Here are five ways you might be letting other people ruin your marriage:
Comparing your spouse to others
Comparison is the thief of joy. Maybe your husband doesn't know how to fix cars like your friend's husband does. Maybe your wife isn't as good at cooking as your mother was. That's not fair. You married your spouse for who they are, not for who they're not. You married them as a whole package - talents and faults included. Appreciate your spouse for the person they are and the things they do to make your marriage great. See them for their strengths, not for their weaknesses.
Trying to live up other's expectations
This issue is partially encouraged by social media. You see pictures of an old friend from high school that just had a baby. Then your mom calls and asks if you're ever going to give her a grandchild. You and your spouse may have talked about waiting to have children, but peer pressure sets in. You start feeling like you should have a baby, too. Don't let the opinions and wishes of others drive a wedge between you and your spouse. If you've already decided with each other what is best for your marriage, agree to respect that decision instead succumbing to peer pressure.
Letting others take priority
When you got married, you promised your spouse you'd always put each other first. But now your friend calls and wants to meet for lunch. And the kids' school needs volunteers for a fundraiser. And your boss wants you to work late every night this week. And your brother needs help cleaning out his garage. When life piles up, spending time with your spouse can fall down on the list of priorities. While all these other tasks are good things, it's important to remember that you and your spouse need to support each other before anything else. Doing so is a deep expression of love and devotion.
Depending on others more than your spouse
You and your spouse are a team. You make decisions together, you confide in each other, and you support each other in hard times. Sometimes it might seem easier to do these things with a friend, parent or sibling, but this will leave your spouse feeling useless and left out. When you turn to people other than your spouse more often than you turn to them, it challenges your marriage. Trust and confide in your spouse before turning to others.
Letting others determine faults
Some people take it upon themselves to tell you about the "faults" they see in your spouse, thinking you might not have noticed. They've noticed that you rake the leaves instead of your spouse, or they see your trash can full of take-out containers. Others might criticize how household duties are being done, but it's not for them to decide. If one spouse does the raking, the other might do all the dishes. Maybe you both just like take-out. If things work for you and your spouse, it's not up to anyone else to call out what they perceive as faults.
While friends and family are a part of any relationship, make sure you are putting your spouse first. Don't let the opinions of those around you ruin the relationship you have with your partner.
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