Written tongue-in-cheek style, John A. Page provides seven strategies on how to easily demolish your marriage vows, diminish spousal love, and deter any growth in what was once a lifetime relationship—if that’s what you really want to do.
With more than 15 years of training and experience counseling couples before, during, and after marriage, I’ve seen what destroys marriages. Since the statistics on marriage and relational failures make it pretty clear that many people considering marriage don’t have any intention of seeing it through, I’ve created a list of Marriage Killers: Seven Sure-fire Strategies for Ruining Your Relationship. With tongue firmly in cheek to illustrate these strategies, I employ Daily Show delivery to shine the light on how absurd this behavior really is. If you are turned off by this style, that is unfortunate, but it’s necessary to break through silly excuses and lame assumptions regarding marriage.
WARNING: If you intend to take your wedding vows seriously and work hard at making your marriage last, then this article is not for you. Don’t read any further if you seek to see the best in your spouse, compromise as needed, or love them even when they may act unlovable. Are you planning on seeing the commitment through despite, and in spite of tough circumstances? Will you take the long-term view on marriage and realize the beauty of a life lived, through ups and downs, with your spouse? Do the words, “Until we are parted by death” have great meaning to you? Then there’s no need for you to with this article.
Read on if you entered marriage with an attitude of “We’ll see how it goes.” Marriage Killers is for people who look to entertainment stars as their examples of how to move in and out of multiple marriages and pairings. You’ll want to read this article if you think marriage is about enjoying the other person until someone better comes along. If you enter marriage with the thought that it’s your mission to change the other person into who you want them to be, the next few paragraphs can prove helpful.
1. “I Can’t Hear You!”
The first Surefire Strategy is titled “I Can’t Hear You!” It represents the aspect of communication in a marriage. In fact, don’t worry about communicating, just assume your spouse knows and understands what you’re thinking and feeling. Under no circumstances should you share anything vulnerable or sensitive—they’ll just use it to shame you or hurt you later.
2. “It’s All Mine!”
Next is “It’s All Mine!” which covers the topic of finances and money in marriage. This Surefire Strategy is all about keeping what is yours, yours. Keep your money separate and hidden because your spouse will rob you blind or keep you down if you share. Feel free to run up debt for what you want—they may get stuck half the debt when you divorce.
3. “Protecting Your Self”
Surefire Strategy #3 is about “Protecting Your Self.” Don’t let your spouse suck your life dry with all they want to do. Stop wasting time wondering about their needs or what matters to them. Relax and let their love tank run on empty. They enjoy snuggling on the couch watching a movie? No worries, you’ve got to go for a jog. They appreciate a verbal pat-on-the-back for accomplishing a task? Immaterial—you need to do lunch with your friends. If you do activities they enjoy, your own life force will shrivel up.
4. “That’s Your Job”
Two people in a marriage have divided tasks that they should handle. Surefire Strategy #4 reminds you of the adage, “That’s Your Job!” Live in your strengths. Do only those household tasks that you enjoy doing, if any at all. Forget about “helping out,” or “doing your part,” or even “pitching in where needed because we’re in this together.” You’re not a sports team, for crying out loud!
5. “They’re Just Pictures”
In our fifth Surefire Strategy, you are reminded to skip the articles in your favorite magazine and just stare at the photographs of naked people. After all, “They’re Just Pictures!” Definitely get into porn. Skip subscribing to a magazine. Get it instantly online. Make sure you view it daily. Use it instead of a real, intimate, sexual experience with your spouse because that’s always the same thing, same position (and not very often!). Better yet, just take the natural next step and have an affair. It’s just sex, after all.
6. “I Married You, Not Them!”
Your spouse has a family and you need to stay away from them and talk bad about them. If you doubt this, Surefire Strategy #6 describes the truth about “I Married You, Not Them!” Ignore your spouse’s family—they’re not who you married. Don’t call, text, or email on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. For your own sake, make every effort to avoid family gatherings at holiday times, especially reunions. Remember to neglect any issues regarding their siblings or aging parents.
7. “Are They Coming Over Again?”
You need to limit your exposure to your spouse’s friends. Marriage is just about the two of you; you don’t need other people. Surefire Strategy #7, “Are They Coming Over Again?!” is all about how to downgrade your spouse’s friends. Since when do you have to be chummy with their friends? Make excuses for why you can’t make it to Zach and Jennifer’s party. When they want to have their group of friends over, be nasty about it, or schedule something else on top of it.
Follow these seven strategies and you can easily demolish your vows, diminish spousal love, and deter any growth in what was once a lifetime relationship—if that’s what you really want to do.
For more tongue-in-cheek marriage counsel, see John A. Page’s book, Marriage Killers: Seven Surefire Strategies for Ruining Your Relationship. . .If That’s What You Want.