I Must Admit - I Was At Fault for At Least 85% of MY Marriage Problems…Are You?
Here’s one of the biggest mistakes I made that slowly turned my wife into my WORST ENEMY. (This was back in 1974 of course, we’re now happily married over 36 years.)
(And no, I’m not exaggerating.)
Most couples are on their honeymoon the day after their wedding and they don’t have marriage problems for at LEAST a couple of months!
But me…I should have seen it coming. Even before my wife and I were married, we had some serious marriage problems. At the time, I was just trying to get people to understand “my side” of the story, but what I was actually doing was making my wife silently resent me more and more each day.
Here’s how our marriage trouble began... See if this sounds familiar…
One day my wife and I were at her sister’s house. She was in the kitchen and I was in the living room with her sister Jan. Jan suddenly turned to me and said, “So…Larry, what do you do on the weekends?”
I replied “Well, um…actually Marsha doesn’t let me have any friends because she doesn’t like social activities.”
Her sister would then say, “I don’t believe it! Marsha…how could you!?!”
This is how it all started. Well, actually it started with our, opposite belief systems but this is essentially what made our marriage problems get worse…every day.
I didn’t know it at the time, but I was turning my wife’s family and friends against her. (This is a surefire way to launch your marriage problems into marriage TURMOIL.)
It was true that my wife was NOT a social person, but she was NOT trying to prevent me from having friends.
She was just trying to keep me away from people who were conniving and manipulative.
But it just so happened that every person I introduced to my wife to ended up using me for something in the end. Make no mistake about it, I was a troubled person back then and as a result, I attracted troubled people.
Whether they wanted me to give them money, work for free or just tell them how great they were, since I desperately wanted approval, I always caved in and they got what they wanted…and I got nothing in return.
My wife was actually trying to PROTECT ME from the dishonest and manipulative people in this world.
(At the time I thought these people really liked me, but my wife had the uncanny ability to see right through them.) But since I wasn’t aware of that, I viewed her as a controlling wife who was trying to keep me from having “friends”.
So what did I do? I got everyone on “my side” which brings me to the lesson I learned the HARD WAY…
I don’t mean keep the in-laws AWAY from your marriage, though you might wish you could do that. ;-)
Instead what I mean is, if you and your spouse have a series of bitter arguments, don’t call up your parents or your spouse’s parents to report your marriage problems to them.
They are not equipped to handle your struggles. Any marriage problems you have will put your relatives under pressure. They’ll want to help, they just don’t know how.
Most will simply take your side or suggest you go see a marriage counselor.
When you’re really frustrated you might have the desire to turn other people against your spouse. (I was very guilty of for many years.)
You desperately want people to understand ‘your side’ of the story and you’ll tell anyone who is willing to listen. Without thinking, you drag relatives and friends into your marriage problems and that’s when the conflict begins…
Just imagine this scenario for a moment…
You and your spouse have a fight over money problems in your marriage. You call up your mother to vent your frustrations to her.
Whose side do you think shes going to favor? Yours, of course.
Your mother may try to give you some good advice, but what’s more likely is that she will start to resent your spouse for ‘hurting’ her precious son/daughter.
This may seem harmless at first, but as time goes on and you continue to call up your mother, she will grow less and less fond of your spouse.
And let’s say that one day you have a huge knockdown-drag out fight with your spouse and you call up your mother to vent your frustrations yet again.
But this time, since she views your spouse as ‘the bad guy’, she starts to “kid around” by saying things like “You should just leave him/her.” Or, “you deserve better…s/he doesn’t deserve you.”
As time goes on, it is very likely that you could begin to believe her and start to seriously consider divorce as an option.
On top of that, your spouse will sense your mother’s resentment towards him/her which could turn this minor “mother in law problem” into a serious threat towards your marriage.
Then you’re stuck feeling like you have to choose between your mother and your spouse. And yes, you’d be smack dab in the middle of it!
(Which is a VERY stressful place to be!)
To avoid these marriage problems altogether, if you need to ‘vent’ your problems to someone, make sure it is a trusted friend who has both you AND your spouses’ best interest in mind.
And PLEASE, do your family members a favor and don’t involve them in something they just can’t handle.
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