Save Your Marriage: What To Do When Your Bad Habits Are Ruining Your Marriage
If your marriage is suffering because of your bad habits, just the fact that you're willing to admit your flaws and work to fix them will make a huge difference - because it shows how much you care! Find out what to do when your bad habits are ruining your marriage!
Sometimes, bad marriages happen to good people. Okay, that's not a fair statement - just because you're having problems, that doesn't mean that your marriage is "bad."
Any number of things can contribute to relationship difficulties - boredom, time issues, the stress of raising children, and money troubles can all contribute to marital troubles.
It's common for people to feel dissatisfied after awhile. You see this person every day, brushing their teeth, clearing their throat, dropping their dirty underwear on the floor, telling the same jokes over and over and over. It's only natural to feel that the magic is gone.
There's no mystery left, and suddenly it seems like everything you do annoys your spouse! Gritting your teeth and putting up with each other just makes you feel trapped, as if you made a terrible mistake and you're doomed to spend the rest of your life with the wrong person.
But when you got married, you vowed to stick it out for better or worse, meaning that you promised to do the work necessary to make your marriage thrive. And don't kid yourself - marriage takes a lot of work. But it's worth the effort, if you're willing to do what needs to be done.
1) Those awful things you do
It's often said that you can't change other people - you can only change yourself. And that's absolutely true.
You can certainly share with your spouse what it is about them that's driving you crazy, but they have to make the commitment to make those changes themselves. In the meantime, what about you? Are you perfect? Be honest. Aren't there a few things that you do that irritate your spouse?
Maybe you don't realize that your habits are annoying. Or maybe you're so used to hearing your spouse complain that it doesn't even register anymore! Here's a short list of annoying behaviors 'take a look and see if you're guilty of any of the following:
a) Picking your nose/scratching intimate areas in public
b) Laughing at your own jokes
c) Leaving wet towels on the floor
d) Asking your spouse if you look fat
e) Criticizing your spouse in public
f) Speaking in baby talk
g) Burping and/or passing gas.
h) Using the last of an item (toilet paper, milk, bread) and not replacing it
i) Not picking up after yourself
j) Making up stories to make yourself look better
k) Putting your feet on the furniture
l) Laughing too loudly
m) Taking too long to shower or leave the house
n) Spending too much time on the computer
o) Talking about old lovers in front of your spouse
p) Being bossy or nagging when you could be kind, instead
q) Never volunteering to do chores around the house
2) Make a change for the better
First of all, you have to understand that everyone does things that irritate their spouse. And that you can change those behaviors if you want to - saying that an old dog can't learn new tricks or "I'm just set in my ways" is a cop-out, and simply a justification so that you can keep on doing those irritating things. So knock off the excuses, admit that you need to make some improvements, and make the choice to fix what's wrong.
You have to be willing to acknowledge that your behavior is hurting your marriage. Talk to your spouse about how your irritating habits - and your refusal to change them - has made your spouse feel. Odds are good that they'll tell you that it makes them feel like to you don't care about their feelings.
So assure them that you do, indeed, care, and get your spouse to help you brainstorm ways to change your annoying behaviors. In many cases, you can find a middle ground where the two of can compromise - for example, I found that my partner hated it when I left dirty laundry on the floor, but didn't mind so much that I always forgot to replace the toilet paper roll. So I negotiated a sort of amnesty where the toilet paper was concerned while promising to put my dirty clothes in the hamper. Remember, marriage is about compromise!
Let your mate know that you need positive reinforcement for making changes. An occasional "I'm proud of you" or "thanks for doing that" will go a long way towards encouraging you to keep up with the new behavior. Many people also find that replacing a bad habit with a good one is easier than just stopping cold turkey, so try and find something pleasant to replace the old behavior.
And don't be so hard on yourself if you slip up occasionally. We're all flawed, and we all make mistakes. If your marriage is suffering because of your bad habits, just the fact that you're willing to admit your flaws and work to fix them will make a huge difference - because it shows how much you care!
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