In a recent article on Shine from Yahoo, a husband reflects on the mistakes he made in his relationship in an effort to help prevent them from entering other couples' unions.
1. Supporting vs. loving
Don't confusing supporting you spouse with loving them.
Throughout our entire marriage I worked odd hours and lots of hours. Our first year of marriage involved school during the day and work during the evenings until well after she went to bed. The next year involved working a full time job during the day and a full time job overnight. I began to believe that working long hours was all I really needed to do to show love to my wife. I rarely spoke the words, "I love you" to my wife.
2. Getting lazy
Don't let things slide.
The times I was at home during my last two years of law school, my wife and I gradually drifted apart. Until we began requesting certain nights away from each other until every night of each week was scheduled away from each other.
3. Forgetting compliments
Don't forget to compliment each other.
I don't know why I didn't compliment her. I've always struggled with telling girls that they look pretty. Most of the time when I said it early on in our marriage, it came out in a mumble and was usually pretty ill-timed. Towards the end of our nine years, it didn't come out at all.
4. Not listening
Pay attention and recognize your partners pleas for help.
I've never been good at communicating with her. The distance that grew between us made that hurdle even more difficult. She wrote in one, "I miss you." I didn't respond to the email. Those types of pleas for help happened more and more frequently, but I ignored them.
5. Avoiding affection
Don't avoided physical displays of emotion.
I've always felt awkward holding my wife's hand in public, or giving her a kiss in public. But I got lazier as time went on, and eventually affection didn't happen anymore at all.
6. Turning your marriage into a competition
You marital roles are not a competition.
Sometimes when I would come home, my wife would tell me how difficult her day was and that I didn't have it so bad because I got to spend time with adults all day. Those conversations turned into arguments over who had the more difficult life.
7. Lack of understanding
Refused to understand the things your partner may struggled with.
One time, my wife came home from a trip and learned that her friend's daughter had unexpectedly passed away. My wife was devastated. She made arrangements to get on a plane the next day, and I was frustrated. I didn't let her finish grieving before I made the whole thing into another argument.
8. Learning from mistakes
Things will get easier.
We've both learned from our mistakes. Thankfully, my wife decided to give me another chance, and we've become far happier than we ever were before.