Marriage is hard. You can sabotage your marriage without realizing it.
Marriage is not a solution to loneliness, and marriage cannot solve individual struggles or relationship difficulties. Being married requires work… hard work.
Sabotaging your marriage is a lot easier than you may think. If you are okay with putting in little-to-no effort in sustaining and thriving with your spouse, you can achieve destruction by simply avoiding five essential aspects of marriage.
1. Avoid Communication
We all have emotions, but the key to your sabotage is allowing your emotions to override communication. Give permission to yourself to “just be yourself” or “be authentic.” Express your emotions via silence, sighs, and/or subtle facial expressions (eye rolls, eyebrow movement).
Whatever you do, do not attempt to communicate in a loving way. You know you should be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,” but fight for your emotions to be your highest priority (James 1:19-20). Also, if you do attempt to communicate with words, do not focus on encouraging the other person (Ephesians 4:29).
2. Avoid Friendship
Your friends are crucial but do not consider your spouse as your best friend. See your spouse as a roommate you are stuck with, and fight for as much “you time” you can squeeze in. Regard your marriage as a contractual relationship, and demand the other person live up to their end of the contract.
In this contractual relationship, resist getting too close in the event things don’t work out. Reject the idea that marriage was created because it wasn’t good for us to be alone and disconnected (Genesis 2:18). Since your spouse is your roommate, there isn’t the danger of caring enough to sacrifice for them. Only true friends sacrifice for each other because there is genuine love between them (John 15:12-15).
3. Avoid Community
You can handle life on your own. You don’t need anyone’s input because you are the reason you are this far. If you sin or make honest mistakes, all you need to believe is that it’s not a big deal. Even if something happens that you consider significant, convince yourself that you have the strength to overcome.
If you got it all handled, there is no reason to rely on other people to give good direction. “Carry one another’s burdens” sounds good to you but refuse to believe or accept that you’re in the wrong (Galatians 6:1-2). Since you already know how to handle life, there is no need for others to speak “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15). In any and every case, trust in your own judgment. You got it.
4. Avoid Honesty
Honesty is overrated. People aren’t honest all the time. Honesty is especially overblown when it comes to sin. Certainly, your shortcomings don’t need to be talked about. If God forgives your sin, assure yourself that there is no need to confess it. But maybe you haven’t done anything wrong, so confession is only for those other people.
Yes, it does say in 1 John, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” and “If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10). But you just need to convince yourself that you and God are still tight… and being honest with God and your spouse are not that essential (1 John 1:5-8). Hide any guilt and run from the chance to confess sin to your spouse.
5. Avoid Forgiveness
You’re not the problem; your spouse is the bad one. They have hurt you so much, and they continue to hurt you. Do not differentiate if the pain was intentional or an honest mistake, and always hold on to the pain because it’ll hurt too much to talk about. Surely, you have not hurt them like they hurt you. Your spouse shouldn’t be hurt like you because what they did was so much worse. Reject any temptation to forgive them.
Not only do not pursue forgiveness but stray away from the desire to reconcile. Do not humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness, but instead point the finger at your spouse as the one who needs His forgiveness (Luke 18:10-14). While you’re at it, forget God’s commands to forgive just like He forgave you (Colossians 3:12-13).
If you don’t want to sabotage your marriage do the exact opposite:
- Embrace Communication
- Embrace Friendship
- Embrace Community
- Embrace Honesty
- Embrace Forgiveness
These five aspects of marriage will not be easy and they will definitely not happen overnight, but if you avoid them, you will sabotage your marriage.
Please, fight for your marriage. Please.
Jacob Luis Gonzales