Wednesday, December 10, 2014

How to Ruin Your Marriage in Five Easy Steps

I'm going to assume you clicked on this not because you want to find a way to ruin your marriage, but because you're wondering why anyone would write about how to ruin a marriage. First, let me just clarify that I do not endorse the destruction of matrimony. This is a post that is telling you how to ruin your marriage in order for you not to do so. It's satirical or something. I'm just trying to be a proper blogger and write my first "How To" post, okay? 

To preface, I have only been married for three and a half years (Blake and I have been together for five years). I wouldn't call myself a seasoned wife by any means; however, many people have come to me for relationship advice. Now, five years isn't very long, but going from dating to having a baby and raising teenagers is a lot of life to live in a short time. This is the only credibility I have to offer on this subject. 

So, here's our story, in super short:

When Blake and I started becoming close friends, it took me about zero seconds to determine that whoever married him was going to be the luckiest and smartest woman on the planet. I wouldn't say I had a crush on him right away; I just happened to have eyes and a fully functional brain. At this point in my life I had met only almost-men at best, but Blake was far ahead of the curve. After dramas and life challenges and all sorts of things God did to get my attention, by some miracle Blake realized he was impressed with me, too. When that happened, I was not about to ruin my chances, or anyone else's. I prayed that God wouldn't put us together unless I was the one Blake was supposed to marry. That was scary for me, because selfishly I hoped that I could just manipulate the situation so that I could make sure we ended up together; but I knew I was tired of being in relationships where God wasn't the one in charge. I thank God every day for answering that prayer, because I can't imagine even for a moment being married to anyone else. 

So, considering that God put the most awesome man on the planet in my path, it's not surprising that Blake and I were the friends among our friends who did most of the "firsts." First to get together, first to get engaged, first to get married, and first to have a baby. We also managed to do all four of these things before most of our friends did the first two. It wasn't a race or a contest, that's just how life happened for us. 

When Blake and I were engaged, we were still serving at Faith Baptist Church in Harrah, where Blake was the youth pastor. Along with our marriage counseling with Blake's dad, we were also being discipled by the pastor, Dan, and his wife, Gayle. During this time, Gayle and I would meet on Wednesdays before church and she would prepare me for the best and hardest job around: being a godly wife. Basically, any brilliant relationship advice I give originated from Gayle. I think there's a Rolodex in my brain filled with Gayle quotes that I can immediately reference when I am trying to make a wise decision. Anything not from this Rolodex was picked up from marriage counseling, or a lesson I lived through (or learned the hard way). In this post, I am trying to narrow it down to advice that works both ways. Maybe someday I will write a post just of quotes that help me choose to be a better wife on any given day, but for now, this is for husbands and wives.

So, that was the introduction. Without further ado, here is my post. 

How to Ruin Your Marriage
in Five Easy Steps

1. Keep a Detailed Mental Checklist of Your Spouse's Successes and Failures.
They finally did those dishes you begged them to do because after you cleaned a lot of the house you just wanted them to do that one thing: check. They finally did those dishes after you asked them sixteen times: check x 16. They changed two of the baby's diapers today: check x 2. You changed five diapers today: check x 5. They asked you to do the thing, and you did the thing, but they didn't say thank you: check. You told them (or at least implied it by the silent treatment you gave them later) if they mention this one thing that it really hurts your feelings and they mentioned it: check x another silent treatment. 

A checklist is the perfect way to ruin a marriage. If your spouse fails to make the numbers add up in their favor (spoiler alert: they will), you will both be so frustrated that your marriage will soon become a somewhat convenient living arrangement. 

2. Always Be Passive Aggressive
Communicating clearly with your spouse about how you are feeling will only bring you two to a better understanding of one another's feelings, and will no doubt result in a better marriage. No, if you want to watch your marriage slowly decay, never directly inform your spouse of what you are thinking or feeling. Communicate only through cold shoulders, eye rolling, sighing through your nose and shaking your head, and speak only these phrases, in whatever order you like: "it's nothing," "I'm fine," "it doesn't matter," or, to communicate all three with no words, simply shrug until your spouse walks away in frustration. If you do all of these things and your spouse still hasn't figured out what they have done wrong, then you have reached an expert level of passive aggressiveness, and you may move on to the next step:

3. Assume They Did It on Purpose
Clearly your spouse isn't so clueless that they truly have no idea how they upset you, so they must have done it on purpose. The fact that they are now completely uncomfortable around you probably doesn't mean that they now feel like they need to walk on eggshells around you; it's because they know they have upset you and now they are purposely upsetting you. I mean, it's highly unlikely that your spouse wants you to be happy. At this point, you may feel free to replace your passive aggressiveness with actual aggressiveness.  If you do finally share your feelings, however, make sure you communicate only in a way that will hurt them: shouting at them, blaming them, and reminding them how much they have victimized you. Whether you become aggressive or remain passive aggressive, you will then be able to proceed to the next step:

4. Use Sex as a Reward and Punishment System
They told you how wonderful they think you are and you went on a date together tonight, so they have earned some hanky panky after the kids go to bed. They haven't said they're sorry yet so they're not getting lucky tonight. Your husband came home from work and even though the kids were driving you nuts and you were trying to finish cooking dinner after you had a long day of your own he sat down in front of the TV, his computer screen, or his phone--or, better yet, decided that was the best time to use the bathroom. Obviously, just asking him to help you is out of the question, so instead you can revert back to step two, sit through a tense dinner, and say you're "not really in the mood tonight" when he tries spooning you in bed later. Your wife didn't put out when you came home from an awful day at work last week, so even though she clearly wants to make love tonight you're going to use the same lame excuse of having period cramps (or, a lame excuse that actually makes sense). Pretty soon you will both keep each other from intimacy for so long that there will be no more intimacy.

5. Ask Yourself Often, "What if I Had Married Someone Else?"
It doesn't really matter whether or not it was someone you actually dated or even knew. Sometimes a made up person that you may have ended up meeting in a coffee shop if you hadn't been married to your spouse is enough to get your imagination running freely. Who knows? Maybe someone else you might have married would have appreciated you more and always understood your feelings without you ever having to utter a word. Maybe someone else would have done everything you wanted or felt like you needed so you could be satisfied with your marriage. After all, your marriage is about you, right?

So there's my list, at least the top five ways I would pick. For more seasoned spouses, what are some things you would think of that would ruin a marriage?

No comments:

Post a Comment