While both husband and wife should take responsibility for their part in a marriage, below are ten mistakes common to women, which can completely destroy a marriage.
1. Using words to hurt, maim and destroy your marriage: Although men are stronger, women have the advantage when it comes to verbal strength. Women are adept at brandishing the sharpest words in order to shame, demean and belittle their man. Words are like toothpaste. Once they are out, there is no getting them back in. Regardless of how sorry you are afterward, the damage has been done.
2. Having unrealistic expectations: Seeking fulfillment from one person, and projecting your unhappiness onto him when he doesn't measure up will quickly destroy your marriage. If you feel unhappy, first examine reality. You will be happier if you shape your expectations to fit the reality of your situation. Expecting your spouse or children to make you happy is unrealistic. Make yourself happy.
3. Using sarcastic and critical statements, gestures, and facial expressions. This is a quick and easy way to show your husband that you don't respect him or his opinion. Men can become overwhelmed by the barrage of criticism coming at them. The result is they shut down, withdraw, and seek kindness and approval elsewhere.
4. Criticize him, make fun of him and belittle him to your friends and family: Not only will this diminish your husband in your eyes, it will poison those closest to you. You force them to take sides, and of course they choose your side, because they want to be loyal to you. They will not look at your husband the same. Once you are over your tirade, they will still be mad at him. Your close friendships and relationships will remain irreparably altered against your husband, in time, this can destroy your marriage.
5. Withhold affection and sex: Men are wired differently than women. They need physical release through sexual intimacy. When you refuse to meet that need, you are making a much deeper statement; you do not care about or respect his needs. As much as you need emotional release and closeness, he is wired to need physical release and closeness. Neither is wrong. You are just different. While you want your emotional needs met, it is important not to lose sight of his needs. Think of it this way; what if he stopped talking to you for three days? How about a week? What if he didn't talk to you for a month? Unconscionable. Likewise, it is unfair for you to cut him off from what he needs.
6. Disrespecting his insight, opinions and advice: Men are fixers. By nature, if you present a problem, he will come up with concrete steps to solve the problem. When you are dismissive, it sends the message that you do not value him. If you just want to bitch and complain, call a girlfriend. Girlfriends are great listeners. They will not try to fix you. If you must whine at your husband, tell him upfront that you don't need a solution, just an ear to hear. Sometimes, you might actually follow his advice. It could just work.
7. Undermining his authority, but demanding he take full responsibility: In any organization, there must be a leader, someone in charge. The head over the whole organization, who says, "The buck stops here." Typically, the person who carries the responsibility ought to be the one who has the final say. Don't become so focused on your own feelings and fears (i.e. I'm afraid he'll make a bad decision. I feel like I make better decisions) to override his feelings and fears (i.e. I am responsible to take care of the family. I'm afraid no one in the family respects me.) Be gracious in light of his decision making. You can respectfully disagree with a decision without attacking his ability to lead.
8. Never being happy: One of the quickest ways to destroy your marriage is to spend all your time acting miserable and unhappy. The goal of marriage should be peace and happiness. It is to this end that you have an obligation to be happy. If the goal is to be happily married, it is up to you to exercise self control. There is no need to express every angry, bitter or resentful thought. By owning your own problems, you can take responsibility for your own happiness. Each day, work on bringing your best self into the relationship. Regardless of what happens, you are only one thought away from peace.
9. Demoralizing him and crushing his spirit: If asked, most men believe their wives to be more moral and spiritual than themselves. Often, the wife agrees. She does not see herself as sinful or wrong. She feels her greatest "sins" lie in being deeply disappointed by her husband's failures and her children's shortcomings. Beyond this, wives typically admit to bad behavior and attitudes, but attribute it to hormones, chemical imbalances and a dysfunctional childhood. Woe to the husband who dares suggest his lovely bride could use improvement in some aspect of her life. Labeled a heartless, uncaring, unrighteous lout, he is silenced by an angered, wounded wife, cloaked in self-righteous indignation. She then feels perfectly justified in attacking every flaw, magnifying every misstep and pointing out every failure, until he feels ashamed for living. You are not your husbands holy spirit. Stop trying to correct every little flaw you perceive in his character and set about removing the blinding plank from your own eye.
10. Picking the wrong man. Again. And again. You meet a man. You like him. You start dating. Then you begin to notice the tiny flaws. The chinks in his armor. He yells, just like your dad did. He drinks and becomes abusive. He is mean to your kids. "It's o.k., " you tell yourself, "I'll fix him after we get married." Stop right there. There is no fixing it. The man you date will be the same man after you are married. Inherently kind? He'll still be kind. Addicted to pornography? He'll still be addicted. You cannot change the basic nature of other people. You cannot love them into changing. You cannot nag or pout or complain them into changing. If the relationship feels unhealthy during dating, getting married will not fix it. He will not magically become more responsible, more reliable, or more loving after you marry him. So if you want a good husband, find a good man, date him, and marry him.
While this list may seem daunting, it is important to remember that the main goal of marriage should be peace and happiness. If life is stressful, work on changing your perception. You can see peace instead of stress. You are only one thought away from a peaceful life. If you feel unhappy, seek those thing that will fulfill you in life. Just be happy. The simplest route to something is to just be. The only person you can change is yourself.