When a couple makes the life-changing decision to get married, they are usually thinking about a glorious future together. So if those thoughts change to divorce a few years later, it can understandably lead to anxiety. No one in his or her right mind walks into a marriage with an agenda to walk out soon after. So what could have helped prevent the sacred bound of marriage from turning into a mirital disaster?
Assessing the personality traits of your soon-to-be wife or husband is one of the most important checks anyone planning to commit to a marriage should consider. In this article, we will focus on characteristics and traits that may appear harmless during the early stages of a relationship, but could eventually lead to emotional and physical abuse between partners.
1. Lack of self-care
Giving love and attention to one's spouse is one of the prerequisites for a happy marriage, but if the spouse giving the care is not willing to accept care in return, this forms a basis for an unhealthy relationship. Alternatively, the caregiver in the relationship may actually expect the other party to return the favor, but if care is not forthcoming, it can lead to resentment and anger.
This type of issue can eventually take the form of manipulative control. In such an instance, the partner in question may give an excessive amount in a bid to manipulate his or her spouse to stay committed. Regardless of the form it takes, it is an unhealthy trend that should be discouraged. Care should flow equitably both ways.
2. Temper Tantrums
We all show anger from time to time when we are displeased, but excessive tantrums are a red flag that should not be overlooked in a relationship. Throwing tantrums and overreacting to issues can become a threat to the stability of a marriage. Living with someone with such a personality is like living in a house full of combustible parts. You never know when one of them will catch fire and blow the whole marriage apart. There is no real stability in this type of a relationship. If you are committed to someone with this type of a personality, it is in your best interest to encourage them to seek professional help or to re-evaluate your future with them.
3. Avoiding Conflict
This may sound odd, but conflicts are sometimes good for a relationship. Conflicts help couples re-evaluate their commitments and values towards each other. They also create room for sober reflection in times of great emotional stress and tension. In short, conflicts help partners to understand what the other party wants or does not want in the relationship. They create room for communication if both parties are honest and open with each other.
However, we all react differently to conflict. Some people don't like it. In fact, they avoid it at all costs because they "like peace." We all like or deserve some peace, but avoiding conflicts will not make the underlying issues disappear. Rather, avoidance allows the issues to fester and then eventually snowball into a much bigger problem that may wreck the marriage.
Another personality trait that leads to divorce is a defensive attitude. When one partner never takes responsibility for his or her actions and never admits to it or apologizes when they are wrong, it is toxic for the relationship. Defensive people don't listen, rather they argue. In every conversation, they are always argumentative and looking to prove a point. The "Me vs. You" syndrome will never let them admit that they need to work on their behavior, and this is bad for marriage. You know why? Simply because there is only so much their partner can take. At some point, the other party will contemplate walking away from the marriage out of frustration and regret.
5. Excessive accommodation of a Spouse' shortcoming
No matter how much you love your partner, you should never let them treat you like a doormat. And you shouldn't treat them like one either. Excessively accommodating the shortcomings of a partner sets an unhealthy trend in a relationship. If one partner tolerates the bad behavior of the other and bends over backwards to please them no matter how badly that partner treats them, it reinforces that behavior and allows it to continue. Decisiveness is one of the key ingredients of a successful marriage.
Even if the two people in a relationship do not have the same qualities, one of them has to show leadership in the relationship to sustain it. Partners should complement each other and make each other better, not accept shortcomings and bad behavior.
I have never met anyone who liked selfish people, and I don't think you have either. Selfishness is linked to narcissism, and narcissism is news for a marriage. If one partner frequently exhibits narcissistic behavior, the marriage is dead on arrival. A narcissist expects favor and tolerance from his or her partner all the time, and when they don't get it, they become vindictive, recalcitrant, and selfish. Exhibiting selfishness destroys the foundation on which the relationship is built, and in time, the union will implode.
No one is above reproach, just as nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes from time to time, but that is not what defines us. What should define us is our ability to learn from our mistakes and to grow into a better version of ourselves. Understanding this reality about life leads to understanding and forgiveness. A person who doesn't forgive is often vindictive. They are looking to exert revenge at every turn.
A person who never lets things go holds on to anger and resentment and is always looking to punish his or her partner for a previous wrongdoing. Bringing up past mistakes is the modus operandi of a vindictive person. If you are not willing to forgive a person for what they did, then there is no basis for continuing the relationship. Constantly hanging a person's past mistakes over their head does not do anybody any good.
What steps should you take if your partner displays any of these traits?
If you notice one or more of these traits in your spouse, don't panic. There are steps you can take to help them get out of it, but keep in mind that you are not responsible for their ability or inability to change for the better. Only they can ultimately make the choice to change. Here are some steps you can take.
- Be courageous and honest enough to communicate your displeasure about their behavior by pointing out their negative traits.
- Challenge them to make a commitment to change if they value their relationship with you.
- Identify flashpoints in the relationship and agree on ways to avoid them (if you both can) or to manage them (if you can't).
- Seek help and support from family and friends.
- If the problem persists, challenge them to seek professional medical help.
Communicating your feelings with your spouse is key. Making them understand how you feel about their attitude towards you will make them want to change if they really love you and are committed to the marriage. Seeking professional help, such as consulting with a therapist, might also help.