How To Wreck Your Marriage With One Action. Love, The Marriage Doctor

I recently consulted with the professionals on the topic of love and marriage. Professor Jeremy Boden is a professional marriage and family therapist. He works at Utah Valley University. Talking to him was a fascinating experience. We talked about many topics ranging from abstinence before marriage to what it takes to keep a marriage alive and thriving.

Going into the interview, I had my preconceived notions of what he might say or how the interview would unwind. Nothing played out as planned, but I left with valuable knowledge to share with all of you today.

The Worst Thing A Woman Can Do In A Marriage: Criticize her husband’s character. Now let me explain this with a common household event: the husband forgets to take the trash out again. The wife walks in, sees the overflowing trash and begins to scold, “You are such a lazy son of a @!#@. All I ask is you do something as simple as take out the trash and you didn’t do it.”

This can be used in other situations as well. Any time you generalize your husband’s behavior into a negative character trait, it destroys him inside and cripples a marriage.

The husband will connect with this new title. He will rise to the occasion of being a laze son of a @!#@.

The Worst Thing A Man Can Do In A Marriage: Make an unsafe emotional environment for the wife to connect with him. For instance, a wife starts telling her husband about her day or how she is feeling. The husband responds, ” I’m sorry babe, I really don’t have time right now.” Or just not really listening or responding by saying, “Can’t you talk to one of your girlfriends about this?

Any way a husband “shuts her down” when she comes to him would be considered making it an unsafe environment.

Emotionally Disengagement from either partner is the ultimate poison in a marriage. This is even worse then cheating. Cheating can have many motivations, such as one partner trying to get the other’s attention. When a partner is disengaged, they are ambivalent and aloof towards the relationship. They exhibit a cold heart.

“When you are ambivalent towards the relationship, that can really throw it off the tracks. I would say infidelity and disengagement are close when it comes to toxic, but, in general, disengagement is worse,” said Dr. Boden

Solution For The Wife: Show Appreciation towards the husband. Generalize his good actions into a wonderful trait. He will rise to the occasion to fulfill these new positive names you call him.  If their is a criticism, soften it to a complaint with a solution. When a husband forgets to take out the trash again, a now praising wife would say, “I know you’ve been really busy with work. You are such a great provider. But the trash needs to be taken out. Is there a way I can help you remember to do that?”

Solution For The Husband: Create an environment that is emotionally safe for your wife to talk. If she wants to talk, talk, engage, listen. Just let her express her feelings and ideas. Also share your own feelings and ideas in a loving way.

Stay Engaged: No matter what is happening in a marriage, as long as it is not abusive, there is hope. Keep looking forward. Notice the positive traits in each other. I truly believe any marriage can be saved, again as long is there not abuse involved, which is why I write this blog. Love is worth fighting for and worth celebrating.