Communication That Destroys Marriages – What to Avoid in Communication in Marriage
Communication is said to be the key to resolving most, if not all, marital problems. This has led many people to mistakenly believe that all communication in marriage is good.
Sadly, while effective communication can fix many marriage problems, poor communication can cause conflict and make those problems so much worse. This is why married couples need to learn the telltale signs of poor communication and avoid them at all costs.
Criticism and Directives
Statements that pass negative judgment on your partner or tell them are bad for your marriage. This is because they arouse feelings of resentment and defensiveness in your partner making them more likely to say “no.”
Most criticism and directives start with the word “you.” For instance, “you need to”, “you should” or “you are.” If you often find yourself starting sentences with the word “you” maybe it’s time to rethink how you communicate with your husband or wife.
The Wrong Kind of Tough Love
When you communicate with your spouse, you should be tough on the issue but soft on the person. However, it’s very easy to get it wrong and be tough on your spouse and soft on the issue. This can make your spouse feel attacked, angry and resentful.
For instance a statement like “you are such a slob” is tough on the person while completely ignoring or minimizing the issue. However, saying “I noticed that you didn’t do the dishes this week” is tough on the issue and soft on the person.
This refers to communication in marriage that discounts, belittles or minimizes your partner’s feelings. Some common invalidating statements that people say to their spouses without even realizing are “you’re blowing things out of proportion” and “you’re overreacting.”
While these statements are sometimes true, they are rarely ever taken well. This is because they invalidate the other person’s negative feelings leaving them to fester and intensify.
Not all communication in marriage is good. All couples need to learn how to identify and avoid bad communication habits that may hinder them from having a good marriage.