There are some issues that no marriage can survive!
We all have our own individual level of tolerance. One spouse may put up with more than another spouse. For some, it doesn’t take much in the way of bad behavior for them to cut and run. For others, they put up and put up and put up with bad behavior. What all spouses have in common is this, they will, one day, get to a point where the bad behaviors become marriage deal breakers.
Take this list and discuss with your spouse what each other’s marriage deal breakers are:
1. A spouse who doesn’t have your back. Does your brother treat you like dirt in front of your husband and he says nothing? Does your Mother criticize your husband and you allow it to continue? It’s your job to have your spouse’s back!
2. A spouse who doesn’t take responsibility. Whether it’s a refusal to change a diaper, take the trash out or, say “I’m sorry” when you are plainly wrong, each spouse has to be able to take responsibility. So, get out and get that trash to the curb!
3. A spouse who can’t be vulnerable. If you can’t show fear or share your emotions, you’re engaged in a shallow relationship. As husband and wife, you should both feel safe sharing your deepest thoughts and emotions with each other. If not, you’ll live like brother and sister, not husband and wife.
4. A spouse who doesn’t make an effort to help you feel special. We all want to be stroked by the one we love. If your husband washes the dishes but doesn’t wipe down the countertop, thank him for washing the dishes, don’t criticize because he didn’t wipe down the countertop.
If your wife works a full-time job and takes care of the home and kids on top of that, let her know her efforts are appreciated. She is a marvel, treat her like one!
5. A spouse whose behavior causes you doubt. Does he say he’ll fix that leaking faucet but, 3 months later it is still leaking? Does she say she’ll try harder to show an interest in sex but, 3 months later she is still withholding? It’s the seemingly small behaviors that promote the growth of major mistrust in a marriage. Don’t let the small things take root!
6. A spouse who doesn’t feel they need to account for their whereabouts? There is no need to check in every hour on the hour but, for goodness sake, if you’re going to be 2 hours late getting home from work, let your spouse know. Report in periodically!
7. A spouse who can’t hold a job. Seriously, this is a huge issue. Find a job, commit to it and stick with it. It takes money, these days, it takes two incomes to run a household. Do your part and work!
8. A spouse who constantly lies. You stopped off for beer with the guys on the way home from work but, you told her the boss asked you to work late. She went shopping and spent way too much money and hid her purchases in the trunk to keep you from knowing. Lies like that eventually come out and when a spouse deals with one lie after another don’t be surprised when you find yourself married to someone who doubts everything you say.
9. A spouse who takes the other side. You can side with your spouse whether they are wrong or right. If they are upset over the actions of another person, whether that person’s actions were justified or not, it’s your spouse’s feelings you should be concerned about. Do what you can to keep your spouse from feeling ganged up on.
10. A spouse who constantly breaks promises. Or, worse yet, denies making a promise. If you promise your spouse something, keep your promise.
11. A spouse who brings outside influences into the marriage. What do I mean? You and your spouse have an argument. You go to friends and family to shore up your point of view and show him/her how wrong they are. Stop that! You’re not two-years-old and your marriage isn’t a grade school playground. Keep outside influences out of your marriage!
12. A spouse who disrespects your property. You may not have spent $500 on that ugly chair she loves but that is no reason to spill coffee all over it. You may think his collection of football memorability is infantile and foolish but, that is no reason to box it up in the garage. Just because a possession of your spouses is inconsequential to you, doesn’t mean you get to treat it as if it is inconsequential to your spouse.
13. A spouse who refuses to socialize with your friends and family. Instead of going to Thanksgiving dinner with her family you choose to stay home and watch football. Instead of attending his office party you decide to take in a movie with your girlfriends. If friends and family hold a special place in your spouse’s life, you should attempt to connect with them also.
14. A spouse who is jealous of your friends and family. Not only do you not want to associate with your spouse’s friends and family, you don’t want your spouse to either. Normally this is a sign you feel threatened and insecure. Work through those issues with a therapist!
15. A spouse who constantly talks about how evil their ex was. Why did you marry them in the first place? If your spouse is still angry over an ex, you’ve got more problem than his/her ex. It isn’t your job to side with your spouse against another person and, it isn’t your job to attempt to fix the issues between him/her and the ex. You deserve a spouse who is adult enough to let go of anger and focus on the relationship they are in now.
16. A spouse who walks away from arguments. Problems don’t get solved if your spouse is unable to engage in conflict and work with you to find a solution. It’s a bad sign when one spouse is unwilling to stand their ground and fight for the relationship.
17. A spouse who cheats. This needs little explanation. There is no room in any marriage for infidelity. Unless you’ve agreed, together to have an open marriage, cheating is definitely a deal breaker.
18. A spouse who hits you. Again, this needs little explanation. Let your spouse know that the first time they lift a hand to harm you, will be the last time. No questions asked, the first time you are hit, be you man or woman, you need to walk away from the marriage.
19. The spouse who screams, yells and curses you. Verbal abuse is as destructive to your spouse as physical abuse. Verbal abuse doesn’t leave bruises but, it does eventually break the marriage bond and your spouses self-esteem. The person you are screaming, yelling and cursing at will one day set some boundaries with you.
20. The spouse who doesn’t respect your personal boundaries. We all have personal boundaries and deserve to have those respected by a spouse. For example, I have a friend whose husband refuses to close the door when he goes to the bathroom. My friend has an issue with watching other folks go to the bathroom. Regardless of how many time she tells her husband it bothers her to see him sitting on the pot, he continues to go to the bathroom with the door open. It’s a small thing but he is showing HUGE disrespect for her boundary by ignoring her request.
21. A spouse who doesn’t stay out of your business. If your wife is having problems with her boss, let her deal with him. The same goes for your husband. Your marriage isn’t an episode of Bravo’s Real Housewives. Every conflict your spouse is a party to, is her/his conflict, no need for you to go in and clean it up.
22. A spouse who forgets birthdays, anniversaries or special holidays. Seriously people, buy your spouse a birthday and Christmas gift. Put some effort into showing them you’ve given them some thought on special days. A Valentine card that says, “Happy VD Day” isn’t appropriate!
23. A spouse who is addicted to drama. Some people live and die by how much drama is going on in their lives. If there isn’t any drama, they will manufacture drama. I’m talking both genders here. Don’t be a drama queen! Focus on being happy instead of stirring the pot.
24. A spouse who threatens divorce often. You have an argument over where to go on vacation and your spouse threatens divorce if you don’t agree with their choice. A spouse who constantly threatens divorce is seriously lacking in conflict resolution skills.
25. A spouse who drinks too much. I grew up with an alcoholic father. I wouldn’t blame anyone for throwing in the towel on such a spouse. Alcoholism and marriage do not go hand in hand. It’s destructive behavior so, don’t put up with it!
26. A spouse with a low sex drive. That has to be worked on! If sex dwindles to nearly nothing once the vows are said, you married someone who used sex to manipulate you into marriage with someone you don’t know.
27. A spouse who has poor hygiene. If your spouse feels the need to reach for a disinfectant before having sex with you, take a shower. Hygiene and appearance are as important after marriage as they were before marriage. Becoming a slob who doesn’t give a damn after marriage is a deal breaker.
28. A spouse who dismisses your thoughts and desires. Marriage is a partnership, treat it as one. If your husband tells you, “No we can’t afford a new car,” take his concern over finances seriously. If your wife says, “I need to chip in and help with the kids while I cook dinner.” Just do it!
Want a happy marriage? Knowing each other’s deal breakers will help keep you from engaging in behaviors that could risk the health of your marriage and lead to divorce. That is good information to have!