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16 Ways I Blew My Marriage

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dan-pearce-16-ways
13. DON’T PRESSURE EACH OTHER.
Pressuring each other about anything is always a recipe for resentment. I always felt so pressured to make more money. I always felt so pressured to not slip in my religion. I always felt so pressured to feel certain ways about things when I felt the opposite. And I usually carried a lot of resentment. Looking back, I can think of just as many times that I pressured her, so I know it was a two-way street.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d make it a point to celebrate the different views, opinions, and ways that she had of doing things. I’d find the beauty in differentiation, not the threat.
BONUS! authentic happiness becomes a real possibility. And so do authentic foot rubs.
14. DON’T LABEL EACH OTHER WITH NEGATIVE LABELS.
Sometimes the easiest phrases to say in my marriage started with one of three things. Either, “you should have,” “you aren’t,” or “you didn’t.” Inevitably after each of those seemed to come something negative. And since when have negative labels ever helped anyone? They certainly never helped her. Or me. Instead, they seemed to make the action that sparked the label worsen in big ways.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I would learn to stop myself before saying any of those phrases, and then I’d switch them out for positive labels. Instead of “you should,” I’d say “you are great at.” Instead of saying “you aren’t,” I’d say “you are.” Instead of saying “you didn’t,” I’d say, “you did.” And then I’d follow it up with something positive.
BONUS! the noblest struggles become far more conquerable. And you don’t think or believe that you’re a schmuck, which is always nice.
15. DON’T SKIP OUT ON THINGS THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO HER.
It was so easy in marriage to veto so many of the things she enjoyed doing. My reasoning, “we can find things we both enjoy.” That’s lame. There will always be things she enjoys that I will never enjoy, and that’s no reason not to support her in them. Sometimes the only thing she needs is to know that I’m there.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d attend many more of the events that she invited me to. I would actively participate and not tell all the reasons why I’d do it differently or how it could be better or more fun or time better spent.
BONUS! go to something she knows you don’t enjoy and the gratitude gets piled on later that night, like whipped cream on a cheesecake.
16. DON’T EMOTIONALLY DISTANCE YOURSELF AFTER A FIGHT.
I never got to experience the power of make-up sex because any time my wife was mean or we got in a fight, I’d completely distance myself from her, usually for several days. Communication would shut down and I’d avoid contact at all cost. This never let things get worked out, and eventually after it had happened enough times I’d explode unnecessarily.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d let myself communicate my emotions and feelings more often, and I’d make sure that she knew I still loved her any time we had an ugly bout. Sure, we’d give each other some distance. But not days of distance.
BONUS! Fantastic make-up sex. Or at least that’s the theory.

I had lots more written out, but the list started getting super long so I’ll stop right there and maybe do a part 2. It’s amazing when you’ve had relationships end, just how much you learn and know you could have done differently, isn’t it?

My sister and her new husband will be amazing. Hopefully she’ll always be giving amazing marriage advice in the future and never have to hand out the “keep your marriage from ending” advice like I get to.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. Would love your comments on today’s posts. What do you agree/disagree with? What advice did I miss?

UPDATE: Part 2 of this list posted!

5501 comments
SwartHamp
SwartHamp


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JamesMack4


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walkdmc
walkdmc

I do think this is awesome and I can build the two dozen ways.  

But please I beg of you, please move the poop text away from the kiss text .... please?

FrankSilver
FrankSilver

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Smith Davia
Smith Davia

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Mickee Southwell
Mickee Southwell

Dan, I read that story over a year ago and it was such an eye opener. I was in a marriage with a man that made so many of those same mistakes, but mostly, he took for granted that I was always there, until I wasn't. Your story is great for any one in a serious relationship!

Crystal Lewis
Crystal Lewis

This post helped me come to terms with the fact that my marriage was over. A year later, I'm following you on FB because you give me hope. Sending a sincere thanks your way.

LauraBenson
LauraBenson

Today is my wedding anniversary and I have a lot to rejoice about. My husband is home and we are celebrating together. The Enemy came in and tried to have his way and that's when I found your email and I am standing ever since. Although my husband never physically left, Dr Lawrence brought his heart home and today we can celebrate each other. Dr Lawrence has been so good and so helpful to us. What a great man you are thank you so much [email protected]

Jessica Noyb
Jessica Noyb

This is the blog post that originally brought me to your blog. You, and your blog have brought a lot of laughter, and some tears into my life, you have also brought a way for me to get back in control of my health. Thanks Dan. For what you might ask, just being you.. that is all we can and were meant to do.

Kate Escalera
Kate Escalera

fabulously well timed - all these things can go both ways.

Sheri Wilson
Sheri Wilson

Dan I swear you're the male version of myself. Creepy.

Emma Tucker
Emma Tucker

Yep, married 2x- 2nd one is failing but we're holding in for the kids. Because THAT works so well. I hope we can both find our happy place very soon.

