When I was in high school, my friends and I drove into Philadelphia to see a basketball game. This was my first time driving into the city without my parents. Since GPS didn't exist yet (nor cell phones for that matter unless you were rich), I was navigating my way by memory. We made it there fine but on the ride home, I got off the highway one exit too early. All of a sudden, my surroundings were unfamiliar, and I couldn't find my way back. The neighborhood got worse and worse. We were passing abandoned houses and even an old car on fire. Fortunately, we made it home safely at last, but our trip home could have ended tragically. A simple bad turn literally took us down a scary road.
In marriage, the same can be true. Simple turns can lead to bad behavior that can take a relationship down a road to divorce.
Simple turns can lead to bad behavior that can take a relationship down a road to divorce.
Are you and/or your wife making those turns? Here are six simple bad behaviors that could lead to divorce.
When you don't talk, you don't connect.
If you and your wife are not connecting, you're drifting apart.
Communicating takes effort, particularly when two people are moving at a hectic pace. At the end of long day, it is easier to turn on the TV and zone out than find out about your wife's day, confront problems or hear about what is weighing on her mind. There's nothing wrong with watching TV but not talking can become a habit.
Bottom line: Talk to each other as much as possible.
Expecting Too Much
It is reasonable to have certain expectations of our spouses, but there are expectations that are unfair. For example, it's fair to expect physical intimacy with your wife, but it's unfair to refuse to take her needs into account. But when expectations like this are unmet, resentment can set in.
Bottom line: If you find yourself resenting your wife, evaluate your expectations and seek wise counsel on whether or not you are expecting too much.
We do everything during the dating process to win our spouse. Then when we get married, we act as though the game is over. We have won, and now we can enjoy our championship ring. Marriage is about continually winning our spouse for a lifetime. That takes daily intentional thought and initiative. Love is an action that most powerfully shows itself when it is faithfully poured out in the ordinary moments of everyday life.
Bottom line: Never stop thinking of ways to win her.
One of the worst ways to deal with difficulties and stress is to fantasize about a different life. Daydreaming about what life would be like if you had never gotten married, were married to a different woman or if you were divorced may provide a temporary escape from your problems. However, in the end, it is entertaining the lie that those scenarios would bring a better life and a move toward disconnection.
Bottom line: When you daydream, daydream about your wife's lovable qualities.
Seeing One Point of View
Looking at things from only our own point of view breeds a lack of empathy. It makes us more prone to assume ill-intent and blame others. It cultivates defensiveness, contempt and paranoia. Facebook political posts are full of this. Be open to the fact that you may, in fact, be wrong or at the very least don't have a full picture. We all have blind spots. One of the benefits of marriage is having a spouse to help us see them.
Bottom line: Assume good intent and try to understand your wife's point of view, especially when it's different from yours.
Holding on to hurt feelings, grudges and bitterness will only intensify wounds. It's like allowing those wounds to become infected. A lack of forgiveness and grace is a painful road to isolation and loneliness. Forgiveness can be a process that takes a while. Make it a habit to start that process quickly.
Bottom line: The sooner you start the process of forgiveness, the sooner you will experience healing.
B.J. Foster is the director of content creation for All Pro Dad and a married father of two.
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.