What kills intimacy in marriage? Smartphones, romance novels and not wearing your wedding ring, suggests one expert

XXX Church, a website dedicated to helping people deal with their porn and sex addiction, has just shared its list of "intimacy killers" in marriage, and urged people to do their best to avoid these or get rid of them.

Dave Willis writes on their website that many of the issues that lead to infidelity and divorce creep in unintentionally, becase people don't really set out to sabotage their own marriages.

"Small choices can ultimately lead to big disasters," he said. "Subtle poor choices along the way can pile up like a snowball rolling down a hill until it's big enough to start an avalanche of consequences."

The first of the seven "intimacy killers" he narrated is not wearing a wedding ring. People might think that this is no big deal, but Willis believes it is the first line of defense against adultery. It is one of the first things people notice about a person, and they make assumptions about a person's "availability" based on the presence or absence of a ring.

The next is digital distraction. A lot of people pay more attention to their cell phones or tablets than to their spouse, so Willis suggests that they turn their gadgets off whenever they are together. Talking to one's spouse is always better than texting with somebody else, or playing games such as Candy Crush, he said.

The third "intimacy killer" is inconsistency in parenting. "Raising kids is one of the most sacred duties on earth, but it can also harm your marriage if you don't have a unified approach with your spouse," he warned.

The next is flirting, which is two-fold, because the marriage is harmed when people stop flirting with their spouses and start doing it with somebody else.

Porn or graphic romance novels come in as the fifth killer of intimacy. A lot of people might think that these are harmless, and that they can actually spice things up in the bedroom.

"But the truth is that these things are an enemy of real intimacy. Don't just be physically monogamous; be mentally monogamous as well," said Willis.

He then warned spouses against only giving their best at the start of the relationship.  People often give their best whenever they start something, then turn lousy once the "promotional period" ends, said Willis, and he urged people to avoid this trap in marriage. Instead, he said people should continuously give their spouse the best and not to take them for granted.

Lastly, Willis warned that negative friendships can be detrimental to a good marriage. "Make sure you're hanging out with people who love you AND your spouse. Choose friends who will strengthen your character, and remove yourself from people who would tempt you to compromise your character," he said.