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When marriage counselors were asked to anonymously answer the question, “What are the most common mistakes couples make?” Things got interesting. They had a lot of marriage advice to give.
I know I learned a thing or two.
Here are the Most Common Mistakes Married Couples Make According to Marriage Counselors
Expecting partners to be able to read their mind and anticipate their needs and wants.
YES! This is something many marriage counselors see all the time. Nobody can read your mind, and alternatively, you can’t read anyone else’s mind. This just sets up unrealistic expectations.
You have to use your words.
A lack of communication or being comfortable with discussing difficult topics.
Often times one partner is uncomfortable with the discussion of a particular topic (usually something that the other partner really wants to talk about and is having trouble with in the marriage) so they just won’t talk about it, and then both partners feel frustrated and dissatisfied.
Actually talking about these issues is a good way to emotionally connect with each other.
Blaming their partner and not taking ownership of the issues in the marriage.
Blame is a sticky game, and most of the time couples can get really caught up in it, it’s important to not only take ownership of your mistakes, but to admit them out loud to your partner as well.
In the long term, being willing to admit your mistakes is SO much better than fighting.
Not expressing gratitude towards your partner on a regular basis.
This is important not only for your partner’s well being and the health of the relationship, but for you personally as well. If people start to look for things to be grateful for instead of things to be mad about, it changes their whole outlook and you will be more grateful for your friends and family, too!
Not giving intimacy in their relationship enough attention.
This includes, but isn’t limited to your sex life. Many relationships start hot and heavy and intimacy feels naturally, but as this phase diminishes, it’s important to cuddle, talk and just be with each other.
This doesn’t mean fancy dates or expensive vacations. It can simply be taking 15 minutes a day to snuggle before bed, or when you wake up.
You will be amazed at what 15 minutes of cuddles can do for your sex drive!
Not paying attention or responding to repair attempts.
What is a repair attempt?
According to this marriage counselor, repair attempts are A repair attempt is any statement or action — verbal, physical, or otherwise — meant to diffuse negativity and keep a conflict from escalating out of control.John Gottman, Ph.D.
This is one of the most common marriage mistakes.
So, for example let’s say you’re fighting with your husband and he makes a joke about how he almost tripped when he was walking. And you completely ignore the comment and keep fighting.
That was his way of saying, “Hey I am done fighting, here’s some self deprecating humor so we can move on!” And it’s your job to see it and maybe laugh, or trip yourself or whatever to diffuse the situation.
When we ignore these attempts, the fight can just drag on and on, instead, you can use these little attempts to just end the argument–especially if it was pointless to begin with, and you’re now just fighting because you’re mad.
These are all brilliant, and I know I need to try a few myself. 🙂
To read all the answers and everything they said, check out the entire thread over on reddit, here.