6 Ways to Kill your Marriage

As a pastor, I often deal with marriages that are either failing or in jeopardy. Here are six things most of them have in common.

#1. Care more about your own needs.

Each of us have our default setting on “me.” Getting my needs met… getting what I want. Unfortunately this doesn’t lend itself to healthy relationships. Healthy marriages consider the needs of their spouse and are willing to put those needs above their own. (See Philippians 2:3-4)

#2. Stop dating.

There’s a reason couples feel the way they did when they first met. They were working hard to win the other’s affection, they were trying to impress, so they went above and beyond to do and be their best. Amazing how that impacts a relationship.

#3. Make _____ more important than your spouse.

Fill in the blank with whatever you like: work, a hobby, friends etc. No spouse wants to be, or should ever be, second to anyone or anything (other than Christ.)

#4. Have unrealistic expectations.

Unrealistic expectations mean one simple thing- you will always be disappointed and continual feelings of disappointment lead to bitterness and resentment. Strong marriages keep expectations in check and show gratitude for what they do have in their spouse, instead of always thinking about what they don’t have.

#5. Stop working at it.

Anything worth anything requires work and marriage is no exception.

#6. Neglect your spiritual life.

A weak spiritual life is often a good indicator of a weak marriage. We must rely on the Spirit’s power to enable us to live beyond our natural self. We must embrace the values and priorities of Jesus to guide how we relate to our spouse and we must see that our marriage is an opportunity to bring Glory to God.

What other sure-fire marriage killers have you seen?

  • Andy

    Great advice DC. What other killers have I seen, you ask? Well, my marriage improved greatly when my wife and I consciously practiced “Unity”. Until then, she was an easy target of joking, especially during family gatherings with in-laws. Although it was light-hearted and only intended to demonstrate how secure we were in our marriage, in fact each joke seemed to chip away at our oneness covenant. I thank God for the lesson learned in Unity.

    • donovanpchristian

      Good insight. Perhaps a future blog post: unity builders and unity busters!