10 Things to Say If You Want to Destroy Your Marriage

I’ve done a lot of reflecting recently on the demise of my marriage -- especially since he never hit me, didn’t call me names, and I have no reason to believe another woman was involved. So what the heck was so awful that I called it quits after 11 years and two kids?

The only way I know how to describe it is death by a thousand cuts. There were never any big blowups or breakdowns; just a steady stream of nitpickiness and hostility and lack of respect and non-existent boundaries. Words matter, and left unchecked, they can eventually destroy a marriage.

Here are 10 seemingly insignificant things to say repeatedly if you want to destroy your marriage.

Are you guilty of any of these?


Image via Vic/Flickr

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SaphireH SaphireH

in a fight about a month ago over me hanging out with a friend of mine longer than i planned to one night my husband accused me of sleeping with said friend when i wasnt and that he wasnt in love with me anymore because he was pissed at me and now our marriage is so fun.... NOT

adamat34 adamat34

Saphire, sorry to hear. Dont you think your marriage may have been struggling before this incident and this was the final.catalyst?

Hope things get better.

the4m... the4mutts

Idk, some of these I agree with, such as the "always/never" thing, and "IDK when I'll be home" no, fuck that one in the ass.

But a *sigh* isnt a big whoop. It doesn't mean contempt 100% of the time. I use it to show exasperation. I have no contempt for my husband, so he knows my expressions don't mean that.

Also, the "you know I don't like it when you..." well, if I am going to stop farting in the shower (he HATES it), then he can damn well be reminded that I don't like it when he gropes me while I cook, or deal with kids. Any other time, fine. Cooking, or tending to kids, back off!

You know, I honestly feel that when little things like this start to get to people, its for one reason only.

Because some form of respect has been lost. You dont respect your partner enough to treat them the way they want to be treated (and yes, I mean within normal parameters)

If you cant deal with them reminding you that they hate shower farts, then you need to look at yourself, and work on seeing your spouse in a more respectful way.

Note: Im not blaming your divorce on you. Just stating my opinion for most people I see in similar situations.

SaphireH SaphireH

oh my marriage has been having issues for a while but it was those words to me is what made me no longer trust his word that he cares about me and if that is honestly the way he feels i have no idea why he is still around

Rando... Randomlady

"I see you didn’t get to the laundry (or other mundane chore) today … don’t point out the negative, only praise the positive. And start a load yourself."

If you come home to a stay at home husband or wife after working 12-14 hours a day I think it is completely logical to be upset it didn't get done, especially if you asked before leaving. I was always so upset when I came home from working 2 jobs, being gone from 7:30am to 9:30pm and on days off I would have to do everything from cooking, cleaning, getting groceries, doing laundry, and training the dog. It's enough to make you explode. 

And the "only praise the positive" they are supposed to be your spouse not a child. You can express anything to them instead of pampering it.

nonmember avatar tim

I'm going to treat this cafeteria style. For instance, eye rolling is hard to control when faced with a habitual issue, but it's also never helpful.

On the other hand, Number 3--there are many different kinds of apology. The "sorry, but" is perfectly reasonable for some of them, not for others. Not every apology is abject. And as Randomlady points out, we each have our responsibilities. And if one of us is slacking, it can't be addressed without being recognized.

nonmember avatar LAG

Any of those can be a problem, and over a 38-year marriage I've committed them all. But the biggest problem in a marriage that isn't abusive is just plain giving up. I say that after a job that literally kept me away from home for months at time, the loss of a child to cancer, and two people that couldn't have been raised more differently, as you say. Didn't matter in the end--we refused to give up on each other.

nonmember avatar Ram

7. Calm down/you’re overreacting … don’t put down each other’s feelings and emotions.

The other person is doing exquisite dressage on their Drama Llama and I’m required to affirm their literally irrational behavior? No sale. I signed up for an adult relationship.

In related news: Romantic love for a child is vile and contemptible no matter the physical age of the child.

nonmember avatar milquetoast

"Whoa! Calm down, you're overreacting (#7) in praising the positive things (#6) about me."

Then Jenny Erikson would tell her husband something (while refraining to point out the negative and only praising the positive) and elicits a response of #4 "I’m sorry I’m not good enough for you." He must have been an incredibly selfish, controlling, crazy person who will never be happy with anything.

"We were just raised differently … There’s got to be a meeting of the minds at some point" (without pointing out anything negative of course) but don't bring any issues up by saying "You know I don’t like it when you"

nonmember avatar Josh S

One thing that is a bad idea is that if your husband has been unemployed for six months and says you are probably going to have to leave the city for him to find work, don't tell him that you hate him and regret marrying him because you can't stand the idea of living away from your mother. Unemployment sucks bad enough. Be glad your husband isn't a lazy slob who takes the easy way out.

Because if you go nuclear on him when he is trying to do the right thing, he'll just walk away.

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