10 Ways to Push Your Spouse Away


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, however.  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, 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. So, start saying “No.” to more things outside the home, and say “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, 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, or 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.

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

57% of couples cite money issues as the number one 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 from bitterness, and then to anger. Seek forgiveness and grant forgiveness to your spouse.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Tietheflyjt

    Mark, you are spot on! Iove your perspectives. Keep them coming.

  • http://twitter.com/epicparent epicparent.tv

    i’m guilty of computer time! changing this today…thank you Mark.

  • Rfuertes

    This is awesome, I love reading your family first messages and I forward them to people all the way to Puerto Rico…God bless you!!!

  • Yourfreund

    Just last night I let the OCD in me take over and I was frustrated that my husband wanted a few moments of my time, to enjoy a nice kiss and time to unwind and get settled in our jammies! I couldn’t relax and enjoy it – I was mad instead! How do I let this overwhelming feeling of I have to do everything, go! I need to be more attentive – it has cuased problems in the past and I can’t have that happen again! mom’s over worry, over-do and over work themselves, spreading too thin their already worn out, busy minds….Dad’s tend to over-work (at work) and come home drained with nothing to give – inherited traits of being men and women! How do we find a balance! Apologize, set a date night and make up for it and be aware the next time it is happening and take a step back and fix it right then!

  • Inhisgrace1979

    My issue is number 10. I battle it often and I try very hard not to let it come out in the heat of a fight. It almost crippled my marriage at one point, because I didn’t realize how deep seated the resentment and bitterness had become.

  • http://smokelesscigreviews.com/blu-cigs-review blu cig

    I enjoyed reading your articles! thanks for sharing.

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Tie, I will keep ‘em coming…please share with your friends!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    You are so welcome, Blu.

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Inhisgrace, grace is so important, isn’t it?

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    rfuertes, thanks for sharing with Puerto Rico!

  • http://www.MarkMerrill.com/ Mark Merrill

    Yourfreund, business is a dangerous thief that robs relationships!

  • Cvibbert

    This is a great list. I struggle with 8 and 10 for sure. What happens when the expectations for intimate time are too high however? My spouse sets how many times per week (and daily is really not unreasonable in his mind) it is acceptable to have intimacy or he is not as nice, helpful around the house or just overall, not pleasant with me. I love the idea of date night but it just cannot happen 3-5 times per week with 2 young boys, jobs, etc. HELP!

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