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25 Most Common Mistakes Couples Make Shared By Marriage Counselors


25 Most Common Mistakes Couples Make Shared By Marriage Counselors

It’s a partnership, not a competition.

A healthy relationship requires work. And while there isn’t a guideline that describes the strategies and skills to be used, it’s vital to have a happy relationship with your partner. Most couples have been achieving this by trying to avoid their parent’s mistakes or perhaps walk the path of a couple who appears genuinely in love. Yes, these might have been working for you, but they well can’t prevent making mistakes. 

Mistakes are normal and inevitable. But some can put your relationship in danger if you do it constantly and in the long term. Marriage counselors seem to have seen it all from sweeping things under the rug, fighting over the little stuff, not maintaining intimacy, fighting to win, to bringing up past problems. A viral Reddit thread has asked marriage counselors to share the most mistakes couple make, and indeed they delivered accurately. Have a look!


Milan Popovic

“Forgetting they’re on the same team, and fighting to win instead of fighting to resolve.”



“When one person says, ‘I’m unhappy about X,’ and their partner responds, ‘Well, I’m unhappy about Y!’ Fix X first. Get settled. Then bring up Y if you still need to.”



Pablo Heimplatz

“They say people divorce over money, but they don’t; they divorce over values. And nothing brings out someone’s values or lack thereof like money. If you can’t understand the person’s priorities, fears, hopes, dreams, goals, and what drives them financially, if you look down on them for any of that, or if think you’ll be able to fix any of that, don’t marry them.”



One of the most toxic things I’ve found in marriage counseling is when couples think of themselves as individuals who ‘happen’ to be together and not as a couple. I’m not advocating enmeshment, but that’s not really marriage. That’s having a roommate. Marriage is a union of two people; that’s what the sand and knots are all about. If either member thinks of themselves as a solely autonomous individual whose actions impact only themselves, things will eventually go bad.” 



“Many couples make the mistake of thinking that sex shouldn’t be talked about, just intuitively understood. But life doesn’t work like that. Sex is good, important, and OK to talk about.”



“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.”



Priscilla Du Preez

“Waiting until your relationship is already DOA before coming to therapy, and then expecting your therapist to revive it in one hour.”



Becca Tapert

Not giving intimacy in their relationship enough attention, including sex. Many relationships start with the ‘hot and heavy’ phase in which intimacy comes naturally. But as that phase diminishes, many couples don’t spend the time and energy to figure out how to maintain it.”


“Allowing family and friends to get too involved in the relationship. Remember the saying, ‘Too many cooks spoil the broth?’ Yeah — exactly this.”



“Going to a marriage counselor thinking they’re like a judge and will tell you who’s right and who’s wrong.”



Priscilla Du Preez

“Sometimes people are just looking to express their feelings and feel heard. I’ve made the mistake multiple times of jumping to try and find the ‘solution’ to a problem, when the better thing to do was to be open, listen, and acknowledge the validity of my partner’s feelings.”



“Keeping score. Whether someone is keeping score of everything they’ve done or everything their partner has done, it’s a death knell for the relationship. It’s a partnership, not a competition.”



Candice Picard

“Not expressing gratitude towards your partner on a regular basis. Expressions of gratitude can have a really positive effect on psychological well-being, as well as relational strength.”



“Bringing up past misbehaviors when trying to resolve a current issue.”



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



“Expecting that because your significant other is around you most, that they are aware of ALL of your thoughts and feelings. Your partner is not psychic!”



“Expecting one person to be everything for you. You need friends, coworkers, hobbies, and a support system, too.”



Afif Kusuma

“Yelling instead of troubleshooting.”



“Bringing a child into a broken marriage expecting them to be the lifesaver; it has never worked and will never work. A child is supposed to be the consolidation of the mutual love of the couple because the marriage is in a good place, not the other way around.”



Manuel Meza

“Treating their pets better than their partners.”



Being someone’s everything.”



“Sexual incompatibility, as in, one person viewing sex as a bonding activity while the other views it as a utility.”



Samuel Dixon

“Listening to respond and not listening to hear.”



“When one person is hurt and instead of saying so, they try to hurt the other person back. Much of the relationship damage couples endure is the back-and-forth ‘hurt each other’ game that snowballs out of control, causing a ton more damage.”



Samuel Dixon

“Marrying someone they wouldn’t go into business with. I’m a paralegal, and I always tell people that if you can’t imagine yourselves opening a dry cleaning business, creating the next great start-up, or running a B&B together, then DO NOT marry that person. Because marriage is a legal business, a contract that creates a business relationship with the other person. And to marry them is to open a business enterprise with them.”


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