12 Behaviors That Will Tank Your Marriage If You’re Not Careful

Marriage is a sacred bond built on love, trust, and mutual respect. Yet, despite the best of intentions, it’s all too easy for well-meaning spouses to fall into behaviors that can gradually erode the foundation of their relationship. Understanding these behaviors and taking proactive steps to address them is vital for any couple looking to sustain a healthy marriage.

In this article, we’ll explore twelve common behaviors that can be detrimental to marriage and provide insights into how to mitigate their impact. Whether you’re newlywed or have been married for decades, this article will empower you with the knowledge to safeguard your most cherished relationship.

1. Lack of Communication

Communication is the lifeblood of a healthy marriage. When spouses fail to express their feelings, share their thoughts, or articulate their needs, a rift begins to form. It’s not just about talking; it’s about truly understanding one another. Miscommunication can lead to misunderstandings, unmet expectations, and a sense of feeling unheard. To combat this, couples must learn the art of active listening, which involves paying full attention to your partner without interruption, validating their feelings, and responding thoughtfully. Additionally, setting aside regular time to check in with each other, away from distractions, can greatly improve the quality of communication in your marriage.

2. Ignoring Problems

Problems in a marriage are inevitable, and when they arise, it’s crucial not to sweep them under the rug. Ignoring issues does not make them disappear; instead, they fester and grow, potentially leading to resentment and a breakdown in communication. It’s important to address problems as they arise, approach them calmly, and seek to understand each other’s perspective. This proactive approach not only helps in resolving immediate concerns but also strengthens your ability to tackle future challenges together as a team.

3. Lack of Appreciation

Do you feel like your spouse takes you for granted? This is a common complaint in marriages where appreciation is not expressed regularly. Feeling unappreciated can be demoralizing and lead to a lack of motivation to invest in the relationship. A simple ‘thank you’ can go a long way in making your partner feel valued and loved. Beyond verbal affirmations, showing appreciation through small gestures, like doing a chore or preparing a favorite meal, can amplify feelings of gratitude and nurture a positive environment in your marriage.

4. Deflecting Blame

Blame is a corrosive force in marriage. When something goes wrong, it’s common to look for fault, sometimes, unfortunately, at the expense of pointing fingers at one’s partner. This behavior quickly erodes the trust and goodwill that are essential to a happy marriage. Instead of playing the blame game, approach challenges with a problem-solving mindset. This means taking responsibility for your part, inquiring about how you can help, and being open to finding a solution together.

5. Infidelity

Infidelity is one of the most devastating betrayals in a marriage. It shatters trust and can have long-lasting emotional repercussions for both partners. If infidelity has occurred, both partners must be willing to work through the pain. This often involves seeking professional help, engaging in open and honest communication, and making a concerted effort to rebuild trust. For those who have not experienced it, recognizing the threat of infidelity and actively nurturing the emotional connection with your partner is paramount in protecting your marriage.

6. Neglecting Quality Time

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to put your marriage on the back burner. However, neglecting to spend quality time with your spouse can lead to feelings of disconnect and loneliness. Make time to engage in activities together that you both enjoy. This can be a weekly date night, a shared hobby, or simply a dedicated time each day to catch up and bond. Remember, quality trumps quantity when it comes to spending time with your partner. It’s not just about being in the same room; it’s about actively being present and engaged with each other.

7. Unresolved Conflict

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship, and it’s not the presence of conflict but how it is handled that determines its impact. Unresolved conflicts breed resentment and can become a source of ongoing tension in the marriage. Successful conflict resolution involves active listening, expressing emotions without blame, and a willingness to find a compromise, or at least an understanding if a resolution isn’t possible. Learning to fight fair and resolve issues in a way that strengthens your bond is a skill that every couple should strive to cultivate.

8. Financial Disharmony

Money is a common area of disagreement in marriage. Different spending habits, financial stress, and differing priorities regarding money management can all lead to marital discord. It’s important to approach money matters as a team, aligned in your financial goals. Regular discussions about finances, a joint budget, and a clear understanding of each other’s financial values are essential in maintaining a harmonious relationship in regards to money. Transparency and mutual respect when it comes to financial decisions can help prevent money from becoming a source of conflict.

9. Lack of Emotional Support

One of the unique benefits of marriage is the emotional support and companionship it offers. When a partner feels unsupported in times of need, it can create a significant strain on the relationship. Emotional support involves more than just being physically present; it requires empathy, active listening, and a willingness to provide comfort and assistance. Similarly, it’s important for both partners to feel they can seek support from one another. Creating a safe space to share emotions is a critical aspect of maintaining intimacy and closeness in marriage.

10. Controlling Behavior

In a healthy marriage, both partners maintain a degree of autonomy while navigating life as a team. Controlling behavior, whether subtle or overt, can lead to resentment and a feeling of being stifled. Each partner should feel free to express themselves, pursue their interests, and have a say in the decisions that affect them. If you find yourself or your partner exhibiting controlling tendencies, it’s important to address these behaviors and work towards an environment of mutual respect and support.

11. Withholding Affection

Affection is an important component of a healthy marriage. It signifies love, comfort, and emotional connection. When affection is lacking, whether it’s physical or emotional, partners may feel unloved and unappreciated. Make an effort to show affection in ways that your partner appreciates, whether it’s through simple acts of kindness, physical touch, or vocalizing your love. Regular displays of affection contribute to a positive and supportive atmosphere in the relationship.

12. Disregarding Boundaries

Respecting each other’s personal boundaries is essential in a healthy marriage. Disregarding these boundaries, whether intentionally or inadvertently, can lead to feelings of intrusion and a loss of individuality. It’s important to establish and communicate personal boundaries early in the relationship and to revisit them as necessary. Additionally, be mindful of each other’s comfort levels with different aspects of your lives together and respect these boundaries to maintain a sense of security and mutual respect in your marriage.


Marriage is a dynamic partnership that requires ongoing effort and attention. By being aware of these twelve behaviors and actively working to prevent them from taking root in your relationship, you can significantly enhance the health and longevity of your marriage. Remember, it’s the daily actions and the small choices that compound over time and form the building blocks of a strong and fulfilling marriage. Take the time to invest in your relationship each day, and you’ll reap the rewards of a love that endures.

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