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Keep secrets and tell lies (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

If safety is the foundation of a healthy relationship, trust is the bedrock of that foundation. Marriage relationships can survive many storms and weather some neglect. Long term lack of trust though, weakens its very foundation, destroys the institution and leaves a mere shell of a relationship.

A VERY effective way to begin the slow weakening of your marriage is to keep secrets from your spouse and lie to them about small as well as important things. The longer you continue to abuse the trust that your spouse has likely placed in you, the more difficult it will be to repair the damage that you have done when you are found out – and you will be found out for sure eventually.

Here are five ways that secrets and lies lead you down the slippery slope of marriage destruction:

1) When you continue to lie and keep secrets, you will ensure that your spouse will develop a nagging feeling that something is not quite right. They will have a lingering feeling that you do not truly love...

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Refuse professional help when you need it (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

If you could have solved certain issues in your relationship, you would have done it by now. If your spouse is requesting (begging) for you or the two of you to seek professional help, it is likely because the both of you are stuck in an unhealthy relationship pattern which you have been unable to move beyond. Or you have gone through something that is tearing your relationship apart.

In order to destroy your relationship, Pat Love suggests that you say a version of the following to your spouse when they request you to accompany them to therapy:

"I know more about me than any therapist"
"Those guys are crazier than their patients"
"I don't need some jerk poking around in my private life"
"It's pouring money down the drain"
"You're the one who needs a shrink"
"I just don't believe in it"

Saying things like the above will ensure that your spouse feels not only frustrated and helpless but also loses hope in the future of your relationship together.

If you want to turn your relationship...

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Adopt an addiction (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

There are many reasons why you may be addicted to substances, to pornography or to technology. Reasons such as mental health issues, family history of addiction or mental illness, former abuse that you have experienced and possibly trauma.

None of these are your fault.

Living with the impact of your addictions, however, is very challenging for your spouse and unless you do something about it, you will almost certainly destroy your relationship.

Addiction is not something you can deal with on your own. If you had the internal resources to deal with these challenges, you would not be addicted in the first place.

Start by taking the first step – face up to the reality of your addiction and agree to getting help. You may be surprised at how supportive your spouse is in your journey to healing if they know that you are doing what you can to help yourself.

Here is a link to a Help Guide for Addictions
https://www.helpguide.org/home-pages/addictions.htm

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Be abusive (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

We have been talking about "How (not) to ruin a perfectly good relationship" this past month. We have covered lots of ground about what builds and destroys relationships.

It is now time to talk about some more serious things that destroy a relationship. These are "the biggies" - the behaviours that you really should stay away from if you want to keep your relationship healthy. They are also those that are harder to recover from without intervention and support.

Please note that the posts this week are of a sensitive nature. Some may be difficult to read, especially if you or someone you know is going through this stuff. And yet, these are very things that we really do need to talk about if we want to strengthen our relationships and transform relationships within our community. I encourage you to read them even if you think that they do not apply to you. Please feel free to share (discretely) with anyone who might benefit.

So today's edition of How to ruin a perfectly good...

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Make the bed a battle ground (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Physical intimacy is what differentiates the marriage bond from other close relationships. So a very effective way to destroy your relationship is to use this special and sacred bond as a weapon of war with your spouse.

There are SO many ways to do this. Here are the top 6:

· Don't prioritize it – use kids, work, your to-do list, stress or any number of other excuses not to enjoy intimacy with your spouse.
· Withhold it as a punishment for other issues in your relationship. Hold onto unresolved grievance from the past as the reason. Insist that 'other issues need to be sorted out before we can be intimate'.
· If you are the partner with the lower desire, insist on controlling the frequency of your interaction. Give your spouse the cold shoulder when they make advances. Pretend to fall asleep or to have a headache. Fall for the modern myth about 'not doing it unless you really want to'. Make your spouse wrong for their desire. Say things like: "that's all you...

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Phub your partner (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Here is a modern way to destroy your relationship: keep "phubbing" your partner: snub your partner by showing them that your smart phone is wayyy more important to you than they are. Be distracted by your cellphone while in the company of your spouse and refuse to change your behaviour when they protest.

According to two recent studies, phubbing is a really effective way to create conflict in the relationship, to lower relationship satisfaction, to lower life satisfaction and to create depression in your spouse.

Here are some ways to perfect the art of phubbing:

· Check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night – before and after you greet your spouse.
· Always bring your phone to the dinner table and during meals with your spouse, make sure to pull out and check your cell phone.
· Places your cell phone where you can see it when you are together. Keep glancing at it expectantly as if you save you from an intimate moment with your...

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Be passive-aggressive (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

When something bothers or upsets you, under no circumstance tell your spouse what it is honestly or directly. Instead, express your anger indirectly in other ways, leaving them feeling like the two of you are in the middle of a fight but not quite sure what they did wrong to cause it.

Some great ways to show passive-aggression are:
- Go somewhere you don't want to go but drag your feet while going there, be late, make sure you are not pleasant company. Let everyone see that you are not happy to be there
- Say things like "I'm not mad", "Fine, whatever." "Yes dear" while seething on the inside
- Deliberately procrastinate. Rather than tell your spouse that you cannot agree to their request, delay completing their request until they get very frustrated, thereby punishing them for making the request.

Such behaviour will ensure that it is not possible to resolve the issue or reach closure. Make sure that your anger is always underneath the surface, simmering, causing resentment and leaking...

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Save your best self for the outside world (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

Be socially charming, attentive to others in public and even flirtatious. Put on your best clothes and your best attitude when you go out. Be the life of the party and use humour and wit to entertain everybody.

But turn into a completely different person as soon as you are alone with your spouse.

In private be silent, critical, mean or aggressive. Never get the joke. Don't bother with personal grooming or charm.

This will ensure the speedy demise of your relationship because your spouse will soon recognize that you are capable of being nice, attentive and charming – just not to them.

If you wanted to save your relationship on the other hand, try this instead:

Adopt the stranger standard.

Be AT LEAST as good to your spouse as you are to others.

AT LEAST as good. At least as good to your spouse as you are to others if you want to have a stable relationship.

To have a healthy and loving relationship, you need to give your best self to those that matter most.

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Threaten Divorce (How to ruin a perfectly good relationship)

The foundation of a great relationship is safety: physical safety, emotional safety and commitment safety. Without a strong foundation, you simply cannot build a strong marriage.

So one way to destroy your relationship is never ever give your spouse the idea that you are committed to stay in the relationship through thick and thin.

To use this strategy effectively, keep your spouse on their toes by threatening to leave the relationship at the first sign of trouble. Keep them guessing at your level of commitment. Plan your exit strategy and leave the door open.

Using the D word can also be used as an avoidance strategy. When your spouse complains about a relationship issue, say things like: "If you don't like the way things are, just leave". Saying this will ensure that nothing ever gets raised or resolved and resentments can foster and grow.

What makes threatening with the D word so effective to end the relationship is that eventually the other person will call your bluff and show...

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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...

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