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No marriage is perfect. Every marriage has its own share of problems that can be hard to overcome. What separates the successful marriages from the unsuccessful marriages is how we handle those problems. Even though every marriage has its ups and downs, successful couples learn how to manage the bumps and keep their relationship going. When individuals are hurt, they often do things to harm their marriage like push their spouse away. What people often forget is how damaging these actions can be and how these actions can cause pain that lasts a lifetime. Here are seven things you’re doing that are pushing your partner away.

Blame

The main goal of marriage should be peace and happiness, but too often we lose sight of that in our relationships. There are certain forms of communication that are deadly and blame is one of them. Most couples play the blame game persistently. Those who do this become so intent on blaming their spouse that they never realize that they are indirectly pushing your marriage towards failure. Without a doubt, blame can have some really damaging effects on your marriage. First, there is isolation and loneliness in your married life. You begin to feel disconnected in your relationship. Next, there is anger and bitterness which begins to tear at your relationship. Then, both of you begin to feel that the other is selfish and unreasonable, and it begins to wear at both parties. Subsequently, you feel as if there is no true togetherness in your interaction. Finally, you drift away from your spouse. While you may believe you’re achieving something by blaming your spouse, in reality you achieve nothing.

Flirting

Flirting is fine when you’re single, but it’s not ok when you’re married. Flirting is breaking a boundary within a committed relationship. In a marriage, we agree to give certain parts of ourselves to our partner. When we’re flirting, we’re giving romantic attention to someone other than your spouse. Flirting with someone when you’re in a marriage is unloving and disrespectful to your partner. If you think what they don’t know won’t hurt them, you’re headed for a world of trouble. You’re only creating a web of lies and deceit that will eventually come to the surface and harm your marriage in the long run.

Allowing Friends to Interfere

When two people decide to get married, a change occurs in their lives, hopefully for the better. But if two people are not willing to place their partner/family above others, it can lead to devastating consequences, regardless of how wonderful the union began. Friends will always remain a vital part of your life; however, friends are the people who have the greatest capability of destroying a marriage. Because friends have such a close bond, it can be hard for them to let married friends spend most of their time with their spouses. The challenge comes when friendship interferes with the marriage. Instead of encouraging your marriage, these friends will discourage it. In these situations, a choice must be made.

Disrespectful Body Language

This is a quick and easy way to show your significant other that you don’t respect them or their opinions. When you use sarcasm, or make critical statements, gestures and facial expressions towards your partner, they will shut down and withdraw. Eventually, they may seek kindness and approval somewhere else. Think of how disrespected you felt the first time someone rolled their eyes or made a sarcastic facial expression at you. Remember, how frustrated you were when they made those gestures? Now, think about your significant other feeling that same frustration towards you. There is no need to be rude, even if you’re really upset or think they deserve to feel how ticked off you are in the moment. It is more important to give your partner your attention by listening to them than it is to roll your eyes and shake your head in irritation. You are trying to build a bond in your marriage, not destroy the person you love.

Technology Interference

Unfortunately, many married couples are cheating on their spouses with technology. Even with the most devoted couples, it seems that once-common conversations in bed have been replaced with endless scrolling through social media apps and sites. Smartphones can be the culprit of communication breakdown among couples. Intimacy is hard to achieve or maintain when your phone keeps being with alerts, notifications and email reminders. A constant, merciless distraction, technology has come to replace deep-felt, long conversations. In fact, some couples talk more about their relationships on Facebook than they do face-to-face with the person they’re actually married to. When you’re with your spouse, do your best to cut down on the distractions.

Not Appreciating Your Spouse’s Efforts

Another way you can push your partner away is by refusing to appreciate the things they do for you. Appreciation equals value. When you offer your appreciation, it sends the clearest message that what you see is good and that you are thankful it’s being done. If you don’t find value in their efforts, it hurts them. When you are appreciated, your spouse has summed you up by the best parts of you and this brings out the best in you as well. If you don’t show your partner appreciation or your partner doesn’t show you appreciation, it will create a wall of distance.