Experts Want You To Avoid Saying These 7 Things If You Want To Have A Lasting Marriage
It's no secret that communication is essential if you want your marriage to last. While you should be open when communicating with each other, it's still important to be careful with your words. Because according to experts, there are some things you should never say to your partner if you want your marriage to last.
"Words are easy to misinterpret," therapist Jordan Madison, LGMFT, tells Bustle. "There’s so much that goes into what you say, such as tone and circumstance. So being mindful of your words helps your partner understand your intentions, and also allows you to express yourself in a way that will be better received."
It's also important to watch your words because your partner can easily replay them over and over again in their mind. The more hurtful a statement is, the longer it tends to stay in a person's mind.
"Actions don’t always explicitly say what you're thinking, but words do," Madison says. "They're direct messages. Once words are spoken, they're already out there and can’t be taken back."
When you're frustrated with your partner, it's easy to say things you don't really mean. But if you want your marriage to last, here are some things you should never say to your partner according to experts.
1. "Your Job Is Not As Important As Mine"
Maybe your job really is important. Maybe your partner isn't contributing as much to your living expenses. But you should never compare your work situation to your partner's. "Jobs and money are two things people fight about the most," Jeannie Assimos, chief of advice at eharmony, tells Bustle. "This just makes it seem like you think you're better than your partner." This is also sets up a you-versus-me dynamic in your relationship. If you want a marriage to last, you need to be on the same team. These types of statements only create resentment and division.
2. "Everyone Told Me To Dump You A Long Time Ago"
Fights can bring out the worst in you, and some painful truth bombs may come out. But this harsh truth is one of the worst things you can say in the middle of an argument. As dating and marriage therapist, Gary Brown, PhD, LMFT, tells Bustle, "It’s called 'piling on' and it makes someone feel that they were never really liked by anyone else who was close to you. Even if it's true, it isn’t very kind to say 'nobody like you.'" It's unnecessarily hurtful and will only cause problems between your partner and your friends and family.
3. "You're An Idiot"
Name-calling of any kind is unacceptable. "All couples have disagreements," Christine Scott-Hudson, licensed psychotherapist and owner of Create Your Life Studio, tells Bustle. "But if you allow the disagreements to snowball into verbal abuse, you are destroying the person you love the most." Fights aren't meant to destroy. They're meant to give you an opportunity to air out your feelings so you can come up with a solution together. But when you're throwing insults at your partner, it just shows a lack of respect. As Scott-Hudson says, "The healthiest relationship goal a couple can have is a vow to fight fairly. Respect and love should be felt and evident, even when you feel upset and frustrated."
4. "You Have Issues"
"A quick way to destroy your marriage is to diagnose your partner with a personality disorder or other 'character disorders,'" Jonathan Owens, family therapist and relationship expert for EndThrive, tells Bustle. Many times, people say things they don't mean when they're angry. But diagnosing your partner is problematic. It may not seem like a big deal in the moment. But as Owens says, "In many cases, people who say such things are trying to take power away from their partner by discrediting them. It's a form of blame-shifting and people use it as a way to position themselves as the victim." It's also never OK to "emotionally diagnose" your partner. If you really think they're dealing with mental health or personality issues, you may want to encourage them to seek professional help.
5. "If You're Not Happy, Then Leave"
Sometimes people will say this when they're not willing to make necessary changes to improve the relationship. As Dr. Connie Omari, clinician and owner of Tech Talk Therapy, tells Bustle, "They often say this, not because they really want their partner to leave, but they just don’t know how to change their behaviors, or lack the desire to do so." If your partner gets the feeling that you're not willing to make small changes, they may seriously consider moving on and finding a relationship that better suits their needs.
6. "My Ex Used To ..."
Your ex may have hurt you and left you with a bit of emotional baggage. But you shouldn't use that as an excuse or constantly bring it up. If you want your marriage to last, leave the past behind. Better yet, just don't bring your ex up at all. As Susan Trombetti, matchmaker and CEO of Exclusive Matchmaking, tells Bustle, "No comparisons of any sort. It's a deep dig that WILL come up in the future."
7. I Want A Divorce
The number one thing you should never say to your spouse if you want the marriage to last is that you want a divorce. It seems obvious, but people do use it as a way to manipulate a situation. For instance, if you don't do this, we're done. If you talk to her, we're over. Unless you're really serious about wanting a divorce, don't say it. "Just putting that word out there in the universe can cause irreparable harm," Dori Shwirtz, divorce mediator and coach at divorceHarmony, tells Bustle. "That little word can stir up heavy feelings of anger, resentment and drive a permanent wedge."
Words can really hurt. Sometimes saying "I'm sorry" won't repair the damage. So if you want your marriage to last, be sure to avoid saying these things.