It is easy to get into a marriage, but it is work to maintain one. It also takes work to ruin one. Here are 8 practical ways to ruin your marriage:
1. Stop having a Christ-centered marriage.
Secrets to a great marriage don’t exist. All the “self-help” and “how to” books don’t work because we can’t love our spouse unconditionally left to our selves. Why? Simply put: apart from Christ we’re pound sinners seeking our own well-being before others. As Spirit-filled Christians (Eph 5:18), we know that there’s no secret to having a long and joyful marriage. If we would simply put Christ in the center of our lives and obey Him, everything else will follow. It starts with knowing Christ and continually submitting to Him as Lord (Luke 9:23). If you want to ruin your marriage, remove Christ as the Lord of your marriage.
2. Exchange God-ordained roles.
Scripture is very clear about how the home is to function. The wife submits to her husband in everything (Eph 5:22-24 ) and the husband loves His wife as Christ loved the church (Eph 5:25-30). How did Christ love the church? Well, 1) He died for her, 2) He leads her, 3) He provides for her, and 4) He protects her. That’s a tall order, men! Marriages fail because men and women willfully or ignorantly get the roles mixed up. If you want to ruin your marriage, allow yourself to function outside of your intended role.
3. Neglect the marriage bed.
This one is pretty straightforward. Sex should happen often in a marriage and it should be enjoyed unashamedly (1 Cor 7:2-5; Pro 5:18-19). Every marriage has struggled in this area at one point or another, so don’t feel like you’re alone if/when you hit a brick wall in this department. The topic of sex is abused is our culture and ignored in our Evangelicalism. Therefore, it is not discussed nor is a biblical view of sex taught very often. That’s a shame, because healthy marriages must have a physical component to it. It’s not the primary thing, but it’s still a thing. For help in this area, a great book on the subject of marital intimacy can be found here. If you want to have a ruined marriage, ignore your spouse’s physical needs and desires.
4. Fail to leave-and-cleave.
When a couple is married, their immediate family is no longer mom and dad, brother(s) and/or sister(s) (Gen 2:24; Eph 5:31). In a healthy marriage, priority is given to each other. Therefore, the husband and the wife must put each other first. If you want to ruin your marriage, demonstrate greater loyalty and attention to your parents than to your spouse. This is a common problem in marriages.
5. Don’t communicate.
One could give countless examples. Marriages must be open enough to respectfully voice concerns, preferences, and disagreements without fear of conflict. If not, then resentment will seep in and ruin the marriage before you see it coming. If you want to ruin your marriage, don’t talk to each other about anything.
6. Spend little to no time together.
In 1 Peter 3:7, husbands are commanded to “live with their wives according to knowledge.” This means that men must know their wives well in order to have a healthy marriage. Therefore, T-I-M-E is very important. Sometimes we need to stop and reevaluate what we are doing with our time. Sometimes we need to disappoint people—even church people—in order to work on our marriage. If you want to ruin your marriage, don’t schedule quality time with your spouse.
7. Take each other for granted.
We are creatures of habit. Given enough time, we start expecting things to happen and then we develop a sense of entitlement. In the very beginning of marriage, for example, a guy goes from eating at McDonald’s every other night to having delicious home cooked meals carefully prepared by his lovely new bride. He starts out with warming words of affirmation and overzealous gratitude. Then a few years go by and slowly he goes from being thankful and gracious to taking her service for granted. He becomes thankless and it communicates the opposite of love. If you want to ruin your marriage, don’t say “Thank you, babe!” anymore.
8. Never say, “I was wrong. Please forgive.”
Pride kills marriage faster than anything. We all still sin everyday against God (Jas 3:2) and often against our spouse. We may be quick at times to go to God in prayer, but many do not ask for forgiveness from the person they wronged. A touch of humility can save a marriage and heal wounds. If you want to ruin your marriage, act arrogantly and never confess your faults to your spouse.
These are just some of the ways to ruin a marriage. What else would you add to the list?