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Be aware of self-destructive patterns in your marriage

Elizabeth Badejo

Marriage is the greatest adventure you can embark on which is full of many life-changing experiences and unknown mysteries too. It will take a huge sense of commitment, sacrifice and compromise on the part of the two individuals in marriage to enjoy the experience and reap the benefits which can be immeasurable too. On the other hand, marriage cannot survive without disagreements and conflicts as life is full of ups and downs that sometimes trigger human behaviour and reactions.

However, there are certain repetitive behaviours which can become toxic in your marriage if you and your spouse have not been able to address or challenge them because some marriages experiencing setbacks and untimely breakups today are products of self-destructive behaviour. People deal with stressful situations in different ways which can lead to repeated unhealthy relationships and becoming aware of your role in destroying something which was once a beautiful relationship can make the difference in breaking the circle of self-destructive.

 Self- doubt

Marriage can be smooth sailing for some and a struggle for others to navigate which will require a great deal of knowledge, wisdom, and perseverance when things are not working out and life seems unfair. This is when your commitment and partnership are tested and if your spouse only focuses on the negatives and the likelihood that things can never get better even when you are certain that your situation is only temporary; he/she may have other underlying issues from childhood or personal insecurities. A spouse who has a repetitive pattern of giving up at every disappointment rather than trying again can be an indication of self-destructive behaviour which can affect your livelihood and chances of living a good life.


Many people with destructive behavioural patterns may not be aware of the impact it can have on their marriages and their well-being. Some of these patterns are passed down from childhood experiences and some are formed in adulthood when a midlife crisis sets in which can trigger stress and anxiety. Stonewalling is very prevalent in many distressed marriages when one spouse is not prepared to communicate or listen to the other spouse who is trying to resolve the problem and will rather put a wall in between them to avoid any interaction.

It can be a safe way of dealing with problems by ignoring, evading, walking away or simply remaining silent and lacking interest in resolving a conflict. This self-destructive behaviour can impact your emotional well-being and that of your spouse whom you constantly ignore and disregard and will eventually destroy your marriage if you continue to shut down and avoid taking responsibility.


Some people strive better in blaming others for their problems and the spouses are usually the first victims of such behaviour pattern that usually comes from a lack of self-esteem because they believe that everyone is out to get them. Your spouse may lack the emotional intelligence to take responsibility for his/her behaviour during disagreements in the marriage if it has become a repeated pattern and a defensive way of dealing with her failings. Self-pity can lead to misery in your marriage and self-neglect when you focus all your energy on feeling sorry for your spouse and constantly considering his/her feelings above yours.

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