6 Unhealthy Habits That Lead to Divorceby Kimanzi Constable
They got married at 18 and thought their love could conquer the world and beat the odds.
After years of limping through marriage, we separated.
It took years, but I lost 170 pounds, quit a job I hated and paid off all our debt. My wife saw it wasn’t just words anymore, so a day before our divorce was supposed to be final, we called it off. This year we celebrate 17 years of marriage. Here are six unhealthy habits that almost led to our divorce and should be avoided in marriage.1. Putting Your Needs Above Your Spouses Our natural tendency is to want to make everything about us. We wonder why our spouse isn’t putting our needs first when the reality is that it’s probably the other way around. A wise counselor told us that if you have a problem with your spouse, the problem is really with yourself. Healthy marriages aren’t selfish. They are made up of two spouses who are willing to put the other person’s needs first. 2. Not Deciding to Love Every day Love is not a feeling. It’s a decision. Feelings come and go, but the decision to love is something you do everyday–even multiple times a day. Feelings are what have you flying on cloud nine during the honeymoon phase. Making the decision to love your spouse every day is what makes a marriage last. When you decide not to give into temptation because you made that commitment, you are making a decision to love. When you put your spouse first, you are making a decision to love. 3. Hidden Resentment We know in our minds that communication in a marriage is important; yet too often, we don’t do it. We have a problem that we keep to ourselves and let a small issue build into something much deeper. We hold a grudge and carry resentment inside us that forms roots. Before we know it, we’re doing something we regret because we couldn’t talk about it. 4. Mismanaging Your Money Money fights and money problems end marriages. Money is one of those topics that is very hard to talk about–especially if you don’t have enough. Money isn’t everything and shouldn’t be something we make first place in our life, but you better believe it’s important. There are entire libraries with books that can help you get control of your finances. If you can get your finances under control early on in your marriage, the better chance you have. Talk to your spouse and get on the same page. 5. Letting Your Health Go Too often in a marriage, spouses let themselves go. We get comfortable and eat a little too much or stop exercising. Your health is vitally important to your life for too many reasons to list. It’s also important to keep a healthy marriage. You can make a decision to love every day, but there has to be some attraction. It’s also not fair to your spouse. 6. Not Being Fully Present I could talk about putting your phone down when you have date nights or paying attention when your spouse speaks to you, but being fully present goes far beyond. You have to be there, in the moment with your full attention on whatever is happening. We waste so much of our life living distracted. We miss the little moments that make our life and marriage unique.
There are many reasons couples get divorced. There are situations–such as mental or physically abuse–that can and should force a split. If you’re not experiencing a situation that breaks your marriage with no hope of repair, avoid these unhealthy habits. Choose to love every day. The stats about marriage surviving are pretty grim, but they don’t have to apply to your marriage.
Kimanzi Constable is an Author, Public Speaker, Coach and Entrepreneur. He is also a contributing writer for Huffington Post and Entrepreneur Magazine. Through his work, Kimanzi Constable helps men and women create freedom in their work, health, and relationships at http://kimanziconstable.com/
This article was originally published by Kimanzi Constable on The Good Men Project (June 7, 2015).