By: April Carson
Though it's important to both be on the same page for major life goals and to show your partner appreciation on their birthday, what really counts are the little things you do every day. According to Dr. Joshua Klapow, a clinical psychologist and host of The Kurre and Klapow Show, toxic phrases in your marriage can damage the very core of your relationship. Whether you're fighting or having a normal conversation, Dr. Klapow advises to avoid certain phrases that have a subtle but devastating effect on your spouse.
If you want to make your partner feel loved, communication is essential to a healthy relationship. But if you don't care about them and are perhaps even looking to begin a fight, then use the toxic phrases below that therapists have told us will drive a wedge between you and your partner:
1. “You’re always so negative.” Not only is this unhelpful, it's also an attack on your partner's character. If you have a complaint about what they are saying or how they are behaving, explain why you feel that way instead of pointing out perceived flaws in their personality.
2. “That’s not a good idea.” Criticizing your partner in such a direct way can lead to frustration and hurt feelings. Show support for your spouse's ideas by saying something like, “Let me think about it and we can discuss it later.”
3. “You need to do things my way.” This statement implies that you know better and it takes away your spouse's autonomy in decision-making. It also sends the message that their opinion is not valued. Instead, explain why you feel like your idea would be a good one, then listen to what they have to say about it before making a final decision.
4. “That’s not how it’s supposed to be done.” This phrase implies that the way your spouse is doing something is wrong and can leave them feeling inadequate or embarrassed. Instead, try saying something like, “Have you tried this method? I think it might work better for you.” This allows you to make a suggestion without sounding condescending.
5. “You never…” or “You always…” No one likes to be accused of something they did not do, or hear that their actions are predictable and unchangeable. Instead, explain how their behavior has made you feel in the moment and how you would prefer it to be different.
6. “Why are you so…?” This phrase implies that your spouse is responsible for how they feel, and can make them feel like their feelings are invalid or wrong. Instead, acknowledge the emotion by saying something like, “I understand why you’re feeling this way.”
7. “Calm down.” It can be difficult to remain composed in the face of an argument, but it will only make matters worse if you are dismissive or patronizing. Instead, try to take a step back and tell your spouse that you understand their feelings before addressing a solution.
8. “I’m sorry you feel that way.” This statement implies that your spouse is wrong to have their feelings and can make them feel dismissed or unheard. Instead, say something like, “What can I do to help?” which shows that you are willing to listen and address the issue together.
The key is to keep communication open and honest. If you can focus on solutions rather than accusations or attacking statements, you’ll be better equipped to handle any disagreements that come your way. By ditching the toxic phrases and replacing them with more positive language, you can set the tone for a healthier relationship with your spouse. Another way to show your support is by taking the time to listen and understand their perspective, without trying to solve the issue for them. This shows that you're there for them and that you respect their opinion - no matter what it may be.
It can be difficult to break old habits of communication, but these small changes can make all the difference in your relationship. By being mindful of what you say to your spouse, and using language that is more respectful and understanding, rather than accusatory or attacking, you can create a healthier dynamic between the two of you. With patience and an open heart, you can foster a lasting connection with your spouse that will only be strengthened with time.
So, the next time you find yourself tempted to say something that is hurtful or damaging, remember these toxic phrases and opt for something more positive instead. Your spouse will thank you - and your relationship will be all the better for it.
What Does it Take to Make a Relationship Great?
About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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