Jan 31

Watch out for these 4 marriage killers

The marital relationship is quite complex. I truly believe marriage is the best catalyst on earth. It can expose the best or the worst character of an individual. If not careful,   instead of reflecting Christ, a married couple can reflect the apocalypse.  For some couples, that is the case. Little by little bit, they fall in a vicious cycle that kills their marriages slowly.


Listed below are the 4 marriage killers that every couple should watch out for.

Criticism – Personal attacks aim at spouse’s character or personality.  Making categorization that one spouse is wrong and one spouse is right.

Stonewalling – Usually expressed by silent treatment, leaving in the middle of conversation, distant, using one word response and avoid the conversation by changing the topic.

Defensiveness – Responding by contesting, making excuses, pointing the finger and seeing self as the victim and spouse as the enemy.

Contempt – Usually expressed by disdain, eye rolling, sarcasm, name calling, mockery and hostile humor.

From just looking at the above list, most couples would agree that the marriage killers should be avoided at all cost. However, in the midst of frustration, hurt feelings and disappointments, couples who do not stay on guard allow the marriage killers to destroy their marriages. John Gottman did not name these 4 marriages killers as the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse for no reason. Consequently, if you want a healthy marriage, be on your guard.

Question:  The media portrays marriage as merely a fallen institution. These 4 marriages killers are applauded and laughed at in sitcoms. What do you do to inject your marriage with positivity?

Thank you for reading.

  • http://www.aterriblehusband.com/about/ ATerribleHusband

    I got a ton of progress when I stopped pointing fingers and decided to make the first move, looking in the mirror at what I could do to improve our marriage. It’s also pretty contagious in either direction. Extra effort begets extra effort. Finger pointing begets finger pointing.

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    I know about these marriage killers. They will destroy your marriage if you are not careful. Stonewalling and defensiveness were our major hurdles. We decided several years ago to stand against them and live out our marriage the way God designed.

  • http://portofpeacecounseling.com/ Marie Mertilus

    Bernard. Great job. I am glad that you and your wife were able to target stonewalling and defensiveness. I really love the decision that you made to live out a marriage that pleases God. It is hard work, but the benefits are priceless. Keep it up. Letting go of my silent treatment not only helped our marriage, it also helped other to see that marriage takes work. Even as a marriage counselor, I have to be intentional and take responsibility.

  • http://portofpeacecounseling.com/ Marie Mertilus

    Thank you. It takes gut to look in the mirror. You right. Standing on the sideline and pointing the finger does not benefit anyone. It is contagious. A spouse cannot stay mad, angry when the other spouse does not engage in the same attitude. Great job.

  • http://www.jenniferhester.com/ Jenny Hester

    Great reminders Marie, thank you.

  • http://portofpeacecounseling.com/ Marie Mertilus

    Thanks Jenny. I wrote to encourage couple to be aware of the marriage killers.I also wrote about the marriage killers to remind myself how crucial it is to protect my marriage,