This article was originally published on . It has been republished here with permission.
OK, so you aren't an awful husband. But there are some pretty awful things you definitely don't want creeping into your marriage. Your wife deserves better than a husband with any of these 10 ugly habits.
Please watch yourself and don't get caught in the trap of criticizing your wife. Choose to see the good in your wife. Compliment her on all the things she is doing right. Next time you find yourself wanting to tell her something you don't like about her, switch it around and pay her a sincere compliment. She will love it.
Believe it or not, you aren't always right. And your beautiful wife is actually very good at making her own decisions (and typically she makes very good decisions). So stop feeling like you need to control where she's going, what she's doing, how much she's spending and more. Instead of stressing about that, work together as a team, encouraging and supporting each other. Let your wife be her own person, and give her wings to fly.
Please, husbands! Your wife isn't an object. She is your wife, your best friend and your queen. She deserves your utmost respect, especially when it comes to sexual intimacy. Always respect her and her body and work on establishing emotional connection and trust before thinking about sharing sexual intimacy with your wife. Sex can be the most unifying, fulfilling and beautiful thing in marriage when you both treat each other respectfully.
4. Doesn't give you the time of day
You have a wife. You lucky guy. Please don't forget about her. Don't be too busy to call her, text her or recognize her when she walks in the room. The next time you see her, give her a big hug and tell her you love her. Let her know she is your top priority by putting her first - ahead of work, time with your buddies, or watching that game. Sit on the couch and talk to her. Tell her about your day, your thoughts, your worries, and your funny experiences. Beware, you may find that sparks suddenly start flying around like crazy.
5. Uses crude or dirty language
Husbands, come on. You aren't teenage boys anymore (and even then, bad language wasn't really cool). Watch your mouth. Work to cut the swearing habit, and remove crude, rude and dirty language from your vocabulary. You may be amazed at all the other words available for use in expressing your feelings. Your wife deserves to hear words that a gentleman would speak, not a raga-muffin. Buy yourself a dictionary. OK, not really, but try some new words. Your wife will be tickled pink and others will think you're much more intelligent.
This is one sure way to ruin your marriage, your life and your future. Simply put, don't view pornography and let your eyes linger everywhere you go. Look inward and decide to choose a better path. If you are entrenched in the ugly habit of pornography, seek out professional help (there are many great resources to turn to). Find a counselor who can help you begin the process of becoming free from this addiction. You have to want change for yourself and for those you love. So dig deep and decide what kind of life you really want.
7. Has too high of expectations
The last thing your sweet wife needs to hear is that she doesn't measure up to your unrealistic expectations. Please don't compare your wife's body, budgeting skills, or parenting skills to so-and-so down the street. Your comparisons will, over time, crush her self-esteem. Decide to be kind, to be patient, to be forgiving and to be flexible. The more you emphasize all of her positive qualities, the more she will naturally start living up to those positive compliments and become the woman you describe, and more.
8. Doesn't help out around the house
Seriously? You may bring in half the income, or all of it, but that doesn't mean you can chill on the couch while your wife cleans, tidies and washes dishes day-in and day-out. Kick it up a notch and offer to help out. Clean the toilet (yes, the one you use every day), carry in the groceries or unload the dishwasher (oh, the horror). You and your wife are a team and ought to work side by side creating the home of your dreams.
9. Loses his temper often
You are a grown man. Yelling at your wife is not appropriate, effective or helpful. Hitting is completely off limits. Rage, lashing out, throwing things and threatening are all forms of abuse. You can learn to control your temper. You can learn to respond calmly and with love. As you do, your wife will feel safe with you and love being around you.
10. Lies and cheats
If you think you can sneak off with that babe from work and your wife will never know, then you're kidding yourself and in for a very rude awakening. And honestly, even if your wife never found out, it's still wrong. Don't throw away everything that is truly meaningful for a fleeting moment of pleasure. Choose to be honest. Choose to be loyal. Live up to those promises you made to your bride. She deserves all that, and more.
Now, if you saw yourself in any of these ugly habits, don't beat yourself up. Rather decide to be better and make changes. Chart a course today that will lead you, and your wife, to that happily-ever-after marriage you have always wanted.
Aaron & April are the founders of Nurturing Marriage, a website dedicated to strengthening marriages. They enjoy playing football with their two little boys, watching sports, eating cereal late at night, and going out for frozen yogurt.