9 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee Your Marriage Will Fail

9 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee Your Marriage Will Fail April 18, 2017

keys to a successful relationshipThings were getting ugly. That’s when the Colgate Pump saved my marriage.

Let me explain.

I squeezed in the middle (or at the end or wherever I picked it up). He had the nerve to suggest we squeeze the tube starting at the very end, so we could neatly roll it up as it emptied.

Married less than a month, and he was trying to control me by telling me where I’m allowed to squeeze the tube? Toothpaste comes out no matter where you squeeze the tube. Before I knew it, we were gridlocked over something stupid.

Thank God for the Colgate Pump. Push the trigger on top. No squeezing involved. Thirty years later, we’re still married and we’re still sharing the same tube of toothpaste.

Toothpaste wasn’t the issue. Have you ever heard someone cite toothpaste as a reason for divorce? Me neither. But minor issues plummet into major ones.

Who goes into marriage thinking of the best way to hurt someone, destroy intimacy and build resentment? No one. But that’s exactly what happens. And that’s why so many marriages end in divorce.

Bad marriages aren’t intentional. They’re unintentional when people make the mistake of failing to focus on the kind of marriage they want.

I can’t tell you how to divorce-proof your marriage. You can’t control someone else’s choices. But I can give you 9 sure-fire ways to guarantee your marriage will fail. Fast.

1. Don’t make room in your life for God.

The closer you are to God, the closer you’ll be to your husband. When you’re focused on pleasing God, it doesn’t matter what he does because your actions aren’t reactions to his. You realize respecting, loving and honoring him is a reflection of your relationship with God, not your relationship with him.

2. Make it a 50/50.

He does his half; you do yours. Sounds fair. But without fail, someone ends up feeling like they’re doing more work than the other person. When we go into marriage with a 100/100 mindset, our focus shifts from receiving to giving. Marriage isn’t 50/50. Divorce is.

3. Don’t disagree.

Studies show couples who argue have healthier relationships than couples who don’t. They don’t look at arguing as a bad as a sign of trouble. They see it as an opportunity to solve a problem.

4. Put him last.

When you put everything and everyone ahead of him, he’ll get the message: He’s unimportant to you. And he’ll start acting like you’re unimportant to him, too. Put him first.

5. Don’t forgive, and don’t forget.

When he hurts you, make him pay. And don’t forget. You’ll be really bitter in no time. The more bitter you get, the less intimate you’ll be.  Work things out. Be quick to forgive. If you can’t, get help.

6. Never tell him you appreciate him.

No matter how confident he seems, he needs to hear you appreciate him. This communicates respect to him. If you’re the breadwinner, tell him you appreciate the effort he puts into the home or your kids. Your appreciation will bear fruit in your marriage.

7. Disrespect him (especially in front of your kids or other people)

Disrespect is a quick way to drive him away and shut down the emotional intimacy you want so much.  Respect is huge for guys. Most of us women don’t get this. We can disrespect our men in ways we don’t even realize are disrespectful. Not because they’re sensitive but because our words go into their brains through their man filter. And that filter doesn’t work the same way yours does. Beware: Respecting your husband is counter-cultural, counter-intuitive, and counter feminist in today’s society. Respect him and he will respond with love. Don’t respect him, and he’ll find respect somewhere else.

8. Make him pay to play.

He needs physical affection from you. Once again, God designed him that way. Using sex as a bargaining tool or a way to control him may encourage him to go someplace where he doesn’t have to work so hard to get his needs met.

9. Anything he can do, you can do, too.

Don’t buy it. Women aren’t designed to be like men. The feminist movement was a good thing, but somewhere between the bra burning of the 60’s and the sexual revolution of the 70’s, the movement took a wrong turn. Let him do what he’s wired to do.

Toothpaste is minor thing. But toothpaste wasn’t the issue. The issue was learning how to put my selfishness aside and figuring out how to accept, appreciate and affirm my husband instead of seeing him as the problem.

When the minors become the majors, a silly thing like toothpaste can squeeze the life right out of your marriage.

What minor issues have turned into major ones in your marriage?

Need skills to build intimacy?

  1. Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
  2. Visit my website,  like my Facebook page and  join my private Facebook group.
  3. Check out my FREE resources and download  How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave.
  4. Apply for private coaching with Sheila.

