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How many of these issues are present in your marriage?
How many of these issues are present in your marriage? (Stock Free Images)

Of course you don’t want your marriage to fail, do you? You want it to last for life.

But if too many of the things listed below are too often a part of your life, then you may be on a dangerous road in your relationship.

1. You work more on your wedding than on your marriage. You spend hundreds of hours planning and preparing for your wedding—the venue, the dress, the guest list, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the ceremony, the vows—but choose not to spend time planning and preparing on growing your marriage.

2. You believe that marriage is a contract. Even though you don’t say it, you really believe that marriage is a transaction between two people, a contract and not a covenant. You have the mindset that most things in your relationship are negotiated—“If you do this, then and only then I will do that.” You think that marriage is a 50/50 partnership rather than a 100/100 give-it-all-you’ve-got relationship.

3. You think that your spouse’s job is to make you happy. In my "8 Mistakes I’ve Made in Marriage" blog post, I shared how I used to think that Susan’s duty as my wife was to make me happy. I expected Susan to lift me up when I was down, to help me upon command and to meet my physical needs when called upon just to name a few. In reality, here’s what you should expect in your marriage: "8 Expectations for a Great Marriage."

4. You are not trustworthy. You cannot be trusted by your spouse when you don’t speak the truth at all times, you keep secrets or you don’t do what you say you’ll do.

5. You always put your kids first. You pour all of your time, energy, attention and affection into your children. You give them your freshest and best and always serve your spouse leftovers.

6. You give in to temptation. You talk about your personal pressures and problems with another person besides your spouse. You feel like the other person empathizes and understands you better. Instead of running from this temptation, you run toward it and end up in an intimate emotional or physical relationship.

7. You always expect your spouse to change. You see your spouse’s faults and failures every day. It’s really irritating and frustrating you. They’re messy, they’re lazy, they nag you, they don’t help with the kids, they’re always at work. You think you’ve done all the changing, and they haven’t done a thing.

8. You treat your spouse like the enemy. You think they are on the opposing team so you keep a marital scorecard. You keep track of who spends more, disciplines more, does the dishes more, cleans more, mows more and works more. And you become bitter and resent your spouse for not helping enough or for having more fun.

9. Your words constantly tear your spouse down. Your sarcastic, unsupportive, disrespectful, comparing words are toxins of the tongue that poison your marriage.

10. You don’t respect your spouse. You don’t respect your spouse’s judgment. You constantly question their decisions and abilities.

11. You fail to ask for forgiveness and forgive. Your spouse says you hurt them. You don’t see that you did anything wrong, so you’re not going to apologize. They get bitter. You get bitter.

12. You listen to foolish marriage advice. You listen to well-intended but foolish advice about your relationship from a “friend” who wants you to join their man-hater or woman-hater club rather than listening to wise advice from a trusted source.

Which of these reasons is most true in your marriage? Please share your comments below.

Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.

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