What are six things you should never say to your spouse? What things might you suggest?
You Never/You Always
Let me put it this way: Never say to your spouse that they always do this or never do that. These sweeping statements cannot be true. One spouse might say “you never do such and such” or “you are always doing this or that.” These things might be true much of the time, but to say that they never do something or always do that is to put them into a box and speak to them in such a tone of voice that it does nothing to solve the problem. Maybe it would be better to put it this way: “Why does it seem that we hardly ever do this or that” or “Why is it that you do this or that so much?” Avoid statements. Turn them into questions, and you might avoid conflict.
I Wish I’d Never Married You
Well that may be what you felt at that moment, but it wasn’t what you thought on your wedding day, was it? This is a sign of marital conflict or issues that every couple goes through in marriage, but to say that you wished you had never married them will only make things worse and does nothing to solve the underlying issue. That’s a very hurtful thing to say. It’s sort of saying, “You make a horrible spouse.”
I Can’t Ever Forgive you for That
No matter what “that” is, to say you’ll never forgive them for something shows a very un-Christ-like attitude because we have been forgiven much more than we would ever have to forgive someone else in their entire life. Maybe you could put it this way: “I am really struggling to forgive you for that.” That sounds like you’re at least working on it, but it doesn’t sound as hopeless as “I’ll never forgive you for that!”
This is a lot worse than it sounds. Some spouses treat their pets and talk to them in a much more loving tone than they do their husband or wife. When we say “whatever,” this shows that we don’t care at all about what they said. That hurts.
I Really Don’t Care What You Say
When you say this, it sends your spouse a signal that no matter what they say, it won’t make a difference anyway or it won’t help at all. That’s a pretty cold thing to say. Although these things can be said in the heat of the moment, to say them on a continual basis will end up making the other spouse just give up on saying anything at all, and that’s not good.
I Wish You Were More Like Janet/Richard
What you are saying is that you desire someone else’s spouse more than you do them. Words can really hurt. It is not true to say “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Actually, wounds from sticks and stones will heal, but words leave deep scars that may never completely disappear and can wound a person for years. When you say “why can’t you be more like so and so,” it’s almost like saying “I wish I had married Janet/Richard.”
Other things we shouldn’t say are “you’re just like your mother/father,” “my mom/dad always did it this way,” “my mother warned me about this,” “just forget it,” or “my ex used to do it this way.” Words can hurt, but these words heal: “I’m sorry,” “I love you,” and “please forgive me.” Those are eight words that you should be saying a lot, at least if you’re like me!
May God richly bless you,
Pastor Jack Wellman
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