Do you pay more attention to Facebook and your smartphone than to your husband? Have you been avoiding sex? Do you hide big purchases from your partner? These behaviors hurt your marriage. But it’s not too late to change bad habits. Here are the 9 worst relationship mistakes and how to start fixing them today...
1. Addiction to anything
Addiction on any level – social media, food, alcohol, drugs, shopping or gambling – can sour a marriage fast.
“Your addiction quickly becomes a third party in your marriage,” says Lisa Bahar, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Newport Beach, Calif.
Big red flag: If you feel like you’re cheating on your husband when you are doing it, you are.
It’s especially true if you’re hooked on the adrenaline rush of a new relationship – even if it’s an Internet or emotional affair and no sex is involved.
“Recovery from any kind of infidelity takes time for both partners to deal with the anger, resentment, guilt and shame that results,” Bahar says.
So stop, and think about what you really value and how your addictive behavior is affecting your relationship, Bahar recommends. “Exploring your values will help you gain the determination to do the hard work to repair your marriage.”
Addictions are powerful. You must first want help and then pursue counseling.
“Once you are on the road to recovery, you’ll be in a position to work on your marriage,” Bahar says.
An over-reliance on social media also puts a crimp on your time together as a couple.
“Surfing Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter when you could be with your partner is a bad choice,” says Tina B. Tessina, Ph.D., psychotherapist and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That (Adams Media).
Make your bedroom a device-free zone, and agree on a set amount of time when you will surf the Internet or play “Words With Friends.” Make mealtimes device-free too.
“So many couples are focused on gadgets and not on each other. Your gadget is not going to provide happiness and fond memories,” Tessina says.
“Don’t let your phone seduce you into neglecting your partner.”