- Talk About Not To Them. When issues arise, complain to your friends (or mother) rather than talk patiently with your spouse. After all, your friends are always going to agree with you (or let you think they do).
- Don’t Listen. Use the time they are talking to think up stronger arguments of your own; when you have one, jump right in with it and interrupt their point. After all, if you aren’t going to listen to their point, why waste time letting them make it.
- Always Assume the Worst. Always assign the worst possible motive to everything your spouse says or does. Don't EVER ask for a clarification or explanation. Grace is something that you say over meals, not something you extend to your spouse.
- Make Your Goal Winning the Argument. Didn’t Lombardi say that winning isn’;t the most important thing; it’s the only thing? Don’t show any weakness; go for the jugular right from the start. Win at all costs, even if it means saying things that hurt. An argument is war, and all is fair in love and war!
- View Your Spouse As the Enemy. If your goal is to win, then you can’t see yourself on the same team as your spouse. Don’t show any weakness or softness or you will put yourself at a disadvantage during the next disagreement or argument.
- Focus On Their Shortcomings. Stress how they don’t "meet your needs" and need to " do better" as much as possible. By all means do NOT take a look at yourself and what you could improve. Everything MUST be blamed on them.
- Do NOT Have Fun Together. Don't have mutual friends. Don't have date nights. Don't do anything fun. When out together, make sure you spend as much time on your phone as you can.
So why did I share Noble’s list on my… AFTER I had reworked it a bit? Well, you might think it’s because I've known and know couples that exhibit all of these flaws… and I do, of course. But the reason I shared them here is because I recognized in myself the tendency toward most of these flaws. By the grace of God, I am able to mostly keep them in check... usually. But these little monsters are always there threatening to undermine the relationship I have with my wife. Marriages are made out of two broken people; they will not be sustained if we routine give in to what comes naturally.
May God help us to continue to fight the good fight against our flesh as we seek to allow Him to mold our marriages more and more into His image.