My good friend and college roomate Gregg Stutts (left with his wife Robyn) "gets it" when it comes to living with high integrity in the stuff of everyday life... Marriage too!! (http://blog.greggstutts.com/) I've watched, and been led, by Gregg in this for more than 25 years now (In fact, I stood up in Gregg's wedding 25 years ago...Gulp!) Particularly when it comes to marriage, Gregg lives this stuff and teaches this stuff in VERY practical ways. I'll think you'll see why I asked his permission to repost his blog, "45 Ways to Slowly Kill Your Marriage." I'd suggest picking a few of these to focus on. Gregg also asked his readers if they had any to add. I'll do the same.
Assume your way is right and your spouse’s way is wrong.
Fail to discover or understand your spouse’s needs.
If you happen to stumble upon your spouse’s needs, just don’t meet them.
Never put yourself in your spouse’s shoes or try to see things from any perspective other than your own.
Secretly view pornography or spend time in online chat rooms.
Don’t ever talk about money, sex, children or your schedules.
Never address your past–things like your parents divorce, abuse, addictions, etc. Just limp along emotionally damaged.
Put your Bible somewhere out of sight, then try to forget where it is.
Keep score of all the good things you do and all the bad things your spouse does.
Tell your spouse, “This is just who I am. You should just accept me.”
Take for granted everything your spouse does. Never express appreciation.
Don’t resolve conflicts as they arise–let things build up.
Develop as many friendships and interests apart from your spouse as you possibly can.
Don’t be gracious or forgiving. Make your spouse pay.
Avoid showing affection, including hugs, kisses and holding hands
Erode trust by keeping secrets and telling little lies.
Develop at least one strong relationship with someone of the opposite sex with whom you can share your marriage problems.
Compare your spouse’s flaws and weaknesses with others’ strengths.
Let yourself go physically by not exercising, never trying a new hairstyle, not showering or buying new clothes.
Put all of your money and energy into the wedding day, but invest nothing in all the days after the wedding.
Take advantage of every opportunity to get your feelings hurt.
Limit sex to no more than once a week.
Avoid texting, emailing or calling each other throughout the day.
Accumulate as much credit card debt as quickly as possible.
Criticize, correct and interrupt your spouse in front of others.
Flirt with others, but not your spouse.
Try to be as inattentive as possible. Television, the newspaper or a laptop are helpful distractions.
You probably can’t avoid buying a Christmas gift, but you should never buy gifts just for no reason. Your spouse’s birthday should be recognized with a card only. Slip a $20 bill in it to make it worse.
Develop routines and stick to them. Meals, dates and sex should be predictable. Boring if possible.
Don’t read any books, listen to any podcasts or attend any conferences that could strengthen your marriage.
Go to bed at different times.
Keep your spouse insecure and on edge by occasionally mentioning divorce.
Keep raising the bar and moving the target so your spouse will always feel like a failure.
Place your work, your children and your hobbies above your marriage.
Make mountains out of mole hills.
Assume the worst about your spouse. Never give the benefit of the doubt.
Fail to anticipate trials and difficulties in the following areas: finances, health, in-laws, child raising, communicating with each other, etc.
If it’s absolutely necessary to apologize, then be sure it’s followed with the word “but.”
Use absolute statements whenever possible. For example: “You never help around the house.” Or, “You’re always complaining.”
If your spouse confronts you about something, even if it’s done in a nice way, be sure to have a list of grievances to counter with. Under no circumstances should you admit fault.
Make your own comfort, security and pleasure your top priority. Don’t invite your spouse to join you in living for a cause bigger than yourselves.
Keep things serious. Playfulness is for kids.
If you are angry or upset and your spouse asks if you’re okay, answer by saying, “I’m fine.”
Watch TV, spend time online and/or bring work home, so that you’ll be able to say you just don’t have time to read your Bible or talk with your spouse.
Don’t attend church together and under no circumstances should you pray together.
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