by David Sisler

The chances of you and your spouse ending in divorce court if this is your first marriage is better than 50 percent. If you have already been divorced once, there is a 75 percent chance that this marriage will fail, too.

In order to save you some time and anguish, and to save you from spending money at a marriage counselor (you'll need it for your divorce lawyer, or the settlement) I'm going to list six things you can do to ruin your marriage. Follow them and you won't have to worry. You will get divorced.

First, tear each other down, never build each other up.

If your spouse does something correct, ignore it. If the laundry is not properly folded, or your supper is not ready on time, or if the garbage isn't carried out, or the lawn isn't mowed just right, bring it up. After all, praise will just make your spouse feel better as a person.

Be sure to keep records of wrong and bring those into any discussion. And if you ever get a chance to embarrass your spouse in public, by all means do it. A good belittling every now and then will speed things along.

Second, never say, "I'm sorry." To admit your faults will only make you seem smaller in her eyes. And a man is never wrong. Right?

Wives, if you admit to having made a mistake it will only make things worse. He has never believed you were capable of independent thought and apologizing will just confirm it for him.

You can't live in the past if you forgive. You need to keep hurts close at hand and keep wounds open.

Third, never be honest with each other.

It is important for you to live in your own little world, so keep your partner shut out. Clam up at the first opportunity, and if things get a little heated, just walk out. Don't risk working things out by just taking a few minutes to discuss what's bothering you. Chances are your partner has no idea why you're upset, so just keep him or her in the dark.

Fourth, have a best friend other than your husband or your wife.

You need someone to confide in, and your spouse will never understand you anyway. But a co-worker, a neighbor, a school mate, someone who hardly knows you, almost never sees you, and spends as little time with you as possible, can be a great confidant. If you begin to have fun with your mate, you may never want to get a divorce. If possible, choose someone of the opposite sex. Who knows? The two of you could become really close friends. If you know what I mean!

Fifth, avoid being intimate with your spouse.

Such goings on will only draw you closer. The time you spend together sexually will only help you learn about each other. You want to develop the attitude that ignorance is bliss.

Besides, your wife has probably gained a few pounds and babies have given her stretch marks. She's no centerfold, right?

And your husband, no need to mention that pot belly, huh? His breath stinks, and he hasn't shaved today, so why bother?

And for goodness sake, don't ever be the one to initiate intimacy. Sure you have needs, but if you let your spouse think you're interested it could cause all kinds of problems like a happy marriage.

Sixth, leave God completely out of your marriage.

You went to church and got married, that's enough religion for anyone. If you draw close to God, you only risk drawing closer to each other. The most positive thing you can do together as husband and wife is cultivate a common love for the Lord, so don't take the chance.

And absolutely, positively, never, ever have family devotions. Men, if you ever do read the Bible with your wife, be sure it's the verse that says, "Wives submit to your husbands." Avoid the next line which says, "Love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it."

Now, if your marriage is in trouble, chances are you've recognized some of the reasons. If you want to start over, if you want to save your home, there's only one way to begin. Ask God to help you. He's interested in your family. He made you and your spouse one. He can keep you one. Give Him the chance!


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