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Also known as the Not So Excellent Wife, Sheila Qualls understands how tiring a tough marriage can be. 

She went from the brink of divorce to having a thriving marriage by translating timeless truths into practical skills. She’s helped women just like you turn their men into the husbands they want.

After 33 years of marriage, she’s a  coach  and a speaker whose passion is to equip women to break relationship-stifling habits and do marriage God’s way. And you don’t have to be a doormat to do it.

She and her husband Kendall live in Minnesota with their five children and their Black Lab, Largo.

In addition to coaching, Sheila is a member of the MOPS Speaker Network.  Her work has been featured on the MOPS Blog, The Upper Room, Grown and Flown, Scary Mommy, Beliefnet, Candidly Christian, Crosswalk.com, The Mighty and on various other sites on the Internet.


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27 responses to “9 Sure-Fire Ways to Guarantee Your Marriage Will Fail”

  1. Sheila,
    Thanks for sharing your tips. The one about not avoiding conflict is so true. After 25 years of marriage, we’ve learned it is best to talk about it, even if it is hard. Thankful for God’s grace and love.

    Blessings to you and yours,
    Dolly

  2. Sheila – LOL We have the same problem with toothpaste to this very day! why did I never think to buy a pump? hahaha – just wait til I tell my husband he can have perfect toothpaste again… I tend to lean more to your way of thinking… but since we are going on 28 years, he will probably say he doesn’t need the pump toothpaste now. I loved the story you shared, but even more so the 9 keys you shared and how they can make or break a marriage.

    I am so glad to have you linking up with the #TuneInThursday community. Thank you for being a part and sharing your posts.

  3. Sheila, you make some excellent points here. In the past I struggled with #7, and I learned how destructive I was being by “venting.” Linking up with you at #writerwednesday this week.

  4. Great advice, I shared it and will probably steal it and rewrite from a man’s point of view. JK! it is great and so are you !!

  5. I actually think it’s a great idea, Paul. Seriously! Your perspective is probably very different. And, thanks for sharing.

  6. There’s a lot to be said for this post, thank you for the reminders. I have a hard time not putting my son first (as does my husband). Our son is seven and has some developmental delays so it’s hard to NOT put him first. We need to do better with this though. Glad you posted this in Bloppys – I hadn’t visited here before.

  7. Life has seasons. This may be a season where you need to put your son first. The list has many aspects. It sounds like you guys are working together. We are all doing the best we can. Blessings.

  8. Sheila, you nailed it. Lots of good lessons to learn here. Even though you approached it from a female perspective, I totally enjoyed reading it as a man. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Oh no I have broken a few of those just tonight. It looks like I better get busy with a little repair work. We never could quite get past the toothpaste. We each have our own. I guess its okay we will hit our 30 years this winter.

    I love your posts. They always make me laugh a little and feel inspired to make some changes.

  10. I am glad you enjoy the posts. Most of the time, I am “preaching” to myself in my posts. We are always looking for ways to get better and move more towards Christ-like behavior. It’s a journey, a difficult one at times. But, I like my travel buddy. And, I am meeting so many amazing people along the way.

  11. GREAT advice here. As I’ve been reflecting on what makes marriages strong lately on my own blog, I LOVE what you have to offer here 🙂 Definitely sharing this one!

  12. #2 is by far my sticking point. It’s not a 50/50 thing! It’s a 100/100 thing. And also, through different seasons you will carry your spouse (or be carried by your spouse) in different ways. Great post! Thank you.

  13. Great article! And it truly is counter-cultural in today’s world so we need this kind of wisdom. Oh, and I love your toothpaste example. We solved the same problem a different way: in my house everybody gets their own tube of toothpaste!

  14. I couldn’t agree more! My husband and I have been married 25 years. God must be first, and each partner must find a way to be selfless. In the end, both thrive. Great article!

  15. Thanks for your excellent post, Sheila! These certainly are ways to make sure your marriage fails. It is good to enter into marriage with each person giving 100%…but there are times when I’ve not given my full 100% and my husband has had to give more than his 100% – and it has been the other way around, too. Many times we give more than we receive…and that is just part of marriage. It is commitment and love. True love.
    Thanks for sharing on Grace and Truth this week.

  16. You’re right. Aimee. That’s how it goes with marriage. What you describe is true of every marriage. I am glad you enjoyed the post.