And no, having an affair isn't on this list.
TALKING TRASH BEHIND EACH OTHER'S BACKS.
It might sound like advice on avoiding high school drama, but speaking in a mean-spirited way about your partner when he's not around-not just poking innocent fun at his Star Wars obsession-is a red flag that, surprisingly, is pretty common, says Cole. And it could have a lot to do with your friends. "Women may fall into this habit if they're surrounded by people doing the same thing," she says. "If your close group of girl friends are constantly talking poorly about their own husbands, it may feel more normal for you to chime in and say, 'You think yours is bad? Listen to mine.'
But in reality, it shines a light on a deeper issue, says Cole. "It shows a lack of respect for him, even if he never finds out," she says, and starts a pattern of negative comparisons that can lead to even more criticism and contempt. Before you know it, your relationship is in a fast, downward spiral.
FIXATING ON WHAT YOUR HUBS DOESN'T DO WELL.
Whether you're remembering how hilarious your ex was-unlike your comparatively quiet husband-or wishing your guy was a door-opening gentleman like your friend's husband, negatively comparing your spouse to others is another subtle kiss of death. "Even if you're only making notes in your mind, it can kill a relationship over time," says Cole.
Try to remember that the grass always seems greener because one person is never going to have everything on your wish list, and your friends are probably jealous of something your own guy does-like the fact that he's got serious skills in the kitchen (#domesticgod). And if there's a habit he's developed that you'd like to, err, tweak (like his tendency to overspend), there's nothing wrong with that-so long as you're not ultimately trying to change who he is. Cole says to use a gentle approach, and at the end of the day, you might as well focus on the good. Your marriage-and sanity-will be better for it.