7 More Ways Husband And Wives Injure Each Other — Without Even Knowing It

Angry with each other

I recently wrote two blog posts 7 Ways a Wife Injures a Husband…Without Even Knowing It and 7 Ways a Husband Injures a Wife…Without Even Knowing It. These two posts have quickly become the most read blog posts in my blogging career. I received lots of feedback. Numerous sites re-posted them. I made a new friend when Stronger Marriages shared them. I can see Dave Willis and I becoming friends and working together in the future.

One site, Charisma Magazine, suggested I add more ways husbands and wives injure each other, based on the two post’s feedback.

This is that post.

Here are 7 more ways husbands and wives injure each other:

Sarcasm – In my original post, I wrote it with some sarcasm, explaining it was easier that way to address a more difficult subject. I still think it was easier, but it wasn’t received well by everyone. A few very vocal people were offended, so I edited that version. It reminded me though why I wrote the post. We sometimes unknowingly hurt one another in the way we approach an issue. That certainly was not my intent. Attempting humor isn’t funny if it’s only funny to you, but actually hurts another. (And, I also learned that some people need to learn how to better offer constructive criticism.)

Comparison – I learned that some were offended that they were grouped into a general post, rather than making one post for husbands and wives combined. I get that. We do generalizations all the time though. Conservatives, liberals and moderates. Introverts and extroverts. At the same time, I understand that no one is just like someone else. We are all unique, but equally true, in many ways we are also alike. We all have similar needs and desires. Still, it did remind me of a way we injure our spouse and so the the point is well taken. We should be careful not to compare our spouse to others — especially in a negative way. They are unique individuals.

Ignoring – Some commented they feel ignored in the marriage. It could be the response to an argument or the boredom in a relationship or simply refusing to actively listen. But, when a spouse pretends the other spouse isn’t even in the room — or makes the other spouse feel as if that’s the case — it hurts.

Devaluing the relationship – Some spouses feel they are more serious about making the marriage work than their spouse. Not taking the relationship serious, allows holes to develop and injures the other spouse. And, a spouse knows when we aren’t placing a high enough value on the marriage.

Lack of contentment – Numerous people indicated they were tired of their spouse never being satisfied in the marriage. It feels to them like the discontentment is towards them. In the relationship — in life — with social status — with finances — when one spouse is never satisfied, even when the dissatisfied spouse doesn’t intentionally or knowingly blame the other — it injures. Deeply.

Putting others first – Some spouses feel forgotten — or neglected. When everyone else gets the best of a spouse’s time and the family gets the leftovers — it injures the relationship — and the heart of the neglected ones.

Ignoring a spouse’s needs – Several spouses noted they were hurt most when their spouse didn’t realize how something was so important to them. It could be as simple as closing the cabinet doors, which may seem like a frivolous request to one spouse, but to another, it drives them crazy. When we act like it doesn’t matter or isn’t “that big of a deal”, we injure the one to whom it is a big deal. (Now granted, everything can’t be a big deal — or nothing really is a big deal, but we should value the other person enough to care about the things they care about, and, when it’s easy enough to do, why not comply?)

By the way, the last example is one from my own marriage. It doesn’t matter to me that a cabinet door is slightly ajar. It bothers my wife greatly. I can clearly see that cabinet doors were designed to close. So, knowing it matters to her — I close them. Easy enough. For more complicated issues it requires better communication, mutual understanding and a willingness to humble ourselves in the relationship. When two spouses are doing this — and yes, it takes two — I am convinced that any marriage can be a great marriage.

Sadly, in my experience, many people think they are doing that, but they are really only expecting one spouse to do all the humbling of themselves. If the other spouse would only see and do thinks their way things would be good in the marriage. That doesn’t work, however. It takes two people, both willing to collaborate and compromise towards a greater reality of the two unique individuals becoming one.

Let me close by sharing a couple of general thoughts. First, I’m trying to help marriages. I realize all of these — maybe none of these — apply to your marriage. Some marriages are in serious trouble and these posts can’t help at the stage where you are at right now. You may need professional counseling and I strongly encourage you to get help if needed.

Some have dismissed these as too elementary. I understand that too. Although, I must say, some of the replies were extremely harsh and unkind in the way they expressed themselves. I seriously couldn’t help but wonder if that type response is occurring in the marriage if there is a wounded spouse and the spouse doing the injuring is totally unaware of the hurt they are causing. (Which is why I wrote the posts.)

No post can be an answer for everyone. I’m grateful, forever, for the numbers who have been positively impacted by them. I’m overwhelmed by your responses. Thank you.

Now, help other marriages (and be kind in your reply).

What are other ways husbands and wives injure each other — without even knowing it?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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33 thoughts on “7 More Ways Husband And Wives Injure Each Other — Without Even Knowing It

  1. I appreciate these posts, as well, and am grateful for a Christian audience to pose questions to…mine is this: My husband notices other girls, and sometimes lets his eyes linger…and sometimes when we watch tv, if a Victoria's Secret commercial for their 'tv specials' comes on, he tries to act like he doesn't notice, but he stumbles over his words and his voice rises a couple of octaves. This makes me feel inadequate, and then turns me 'off', so to speak…he is in no way disrepectful and quits when he realizes he's doing it, but it makes me irrationally angry in a way that disrupts my testimony…most Christian men, to their credit, get more and more control over this as time goes by…but for him, you'd think he'd never seen a pretty face before…I don't want to continue overreacting the way I do…I don't want to have unrealistic expectations, when I have a wonderful man who shows me every respect, courtesy, and dedication.

