14 Common Marriage Killers

Unhappy couple upset with marital problems angry and mad having conflict after argument. Young multi

I’ve hired a researcher and writer to provide you with typical information related to marriage and relationships. These posts will not go into as much depth as I do, for obvious reasons.

This post, 14 Common Marriage Killers, hopefully will stimulate your thinking about what conditions or situations in your marriage trigger the upset and crisis.

Please read them over. Give some thought to your situation, which areas you might strongly disagree or agree and leave your comment at the bottom.

1. Exhaustion

Even if you do everything right in your relationship, a problem can arise if it leaves you too exhausted to enjoy it. School, work, children and the seemingly endless commitments of family life can leave you so tired that your relationship becomes simply no fun. When you plan your day, always leave yourself time for rest and rejuvenation.

2. Money

Relationship experts tell us that of all the forms of marital strife, none is more common than those caused by finances. There are no problems like money problems, so put careful financial planning at the top of your to-do list. The chances of family friction will decrease dramatically if your finances are in order.

3. Self-centered

We all have the right and the responsibility to care for our own needs. However, in a marriage you have to be able to also take into consideration the other person in the partnership. Selfishness is unattractive in anyone, but in a marital relationship it can be fatal.

4. In-laws

Great in-laws can be a wonderful aid to a marriage. Or in-laws can be a trigger for frustration or hurt. Make sure you are able to talk about in-laws and family patterns with your spouse.

5. Perfectionism

Some people go into marriage with unreasonable expectations of complete marital bliss. Then the first time something goes wrong, they are plunged into a marriage crisis. Getting realistic marriage information before the wedding is a good way to avoid romantic illusions that can lead to disappointment.

6. Clinging

In a healthy relationship both partners have the confidence to give each other a little free time to be on their own. Your spouse had a life before they met you, and it didn’t end on your wedding day. Insecure clinging and jealousy towards the time your partner spends with family and friends will eventually suffocate a relationship.

7. Sexual Frustration

Despite what’s portrayed in movies and romantic novels, good sex seldom happens by magic. It takes a conscious effort and desire to please the other partner. Usually, it requires practice and patience, so be sure to keep practicing!

8. Infidelity

By the time this marriage killer appears, your relationship is already in deep trouble. Yet, marriages with a cheating spouse have been known to recover and survive, but only if both parties are willing to work at it.

9. Bankruptcy

It’s no surprise that a major financial crisis like going bankrupt can lead to a marriage crisis as well. Bankruptcy sometimes can’t be helped, but how you and your spouse react to it can determine whether it is merely a temporary crisis that you eventually overcome, or a stressful nightmare that shatters your marriage.

10. Success

It is easy to see how big failures threaten a marriage, but big time success can also cause unexpected stress. Success means change, and while many of the changes are pleasant, they also alter the environment within which your marriage has worked in the past. If caught unprepared, those changes can destabilize your marriage.

11. Youth

Everyone admires young love, but young marriage can be another matter. In the past, people regularly married in their teens, but these days, that is almost always too young. The most sensible people do not consider marriage before age twenty.

12. Alcohol

When alcoholism enters a marriage, divorce is often close at hand. Fortunately, dependence on alcohol is treatable, but one must have the knowledge and insight to see when a problem is forming. Part of the marriage information everyone should receive prior to the wedding is some basic facts about alcoholism.

13. Illegal Drugs

There is a worse nightmare than alcoholism, and that is when the problem is compounded by the fact that the substance being abused is also illegal. Nothing threatens to break up a marriage quite like a prison term! As with alcohol, the best protection against illegal drugs is education.

14. Other Addictions

There are things other than substances that get you high that you can get addicted to. Pornography, gambling, shopping and other activities that are not always harmful, can become so when abused. Anything that becomes compulsive and repetitive despite a desire to stop is an addiction. What addictions do is consume your time and your money. Eventually, they will consume your marriage as well.

Which of these “killers” speaks most to your situation? Which would be the top 3 that have impacted, most severely, your marriage?
Please comment.

35 thoughts on “14 Common Marriage Killers”

    1. Michael Krogseth

      My wife has had 2 affairs I know of, but looking back over the years I believe now that I missed others. She is also an alcoholic which is making this marriage very hard to stay in. Financially i2 don’t know what to do as she can’t make payments needed on our household. Also I am so use to her that leaving her is a scary prospect, Mibut living like this has thrown me into a unhappy existence. Not sure what is to be done here.

  1. #1 I worked too many hours to make a living and was tired when I was home.

    #7 I found years later that she was unhappy with my performance as a sex partner.

    #8 From our 5th year through our 32nd year she was with 7 other men.

    #14 She had sex with other men about 3 times a week average, up to 17 times in one 3 week period.

    Our 60th anniversary is this year and we are still together but it is something I would never have chosen if I had a choice.

    1. In almost every situation There are choices /options, are there not? They may not be easy ones but they still are choices. I’m curious how over 60 years you feel you didn’t have any choices? happy anniversary by the way !

