Are you guilty of saying any of these 10 things that could destroy your marriage?
Iâ€™ve done a lot of reflecting recently on the demise of my marriage -- especially since he never hit me, didnâ€™t call me names, and I have no reason to believe another woman was involved. So what the heck was so awful that I called it quits after 11 years and two kids?
The only way I know how to describe it is death by a thousand cuts. There were never any big blowups or breakdowns; just a steady stream of nitpickiness and hostility and lack of respect and non-existent boundaries. Words matter, and left unchecked, they can eventually destroy a marriage.
Here are 10 seemingly insignificant things to say repeatedly if you want to destroy your marriage.
- Marriage is just hard â€¦ so whatâ€™s the point of trying to make it better? Chalking up the tension in your relationship to marriage being â€śhardâ€ť is a bad idea. Conflict resolution can be hard, but marriage itself shouldnâ€™t be.
- You always/never â€¦ this black and white thinking is called splitting, and itâ€™s incredibly damaging to relationships. It just leads to feeling marginalized and categorized, so whatâ€™s the point of arguing about it? If you think someone always or never does something, you canâ€™t look back at all the times they didnâ€™t or did do it.
- Iâ€™m sorry but â€¦ nope, youâ€™re either sorry or youâ€™re not. The â€śbutâ€ť negates the apology.
- Iâ€™m sorry Iâ€™m not good enough for you â€¦ this is another non-apology thatâ€™s even worse than the first. This one removes any of the blame from the apologizer and puts it back on the other person for having unrealistic expectations.
- We were just raised differently â€¦ everyone is raised differently -- even children within the same family. Stop using your childhood as an excuse for your idiosyncrasies that drive your spouse bonkers. Thereâ€™s got to be a meeting of the minds at some point.
- I see you didnâ€™t get to the laundry (or other mundane chore) today â€¦ donâ€™t point out the negative, only praise the positive. And start a load yourself.
- Calm down/youâ€™re overreacting â€¦ donâ€™t put down each otherâ€™s feelings and emotions. If one of you is upset, the other should be concerned, no matter how trivial they think it is.
- I donâ€™t know when Iâ€™ll be home â€¦ crap happens and schedules change, but being consistently inconsistent will drive your partner batty.
- You know I donâ€™t like it when you â€¦ youâ€™re different people and youâ€™re going to do some things differently. The implication here is that if you really cared about the other person, you wouldnâ€™t watch a show they disliked, or wear clothes they disapproved of, or even talked to people they donâ€™t care for.
- Sigh â€¦ also eye rolling, head shaking, and eyebrow raising. These nonverbal signs of contempt are brutal when employed on a habitual basis.
Are you guilty of any of these?