The most common mistake in marriage

The most common mistake in marriage May 21, 2015

Worried teenager woman on the beach in winter

My amazing wife, Ashley and I just celebrated our fourteenth wedding anniversary! The time has flown by, and I can honestly say I’ve grown in love with her more and more with each passing year. I’m one blessed dude!

Anniversaries cause me to reflect back and learn from my experiences. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the mistakes I’ve made over the years so I can (hopefully) not repeat those same mistakes in the future. As I look at my own track record and compare it to the experiences of the thousands of other couples we work with online and in person, I’m convinced that the most common mistake in marriage comes down to this…

Dave Willis quotes quote consider your spouse in every decision

It’s not about the BIG mistakes that we all know can wreck a marriage (adultery, blatant deceit, abuse, etc.). The most common mistake in marriage is found in those daily little choices we make with no regard to our spouse’s feelings. It’s a simple lack of thoughtfulness. I’ve done this much more than I’d like to admit.

It’s been in those times I’ve said something careless without thinking and I’ve hurt Ashley’s feelings. It’s been in those moments I’ve committed us to something without asking Ashely her thoughts or even checking her calendar. It’s been in those moments I’ve made a spontaneous purchase with no regard to the family budget. It’s been in all those careless, selfish little moments when I haven’t shown thoughtfulness to my beautiful bride.

The most common mistakes in my marriage (and I’m willing to bet the most common mistakes in your marriage too) have all come down to a lack of thoughtfulness. It wasn’t done with malicious intent, and yet, we still wound each other simply by not considering each other. Every decision you make will impact your spouse in some way, so consider them in all you do.

Thoughtfulness is the fuel that keeps a marriage going strong through every season of life, so keep being thoughtful, respectful, considerate and loving towards each other!

For more tools to help you build a rock-solid marriage, you can connect with me on Facebook by clicking here and check out our brand new iVow Marriage Course (online and on-demand) by clicking here.

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  • Dave,

    I can’t count the number of times I’ve made this mistake in my marriage. Off the top of my head I’ve done the following: I’ve volunteered to be on standby at work (which means having to stay home on the weekend), I’ve taken a promotion (going from hourly to salary = more work with no overtime), I’ve paid extra money on our debts, I’ve wrote / uploaded / release a book, and I’ve even started a business ALL WITHOUT my wife’s input or knowledge. What would otherwise be great things… was dampened and less joyful because of this mistake.

    I’d like to say that I was doing all these things for US… and then surprise my wife saying “Look what I did all by myself!”… but that would be a lie. I’ve come to realize that I did these things for my own ego gratification. Most of these things my wife would have been proud to see me do… and she would have been genuinely happy for me if we had done them together. But as it is right now, mentioning my accomplishments only causes her to re-live the hurt all over again.

    Today… I consult my wife with everything. That doesn’t mean that I have to do it EXACTLY as she thinks I should… but I DO need to consider her and my kids in the decisions that I make. I’m becoming someone who sees the bigger picture instead of my own self interests.

  • Lol.. I got them back about 8 years ago 🙂 I think you missed the point… I don’t need her permission to do anything, but not including her in my decision making caused problems in our marriage. SHE was the one who felt like she didn’t exist… because I ignored her. Does that make me a pussy now that I include her in the direction I set for my life and the goals I set for myself? Oh.. you took me literally what I said “Everything”. Relax man…

  • I’m in complete agreement with you… and looking back at my original comment, I can see where I wasn’t clear enough. I have been guilty in the past for doing my own thing without any input from my wife at all.. but now I at least get her input and give it consideration. In many areas her judgement has proven invaluable to me, but ultimately I have final say with what I do and do not do with my time. She used to be risk-averse… but through my leadership she has gained the courage to come out of her shell and put her self out there more.

    GoodDad, do you have a blog or anyplace where you write regularly? I look forward to reading more from you. Even though I signed up with DisQus a long time ago, I really just started commenting and participating more.

  • mizzdimples

    Does this type of knowledge come with age or does it come with lessons from mistakes? If you don’t already have it, I mean.

  • Joni Gates Banks

    I always see these sites as what a woman can do to make the marriage better. If he isn’t loving me enough, well, I need to love him more…If he isn’t doing this or that..I the woman need to do it more..and so on. It’s like we women need to give give give..and pray that someday, it will be given back. UGH! But if the husband never gives back….it’s ok.

  • mizzdimples

    My husband doesn’t think this way. He thinks that it’s me trying to control him. I just can’t get him to see my point of view. He said it’s ridiculous and impossible to do. Then he’ll make some dumb example like, deciding to go to the bathroom. I just want him to consider me when he does things that impact our relationship

  • mizzdimples

    I didn’t want to get into the specifics because we’ll honestly, it’s a lot of different things. Mainly I just feel like we don’t share a life together. I feel more like we’re roommates. I have tried to address it. I don’t expect him to read my mind. Lol but they’re usually denied like I’m making it up cause its ittsmpossible for him to make me feel this way but rather I’m making myself feel this way. Anyway, I’d never use sex as control. I want it more than he does lol

  • betterlatethannever

    Hi Joni, I felt this way too and still do sometimes. But recently I have been learning that well, its true, but for both man and woman. If each person is working on improving how they treat the other person then both will receive positive results. Sometimes only one person is doing all the work and that can be frustrating and exhausting but you must have faith that eventually the other will reciprocate. Try to look at the positives that the other is doing instead of the negatives, maybe they are working on something but it just so happens to be not what your focused on at the moment. As I write this I realize that this is something I desperately need to implicate in my life now!