5 Damaging Things You Should Never Say to Your Spouse
There are some things that are so damaging to your marriage that your spouse may not be able to come back from them. These types of statements can permanently hurt your relationship or at the very least create serious resentments that are difficult to let go of.
- Telling your spouse that you can’t stand, hate or don’t like their family or family members. This is extremely hurtful because you cannot change your family and we all identify with our parents and siblings and usually love them. This is often seen as an attack on self and will make your partner feel and act defensively. Saying “I hate your mother” is like saying I hate you or a part of you, because like it or not, we all are a product of our parents. If one really feels that they cannot stand their partners’ parents, please re-think marrying that person. This will be an issue that will be a problem between you always and will invariably damage your marriage.
- Telling your spouse that they are a bad parent. We all may have suggestions or requests about each other’s parenting skills or styles. Please be mindful that parenting is a very sensitive issue especially for new parents. It is a major area of disagreements between spouses and needs to handle with kid gloves. This is an area where criticism is very painful and can lead to major resentments, alienation and ultimately a break.
- Being critical when one of the partners is having a career or financial crisis. In a marriage, each spouse’s career and money issues affect both parties. It is easy to be critical and angry and say stuff like “you are a failure”, “I am sick of you not making money and feeling lost with your career.” While feelings like this can at times be understandable, saying it is another issue, unless you are ready to call it quits. Calling your partner a failure makes him or her feels demeaned, looked down upon and basically disrespected and unloved.
- Another killer statement is “I am not attracted to you anymore”. Attraction in a long term relationship can come and go. Before making a statement like this, be ready for the marriage to be over. It is hard to recover from this and feel sexy and desired after statements like this. Instead, try to think of some constructive suggestions depending on what it is that’s turning you off. Most of the attraction issues have to do with long-standing resentment, hurt and lack of romance.
- Another big mistake couples make is threatening separation or divorce when angry or hurt. It is tempting sometimes to make these threats but they are a huge trauma to the attachment and sense of safety within a marriage. We all know that “till death do us part” is not a given in any marriage, but these threats cannot be made in jest. It puts a crack in your commitment and jeopardizes your bond.
Please consider these points before you lash out at your spouse as you may cause irreparable damage to your marriage. If you are in New York City and in need of marriage counseling, please schedule a consultation with Irina Firstein, LCSW here.