  2. In my case, #7 led to #8 and led to #14(addicted to sex) After about 7 years I said ” Him or Me” and moved out. After 32 years she said “come home” and we have been working on it since. Our 60th anniversary is this year and we plan on ignoring it because she still don’t think she did anything wrong.

    1. What do you mean? “It is something I would never have chosen if I had a choice.” Does that mean you would have preferred to leave her.

  3. Divorced and sadly reflective

    Sexual incompatibility from the beginning (loved him deeply though)
    Success, followed by over-spending, followed by lots of debt
    Disconnection starts and becomes normal
    Marriage over, too little too late

  4. Self-centered

    We were together for nearly 10 years. He decided to pursue other women and completely lie about it. When I had hard proof, he still lied. Finally I filed for a divorce. I think the lying hurts more than the actual affair. I thought I had married a very ethical, honest man…but when it came to women, not true.

  5. I feel that Step-children and ex-spouses/significant others should be included on this list as well as “friends” (I use this term loosely because most people nowadays think call their gazillion followers friends or people they text but never actually talk to either on the phone or in person) who give bad advice, are a bad influence etc who people don’t want to let go of and bring/add nothing to the romantic/primary relationship. Would you take money advice from someone who is bankrupt/broke or in debt? Then WHY would one take relationship advice from anyone who hasn’t stood the test of time in their OWN relationship and done it w love, respect, and JOY ??

    Also, technology should definitely be in the top 10–cell phones, computers, tablets/iPads and ever growing social media. These are ruining Relationships of all types not just romantic ones. Wise up, people.

  6. Married for 7 years, found out 3 months ago that he has been sleeping with another woman and got her pregnant. this after i had a miscarriage 6 months ago. he says it was his way of coping with the loss of our baby. the other woman claims they loved each other and claims this is her second pregnancy from my husband. i have since kicked him out and filled for a divorce as i could not forgive him. we tried to make it work, i fell pregnant in the process with our 3rd child…he has since received his summons and is fuming and now he says he hates me.

  7. Infidelity…then found out 17 years later with a DNA test my son is the result of ONE of her affairs. Still trying my hardest but hard when she blames the affair on me and shows absolutely no remorse or empathy

  8. The Unfaithful

    I am the unfaithful spouse and in denial about all 14 until starting recovery for multiple addictions (sex being the main addiction) years ago.

    I am grateful that my spouse has allowed me to be home as I work through my issues and begin to rebuild trust and our marriage.

    That said, I don’t have a top three. They are all important.

  9. Roger: That is really great that you were able to weather that storm. Any suggestions—I am in the same boat after 32 years of marriage—found out 3 years ago that he is involved in multiple affairs and is in the complete throws of porn/sex addiction. I am still trying to work it out but so far, he is totally in the thick of that life which of course has severely affected our marriage.

  10. Still standing

    Please add personal crisis. My husband recovered from cancer treatment and retired in the same year. He has always been a drinker and smoker, post recovery these addicitons increased and there was infidelity. He has now settled & found his peace but with no remorse or empathy for how I or the marriage suffered. I have found strength in God and take a day at a time.

  11. Exhaustion of my husband, he works so hard, and i had to give up work due to poor health. No time for the important things to do together. poor health needs to be added to the list! To love and to cherish through sickness and health.

    self centred ness, marriage is about WE not ME or HE. THE TWO WERE JOINED TOGETHER AS ONE!!

    INLAWS. their bitching and critisim and lies from the day we announced our engagement 35 years ago. his loyalty is with his family, no-one to watch my back.!! her son can never do any wrong. she doesn’t no half of it! it says in the bible to leave your parents and cleave to your wife! i understand why, and yes it says to honour thy mother and father, yes, i encourage that it true and important. the right balance and loyalty needs to be addressed.

    Money, always a big in marriage. I don’t have any say in the money, Two sets of rules.

    Last but definitely the least. INFIDELITY, SECRECY AND NO TRUST! Marriage should be built on TRUST. I don’t think ill 100 trust again. there are days i thought id die from a broken heart!
    I now have heart problems, i sometimes wonder if the broken heart has had a lot to do with it.
    Bottom line i love my husband,! but sometimes love is not enough if two aren’t working at it

    1. Yes a broken heart is probably from years of heart break I’ve been diagnosed with broken heart syndrome it’s a real thing .I laughed when I was told thought it was a bS diagnosis . Wish you a speedy recovery.

