Communication in marriage is key, which is why we’d like to talk about ways you should never communicate with your spouse. It’s easy to develop unhealthy patterns and not realize them until arguments become frequent. Or even divorce is on the table. We’d like to help you become more aware of how you speak with your spouse. We are highlighting the four most common negative ways spouses speak to one another. We’ll also share healthier ways of communicating instead.
4 Ways You Should Never Communicate With Your Spouse
Being Passive Aggressive
Passive-aggressive communication often stems from trauma and/or experiences that make a person react out of anger, emotion, or even sarcasm. On the surface, they may appear to be passive; however, this isn’t what ends up coming out.
If or when you feel yourself responding to your spouse in a way that is not true to how you really feel or with the motive to get your way, it is best to remain silent. In some cases, you can talk to your spouse about how you’re really feeling and what may have triggered it. Then, ask for their help in holding you accountable in future conversations.
Gaslighting is often a characteristic of narcissism but it doesn’t always mean your spouse falls into that category. When it comes to communication, gaslighting eventually causes a person to question their reality or the reality of the topic of conversation.
When communicating with your spouse, stick to the facts and try to be as clear as possible when recounting situations as they happened. This will prevent things from being twisted and things becoming something they are not.
Other Ways You Should Never Communicate With Your Spouse
Yelling and/or Screaming
Yelling and screaming are often a result of feeling like one is not being heard and/or a combination of how communication was portrayed as you were growing up. If you remember your parents yelling at one another or you being yelled at by your parents, it can become a customary way to communicate. However, the biggest issue with this is it can be demeaning and downgrading.
Instead of yelling and screaming, speak calmly and gently. If or when you feel yourself starting to speak louder or tempted to yell, take a break from the conversation completely. Let your spouse know that you need to take a moment because you feel yourself on the verge of losing control in your tone of voice. There is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting your faults and needing to adjust accordingly.
Being Accusatory and/or Blaming
Being accusatory and/or blaming your spouse is one of the most damaging ways to communicate. It often creates a cycle of miscommunication and can result in loss of trust. Accusing and blaming are also related to not wanting to take responsibility for an action, circumstance, and/or situation. For example, if you react a certain way and blame your spouse because of something they’ve done, you’re not taking responsibility for your own actions and placing unrealistic expectations on your spouse.
Instead of blaming or accusing your spouse (of anything), first, identify if there is something you need to also take responsibility for. Then, try and get to the bottom of the issue together. When both of you are seeking restitution, it will make it easier to put the finger-pointing to the side.
Just like learning how to ride a bike, learning how to communicate with your spouse is a skill that will take ongoing practice. Often, the husband and wife will come into the marriage with their own ways of communicating and ways shown to them from childhood. If there is any work that needs to happen, work on it together. You’d be surprised how much closer this will draw you to your spouse.
It will also help build trust and strengthen your overall marriage. Your spouse should be your best friend and both of you should feel comfortable confiding in one another, especially when it comes to growing in the area of communication.