5 ways you are destroying your love life

Sometimes we sabotage our relationships without even knowing it. Look at yourself through these five lenses of self-examination to see if you're hurting your marriage.

5 ways you are destroying your love life

Sometimes we sabotage our relationships without even knowing it. Look at yourself through these five lenses of self-examination to see if you're hurting your marriage.
  • Thriving relationships require ongoing attention. And when the flame starts to flicker, it's time to re-evaluate if your actions are in line with your priorities. So to avoid having things get too crazy in your relationship, take a look to see if you're guilty of these five things.

  • You cheat yourselves of quality time

  • Since the invention of iThis and iThat, we seem to always be connected. Despite the good intentions of using today's tech to help us manage our schedules, we often just put more on our plates. Although tech is awesome — like the fact that you have a digital reminders system, notes and calendar in your pocket — it often presents problems and disrupts the time we spend with those that matter most.

  • Every relationship needs a foundation that's built upon quality time. We suggest taking a break from your devices periodically to ensure you're giving and getting the most out of the time you have with your hubby. You may be surprised how nice it is to look into his eyes and cuddle with him without having the temptation to snap a couple's selfie and post it to Facebook.

  • You're not talking enough about money

  • According to a Money Magazine survey, couples fight twice as much about money as they do about sex. Lots of potential pitfalls come into play for couples when it comes to money.

  • But you had a tough day and that purse seemed to have "will make you feel better," written all over it… The best way to get rid of this is to communicate better.

  • Communication can help you set financial expectations as a couple and thus avoid impulse or emotional purchases. When you're aligned in your actions, you make more intelligent decisions.

  • You're not setting the mood

  • Little details matter and when we fail to execute and create a mood, any function can fall short of greatness. Whether it's actually setting and sitting at the dinner table, lighting around the house, or something else, creating an atmosphere appropriate for specific occasions can really enhance your time together.

  • This same principle applies to romance and intimacy in your relationship. Take the time to create an ambience that facilitates and encourages you being close and affectionate with your man.

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  • You're terrible at showing affection

  • Couples tend to settle into routines over time and that's not inherently bad. Routine helps us get things accomplished throughout the day and can establish good habits. But routines in your love life can be like throwing water on the flame of romance.

  • Let your husband know that you want him to date you. Let him know you expect him to plan dates and hold him to it. Rather than just saying, "I love you," try to show it.

  • Four traits of failed marriages

  • In a comprehensive study spanning 20 years, Doctors John and Julie Gottman identified four attributes that were likely to contribute to the end of a marriage. They were able to observe a couple for five minutes and predict with 90 percent accuracy whether that marriage would last or end in divorce.

  • In honest self-evaluation consider if you use any of these communication styles with your partner: criticism, contempt, defensiveness or stonewalling. Often the problem is not so much what you say, but how you say it — or don't say it.

  • When problems arise in your marriage, the best thing you can do is to identify what's causing them and take appropriate actions to snap things back into place.

Shelly Norman has worked as a journalist for 25 years, both on the editing and writing side. She has a bachelor's degree in communication.

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