    • You say he quits when he realizes he's doing it, but do you ever say anything to him to let him know how it makes you feel? One of the best pieces of advice I got when my relationship turned serious was "He's amazing; he's not The Amazing Kreskin." In other words, he's no mind-reader. People are hard-wired to react to physically attractive people. It's only natural. I could go into the scientific reasons, but it would probably bore you to tears! Talk to him directly and calmly if you haven't already. My husband has had his fair share of having a sudden gallery of "babes" strutting by, seemingly for his visual pleasure, but I am reminded of a story I read about an woman whose husband was forever snapping his head to look at some pretty girl. He friends asked how she could tolerate it. She answered "I don't mind him checking out the menu as long as he gets all of his meals at home!"

  2. Hi, although my boyfriend and I are not yet married we are talking about getting married in the near future, and reading your post showed me a lot. So many of these things apply to our relationship already and we aren’t married. I read all 3 of the injury posts and saved them to my bookmarks. They all opened my eyes to see some of the issues James and I are having. Thank you for writing these and I will be reading more.

    Julia.

    • Thank you. This is awesome feedback. I pray you and your fiancé have a wonderful life together. Thanks for being intentional in your relationship

  3. In regards to the cabinet being left open by the other spouse: for me, this is not just about it getting on one’s (the wife’s) nerves. It most likely has to do with the fact that the wife may be the one who had put the dishes up in the cabinet the spouse just left open. Or swept and mopped the floor that the spouse just dragged mud or leaves onto, or made some other mess of something the wife had cleaned recently. To me this is a sign of disrespect toward the wife for all the work she has done, and is essentially not only NOT noticing her work, but NOT assisting with keeping care of the home.

  4. I think its a great day because things ur saying is my start to fight for marriage I cant lie its only 1 of her in I want in need it her love so bad I got caught in the streets not coming home at night

  5. I’m injured when I’m cut off, when beginning told what I am saying doesn’t matter and when he says that what he says is the only my thing that matters.

    I’m so hurt and Broken.

  6. What a blessing you have made for the body of Christ. I hope you enjoy this little story. My husband and I over see an evangelistic ministry in Eurasia. Just yesterday we were discussing ways wives harm husbands unknowingly in marriage and husbands wives. By what I would consider a God incidence someon reported your blog and it came up on my Facebook. You can only imagine my surprise to open FB after this morning training and to find your 7 principles…. I appreciate your blog! Keep up the good work and I might say we are very progressive in our thinking on men and women in ministry, missionary families and their ministries… So even as a somewhat progressive thinker in these areas I would say you hit the mark! There certainly is a reality of human nature we must deal with in all our relationships. The sooner we own our frailties the sooner we have power to change them! God bless you on your journey!

  7. How about one spouse asking the other spouse their opinion on how to do a certain project and then do exact opposite of their response….. Yeah, it hurts… It's like saying I want to know what your ideas and opinions are just so I can make sure you can't have it that way…..

  8. I can see how sarcasm can be injuring. In college, I as injured by countless people with it. God showed me that it wasn't a good thing. In fact, the dictionary definition means, "to tear down". 99.9% of folks don't give a second thought to that as the definition and often brag about their sarcastic bravado. :(

  9. Thank you for listening to concerns and offering now a balanced post. Human weaknesses, insecurities, and sin whether lust of the eye, lust of the flesh, or pride of life seem to be failings of all humans. Nothing on the earlier lists were exclusive to or even predominate among either gender. Items on your gendered lists were actually similar or identical in nature and have common root issues. Though different, male and female share much more in common. It was the commonality that ish (male) recognized in isha (female)…"At last, someone like me…bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh…" Husbands and wives have a mutual responsibility to honor the covenant, to steward the relationship well, to offer self-sacrificing love, and to regard the other as a co-vice regent image bearer and sibling in Christ.

  10. I read your blogs on my Facebook and I wanted to say thank you for them. It has helped me realize how I was with my spouse(still working on it) and how he is with me. Helped me better myself as a wife and as a person. I love the fact that you speak of both sides. It has made me see the positive side of myself in what I think and with our marriage. Thank you again!

  11. Very astute observations. I have been married almost 44 years (in a month) and I notice my husband and I do some of these things to one another. Can you suggest a way to broach the subject with the other spouse so that one is not feeling the finger is pointing at them and thus ends up turning it back on the other defensively? Thanks.

    • One way is simply to make a game of it.  Each spouse takes turns sharing.1. 3 or 4 things you love about your spouse 2. 1 or two ways you could improve the marriage by what you give to the marriage.  3. 1 or two ways you could improve the marriage by what you need from the marriage. 

  12. Love reading & learning ways to help out/better our marriage.

    One request: Is there a way this can be translated in Spanish?

    Really would love my husband to read these. I do try my best to translate but I’m sure it doesn’t sound all that correct.

    TIA (:

  13. Thanks for your posts and please keep up the insightful and encouraging work! Don’t be disheartened by the those who are too jaded for what you have to offer. If you only helped one person it would be worthwhile but I think you are having a much greater impact than that!