Written by Elizabeth Thrives

Sep 7, 2020
ways a wife can hurt her marriage without meaning to

These 3 ways a wife can hurt her marriage without meaning to are so important!

Marriage can be the greatest blessing in a person’s life!

OR the other extreme- marriage can feel like the greatest frustration in a person’s life.


Right. And then there are many marriages that fall somewhere in between those two statements.

I hope you know that wives have a powerful impact in their husbands lives.

(I know the opposite is true as well. This post isn’t about what our husbands do that can harm the marriage, it’s about what wives can do. We can only change us– not our husbands. So we need to take a hard look at what WE are doing or not doing:-)

(  HERE.)

Anyway, sometimes we wives do things that are HARMING OUR MARRIAGE without even realizing it!

I know we often know exactly what we are doing, but these things I’m sharing can often be blind spots. Either way, these tips are worth checking out.

I have a heart for husbands and wives to thrive in their marriages! And these 3 WAYS A WIFE CAN HURT HER MARRIAGE WITHOUT MEANING TO are for all wives to consider!


Yes. I said THINKING- I’m not talking about speaking… yet.

If you think you have no control over what thoughts come in your head- that is not true! You aren’t some slave to whatever thoughts sweep over you at any time.

Surely you know that.

We have the ability to take control of our thoughts! This is crazy helpful in a million ways- not just in our marriages!

So when you live right there, all up-close to your spouse, you naturally see all kinds of things that you love. You also naturally see all kinds of things that you could call “minus’s” right?

In times of seeing the flaws (or things you don’t like, feel disappointed about, etc), you have the choice  to or not to think critical thoughts about your man. Often, wives will not only think the critical thoughts in a split second, but will nurture them by stewing over them for a long time.

Not a good idea. But many wives do this and don’t even realize they are sitting there ripping their husband apart in their mind.

This kind of pattern can go on in a wife’s mind for a lot of the time!!!

Then to make matters worse, once you’ve allowed yourself to think critical thoughts about your husband, more critical thoughts just. keep. coming!

It’s like youreyes are being trained to see things in a negative light and you quickly think the worst of your husband.

And before you know it, the majority of your thoughts about your husband are critical.

Well if you spend a lot of time thinking critical thoughts about your husband, what do you think your attitude will be like once you see him?

Eeeek. It will probably have disdain and irritation and disrespect all mingled in.

And right there- harm is done to your marriage.

And you weren’t even TRYING to HURT your marriage. You didn’t wake up that day and start planning how to harm your marriage.

No, you thought you were just responding to life around you- you know the fact that your husband still hadn’t fixed that light switch in the bathroom (or a million other examples) and you just found yourself wallowing in criticism of your husband.

But the fact that you weren’t aiming to hurt your marriage relationship, does not take away the fact that thinking critical thoughts about your husband most definitely hurts your marriage.


Like I said earlier, what you think in your mind is a CHOICE.
So once you see that you are doing this, you can quickly make steps to stop thinking critical thoughts about your husband.

(Check out my post “3 Powerful Ways a Wife Can Help Her Marriage” for more on how to stop critical thoughts!)

It’s amazing how a wife taking simple, intentional steps can make a HUGE impact in her marriage! The free 3 Days of Thriving for Wives is such a special 3 Day mini course crafted for the busy wife who wants to THRIVE in her marriage! 1 powerful action step a day for 3 days! 3 Days of THRIVING for WIVES


Sometimes we don’t realize how things sound that we say because we are just rattling it off quickly.In the first point about thinking critical thoughts, I said that your attitude will then reflect that.

If you are THINKING critical thoughts about your husband, then SPEAKING critical words is very likely.

The Bible says the tongue has the power of LIFE and DEATH (Proverbs 18:21).

Critical words can come in a few different packages. These are common at the start: a wife expresses different versions of things like: “I wish you were different in this way”or “You are failing me”or“I can’t believe you did A or didn’t do B.”

And then left unchecked, critical words can escalate to attacks on your husband’s character- such as a wife saying different versions of these: “You are a jerk who only thinks of yourself”or”You are a failure”or “I don’t respect you”.

Goodness it’s hard to to think of wives saying those things as I consider how deeply hurtful it is for husband to hear that from his wife!

These types of things communicate the ultimate disrespect. And when you disrespect your man, it’s like cutting off his air hose and he will SHUT DOWN or LASH BACK.

Either result is undesirable.

And often the wife is left wondering how her husband can be so un-loving to her!!

Again, there is GOOD NEWS here too!!! A wife can definitely stop this crazy cycle.

If you have found yourself thinking and then ultimately speaking critical words to your husband, you can go stop today and turn this around.

Because speaking critical words is a powerful way a wife can hurt her marriage without intending to!

For more on how to speak words of life, read this post I wrote on ways a wife can help her marriage.)


This one is cringe-worthy right here.

It’s a huge dose of disrespect. It’s completely emmasculating.

MOTHERING your husband can definitely have a subtle start. And it’s usually not what a wife sets out to do!

If you find yourself doing any of the following things, you are mothering your husband!

One way to know you mother your man is if you nag your husband.

EEEK. This one can come oh so naturally for wives but it definitely shouldn’t happen.

I know, I know. It’s very easy for a wife to think if I don’t “remind” him 400 times, he won’t do it…Hmmm. Who else thinks that way? Yep. Dear ole MOM!!!

Actually talk to him like he’s a MAN that can follow through and remember things and see what happens It brings out the follow through and memory you are looking for!!!

Another HUGE way many wives mother their husbands is in telling them what to dobossing them around- like they don’t how to be an adult or something!

If you’ve noticed that your husband doesn’t do everything (or anything) the exact way you do, guess what? That’s OK!!!

I’ll say it again in a different way: treat your husband like a MAN and he will act like a MAN.

Another way you may be mothering your husband is if you do everything for him. (Usually a man lets this happen because he has picked up on the fact that his wife has taken over and wants everything done “her way”).

Rattle off a ton of unsolicited advice to your man? What a wife communicates when she does this is that her husband can’t handle it by himself. Sounds like dear ole MOM again!!

Finally, I can hardly stomach this one. If you joke (or let someone else joke) that your husband is another one of your kids, you are basically saying that you don’t respect his ability to take care of himself and you!! Not ok.

When well-meaning people have made comments to me that I have six kids in the house, I just laugh and say, “No, we only have 5 boys and I’m thankful for my MAN!”


These 3 common ways a wife can hurt her marriage- without meaning to are certainly worth considering. I know you don’t want to hurt your marriage and I’m sure you want your marriage to thrive! If you find yourself doing any of these, make a fresh start!

A great help in this area is my free “3 Days of Thriving for wives” mini course where you get an email a day for just 3 days- each one has an easy, quick action step to bless your marriage that day. To get the course emailed to you, sign up below!

(This post on how to truly forgive someone may be helpful as well!)

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