By Scott McIntyre
There are some things better left unsaid or at least, said differently than those first words out of our mouth. If you don’t believe me, search, ‘things never to say to your spouse’. Using one search engine, I got over 79 million results and after reading each one (huge exaggeration for effect), I’ve selected a few of my favorites for this post.
- You’re Overreacting – This works as well as mixing flour with a large fan. Since there’s probably not an agreed upon standard that identifies the correct reaction level, you’ve started off by saying they’re wrong and that rarely goes well. Instead, how about trying to find out what’s behind their reaction; listening with understanding tells them, “I Care.”
- We Can’t Afford It – Slap in the face. If the item in question appeals to you and there’s a working budget, you can avoid this type of statement by saying, “I’d like that. Have you figured out what area of the budget it will come from?” Now the issue has become, ‘How do we pay for something we’d both like’ instead of ‘You haven’t even thought far enough ahead to see it costs too much.’
- My Mom/Dad Never… – Thanks honey…that makes me feel like I’m in a competition I can’t win. A healthy biblical principal has a married couple leaving their father and mother and forming a separate union, perhaps to avoid just this type of situation. The separation acknowledges and supports that this new union is unique and the parties must work together within that framework for the marriage to thrive. Does that mean you ignore everything good from your parent’s marriage? Nope! But you could mention the principle you saw at home without identifying mom or dad as the source.
- You Never… – Your spouse likely won’t take to heart what you’re commenting on, especially if he’s a guy (this piece is written by one of them so he probably knows what he’s talking about…sometimes). Instead, they may log into their memory banks for the last time they did exactly what you said they never do and then they’ll have proof that you don’t ever get things right.
I could go on, as there are 34 ‘Big Don’ts’ just in the four resources below, but then you might think, “He’s overreacting to this whole issue and I can’t afford to spend anymore time reading this blog that’s unlike anything mom and dad would have ever said. So instead, I’ll just end by saying, there really are things we shouldn’t say to each other, ever!
For further review, here are the sources used to come up with my list…
- Reader’s Digest – 14 Things You Should Never Say to Your Spouse
- Today’s Christian Woman (preview only) – 5 Things Never to Say to Your Spouse
- Fulfilling Your Vows – 8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Spouse
- Hear It First – 7 Things to Never Say to Your Spouse