Bad mouth marriage (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

When talking about your spouse, your relationship or marriage in general, be sure to moan and groan. Talk about the sacrifices you are making, how you have lost your freedom and how marriage is such hard work.

Discourage others from committing and settling down. Say things like:
Enjoy life while you can.
Marriage is the start of your prison sentence. Enjoy your freedom while you can.
You are stuck now - ha ha.

When you attend a wedding – instead of celebrating the couple and their commitment - feel sorry of them and show it in your words and actions. (Is it not weird that the humour at weddings focuses on demeaning the institution which it is meant to be celebrating? And then we wonder why the state of our unions is in so much trouble!)

Make and laugh at jokes about marriage, husbands, wives, in-laws.

Why is this a good way to ruin a relationship?

Because a good relationship starts in your mind and how you think about the concept itself.

When you are immersed in anti-marriage messages long enough, (and they are everywhere!!) it's natural to internalize the beliefs and begin to take them as a fact of life.

The way we talk about marriage to others and to ourselves subtly influences how we think about it ourselves and in turn reflects in our attitudes and actions towards our spouse.

How can you counteract this pervasive tendency in our society?

- Become mindful of the way you are thinking and talking about marriage in general and your relationship in particular. Do you think about it as as something you are dedicated to and enjoy working at, or as a job that you are forced to do and sometimes dread?

- Remind yourself that while marriage can be hard work, it has the potential to bring you more joy, intimacy, love and friendship into your life than anything else. Why else would people still be getting marriage in an age when they really don't have to?

- Become aware of the mental and emotional baggage you carry about the other gender and how it is negatively impacting your relationship

- Become an advocate for marriage. Be courageous to display your love, affection and admiration for your spouse in public.

- Be a role model for youngsters by working on your own relationship (it's the best legacy you can give your children, by the way)

- Bonus points: admit to your spouse that marrying them was the best decision you ever made (HA – thought I would throw that one in for fun :)

Here is a list of recommended books on relationships:

Lots more resources on living your best self

Have you listened to the podcast yet?
Family Connections Podcast

Here are my top 5 suggestions for books on Marriage Relationships

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman PhD and Nan Silver

What Makes Love Last?: How to Build Trust and Avoid Betrayal by John Gottman Ph.D. and Nan Silver

Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Sue Johnson

5 Love Languages - Updated: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman

Making Marriage Simple: Ten Relationship-Saving Truths by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt

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