6 Marriage Mistakes Women Make
Avoiding these 6 things may make for a better marriage.
3. Underestimating the Effect of Tone of Voice
No matter who's speaking, man or woman, tone of voice can be an issue if it's tinged only slightly with negativity.
If you have concerns, Heitler encourages "verbalizing them in a respectful way," rather than speaking in a frustrated, irritated voice.
By all means, discuss what's bothering you. But do it in a way that searches for solutions and alternatives, rather than venting in a way that puts a peaceful solution further out of reach.
4. Mismatched Communication Styles
If you feel you aren't being heard by your husband, you may want to explore the ways you try to get through to him.
Some women repeat their complaint or a concern a few times in an effort to get their husband's attention. Some men may call that nagging, but it may just be about having different communication styles.
Karam calls it the "demand-withdraw" dynamic: One person wants a conversation, but the other hasn't figured out how to respond or appears to have shut down, so the speaker presses further. "That's a vicious pattern," Karam says.
If that happens in your relationship a lot, remember to pause to let your spouse absorb what you're saying and have "a chance to validate what they've heard," Karam says.
It might be useful to take a hard look at what is fixed -- personality quirks, for example -- and what can be changed. Citing the work of marriage/couples researcher John Gottman, Karam says nearly 70% of marital problems are "perpetual," meaning that these are issues that drag on.
The challenge is to recognize what can't be corrected. It helps to "move toward acceptance," Karam says. "You're not going to change a cautious person into a risk-taker or an introvert into an extrovert.''
5. Not Making Sex a Priority
Whether it's fatigue or some other reason, many women don't make enough time for sex. That's a serious mistake, say Heitler and Karam.
"The reality is, what is best for everybody -- for them, their spouse -- is a healthy sex life," says Heitler. "It keeps the family a happy family. And what their kids need more than anything is parents who have a strong, positive bond.''
Karam says women need to build in time -- and by extension, desire -- to make love with their husbands. "They can't just drop everything and have sex with their husband. It's a product of spending alone time together, building anticipation throughout the week," he says.
Feeling sexy is a good way to start, and that means a woman must make herself a priority.
"Generally, if you're a woman, you have to prioritize self-care. If you feel good about yourself, you're probably going to feel sexual," Karam says.