Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make

I have a quibble with #14 on the list. It says you’re not supposed to “keep score” in a relationship.

I think I see what they mean, but…. there are times in your life when you’re in a relationship, whether it’s dating, a work relationship, friendship, marriage, whatever type of relationship, where the other person is in fact self-absorbed, selfish, and/or narcissistic, which means, you will start to notice after so many months or years that you are definitely doing most of the giving most of the time but the other person hardly gives back.

When you’re in an imbalanced relationship, you can’t help but start to notice and feel resentful, and that type of relationship is not sustainable. It’s NOT petty or immature to start noticing and getting angry, resentful, or tired of being exploited by another person. That’s actually a normal reaction.

Point 3 below reminds me of a variation of friendships or other non-romantic relationships: when you, for example, call a family member because you’re upset, sad, stressed or angry about X, but the family member uses YOUR phone call about YOUR problem to say something like, “That sounds bad, but let me tell you about MY bad day / week / month / marriage / job problems.”

And before you know it, you end up listening to THEM talk about THEIR problem for an hour and a half, when you phoned them seeking a sounding board or empathy for YOUR problem.

I’ve had numerous friends and family over my life pull that on me, and it’s totally infuriating.

I was too bashful for years to do anything about it, but a few years ago, when one of my Aunts tried pulling something similar on me – she tried to commandeer the phone call to make it all about HER.

I listened to a moment for her to talk about her, I made a brief comment about “oh, I’m sorry to hear about that,” but then I said, “but anyway, like I was saying to you a moment ago, I’m upset lately, because blah blah blah…” (I pivoted the phone call BACK TO ME).

I didn’t let this Aunt, who is notorious for hijacking of conversations to turn it all back to her and her life, to get away with it yet again.

Here is the list:

(Link): Marriage Counselors Share 30 Mistakes Couples Make


March 23, 2022
by Ieva Gailiūtė and Mindaugas Balčiauskas

Anyone in a long-term relationship can tell you it’s no easy walk in the park. Just think about the heated arguments, compromises, and misunderstandings — navigating the ups and downs is quite a task right there, especially when it comes to marriage. Well, no one is immune to the occasional blips and bumps in the road, and this viral thread is here to prove it.

Reddit user Zorra_ decided to find out what blunders happen after people tie the knot and say “I do”. They raised a question on the Ask Reddit online forum: “Marriage counselors, what are the most common mistakes couples make?” Hundreds of professionals rolled up their sleeves and typed some of the things they witnessed during their careers.

…..1. [Relationship Should Take Priority Over Marriage]

I’m not a marriage counselor but my wife posted a very meaningful and controversial article the other day and tagged me in it because I agree with its philosophy.

It was titled “Your kids should not be the most important part of your marriage.”

Of course, many parents were offended and complained bitterly about the article. But we don’t make our kids the center of our marriage. We devote a lot of time to them and keep them healthy and educated, of course, but we spend just as much time on each other. If Mom and Dad are happy, the kids are likely to be happy.

… Kids don’t define your marriage, you and your spouse absolutely do.

#3. [Don’t pivot the conversation back on to your and your pet peeves when your partner is sharing his or hers with  you]

When one half says “I am not happy about X”, do not respond with “ok but I am unhappy with Y.”

Fix X. Get settled.

Then bring up Y if you still need to.

4. [You Do Not Complete Me]

Expecting one person to be everything for them. You need friends, coworkers, a support system, and hobbies.

8. [Learning To Change Together]

When I was in my twenties, I was working as a nursing assistant, and the veteran nurse on the unit walked in holding hands with her husband.

I commented that you don’t see that every day, and she leaned in and said, ‘You want to know the secret, kid?’

I said yes, and she continued, ‘People don’t know how to grow and change together. You will change, and so will your partner. But the question is whether you know how to grow and change together.’

9. [Talk About Money and Sex Prior to Marriage]

Divorce lawyer here.

Talk. About. Money.

Talk. About. Sex.

If you’re marrying someone with a sh*tty credit score, you should know how and why they ended up with it, lest you find yourself in their shoes very quickly. A credit score can cost thousands and take Y E A R S to rebuild.

Know if they have any tax liens or liability. Are they paying child support and do they have any kind of garnishment? Who is going to be responsible for managing the finances?

How many credit cards does the other person have and what are their balances? I’ve seen money kill a lot of marriages.

​Another one a lot of people don’t think of is actually talking about sex, not just having it. Do you enjoy the sex you have? Would you like to have more of it? Less? Would you like to see it change?

Do you or the other person have any weird kinks? Just have the talk. Different sexual wavelengths can be difficult to reconcile.

