9 Habits That Lead to Divorce

I’m convinced that if you’ll avoid these common bad “habits”, you’ll be well on your way to beating the divorce statistics.

Every married couple has exchanged vows which promise “til death do us part,” but for far too many marriages, their dreams of “forever” are crushed by divorce.  According to government stats from the CDC, America averages one divorce every 36 seconds. That’s roughly 2,400 divorces each day, 16,800 divorces every week and 876,000 divorces per year.

So, how do we stop this epidemic of broken marriages? To bring it even closer to home, how should YOU protect YOUR marriage? I’m convinced that if you’ll avoid these common bad “habits”, you’ll be well on your way to beating the divorce statistics and creating a healthy and happy marriage that will endure through every season of life.

The nine habits that lead to divorce are…

1.  Being secretive with your online activity

Dave Willis love marriage quote secrecy is enemy of intimacy trust

Smart phones, social media and 24/7 internet access can be great tools to help us stay connected, BUT they can also create dangerous distractions and temptations that could potentially harm your marriage. The moment you find yourself having an online conversation or visiting a site that you hope your spouse doesn’t find out about, you’re already in trouble. Be honest and transparent with each other. Let your phones be a tool to keep you connected with each other; not a wedge to drive you further apart.

2. Dividing everything into “his” and “hers”

Dave Willis quote quotes marriages love marriage is not 50 50 divorce is marriage is 100 100 not dividing everything in half but giving everything you got davewillis.org

When a husband and wife have separate bank accounts, separate hobbies, separate friends, and separate dreams, they’re running the risk of creating completely separate lives. Marriage is about combining; divorce is about dividing. The more you can share together, the stronger your marriage will be.

3. Putting the marriage “on hold” while you’re raising your kids

Dave Willis marriage quote your children are learning about marriage by watching you so treat your spouse teh way you want your children's future spouses to treat them someday

I’ve seen too many marriages fall apart, because two well-meaning people put so much focus on their kids that they forgot to keep investing in the marriage. Some couples reduce their relationship to a partnership in co-parenting, and when the kids finally grow up, they discover that they have created an empty nest and an empty marriage. Give your children the gift that comes from seeing their parents in a loving, thriving marriage. Model the kind of marriage that will make your kids excited to be married someday.

4. Giving each other your “leftovers”

Dave Willis marriage quote focus on the family always strive to give your spoues the best of yourself not what's leftover after you have given your best to everyone else

Some couples have what I call a “cable company marriage.” Have you ever noticed how Cable TV companies seem to give you their very best deals and service at the beginning of the relationship but then after the “introductory period” ends, they give you as little as possible to still keep you around? Some married couples were great at giving their best at the beginning of the relationship, but as time goes on, they start giving the leftovers. Strive to keep giving your best to each other. Grow deeper in your love, your respect and your friendship through all the seasons of marriage.

5. Holding grudges and “keeping score”

Dave Willis quote familyshare holding a grudge doesn't make you strong it makes you bitter forgiving doesn't make you weak it sets you free

If you’ve been married longer than fifteen minutes, chances are good that your spouse has done something to offend you and you’ve done something to offend him/her. When our words or actions cause harm, we need to be quick to admit fault and seek forgiveness. When your spouse has wronged you, you need to offer grace quickly so that trust can start being rebuilt and there’s no room for bitterness to take root in your heart. Don’t use past hurts as ammunition in arguments. Let grace flow freely in your marriage. No marriage can survive without it.

6. Trusting your “feelings” more than your commitments

Dave Willis quote focus on the family a strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on days when they struggle to like each other

There are going to be days when you might not “feel” like being married, but feelings are fickle and they were never intended to be our primary advisor in major decisions. “Feelings” often lead people into adultery. The healthiest couples have discovered that love is a commitment; not just a feeling. Their commitment to each other perseveres regardless of what they’re feeling. The strength of that commitment allows them to have a deeper intimacy, a stronger connection and a happier marriage.

7. Making decision without consulting your spouse

Dave Willis quote davewillis.org marriage consider your spouse in every decision you make will impact them

Our pride can often convince us that we don’t have to answer to anyone, and we should be able to make decisions without consulting anyone. Pride has been the downfall of so many marriages. The healthiest couples have learned that EVERY decision they make as individuals will have some level of impact on each other, so they respectfully and thoughtfully consult each other in every decision.

8. Trying to change each other

Dave Willis inspirational quote don't try to change people just love them love is what changes us

When you try to “change” your spouse, you will BOTH end up frustrated. As you’ve probably learned already, you can’t change each other; you can only love each other. The only part of the marriage you have the power to change is the part you see when you look in the mirror. Be willing to change your responses to your spouse’s behavior. Look for ways to love and serve each other even when you have differences of perspective or preference. You’ll both probably end up “changing” for the better in the process.

9. Planning an exit strategy

Dave Willis quote a perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other

The healthiest couples have removed the “D-Word” (Divorce) from their vocabularies. When we threaten divorce or when we silently start fantasizing about life with someone new, we’re ripping apart the foundation of the marriage. The couples who make it work aren’t the ones who never had a reason to get divorced; they’re simply the ones whose commitment to each other was always bigger than their differences and flaws.

If you’re in a struggling marriage, please don’t lose hope. Check out our new program at FightingForMyMarriage.com.

This article originally appeared here.

Dave Willis
Dave Willis is a pastor, husband, and dad of 4 boys. With his wife Ashley, Dave founded StrongerMarriages.org and the “Marriage” app as a way to encourage couples to build stronger marriage. You can connect with him on twitter and follow his blog at Patheos.

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