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5 Exhausting Habits to Avoid in Marriage

Exhaustion is a part of life. We can’t avoid it. Careers, families, responsibilities and expectations drain us. Even good things demand attention, effort, and energy. Consider a great holiday celebration. It can be fun, unforgettable, and meaningful. But it’s still tiring.

So it is with marriage. While a healthy relationship is one of life’s greatest gifts, every connection is also demanding. Disagreements have to be worked through, considerations have to be made, effort has to be exerted. Marriage, even a good marriage, can drain us.

Because every relationship demands something from us and because our energies are limited, we must do everything in our power to avoid unnecessary stressors. We have to conserve our energy for the things that matter and avoid wasting it in other areas.

5 Avoidable Elements Exhausting Your Marriage

1. Debt. In a few circumstances, debt is unavoidable. When a major medical crisis occurs, it may not matter your financial situation, debt will happen. But in most circumstances, debt is a choice. It’s a choice poorly made. Couples greatly underestimate the weight which debt will place on their relationship. More marriages are destroyed by unnecessary debt than poverty (yes, there is a difference). When debt is chosen, the joy of the object quickly fades but the pressure of paying for the purchase persists. Pressure drains us. Few things can alleviate the pressure from a marriage like cash-flow and an absence of oppressive debt. (See: Do Not Commit Financial Adultery)

2. Busyness. We live in a busy world, but we often forget how much of our schedule we control. While we may not fully determine our work schedule, most of our time outside of work is determined by our choices. Too many couples risk the health of their marriage so that their family won’t miss a single event. Sports, extracurricular activities, and a host of other events take precedence over a husband and wife spending quality time together. Love requires time. When we pack our schedules to where there is no ability to relate with one another or rejuvenate our souls, the marriage will suffer.

3. Insecurity. While humility is life-giving, pride is exhausting. An often overlooked aspect of pride is insecurity. When we are so focused on ourselves, specifically what we are lacking, it drains energy which prevents us from serving our spouse. In a healthy marriage, we use our strengths to benefit the relationship. Where insecurity is present, we become so focused on our weaknesses that we are expecting our spouse to rescue us. It’s wearisome for both parties. A healthy understanding of self–neither thinking too highly of ourselves nor thinking too lowly of ourselves–allows a couple to deal with one another in a functional way. (See: Three Reasons People Criticize You)

4. Poor communication. When a couple communicates well, the relationship continually moves forward. Even if they don’t resolve issues, they formulate a workable solution and move on. When couples do not communicate well, the marriage gets in a rut. Husbands and wives find themselves repeating the same arguments, conversations, and debates on a nearly weekly basis. While we might have the energy to fight new fights, the constant reliving of old debates is exhausting. Couples who can’t communicate quickly grow weary of one another.

5. Distrust. When spouses continually doubt their spouse’s faithfulness or truthfulness, it’s exhausting. Lying is tiring. Trying to remember what lie you have told and to whom you have told it is a wearisome process. But it’s also exhausting to try to figure out if your spouse is telling you the truth or not. Continually worrying that your world is going to come crashing down because a lie has been found out wears us down. Trust is a bed in which every married couple should get to rest. Within the concept of trust is the issue of faithfulness. The single most exhausting element I see in marriages is infidelity. It rocks the very foundation of the relationship. It’s exhausting and unnecessary. When a couple can build (and keep) trust, they can save themselves from many sleepless nights. (See: The Real Reason Your Spouse Irritates You)

Strength comes in finite quantities. In many occasions a marriage that lasts doesn’t result from a couple being stronger, it’s the byproduct of a couple using its strength on the areas where it is needed and not wasting it on avoidable mistakes. These five areas have the potential to drain even a good marriage and make it very difficult for spouses to love one another well.

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