It's so easy to push your spouse away. And you can do so without even realizing it.
On several occasions, I've pushed my wife, Susan, away and created a distance between us with my critical and condescending words. And Susan would tell you that she's pushed me away by texting and posting when I wanted her attention.
I originally wrote this post a few years ago. It was so popular with married couples that I decided to update it and share it with you once again. I hope that by reading these "10 Ways to Push Your Spouse Away," you'll actually learn how to pull your spouse toward you.
1. Computer time. Posting, commenting, shopping, gaming, chatting, emailing, downloading, blogging, reading, researching—there are a ton of things to do on the computer. Much of it is good, but too much of a good thing can be bad sometimes, especially when it takes priority over spending time with your spouse.
2. TV. For many, watching television is their "default mode." Grabbing the remote is almost habitual. Television is one of the greatest time bandits there is—it steals valuable time from you and your spouse and adds little or nothing to your relationship. Sure, sit down and watch your favorite family show together every week, but then turn off the tube. Better yet, agree with your spouse to keep the television off for one week and spend that time together instead. It may just transform your marriage.
3. Phone conversations and texting. Cell phones allow us to get a lot of work done during our commute to and from work, driving to and from meetings, waiting for appointments and on trips. There is a time and place for everything, though. There are also times and places when we should unglue the phone from our ear and our fingers. Meal time with the family, couch time with your husband and date nights with your wife are all great opportunities to give the one you love one of the greatest gift you have—your undivided time.
4. Hyper-scheduling. "I'm really busy right now." Most of us have probably said those words recently. It's probably true. Our calendars are simply filled to the brim. Sure, there are probably some things on your schedule that you really can't practically control, but there are many things that you can control. Remember this: Your busy schedule plus your spouse's busy schedule equals missed opportunities to enjoy life and each other. [Tweet This] So start saying "no" to more things outside the home and saying "yes" to more things inside. Set a date night each week with your spouse to spend one-on-one time together.
5. Quiet-less house. Noise can be a distraction to intimacy in relationships. The phone ringing, the television talking, video games blasting and the iPod playing can all create unrest in a home. It's so important to make your home a haven and a place of peace for you and your spouse. So make sure that there are curfews on electronics in your home, not only for your kids but for you and your spouse as well.
6. Idols. Cleaning the house, working, watching sports, eating and even exercising are all good things. If, however, they become idols in your life, your relationship with your spouse may very well suffer. Make sure your relationship with your spouse is a top priority.
7. The Tongue. The tongue can praise and the tongue can put down. Too often, couples use this small part of the body as a weapon that emotionally wounds and, sometimes, scars for life. Decide today to use your tongue for healing, not to hurt. [Tweet This]
8. The Body. When you and your spouse got married, you became "one flesh." You were designed to enjoy one another emotionally and physically. Sexual intimacy is a wonderful gift and should not be withheld as punishment or used to manipulate your spouse.
9. Finances. A total of 57 percent of couples cite money issues as the No. 1 reason behind their divorce. Unbridled spending and debt can cause huge problems in a marriage. Start a budget. Don't spend more than you've got.
10. Keeping a List. Do you keep a constant running tab in your mind of how your spouse has hurt you and failed you? It's hard to let the hurts go. If not dealt with, that list of wrongs will eventually become a list of resentments moving then to bitterness and then to anger. Seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness to your spouse.
In what ways are you pushing your spouse away? What steps are you taking to change? Please share your comment below.
Mark Merrill is the president of Family First. For the original article, visit markmerrill.com.
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