to act first. Best of luck to you.
My husband never spends time with me, badmouths me to his mom and friends, and never stands up for me. I'm staying with him for the kids, but I feel lonely and depressed. Do you have any advice?
First, I'd suggest speaking up for yourself, to him and his mom. Let them know how destructive they are, not only to you but the relationship in general. Second, I'd suggest finding things outside the house and away from them to do with your kids, like field trips, outings to the library or local recreation center. Start building a support network among people who have similar interests to you. Churches and volunteer groups are great places to meet people, and you won't feel so isolated.Helpful 1
© 2010 Deborah Demander