How many times in your relationship have you and your partner both uttered the words “I didn’t mean that?” Chances are that you both have used that phrase quite a lot in the aftermath of arguments. However, some of the things said in the heat of the moment may be detrimental to fighting fairly.
When arguing with your spouse, avoid the four phrases below to ensure healthier and more effective communication.
- “This is just like the time you…”
Remain in the argument you are currently having. Do not bring up old wounds. Chances are that you and your spouse already fought them out ages ago. By reciting your spouse’s past transgressions, you are not only opening the door for him or her to do the same, you are clearly demonstrating that you did not forgive and forget those instances.
- “My mother/friend/sister always said you’d never amount to anything.”
This is a toxic statement for a couple of reasons. First of all, you are suggesting that your spouse is worthless, a blow to his or her entire character. Statements like this are not behavior-specific and suggest there is something about them you dislike. Secondly, you are bringing in a third-party opinion. This suggests that both you and another person find your spouse worthless. And to top it off, this topic has been discussed without him or her knowing!
- “…and you’re a lousy lover, too.”
If this is true, and you are dissatisfied with your sex life, discuss it calmly and rationally another time. However, if this is just a blow to the ego for effect, it benefits no one. Demeaning remarks like this have nothing to do with the issue at hand and linger long after the argument has concluded.
- “I want a divorce.”
This is the most hurtful remark you can make during an argument. It suggests that you are threatening to abandon the relationship completely because it is not important to you. In other words, you are saying that your spouse is no longer important to you and not worth even bothering to resolve the argument.
With all of these statements, be sure that none of them are coming from a place of truth. If any of them are, seek professional help from a martial counselor.
(Source: Can This Marriage Be Saved? by Ladies’ Home Journal)
For a free phone consult, call Dr. Fibus at 818.395.2831.