10. [Christian Gender Complementarian, Codependent Women Need to Pay Attention to This One!]
– See also: number 19 below for a related matter

Expecting partners to be able to read their mind and anticipate needs and wants.

[Yes. This means you will have to OPEN YOUR MOUTH and TELL your spouse what you need, want, or prefer them to do, which goes against any Christian gender complementarian crap you were taught to believe in while growing up in every church you ever attended, and it may go against any social conditioning your narcissistic or codependent parents instilled in you.]

As I said in the opening of this post, I somewhat disagree with the following one. The following one can be valid in some situations.

I was a codependent for over 35 years, and during those years, I did all the giving in relationships, and I kept getting taken advantage of by people who took, took, took, and didn’t give back – and you cannot help but notice that dynamic after so many weeks, months, or years, and you will rightfully grow resentful.

14. [Keeping Score]

Keeping score. A partnership is a team, not a competition. Whether a person keeps score of everything they have done, or everything their partner has done, it is a death knell for the relationship.

This is one of the most common causes of resentment in a relationship, and you see it often when people use absolute terms to describe themselves or their partners (I.e: I always…, she never…).

Remembering that each person has his/her own needs, abilities, skills, and boundaries is essential to a healthy couple.

15. [Be On the Same Team]

As soon as couple stops being on the same team, fighting all the bullsh*t of life together, things fall apart. Get on the same team. Get behind each other’s goals. If you’re not on the same team, you’re just going to wind up annoying the f*ck out of each other. All that bullsh*t of life is going to be beating you down and your life partner is just going to be part of it instead of a refuge.

19. [Emotional Babysitting]

Expecting that because your significant other knows you better than others and is around you most, that they are aware of all of your thoughts and feelings.

Your partner is not psychic, and no matter how often they are around you or how well they know you, they cannot pick up on every nuance to determine how you are feeling and how they should respond.

That is called emotional babysitting, and it cascades into a host of problems and unnecessary hurt.

23. [That Loving Feeling]

Thinking that they have to feel ‘in love’ at all times, and that if they don’t, then they obviously married the wrong person.

24. [Let Your SO Bring Up Difficult Topics Without Biting Their Heads Off]

When your significant other brings something to your attention, that they need/want, don’t react harshly if it’s something they’ve refused to bring up sooner.

Getting loud or defensive “Why didn’t you bring this up sooner!” will make them shy away from bringing things up again due to negative reinforcement/backlash.

This is especially true if they’ve been victims of any kind of abusive relationships.

17. [Don’t Always Bring Up The Past When Upset About the Present] – Good luck with this one if you’re with a Covert Narcissist!

Never lash the other with past misbehaviors when trying to resolve a current issue. We have been married 17 years so there is limitless [stuff] we can pull out of our history together to highlight past wrongs and that just derails what could be a quick resolution.

29. [You Will Change Over Time. This Can Impact Your Relationship]

I’ve been married for 10 years and my partner is an MFT [Marriage Family Therapist]. All of the suggestions in this thread are wonderful and accurate.

The one thing that I want to add onto them is probably the biggest lesson that my partner and I have discovered over time: people change.

You will change. They will change.

It is nigh impossible to have the same relationship 2 years in that you did at the start–don’t try to hold onto it. The only way my partner and I have stayed together for as long as we have is because we were able to adapt to each other.

That being said, don’t try to force a relationship that’s inherently dysfunctional. It’s not a mark of failure for a relationship to end. Change seems scary, but the truth is you’ve already changed.


(Link): “I’m a Divorce Lawyer. Here Are The 5 Most Common Marriage Problems I See”

(Link): Once Married, Twice Shy: Remarriage Rates Are Plummeting

(Link):  Yes, You Need to Prioritize Your Marriage Over Your Kids by V. Pelley

(Link):  Why You Shouldn’t Love Your Kids More Than Your Partner  by B. Luscombe

(Link): The ‘Gray Divorce’ Trend: As The Gates Split Shows, More Older Couples Are Getting Divorced. Here’s Why. by J. Duffy

(Link): Why Older Singles Aren’t Looking To Couple Up by Janet Siroto

(Link): Remarriage rates plunge as divorced Americans have doubts – and about Christian culture and divorce and remarriage vs singleness 

(Link): “Dear Therapist: I’m Dating a Divorced Man With Kids, and It’s Harder Than I Thought – His Ex Wife Calls Constantly” (She Needs To Dump This Guy)

(Link): Every Successful Relationship is Successful For The Same Exact Reasons by M. Manson

(Link): Nine Questions To Ask On A First Date, According To Divorce Lawyers by B. Wong

(Link):  Dear Abby: I Gave Up Dating, and 30 Years Later, I’m Lonely

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