5 Tactics That Will Hurt Your Marriage, Another Great Guest Post

July 17, 2010

Project Happily Ever After is a great blog dealing with marriage issues. They get a frequent guest blog on my blog because she is so good at what she does. I recommend that you read her blog as well.

Here is the link to her blog

5 Surprising Tactics That Will Hurt Your Marriage

Posted: 16 Jul 2010 08:12 AM PDT

1. Venting
I used to justify bad-mouthing my husband as “venting.” I told myself that it allowed me to let off steam so I could discuss issues with him more calmly. But I eventually came to the realization that venting was quite destructive. Usually whenever I vented, my friends took my side. I would complain about my husband and then my friends would say something like, “He’s such an a-hole. He doesn’t deserve you.”

This hurt my marriage in two ways.

One: it reinforced my negative view of my husband. Let me tell you: I didn’t need any help in that department. I was already quite adept at mentally turning him into what I called Mr. Ex (ie. My future ex husband) whenever I became angry. And by getting my friends to reinforce my negativity, it made it that much more difficult for me to calm down, forgive, and to see my husband realistically.

Two: I eventually succeeded in turning most of my friends and even my family against my husband. Soon family gatherings became tense and so did any get together with friends. That wasn’t fun. Also, friends and family began complaining about my husband to me, which hurt my marriage and my friendships.

Now I’ve come to see that venting can only be beneficial if you are doing it in front of one of those rare people who can remain unbiased, listen intently and then come back with a deep and effective question like, “What are you going to do about this anger of yours?”

2. Teasing
I am a middle child who was sandwiched between two brothers. By the time I was an adult, teasing was a way of life. Yet, I eventually came to see that teasing and sarcasm always has a hurtful edge. It rarely generated a warm fuzzy and close feeling with the person who was being teased. Usually it generated a rift instead, and rifts are not good when it comes to marriage. Lately, I’ve tried to do the opposite—both in my marriage and throughout my life. Instead of teasing people about their shortcomings, I compliment them on all of their strengths.

3. Sighing
Whenever you sigh, you are telling your spouse, “You are not important.” That hurts. If you need to release anger, focus your awareness on your breathing, such as the cool sensation you feel at the tip of your nostrils whenever you inhale. Or, if you start to lose your temper, call for a time out. But try to put an end to hurtful body language such as sighing and eye rolling.

4. Yes, Dearing
There’s a joke that is often told at weddings. It goes like this: “What is the secret to a happy marriage? Always say, ‘yes, dear.’” Here’s the thing: it’s not true. Being “yes deared” is frustrating. Whenever you “Yes, dear,” you are telling your spouse, “I think you are an idiot, but I’m going to do what you say so I can blame it on you later.”

Yes, it’s okay to take one for the team every once in a while. That’s called compromise and all healthy spouses do it to some degree. But “yes, dearing” is a state of permanent passivity that will continually erode your marriage. Have the courage to play an active role in your marriage. Speak your voice and offer your opinions.

5. Tongue Biting
It’s my firm belief that it’s better to say something badly than to not say it at all. Your spouse can’t read your mind, and the tension and icy coldness that envelopes your home whenever you bite your tongue is no fun for either one of you. Have the courage to speak your mind. Yes, you might encounter some conflict as a result, but that conflict will usually result in a closer relationship.

Have you used these tactics in the past? Do you think they help or hurt a marriage? Are there other tactics that you think also lead to a bad marriage? Leave a comment.

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