Some people think it’s hard to mess up a relationship, but it’s actually quite simple. I’m going to share with you the secret to screwing up your marriage so that you can learn to be a fool just like me!
OK. Are you ready for the secret? Here it comes…..Make it all about you.
Pretty simple, huh? It might seem simple, but if you are really going to fully commit to selfishness in your marriage, you’ll need to put some effort into it.
How to Ruin Your Marriage in Five Simple Steps
Selfishness requires complete and total commitment to yourself above all else. Your entire relationship must revolve around YOU.
- Your needs – Focus on your own needs and what you are or are not getting out of the relationship.
- Your pride – Wait for your mate to take the first step in addressing problems or resolving conflict.
- Your priorities – Invest most of your time and energy in work, kids, friends, hobbies, and “me” time.
- Your perspective – Make assumptions. Lots and lots of assumptions.
- Your vanity – Compare your spouse and your marriage to others.
At every turn, find a way to view your mate and your marriage through the lens of how it directly impacts you and your ideas. The more intently you can focus on yourself, the quicker you’ll be able to ruin your once promising union. I should know, because I did all five of these and I very nearly destroyed my marriage as a result.
Step 1 – Your Needs
We are all born with needs. Needs are inherently good. But the trouble with marriage is that for it to be successful you have to die to yourself and put your mate’s needs above your own! You have to invest time and energy serving your husband or wife rather than worrying about how to get your own needs met. The irony, of course, is that when both of you do this, your respective needs get fulfilled beyond your wildest comprehension. But that requires a lot of time and sacrifice. The quicker path to meeting your needs is to beg, nag, complain, and manipulate your spouse into begrudgingly satisfying your desire for time and attention.
Step 2 – Your Pride
If you’ve been married for more than a week, you no doubt have uncovered areas of conflict. There are things that each of you do which frustrate and annoy the other. Friction inevitably arises, leaving you with a choice. You can either take the initiative in resolving the conflict or indignantly wait for your spouse to extend an olive branch. Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love and Respect, suggests that the only way to break this inevitable stalemate is for “the more mature one to act first.” But of course, that would require accepting some measure of fault in the matter. That sort of humility and vulnerability could easily lead to a closer bond in your marriage. If, on the other hand, you’re aiming to ruin your marriage, I recommend that you stand your ground. Wait for your mate to take the initiative and admit fault first.
Time is a precious commodity. Every one of us has vital choices to make daily in the way we spend our time. If you want a surefire way to chip away at your marital bonds and sap your relationship of joy, you need only move your marriage to the bottom of the priority stack. Work is essential and gratifying. Children are the future. Friends are irreplaceable. And hobbies are the only way to maintain your sanity! Whatever time or energy you have left over should be more than enough for your spouse to survive on. Besides, you don’t want to be one of those clingy, co-dependent couples. Yuck!
Step 4 – Your Perspective
Perspective is a marvelous thing. With it, we have the power to color any action or statement with all manner of meaning and implication. In fact, we naturally apply our own perspective to every piece of information that we absorb. Since you share so much for your life with your spouse, it is especially important to pay attention to what assumptions you make and what motivations you attach to his or her actions. If you aren’t careful, you might find yourself assuming the best about them. You might even extend grace and understanding to your mate. Be careful. If you want to sow seeds of bitterness and resentment in your relationship, you need to assume the worst case scenario whenever possible. Make sure and twist your mate’s words and actions into the worst possible light. After all, your perspective and your feelings are what truly matter.
Step 5 – Your Vanity
Remember when you got married? Remember how perfect and amazing your spouse seemed at the time? Well, it’s only a matter of time before you began to recognize his or her flaws. Which is a pretty raw deal because you deserve nothing but the best! Another key ingredient in dissolving the joy in your marriage is to constantly compare. Other couples seem happier, exercise together more, go on better vacations, have more fun with their kids, earn more money, are skinnier, tanner, and just all around better. Their grass is super green. Why can’t your marital grass be really green too? If you want to cripple your intimacy, take note of all the ways your spouse and your marriage don’t measure up to your ideal. Memorize the list and recite it to yourself. Next, complain frequently to your devoted mate about things on that list. Before you know it, your marriage will be headed for a tailspin!
Rome Wasn’t Destroyed in a Day
Doing any one or even all of these five steps might not demolish your marriage over night. In some cases, it may take years for your selfishness to erode the fiber of your marriage. But don’t give up! Keep making assumptions. Never stop comparing your spouse or your marriage to others. Most of all, constantly turn the focus of your relationship on yourself, taking every measure necessary to meet your needs at all costs. Your marriage may be resilient, but just keep chipping away at it. Enough selfishness and sin can wear down even the strongest bond. Your marriage can be a failure – one selfish day at a time.