May 232018 10 Responses

40 Ways to Ruin Your Marriage

On many Saturdays throughout the year, I stand before a couple as they commit their earthly lives solely to one another. Some are young, making the leap from childhood to adulthood together. Others are more mature having experienced heartbreak, hoping finally to find lasting love. All expect their vows to be true and their lives to be uniquely linked to one another until death breaks their bond. Rare is the case when a couple stands before me expecting to divorce. Yet far less rare is the actual outcome of hurt, sorrow, separate homes, and a marriage that has ended.

While every divorce has its own unique story, there is a way to ensure that the marriage will not last.

How to Ruin Your Marriage

If I could write a recipe for marital failure, it would be this:

  1. View marriage as a one-time choice and not a daily decision. Rather than regularly investing in your relationship to make it better, just assume it will always be good.
  2. Turn first to others rather than your spouse. Tell your greatest joys and deepest sorrows to others before you tell your spouse.
  3. When you have a problem, wait to get help. Assume it will go away or it’s just a part of marriage. Don’t believe that a counselor can help you. Believe your problems are unique and can’t be understood by another.
  4. Devalue the importance of sex within marriage. Don’t sleep with each other. Do sleep with others. View porn. Make sexual comments about others. Compare the looks of your spouse to the looks of others. (For more, see my friend’s blog
  5. Don’t say what you mean. Say “I’m fine” when you aren’t. Say “yes” when you mean no.
  6. Do not read Friends, Partners & Lovers or any other book which discusses a Biblical marriage.
  7. Put your kids first and try to give them every opportunity possible. Do so at the detriment of time spent with your spouse and family.
  8. Buy the biggest house your bank allows, drive the nicest cars possible, and never pay off your credit card bill each month. Don’t worry that debt will destroy your marriage as it has countless others.
  9. Drink alcohol regularly and to an extreme. (For more on the issue of alcohol, read THIS.)
  10. Surround yourself with friends who have marital problems and follow their advice.
  11. Only attend church when it’s convenient; do not volunteer, and do not grow spiritually.
  12. With every passing year as your children grow, make your schedule busier. Assume there is no other way to live.
  13. Ignore all aspects of accountability. Have no one in your life who can question your heart or actions.
  14. Regularly overlook problems and frustrations, never voicing them or saving everything for one big verbal explosion.
  15. Assume money will give you what you want and pursue it at all costs.
  16. Don’t listen to your spouse’s opinions and do not allow them to influence you.
  17. Allow in-laws and siblings to have a significant say in your relationship.
  18. Take everything personally.
  19. Never fully focus on each other. Always have an eye on your phone, the TV, or somewhere else.
  20. Threaten divorce.
  21. Stop thanking them for what they do, but keep criticizing them for what they don’t do.
  22. Don’t get away for a night or a week. Only vacation with others or kids.
  23. Lie about things that matter and things that don’t.
  24. Stop all non-sexual touch. (See: How to Save Your Marriage)
  25. Understand you deserve someone better than your spouse. Find ways to subtly communicate that to them.
  26. Do not evenly separate household or parenting responsibilities.
  27. Nag and manipulate.
  28. Don’t argue about issues. Make each argument about the faults of the personhood of your partner.
  29. Don’t exercise.
  30. Act like your spouse’s mom or dad. Tell them what to do. Cover for them.
  31. As time passes, don’t notice how your spouse’s likes and dislikes have changed.
  32. Assume every problem should be solvable and when it’s not, think it’s a sign you’ve married the wrong person.
  33. Hide friendships and communication with people of the opposite sex. Don’t let your spouse know the passwords to your phone or social media accounts. Delete texts, messages, and phone calls you don’t want them to see.
  34. Determine what’s the least amount of sex you can have and do it in the most routine way possible.
  35. Make important decisions without consulting your spouse.
  36. Never recount the story of how you met, why you fell in love, or recall your favorite times with each other.
  37. Make fun of your spouse in public or among friends.
  38. Interpret any attraction for another person as a weakness in your marriage and a possible sign you could be happier with someone else.
  39. Ignore the value of having friends and mentors who have strong marriages and who encourage you to remain faithful in your marriage.
  40. Don’t make any effort. Emotionally check-out. Let apathy set in. Assume nothing can or will change.

Rare is the case in which people want their marriage to fail. In some cases, marriages end with drastic decisions which cause a violent crash. But in most cases, marriages slowly erode away resulting in an outcome which was never desired in the beginning.

The 40 choices listed above do not ensure a divorce, but they do greatly threaten the likelihood of success for a couple.

What would be the 41st point you would add?

10 Responses to 40 Ways to Ruin Your Marriage
  1. […] While pleasure was never meant to be the primary purpose of marriage, it is intended to be one of th...

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