I was wrecking my marriage, and I didn’t even realize it.
Five years in and I was ready to give up.
I thought the problem was my husband. If he’d just “shape up,” we’d have a great marriage.
He didn’t want to spend time with me, and he didn’t seem interested in meeting my needs.
Almost everything he did was met with my disapproval. I thought he’d changed. He wasn’t the guy I’d married.
In reality, I was the one who’d changed. I went from being loving and fun to being critical and cranky.
I went from thinking he was smart and funny to thinking he was irresponsible and immature.
Even though he was a military guy and was responsible for hundreds of soldiers, I thought he was careless.
If he feels like can’t do anything right, he may stop trying
As our communication broke down, the whole relationship started to crumble.
I didn’t have skills to build intimacy or the wisdom to know my behavior was driving him away.
I didn’t see his behavior as a sign, I was pushing him away.
If you’re wrecking your marriage, the signs are usually there.
Your husband may be distant or defensive. He may make excuses so he doesn’t have to spend time with you.
Thankfully, I’ve learned a few things. I now have skills to communicate with him.
I now understand what he needs and how to get what I need. And my marriage is better because of it.
You can learn skills to have a better marriage, too.
Here are three behaviors that were wrecking my marriage. They may be ruining yours, too.
1. You try to control everything
I thought I should tell him how to do just about everything: drive, cook, clean. I told myself I was “helping.” I’d speak for him and make decisions for him. When I wasn’t telling him what to do, I tried to control him with non-verbal cues. I’d sigh, roll my eyes or give him disapproving looks. I was silent, but I just as annoying.
2. You think he’s the problem
I thought he needed to straighten up. All of our problems were his fault. If he’d just do things my way, pay more attention to me and learn how to communicate, our lives would be easier. The more I focused on his flaws, the more flaws he seemed to have. I was so focused on his shortcomings, I couldn’t see how I was pushing him away.
3. You have an attitude
I was critical all the time. When you’re critical, your husband may feel like he can’t do anything to please you. If he feels like he can’t please you, he may stop trying. Criticism also makes you unsafe. He may not feel like he can confide in you when he’s unsure of what you’re going to say.
I had to learn skills to be a loving wife. You can learn wife skills just like you can learn anything else.
What if you baked bread and it always turned out terrible. It didn’t rise or it burned on the outside and was doughy in the middle. Then someone showed you how to make bread. They gave you the skills you needed to do it right. And you practiced.
Suddenly you bake great bread.
Marriage isn’t much different. It’s about learning skills. You can learn how to be different. You can learn how to connect with your husband and build a strong marriage.
Men feel successful when their wives are happy. If you’re constantly complaining or criticizing, he’ll feel like a failure. He’ll feel like he can’t please you. He may stop trying and start spending his time in front of the TV instead.
You may not have the skills to build a great relationship, but you can learn. Identifying marriage wrecking behaviors and correcting them may mean the difference in the life or death of your marriage.
Need skills to build intimacy?
- Get on the waitlist for my next group coaching session–Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.
- Visit my website, like my Facebook page and join my private Facebook group.
- Check out my FREE resources and download “How to Be A Wife No Man Will Ever Want to Leave” Challenge!
- Apply for private coaching with Sheila.
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.
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.