Seven Things That May Be Driving You and Your Spouse Apart

Today's article tackles some things that you may be doing that will sooner or later cause cracks in your marriage. Read on and find out why these habits are toxic to your marriage. 

1.     Lack of boundaries with in-laws. Your in-laws are wonderful resources, and will probably always mean well in the "suggestions" and "advice" that they give you regarding your finances, how you should raise your kids, and everything else. At the end of the day, however, you and your spouse have to make the decision that is best for the two of you, based on the values that you have decided on together. If you made a decision to wait two years to have kids, don't let your in-laws cajole or guilt you into going back to your spouse and trying to get them to change their mind unless it's something you really want. At the end of the day, trying to please your in-laws can backfire and pit you and your spouse against one another.

2.     Sharing too much private information with friends and on social media. Your friends should not be privy to every conversation you have with your spouse. They shouldn't know the intimate details of your love life or anything else unless your spouse is okay with it.

3.     Having "best friends" of the opposite sex. This is very controversial but I'm a firm believer in this. Your spouse should be the one you're able to share your intimate thoughts with, have a good laugh with, and chill with. You may have had a best friend of the opposite sex growing up, but when you start to prepare for marriage, your future spouse should start to take their place as you grow closer and become more intimate with each other. That's how it should be. There should be a clear boundary that forms in your relationship with your "best friend" from then on. When there are no clear boundaries, you are setting up your relationship for an emotional or physical affair.

4.     Making time for everything-except each other. It's great to be a productive person and be diligent in all your responsibilities, but the greatest mistake a lot of couples make is putting their relationship on the backburner. Working double-shifts to reach a certain financial goal is okay-but don't make that the routine in your home. Synchronize your calendars so that you're both aware of your time commitments, then sit down and block out a specific day and time for just the two of you. Share interesting tidbits from your day as you get ready for bed, or send texts throughout the day if you can't talk on the phone. When you don't make quality time with your spouse a priority, you may find yourselves living separate lives and just co-existing in the same house. This can lead to isolation, which can in turn lead to affairs.

5.     Disrespecting each other during arguments. Disagreements don't have to be disagreeable. Name-calling, use of profanity, and insults will quickly kill the affection between spouses when it becomes constant. The effect of your words can take time to heal, so make it a point to maintain respect for each other no matter what you're disagreeing on.

6.     Badmouthing your spouse to your kids or family members.  Your family will have a natural bias toward you. This is why it's important not to gripe about your spouse to them.  You'll forgive your spouse and move on, but the picture that you paint for your family members will remain.  That might cause a rift between them and your spouse, and you'll only have yourself to blame.  

Voicing your dissatisfaction to your kids will put them in the awkward position of feeling like they have to choose a side, and lowers their level of respect for the partner that they don’t choose. So if you want your family to be united, keep all disagreements between you and your spouse.                             

7.     Flirting with others. This is just disrespectful to your relationship. It doesn't matter that you only did it to get a discount on a deal at the store, or to avoid a fine. Flirting sends the message that your relationship is dispensable, that it's not that important to you.

Marriage is a lifetime commitment, and there are so many things that happen throughout life that will test that commitment: illness, financial hardships, caring for aging parents, and so much more. Do all you can to keep your marriage strong through the ups and downs of life  by avoiding the pitfalls in this article; it will go a long way towards ensuring that you and your spouse remain united and faithful to one another.