You know the obvious killers of marriage – domestic violence, adultery, finances – but there are “silent killers” that you’re probably less familiar with, and you may be living them as we speak. Forget all about lying and cheating, there are less-talked about behaviors that can destroy the foundation of a marriage, eventually causing it to buckle under the pressure. You and your spouse, are probably guilty of one, if not several of them.
Below is a list of behaviors that silently kill a marriage.
1. You don’t have any other friends.
Yes, it’s important to spend quality time with your spouse, but if you’re in this bubble together where you don’t have friends outside the marriage, this isn’t healthy. Neither of you should let your friendships fizzle out in favor of spending every waking moment together. All couples need a little space from each other. Taking a class at the gym with a workout buddy or catching a play with friends may do your marriage some good.
2. You are barely intimate these days.
OK, maybe this one isn’t quite so silent but it can slowly eat away at a marriage. If you’re only intimate on special occasions, such as birthdays and Valentine’s Day, or if you barely touch each other anymore, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart talk about it. A passionless marriage can send spouses into someone else’s arms, and who wants that?
Spouses don’t have to be intimate every day, but couples do need to acknowledge each other. They need to show their spouses that they’re attracted to them and that they still want them. In long-term relationships, couples need to make their partners feel wanted and they need to show them, even if it’s a sensuous touch or a subtle advance.
3. Your friends are bad influences.
A lot of people don’t realize that their close friendships can be influencing their marriage for the worse. What are your friends like? Do they badmouth their partner behind their back? Do they flirt with others or have affairs? Your friends’ bad habits could have a bad influence on you and they can change your good habits for the worse.
On the other hand, if your friends have loving marriages and respect healthy boundaries, this can actually benefit your marriage. Our advice is to take inventory of your closest friends and your spouse’s closest friends. Are the people in both of your inner circles influencing your marriage for the better or for the worse?
4. One of you isn’t cleaning the house.
Believe it or not, household chores are a major source of resentment for couples, especially if both spouses work full-time, but the household cleaning is not divided evenly. If one spouse is handling most, if not all of the chores, it’s bound to cause resentment. “A new study from the University of Alberta found that male-female couples had better and more frequent sex when men chipped in with chores,” HuffPost reported.
While questions over cleaning up aren’t usually a point of contention at the beginning of a relationship, they often become an issue later on. If the housework falls almost entirely on one partner’s shoulders, it can lead to serious dissatisfaction in a marriage.