  12. Infidelity

    Eighteen months ago, my wife of 46 years admitted to two affairs. One, which I had suspected and questioned her about when it was going on and told they were only “good friends,” and the other (overlapping with the first) that caught me totally off guard. The first lasted two and a-half years; the second lasted seven years. Both started out as emotional affairs. The first came about after her soon-to-be lover chastised my wife after hearing she was a virgin when we met with such comments as “How could you live a life without knowing how good sex could be with someone else?” And then he gladly provided the service. And she found it to be better sex than ours. She ended it after she started the second affair because she couldn’t cheat on her new lover. With the second, she decided that sex was the next rational step in their relationship and she later fell in love with the man and hoped he would ask her to leave me. He, having at least one instance of morals, said he didn’t want to be the cause of a marriage breakup. Then, after seven years of this fantasy, she realized he was never going to ask her to leave me and that he was just using her for sex. She claims there have been no affairs since 2004 although she had a lot of men hitting up on her and there was ample opportunity. She hid everything and kept all of the lies and “guilt” pushed down down fifteen years until, in March of last year, her first lover sent me an email exposing their tryst. Eighteen months and hundreds of hours with therapy and couples counseling later, she still thinks I need to just get over it and is not willing to dig into what happened because she fears it will make her insane. She occasionally shows empathy toward me but their is no sign of vulnerability in her apologies and her arguments come across as defensive and thinks that, just because she didn’t think about what the affairs would do to our marriage, that it couldn’t have possibly damaged our relationship. At 68, I do not have much runway left and really question whether I have it in me to leave and start over, but I have been really screwed up (no pun intended) from all of this and see no end to this living hell if she can’t truly open up and show true remorse.

    I thought we had a marriage to beat all marriages. Our friends thought ours was the model marriage. Like Cinderella, it was all a fantasy.

    1. Jim, I am so sorry my friend. I feel your pain. I’ve been there. It’s heartbreaking. A dark place. You wake up and you are fine……until you remember the shitshow you are now in and you feel like the freak on a leach for all to see.
      My Wife of 19 years ( include dating and it’s 28 years) was 46 at the time. Was not getting the “attention “ from me while I worked at my full time job and worked on our multiple investment properties so we and our children could have a better life than I had had
      She apparently was upset with me but did not talk to me about it in a way I could understand. She befriended a 23 year old drunkard, drug addict who lives with his mommy ( who is younger than my wife btw) This guy has been arrested twice for beating women! Over months it was drinking , pool, darts and kissing in his truck. Then it turned into oral sex a few times until I found out from an anonymous person
      My wife trickle truthed never denied, but was defensive often. This drove me nuts. We did councilling for 19 months …. the wife since has been trying hard to fix us. She is committed but I can’t trust! I can’t let go of the lies, the total and complete disrespect for me, kids and even herself. Am I an ass hole because I can’t get past this? I really wanted to ….. I feel I just can’t. I told her I want a divorce 3 weeks ago. I have not contacted a lawyer yet. I’m just sitting on this. I started dating Yes maybe too early. Maybe it’s time to give another gal a chance
      I’m mixed up. I was hurt beyond my ability to put into words. You guys and gals who have been in this situation know exactly what I’m saying. “Get over it”. Anyone who says that to me is not my friend

      1. You can’t just get over it . It eats away at you.i can say it gets easier and you won’t think about it every day and on the down the long road to forgiveness it won’t hurt that much anymore..are u in the early throws Of this? If so just hang in there and create some boundaries and make sure she knows them.

      2. Hi Kev,
        I feel your pain. I am in the same boat. I consider divorce and feel that it is the best course of action. How does one move past this, when there is no remorse or trust. Fear she can do it again. I hope you find the right gal.

  13. Michelle Creager

    Infidelity ,my husbands. But did it start with Sexual issues.I’m not sure. Was it an addiction. 20 girls in 2 years time. I don’t know, & he doesn’t want to find out.

  14. My husband & I had a beautiful relationship. Then he relapsed to alcohol after 2 deaths in his family. Alcohol was in his life from age 13, but sober before he met me in 2005. Relapse 2017 and it did cause financial hardships with missing work and rebabs. As he said we will get thru this, we have each other. Unfortunately drinking was more important & then a coworker entered. He committed adultery and it ended by her cause she lived with a guy, then corrupted my marriage then dumped my husband for yet another coworker. Still living with the other mind you. After she dumped the 3rd she came back for my husband and for over a year she still is in the picture. His drinking, drugs, they fight he watches porn & spends money on it. He spends all his time with her, still drinks and hasn’t written a check to pay a bill in several years. Won’t admit he’s wrong, 5 detoxing, drinks and keeps his mistress company stating our marriage is over and it’s not her fault. She tells him she is more important to him then his wife, tells me she can have him anytime she wants. Trust gone, lies after lies, drinking every day, tells everyone it’s my fault. I have given him so much love and affection, handle all finances treat him with such care and yes he abandoned me and our marriage last year when he went back to the serpent. It’s hard to let go of 17 years with someone you are in love with, but I deserve to be treated with love honesty and respect. I know I’ll be alone for the rest of my life, but the man I married left due to drinking and his adultery continues to have his affair claiming they are just friends. Didn’t know friends send sexy pictures to her male friends.. I tried working it out but he didn’t allow me or us to rebuild trust so I’m just trying to get him to move out of our home and trying to wake up every morning to work and pay my household. I know what we had was real love, but you can’t compete with alcoholics and infidelity. A woman as such as his is a narcissist con artist and she sank her fangs into my husband and he is blinded. He will have a huge awakening when he Living in his car and sick because of his drinking. He’ll be useless to her then.

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