Cathy was in a perpetual cycle of marriage destruction. She disliked her husband and blamed him for her unhappiness. Almost every day, she left her home to hangout drinking with friends.
Her husband and children were telling her how unimportant they felt. But she continued to blame her husband for her unhappiness. When he complained about her drinking, or absence from his and the kids’ lives, she struck back accusing him of being “emotionally abusive and controlling.”
Cathy is not the only one. In our marriage intensives over the years we have witnessed both men and women in such a destructive pattern.
When A Behavior Is Hurting Your Marriage
Whether it is drinking or some other behavior, you may not be aware of it being a problem. Chances are that you do not think of the behavior as a problem. How can you tell if what you are doing is hurting yourself and your marriage.
Here are some tell-tale signs that what you are doing is a problem.
- Priority – How important has it become to the way you live life? It might not be how often you are doing it, but rather how much you are not doing other things. Priority equals importance.
- Reward – When you do it, does it make you feel better, more in control? Is there a positive physical payoff that is obscuring the negative consequences for it in your life?
- Prevalence – Do you find yourself doing it more often and for longer periods of time than you meant to? Are you spending time away from others to do it?
- Quitting – Do you find it uncomfortable if you cannot do it? Are you anxious if you think about giving it totally up? The more difficult you think it would be for you to give up, the more likely you are engaging in something that is harmful to you and those you love.
- Costs – Is it costing you time and energy with those you love most? Is it costing you in your finances, career, health, or relationships? Have you lost sleep over it?
- Habit – Do you start out to do something different but find yourself engaging in the problem behavior anyway. Is it something you say you will quit “tomorrow” but never seem to find the right day to stop it?
Sometimes you need someone outside of your circle of friends to help you. You need a professional guide to help you along the journey of making a shift out of the behavior that is hurting your self and those that love you so much. Get help today. Call your minister, find a good Christian counselor, or contact us for some coaching. You deserve it and the people who love you the most deserve it.
What do you have to say?
We love to hear from readers. Are you doing something that might be hurting your marriage? What are your friends, family and spouse telling you about that you need to take a look at? Have you tried to stop doing something, but haven’t been able to stop? What other suggestions you would add to this article? Do you know someone you need to forward this article to?
This article was written by Roy and Devra Wooten, authors of “The Secret to a Lifetime Love”. Learn more at www.LifeTogetherForever.com © Roy and Devra Wooten 2016. All Rights Reserved. You may replicate this article as long as it is provided free to recipients and includes appropriate attribution. Written permission for other use may be obtained at Secret@LifeTogetherForever.com.