Seven Habits That Will Harm Your Marriage

cards Avoiding the following seven habits may also help you avoid a divorce.

Psychiatrist William Glasser, MD and his wife, Carleen Glasser, MA, co-authored a marriage advice book called Eight Lessons for a Happier Marriage. In the book, they mention “seven deadly habits” (they like numbers, it seems) that can lead to marital strife. They are: criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and bribing.

It seems sometimes in our marriages that we don’t even realize that we are doing some of these things–hence the fact that they are habits I suppose. While I haven’t read the Glasser’s take on these myself, I’d like to briefly take a look at these seven habits.


Criticizing the one that is closest to you is pretty easy. You don’t feel as judged or threatened by your spouse as you would by someone you don’t know as well.


If something goes wrong in your life, are you quick to blame your spouse? A much better attitude would be to make positive changes together.


I used to be a big complainer. Actually I come from a long line of family complainers, all I might add who were in long marriages. Complaining to us is like eating a good meal. But, my spouse might not see it that way, so I try to be careful of doing too much of it and making sure it is not aimed at him.


Uh, this one is a killer and one that most marriages deal with all of the time. Mostly it stems from wanting your spouse to do something for you or be someone else. If nagging is the big issue in your house, see if you can change it by either taking more responsibility for things in your life or accepting your spouse for who he is.


Do you fling the “D” word around to carelessly? Do you use the kids or sex to threaten? No one should be threatened in life, especially in a marriage.


Do you punish your spouse when you feel disappointed or hurt? Do you use the silent treatment or drop his toothbrush in the toilet when you are angry? As an adult, your spouse shouldn’t be punished. It is better to talk things out and resolve them.


Almost the bad other side of punishing, bribing can be equally dangerous. Sometimes people mistake bribing for compromise, but it isn’t the same. If your care of your spouse is dependent on getting something in return, you are setting yourself up for a separation.

How would you break these seven habits?

Mary Ann Romans writes about everything related to saving money in the Frugal Blog, creating a home in the Home Blog, caring for little ones in the Baby Blog and now relationships in the Marriage Blog. You can read more of her articles by clicking here.

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About Mary Ann Romans

Mary Ann Romans is a freelance writer, online content manager, wife and mother of three children. She lives in Pennsylvania in the middle of the woods but close enough to Target and Home Depot. The author of many magazine, newspaper and online articles, Mary Ann enjoys writing about almost any subject. "Writing gives me the opportunity to both learn interesting information, and to interact with wonderful people." Mary Ann has written more than 5,000 blogs for since she started back in December 2006. Contact her at maromans AT or visit her personal blog