In the first entry of this series, we looked at 6 big mistakes you could be making in your marriage that are driving your husband away. Today, we’ll continue with 6 more – and these are just as important!
It’s critical that you be aware of these things – even if they aren’t currently happening in your relationship, you’ll be able to recognize them if they begin to occur.
As we mentioned in Part 1, these are framed as specific to husbands, but many of these problems are universal, and whether you’re a man or a woman, you should be on the lookout for making these big mistakes in your marriage.
Without further ado, here’s Part 2 or Fatal Marriage Mistakes:
1. You Don’t Express Attraction
Vain or not, we all like to know when people find us attractive – yes, even men! Feeling desirable has a way of reinforcing our behavior as a lover. When we feel attractive and sexy, we behave that way, which only makes us more attractive to our partner, and on and on…
The problem, however, is that over time, couples can become complacent, settle into habits, and stop expressing how attractive they find their spouse. For husbands, who aren’t subjected to the same social beauty standards as their wives, outward appearances may not be a very primary concern – yet a compliment in that department can be a huge boost to self-esteem!
If you think he looks good, let him know! If you aren’t at least mentioning it from time to time, he may assume you’ve lost interest.
2. You’re Keeping Score
He may rely on your memory and your organizational skills, but if he feels like you’re keeping score in the relationship, holding onto grudges, or overly concerned with “who did what” in your work and social circles (in a negative way), it becomes a little exhausting. Part of this is just a simple difference in the way men and women communicate, but if you’re focusing on the negatives (and keeping careful track of every perceived slight against you), it’s going to come off as “catty” – as terrible as that sounds.
Too much negativity and tit-for-tat thinking makes the relationship seem inflexible and under constant threat of negativity. It makes it appear like you’re looking to be offended, and that makes him feel like he has to watch his every step.
Additionally, because men often like to be problem solvers – if your problems with other people seem perpetual, and there isn’t anything he can do to help solve them, it can make him feel powerless.
3. He Feels Belittled
When you talk to your husband, even when it’s about problems in the relationship or something he’s done that upsets you, is your tone one of concern and communication, or one of authority and demanding? Or, when you’re having a disagreement, do you focus on the topic at hand or say things that attack his character and sense of self worth?
Men can be prideful (which isn’t always a good thing), and when you belittle him, it hurts. When you talk to him like you’re the boss and he’s an idiot, it either makes him feel inferior, or makes him want to retaliate. When you bring up all of his shortcomings during unrelated arguments, you’re putting a dent in his self-esteem.
If he doesn’t feel proud of who he is when he’s around you, he likely won’t want to be around you. It’s as simple as that.
4. You Disrespect Him
Similar to the entry above, but maybe more “public facing” – if you’re talking down to him in front of other people, especially his friends and family, it’s going to build a serious level of resentment. In these situations, he’s either going to get angry or, perhaps worse, shut down completely and take the abuse, feeling weak and emasculated. Both make for an unhealthy emotional state that certainly won’t yield any positive results for your marriage.
There isn’t much more to say on this point. Be respectful of one another, and treat him the way you’d expect to be treated.
5. He’s Not A Priority
Marriage is about committing to one another, and making the person you’ve chosen to be your partner a top priority. If he’s not a priority in your life, it’s pretty easy for him to tell. It shows in all kinds of ways, from the attention you give him in the average conversation to including him in your plans, from your concern with his wellbeing to your basic interest in his friends and hobbies…
You don’t have to know every detail, or make your entire life center around his, but taking the time (and putting in the effort) to show him that he’s an important, essential part of your life will help him feel committed to the relationship – and do the same for you.
6. You Judge Him
It’s one thing to help each other recognize mistakes – it’s another thing entirely to make broad assumptions or unnecessarily harsh criticisms in the face of a minor transgression or an honest screw up.
The same is true when he opens up to you – if you scoff at his feelings or make light of his problems, if you cast of his troubles as weakness or make remarks about his character… He’ll start to feel like he can’t say or do anything around you. He’ll shut you out, stop trusting you, and ultimately distance himself from the relationship.
These aren’t the only mistakes you can make, that’s for sure – but they are some of the most major (and most common) problems that go overlooked, and cause men to withdraw from their wives. He may act tough (and he is!), but how you treat him has a major effect on how he feels about himself and the marriage. Avoid these mistakes by being aware of your own behaviors, thinking about how you like to be treated, and making your “default setting” one of kindness and support!