6 relationship killers that may destroy your marriage

Are you guilty of any of these troubling issues that may put your marriage on the fast track to disaster?

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You might have seemed all lovey dovey when you were newlyweds, but then came the kids, and along with it, more commitments and responsibility.

All the stress, anxiety and friction can take a toll on your relationship with your spouse. While lying and cheating may seem like the most obvious relationship killers, other little things, or everyday habits that harm your relationship, too.

Says mum of two Y M Ng of her spouse of nine years, “He’s a great dad, but one thing we fight about most these days, is that he lives life as though he’s single ― he doesn’t think twice about heading out for supper with friends, or spending hours on video games.”

Whether it’s shirking responsibility, or disrespecting one another, we round up some of the most common and overlooked dangerous behaviours wise couples avoid carrying out.

1. Frequently rolling your eyes
Ever find yourself doing this when your spouse messes up in the kitchen, or forgets to pick up the eggs on his way home from work? Well, this little 2-second gesture can be very disrespectful to your spouse. Evonne Lek, a family therapist at Reconnect Child and Family Therapy notes that eye-rolling can signify contempt for the other partner. “Even though it’s not said, this non-verbal communication can break down the marriage quickly,” she says.

“I know my hubby hates it, but I can’t help it when I’m frustrated!” gripes C Koh, who’s a mum of a 6-month-old baby girl. Lek advises that people like Koh should be aware of their own feelings, so as not to set aside their own views, nor hold back from expressing them.

“If you disagree with your partner’s opinion, say it in a way where it is not criticising the other person. Speak respectfully and agree to disagree if you cannot find agreement,” she adds.

 

Behind the mismatched expectations, there are often common goals… That’s why pre-marital counselling is important ― so, you are aware of the other’s expectations.”

2. Having mismatched expectations
Differing expectations is a common problem in marriages. For instance, the husband and the wife may not have talked about the time to spend with the in-laws on weekends, and end up with differing opinions.

“But behind the mismatched expectations, there are often common goals ― in this instance, both parties ultimately want a deeper emotional connection with the family,” Lek shares. “That’s why pre-marital counselling is important ― so, you are aware of the other’s expectations."

3. Giving the silent treatment
If you’re no stranger to arguments in a marriage, then you’d know that the silent treatment never works. Giving the silent treatment is a manipulative tactic that goes against the grain of encouraging communication, and it leaves important issues unresolved.

“Also known as ‘stonewalling’, it means that the partner doesn’t respond to whatever the other has to say,” Lek explains. Apart from the extreme frustration experienced by the person who is being “stonewalled”, he or she may feel lonely and helpless. “I often hear how couples use this as a strategy to cope with their negative emotions. They do not want to voice their thoughts and feelings as they think it will lead to a fight. So, they do this for the sake of harmony,” says Lek.

The truth is, giving the silent treatment is unhealthy and it breaks down marriages. Lek adds, “Couples should be aware of their behaviour and learn to be articulate about their feelings.”