the
post
visit the
blog
skip to
comments
lots more
sdl
get it in
your email

16 Ways I Blew My Marriage

dan-pearce-16-ways

You know what blows big time?

The other night I was sitting with my family, most of whom are very successfully married. We were going in a circle giving our best marriage advice to my little sister on the eve of her wedding. It’s somewhat of a family tradition.

But that’s not what blows. What really blows is that I realized I don’t have any good marriage advice to give. After all, I’ve never had a successful marriage out of the two marriages I did have.

And so, when it was my turn, I just made a joke about divorce and how you should always remember why you loved your spouse when you first met her so that when times get tough, you can find someone new that is just like she was.

There were a couple courtesy giggles, but overall my humor wasn’t welcome in such a beautifully building ring of profundity.

They finished round one, and for some reason started into another round. And that’s when I realized. Hey. I don’t have marriage advice to give, but I have plenty of “keep your marriage from ending” advice (two equivocally different things), and that might be almost as good.

It eventually came to me again, and what I said would have been such great advice if I were a tenth as good at saying things as I was at writing them.

And so, that night, I sat down and wrote out my “advice list” for my little sister. You know… things I wish I would have known or done differently so that I didn’t end up divorced (twice). After writing it, I thought maybe I’d share it with all of you, too.

I call it my “Ways I Blew My Marriage” list. Also, for the list’s sake, I am just going to refer to “her” instead of “them” even though they almost all were true in both marriages.

1. DON’T STOP HOLDING HER HAND
When I first dated the woman I ended up marrying, I always held her hand. In the car. While walking. At meals. At movies. It didn’t matter where. Over time, I stopped. I made up excuses like my hand was too hot or it made me sweat or I wasn’t comfortable with it in public. Truth was, I stopped holding hands because I stopped wanting to put in the effort to be close to my wife. No other reason.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d hold her hand in the car. I’d hold her hand on a star. I’d hold her hand in a box. I’d hold her hand with a fox. And I’d hold her hand everywhere else, too, even when we didn’t particularly like each other for the moment.
BONUS! When you hold hands in the winter, they don’t get cold. True story.
2. DON’T STOP TRYING TO BE ATTRACTIVE.
Obviously when I was working to woo her, I would do myself up as attractively as I possibly could every time I saw her. I kept perfectly groomed. I always smelled good. I held in my farts until she wasn’t around. For some reason, marriage made me feel like I could stop doing all that. I would get all properly groomed, smelling good, and dressed up any time we went out somewhere or I went out by myself, but I rarely, if ever, cared about making myself attractive just for her.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d try and put my best foot forward throughout our entire marriage. I’d wait to fart until I was in the bathroom whenever possible. I’d make myself desirable so that she would desire me.
BONUS! when you trim your man hair, guess what. She returns the favor.
3. DON’T ALWAYS POINT OUT HER WEAKNESSES.
For some reason, somewhere along the way, I always ended up feeling like it was my place to tell her where she was weak and where she could do better. I sure as heck didn’t do that while we were dating. No, when I dated her I only built her up, only told her how amazing she was, and easily looked past all of her flaws. After we got married though, she sometimes couldn’t even cook eggs without me telling her how she might be able to improve.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I wouldn’t say a damned thing about anything that I thought could use improvement. I’ve learned since my marriage ended that there is more than one right way to do most things, and that the imperfections of others are too beautiful to try and change.
BONUS! when you tell her what she’s doing right, she’ll tell you what you’re doing right. And she’ll also tell her friends. And her family. And the dentist. And even strangers on the street.
4. DON’T STOP COOKING FOR HER.
I knew how to woo a girl, for sure. And the ticket was usually a night in, cooking a nice meal and having a romantic evening. So why is it then, that I didn’t do that for her after we got married? Sure, I’d throw some canned soup in the microwave or fry up some chimichangas once in a while, but I rarely if ever went out of my way to sweep her off her feet after we were married by steaming crab legs, or making fancy pasta, or setting up a candlelit table.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d make it a priority to cook for her, and only her, something awesome at least every month. And I’d remember that meat in a can is never awesome.
BONUS! candlelit dinners often lead to candlelit bow chica bow-wow.
5. DON’T YELL AT YOUR SPOUSE.
I’m not talking about the angry kind of yelling. I’m talking about the lazy kind of yelling. The kind of yelling you do when you don’t want to get up from your television show or you don’t want to go ALL THE WAY UPSTAIRS to ask her if she’s seen your keys. It really doesn’t take that much effort to go find her, and yelling (by nature) sounds demanding and authoritative.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: I’d try to go find her anytime I needed something or wanted to know something, and I’d have both gratitude and manners when I did. I always hated when she would yell to me, so why did I always feel it was okay to yell to her?
BONUS! sometimes you catch her doing something cute that you would have missed otherwise.
6. DON’T CALL NAMES.
I always felt I was the king of not calling names, but I wasn’t. I may not have called her stupid, or idiot, or any of the other names she’d sometimes call me, but I would tell her she was stubborn, or that she was impossible, or that she was so hard to deal with. Names are names, and calling them will drive bigger wedges in communication than just about anything else.
IF I HAD IT TO DO-OVER: Any time it got to the point that I wanted to call names, I’d call a time-out and come back to it later. Or better yet, I’d call her names, but they’d be names like “super sexy” or “hotness.” Even in the heat of the moment.
BONUS! she’ll call you names in better places. Like the bedroom.

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

5497 comments
TaylorAshley
TaylorAshley

Hello, If you are having problem getting your lover back, then i will have to recommend everyone to the great man that brought back my man just in 2days. is called DR.ODUMDU from West African, if you also need his help to get your wife, or your husband back home you can reach him on this email ([email protected]) or call his line +2347053319835

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]

WalshBob
WalshBob

Just wanted to thanks [email protected] for the love spell he had cast for me to get my husband back to me within two days, the spell took no time to show its action and the result was awesome and permanent, now my husband does not even talks or thinks of leaving me, Thank you Dr. Charles for your help to me. –

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

Wow!!! thank you sooo much DR EZIZA, it's people like you in this world that help people stand back up :i know what i have to do, just gonna tell the whole wide world about your genuine work. Please help me in thanking him for his help, here is the email: [email protected] ALSO CONTACT HIM FOR HELP IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEM. You call him with this number: +2348058176289

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!

Jen Lutz Brandow
Jen Lutz Brandow

Dan I have enjoyed many of your posts, but this one may be the best! It comes from the heart and is dead on! Thanks for writing it, we can all learn something to help our current relationship or get ready for the next one!!!

Cristy Edwards
Cristy Edwards

I have just read both of these and WOW!!! I even noticed things that I did in my marriage that I shouldnt have. 1st marriage gone but I believe that your printout will have to become a bible for the next one (hopefully) Amazing

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.