6 Behaviors That Can Break A Marriage

It is a fact that marriage is a beautiful union between two individuals who come together to build a life. However, this bond can be fragile and can be broken by certain behaviors that can damage the trust, respect, and love that hold the marriage together. 

In this post, we will discuss six common behaviors that can break a marriage and provide solutions for each. We will be using examples to help you understand better and come up with solutions that lead to a successful union. 

Let’s dive right in on some of these behaviors: 

Poor communication 

This is among the most common reasons for the breakdown of marriages. When couples fail to communicate effectively, they can begin to grow apart and misunderstand each other. This can lead to resentment, frustration, and a lack of intimacy. 

Let’s illustrate this with John and Jane’s (not their real names) marriage. John is a workaholic who spends most of his time at the office and often comes home late, while Jane is a stay-at-home mom who takes care of the children. 

Due to John’s busy schedule and Jane’s lack of time alone, they hardly talk. But when they do, it’s often about practical matters like the children’s schedules or household chores. Eventually, they will begin to feel like they are living together as strangers and grow apart emotionally.

To fix this, partners need to make a conscious effort to communicate by setting aside time each day to talk, expressing feelings and thoughts calmly and respectfully, and actively listening to what the other person has to say. 

In the case above, they could schedule a weekly date night, where they can talk about their feelings and aspirations, and share their thoughts with each other, actively listening to one another. They can also make an effort to discuss their day and issues that may have arisen when they are together. Communication will help them understand each other better and make them feel more connected.

Attempting to change each other 

When one partner constantly tries to change the other, it can be seen as a lack of acceptance, leading to resentment and frustration. This behavior can manifest in many ways, such as trying to change the way the other person dresses, talks, or behaves in social situations. It can also be an attempt to change core personality traits or values. It is essential to remember that people come into a marriage with their unique set of characteristics and habits, and trying to change them can be seen as a lack of respect for who they are. It can also create a power imbalance in the relationship, with one partner feeling like they are constantly being judged or criticized.

Instead of attempting to change each other, couples need to learn to accept and appreciate each other’s differences.

Ignoring the little things

Sometimes, marriage partners ignore small gestures of love and affection, which can lead to a feeling of disconnection and emotional distance. The little things really matter when it comes to marriage. And the sooner both partners understand this, the better. 

In John’s case, since he is often preoccupied with work, while Jane is a stay-at-home mom who takes care of the children, he would often come home late, exhausted, and would ignore Jane’s small gestures of love and affection, such as a kiss on the cheek or a hug. As a result, she would feel neglected and unimportant; over time, the emotional distance between them grew.

To fix this, they could make an effort to show appreciation and affection towards each other by doing small things like leaving a note of love, buying flowers or a small gift, or simply giving each other a hug or kiss. 

They can also make an effort to show appreciation and affection towards each other during the day, such as a quick phone call or text message to check in with each other.

Unrealistic expectations

This can lead to disappointment and dissatisfaction. For example, John would often expect Jane to keep the house spotless, cook gourmet meals, and be the perfect hostess for his business associates. On the other hand, she is more focused on raising their children and maintaining a comfortable home. 

Jane would often feel overwhelmed and resentful of John’s expectations, and he would feel disappointed and frustrated with her inability to meet his expectations. See how this can break the marriage fast? 

Well, they could easily fix this by having realistic expectations of each other. It could be having open and honest conversations about what each person expects from the marriage and from each other, setting realistic goals and expectations, and being willing to compromise when necessary.

Trust issues

 When you don’t trust each other, it can lead to insecurity and disconnection. In John’s case, he often received calls and messages from his female colleagues. On the other hand, Jane would feel insecure and disconnected. She would check his phone and messages when he was away. Over time, their lack of trust led to an emotional distance, and they grew apart.

To fix this, they could work on rebuilding trust by being honest and transparent with each other, being willing to forgive and move past mistakes, and working through any trust issues that may arise. 

John could work on setting boundaries and guidelines for communication. They can also try to understand and respect each other’s perspectives and communicate openly and honestly about any trust issues.

Complaining more rather than fixing a problem

When partners complain about each other’s actions or behavior, it can lead to a negative cycle of blame and criticism. This can cause resentment, hurt, and a lack of respect for one another and eventually destroy a marriage. 

Another aspect of John’s character is he is a neat freak who likes things to be in order, while Jane is more laid-back and tends to leave things lying around the house. He would often complain about Jane’s messiness, and instead of working towards a solution to the problem, he would just get angry and blame her for it. On the other hand, Jane would feel resentful and hurt that John couldn’t understand her perspective.

Think about it – the solution to this is to focus on finding solutions to problems rather than blaming each other. This could be avoided if John and Jane sat down and discussed issues in a calm and non-threatening way, identifying the root cause of the problem and working together to find a solution. 


Marriage is a beautiful union that can be damaged by certain behaviors. But by understanding them, couples can work to identify and fix them to build a stronger and more loving marriage. 

It is essential to note that, even with the best efforts, some marriages may still require professional help. If couples struggle to overcome these behaviors and improve their marriage, it may be beneficial for them to seek the help of a professional marriage counselor like Jousline Savra. 

As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she can provide the tools and resources you need to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, and rebuild trust. Jousline has years of experience and helps you resolve unresolved emotional pain and improve your communication leading to a stronger relationship. Give Jousline a call today.