LauraBenson
LauraBenson

Today is my wedding anniversary and I have a lot to rejoice about. My husband is home and we are celebrating together. The Enemy came in and tried to have his way and that's when I found your email and I am standing ever since. Although my husband never physically left, Dr Lawrence brought his heart home and today we can celebrate each other. Dr Lawrence has been so good and so helpful to us. What a great man you are thank you so much [email protected]

Julie Salmons
Julie Salmons

#10 goes both ways and I will never again allow bathroom activities to be done with the door open by me or my significant other.

Tiffany Adams
Tiffany Adams

This is one of the best and deserves recognition...

Jo Anna Stan
Jo Anna Stan

I shared because this is good advice for couples. But as for myself, Is it okay for right this minute, that I'm happy being a single mom? Our lives are great and I don't want to complicate things \U0001f618

MarisHoover
MarisHoover

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Anissa M Pratte
Anissa M Pratte

Wow...gave me some tears....I too have had two failed marriages. When ever someone comes to be about how they are aggravated with their spouse. ....my answer is always....lets trade shoes. Come do this reality thing alone ....with out your partner. Always remember why you feel for that person in the first place......thank you for writing that...it will help so many people.

Tamara Ede
Tamara Ede

Loved this one. Haven't read it in awhile.

Al Dente
Al Dente

"Don't point out her weaknesses" YES this is so hurtful and yet it seems to always happen. People just want to be accepted and appreciated!

Kim Wollrab
Kim Wollrab

love your blog! this is particularly insightful..makes me think about what I can do differently today.

Beth Dyer Stanford
Beth Dyer Stanford

This was what first caught my eye. I haven't missed a post since.

Angela
Angela

Very thoughtful article. We live, we learn. You did ask us to comment on what we thought so here goes. #8 Don't fight in front of the kids.  Well, true, you never want to have a knock down, drag down ugly brewhaha in front of them.  But never, ever, having a fight or disagreement in front of them can also have a down side. They many not ever learn how to have healthy disagreement with their significant other. Show them how to have a difference of opinion while having respect for the other person. Don't use ugly words, don't yell or stamp around and throw things. Have a dialog. If you can't come to a resolution and things get heated, then use the safe word to table it until you can revisit it without them there.  End it with something like, I guess we have to agree to disagree and give each other a kiss. This teaches them so many things. Like we are not always going to agree, that we can openly share our thoughts and opinions, and after all is said and done we still love each other.  

Just my thought and opinion.  

Jeanne Redlinger
Jeanne Redlinger

Very wise. If you marry again you'll be so much more prepared and she will be a lucky woman.

Jama Fahrenkrog
Jama Fahrenkrog

I have a printed copy of all 36(?) items. I reread them pretty regularly. Great advice here!!

Kari Granberg
Kari Granberg

Aaron Granberg you should take time to read this :) love you babe!

Tina Stewart Bryant
Tina Stewart Bryant

I think everyone gets a little lackadaisical but if you truly enjoy that person it's easier. Honestly some marriages just are never going to work. Great advice though!

Erin Sinclair
Erin Sinclair

Seriously? To all the "men" poopooing this post, that he is acting like a beta not an alpha male, not acting like a man, being wimpy. You will or are never going to be truly happy in a relationship with a healthy well balanced strong woman until you rethink your Neaderthal ways and values. Do we want you strong? Of course but if your idea of maleness is aggression, dominance, and pissing on your territory is it, the divorce rate will continue to soar. Last I read the Neandethal became extinct. Good luck with your attitudes, you're a dying breed, thankfully.

Katrina Degeler
Katrina Degeler

I read these when it first went viral and have read it again since. Fantastic writing. Will plan to read again for reminders.

Kelly Hughes
Kelly Hughes

#1 lesson learned for me is that no one belongs to anyone. Not your spouse, not your kids, no one. They are here to live their own lives with their own dreams and desires. As soon as possession comes into it, there is expectation, followed closely by disappointment, and resentment. Celebrate your wonderful and unique partner, and thank your lucky stars they chose to share their awesomeness with YOU.

Jessica Erin
Jessica Erin

Loved it the first time it was going around, love it even more now that I'm going through a divorce!

Shara Leddy
Shara Leddy

I love this blog. You want to try for a third time? \U0001f618 Also, this kid totes gets what you're on about.

Kelly Gagnon
Kelly Gagnon

Nice! Even better than lacey white ways to have a perfect marriage-truth in how it goes wrong is so useful!

last_remaining_username
last_remaining_username

@Angela  I signed up just so I could say that I straight-up agree with this post.  The only thing I would add would be to know your limits ahead of time; some topics should be tabled from the get-go, and parents should not push it when that's the case.       


But, you are so right about the importance of teaching children that they need to be able to disagree without being disagreeable.  Also, it doesn't benefit children for them to grow up thinking that marriage (or any relationship, for that matter) is all sunshine and roses all of the time.  It benefits them to know that relationships in general, and marriage in particular, takes work and often requires compromise.


This way, God forbid, if your child does walk in on a heated moment, they aren't going to worry that their world could be falling apart.  They will know that their parents might have differing opinions, but that they always kiss and make up.