Marriage is amazing. No question about it. But marriage is also hard sometimes. And to be honest, there are some relationship habits that just make it harder on us! Whether it be failing to communicate with our partner, or comparing our relationship to someone else’s, these are relationship habits we need to quit.
Failing to Communicate
This is one of the worst relationship habits, and I’m going to be honest, it’s something I’ve been guilty of in the past. There have been so many times, particularly early in my relationship, when I have failed at communication. Sometimes it can be hard for me to find the words to explain how I’m feeling. It’s so frustrating, so I simply wouldn’t try. But what I wouldn’t think about is how frustrating is must be for Dave to be telling me how he is feeling, and have no idea how I’m feeling. If you’re like me and struggle to put your thoughts and feelings into words, at least try. Talk it out with your partner. Even if it’s a struggle, it will be far more productive than failing to try.
Along with communication, lack of trust is one of the worst relationship habits you can have! I honestly can’t imagine how a relationship works when you don’t trust the person you’re with. So obviously, you need to be trustworthy. You need to be that person your partner knows they can trust and depend on. Set boundaries for your marriage, and be there when your partner needs you. It’s also important to trust your partner. If they haven’t given you a reason not to trust them, don’t assume they’re going to hurt you or cheat on you. If you’re that girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse snooping through your partner’s phone, email and social media, it may be time to reevaluate things. And by reevaluate, I don’t necessarily mean the relationship (although if you genuinely don’t trust them, maybe the relationship), but rather your own behavior.
We all want that fairytale romance. But if you’re setting your expectations for your marriage based on what you see on TV or in the movies, you’re probably in for a sad surprise. Marriage isn’t perfect. Men aren’t constantly swooping you off your feet. Is marriage awesome? Absolutely. But it definitely has trials that don’t make it into the romantic comedies. So it’s not only important to set realistic expectations, but also to be open with your partner about what your expectations are!
Marriage isn’t 50/50 all the time. If you spend your entire marriage keeping score to make sure, you may only have to do the dishes 50% of the time, but you’ll also have a partner who feels like they can never lean on you, and who feels like you’re always nagging them. Sometimes my husband needs me to pick up some slack for him because he’s emotionally fried or having a rough time at work. And I’m totally okay doing that. Why? Because I know that when I’m fried and need someone to lean on, he’s more than happy to pick up the slack and by the 80% to my 20%.
When it comes to marriage comparison, in general, is just a no-no. That might mean comparing your marriage to someone else’s, comparing your husband to someone else’s, or comparing yourself to another wife. Maybe you’ve noticed that one of the couples you’re friends with fights less than you do. Or maybe you’ve noticed they have more money and have a nicer house. First of all, the size of your house isn’t going to impact the success of your marriage, unless you dwell on it and let it become an issue. And not every couple fights the same! Some couples fight more, and have great relationships. Some fight less because they just aren’t communication their issues. Don’t assume that another couple is doing better than you are. You don’t know what’s going on between the two of them when no one else is watching.
Taking Your Partner for Granted
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “I wish my husband would do ___ more.” Or, “I wish my husband would do ___ without being asked.” We’ve all been there. And if your partner genuinely isn’t doing their share of the housework and it’s causing an issue, it’s time to have a serious conversation about it. For me, that isn’t the case. And whenever I find myself thinking one of those things, it’s because I’m doing the dishes, and I hate doing the dishes, and I wish Dave were doing the dishes. But it’s not fair to think that because Dave absolutely does at least half of the housework. But sometimes, I just take that for granted. Sometimes I complain about him playing video games, but completely take for granted how much time he spends with me.
From now on, make an effort to focus on all the great things your partner is doing. And when they do something that bugs you, or you’re stuck taking out the garbage again, think of all the awesome things they’ve done lately.
Being Too Serious/Not Serious Enough
It’s hard to find the happy medium, isn’t it? When Dave and I first met, I was a far more serious person than he was. His mood was usually goofy and light-hearted, while mine was usually serious. It made it difficult for me to have a serious conversation with him, and it made it difficult for him to play and have fun with me because I could never get on his level. Over the past few years, we’ve managed to meet halfway and have found a good balance of serious and goofy. Ironically, Dave now complains that I’m not serious enough at times!
Fun is such an important part of a marriage and if you can’t turn off the serious, it’s going put a damper on things. On the flip side, some things just require a serious conversation. Image having the kid discussion with your spouse, or discussing purchasing a home, and you can’t tell if your partner is kidding or not. Or they won’t tell you how they’re really feeling because they’re cracking jokes. It can be so difficult!
Letting Yourself Go
One of the countless things I love about marriage is that I know without a doubt that Dave loves me for so much more than just my appearance. I can wear a baggy t-shirt with my rattiest sweatpants, hair in a messy bun and no makeup on. And it doesn’t both Dave. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t appreciate when I get dolled up for a date night! Yes, your partner loves you no matter what. Don’t take advantage of that. Continue trying to impress them anyways!
What bad relationship habits have you caught yourself doing?
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