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It’s inevitable. When you get in a fight with your spouse (and even the best couples have the occasional disagreement), things come out of your mouth that you never meant to say. And once it’s said, you can’t take it back. The simple fact is, words can cut deeper than any wound. So the next time you get in a fight, choose what you say carefully. And if all else fails, remember these 10 phrases NOT to say.
You Never/You Always: Let’s face it. People make mistakes, often the same ones over and over again. But, no one likes to have their actions grouped into one clump. If your spouse is always late and you’re sick of waiting, talk about the problem, but refrain from saying “You Never” and “You Always”. When we jump to generalizations we often forget the times the other person tried to change and we insult the efforts that they are making. “You Never” and “You Always” have no place in a fight.
This Is All Your Fault: When you got married, you became a team. Telling your spouse that something is all their fault creates disunity. Your spouse probably already feels bad about what happened; rubbing in the guilt won’t fix anything. When things go badly (and they will) look for solutions instead of placing blame. It doesn’t matter who caused the problem. Find a way to fix it together.
You Shouldn’t Care About That: If your spouse cares about something, you should too, even if it makes no sense to you. Whether they are distraught that their favorite team didn’t make the playoffs this year ( a frequent occurrence for my husband, as the Dallas Cowboys will never get to the Superbowl with Tony Romo as the quarterback), are fretting about a lost promotion at work, or hate the way their new haircut looks, find a way to appreciate your spouse’s feelings. You don’t have to feel the same way, but you do need to understand that feelings are important and need to be respected.
Tell Your Mommy/Daddy: Fights are between you and your spouse, not the whole family. Keep your kids out of the battlefield, both for their sake and the sake of your marriage. Asking your children to take sides or pass messages along is never a good idea. This doesn’t mean you have to hide disagreements from your children. Let your children see how you resolve problems together. Always make sure that your children know how important your family and your marriage is. Give them a good example for their future homes.
Last Year You….: When a fight is over, let it go. It is easy to dredge up past mistakes during a fight, but this only takes away from the current issue. Instead of building anger and focusing on issues you’ve already resolved, direct your focus to the current disagreement. What is the problem? Why are you hurt? How can you fix things? Things that happened last year, last month, and even last week don’t matter anymore.
You’re Crazy: We’ve all had our crazy moments, but that doesn’t mean we are crazy. Build up your spouse with love, rather than insults. Ditch the demeaning terms and stop throwing insults. How can you express your frustration without name calling? If all you can think of are insults, take a break from the discussion for a few minutes and refocus.
Maybe You Never Should Have Married Me: Marriage is about making compromises and phrases like, “Maybe you never should have married me,” make it seem like you’re unwilling to change. What problem does your spouse have? How can you fix it together? Have confidence in yourself and your marriage. Who wouldn’t want to be married to you? Be the kind of spouse you want to have and don’t insult yourself or your marriage by saying you’re not worth the effort.
You’re Just Like Your Mother/Father: This fighting phrase packs a dual blow. When you accuse your spouse of being like one of their parents, you not only insult your spouse, but also their parent too. This can lead to hurt feelings, resentment, and potentially even family problems down the line. There’s nothing wrong with pointing out a problem, but talk about the issue, not how the issue relates to Mom or Dad. It is generally best to keep negative feelings about parents to yourself. After all, they helped to raise the spouse you love so much.
I Hate You: At times a marriage feels like a roller coaster of passion. Moments of intense happiness turn almost instantly into moments of deep frustration. Get off the ride. Love your spouse all of the time, even when they make mistakes. Saying, “I hate you” makes a problem personal. You can hate the actions, but always love the person and make sure they know.
I Want a Divorce: Unless you actually want a divorce, don’t ever tell your spouse that you want one. This erodes their faith in your union, making them feel insecure in your marriage, long after the fight is over. Make sure your spouse knows how much you want to be married to them. Help them feel secure in your love, knowing that you will always be there. Threatening divorce makes it so much easier to one day give up. Rather than asking for a divorce you don’t want, tell your spouse how committed you are to making things work. Let them know you’re in it for the long haul.
One Thing You Should ALWAYS Say- I’m Sorry
While we’re on the topic of what not to say, let’s talk about something you should say, and often. After a fight tell your spouse that you’re sorry. Let them know that you don’t like to argue. Make sure they know that you care. It doesn’t matter who is right and who is wrong; in a fight, both sides usually carry a bit of the blame.
Our Marriage Rocks because we are free to be ourselves with no judgment and we support each other through all scenarios and situations. Nothing or No one comes between us.. -The Bedford's
My husband and I have been through thick and thin. He has stood by my side and took care of our kids while I was in the military. He takes care of me now that I'm disabled. I love him so much.
We are best friends and he knows when I'm angry,hurting or sick. I can talk to him about everything. We learn from each other. We can always laugh about everything even after a disagreement.
How did you meet? We met through mutual friends. We became friends and knew each other for several years. And, suddenly we both started having feelings for each other and the rest is history.
When and how did you get engaged? We got engaged exactly 6 months into our relationship. We went on vacation to Las Vegas and we got engaged in front the the NY NY Statue of Liberty.
Why did you choose to marry your spouse? We have everything in common, from our love for health and fitness to our values and silly personalities. And there was no denying how much in love we are with each other.
Tell us about your wedding day. We were married at a beautiful wine vineyard with all of our family and friends as witnesses. It was the most amazing day in the world. We united two amazing families and had a beautiful celebration.
Why does your marriage ROCK? Our marriage ROCKS because we live our lives to the fullest. We both work very hard to provide a good life to our kiddos and to share as many experiences as we can with each other. Our ambitions and goals drive us to grow as a family and in love.
Share one tip that has helped your marriage. Communication is key in any relationship and is necessary in all marriages. Good or bad, you have to talk about your wants and needs with each other.
We not only base ours off of friendship but as well as
understanding is trust. We always communicate and understand no marriage has a perfect couple but two imperfect people that love one another.
My marriage rocks because my husband and I work
together, trusting God in all things. Although life hasn't been easy it has been filled with Love, caring, happiness, communication, and cooperation.
“Are you on FIRE for marriage? We are.” Catchy, right? My husband and I always lead with this phrase during our interviews. But what does it really mean? And maybe even more importantly, if we’re on FIRE for marriage, how do we stay there during the challenging times?
Being “on FIRE” for marriage is a very personal thing. When we ask couples what it means, we get a variety of responses. Some say, “it means I really love my spouse and I want the world to know.” Others say, “it means my marriage is a priority and I’ll do anything to make it work.” Or, “it means I’m an ambassador for marriage.” The beauty of our catchphrase is it means all these things. It can be as broad or as narrow as you want it to be. So long as you celebrate marriage, you too can say, “I’m on FIRE for marriage.”
That’s all well and good, you may be thinking, but how the heck do you stay there? There probably isn’t a couple out there that hasn’t experienced the highs of being married. Just think back to your wedding day. Like most couples, you were probably overwhelmed with emotion and love. Marrying the one person you believe you can’t live without is an AMAZING feeling. But what happens when the novelty of being married wears off? What happens when you’re hit with your first “tsunami” of disagreements that for an instant sends you emotionally and mentally running for the hills? What happens when the person you thought you knew so well, makes a 180-degree turn, leaving you feeling as if you married a stranger. Not feeling so “on FIRE” then, are we?
Never fear, there’s a way to remain on fire, even during the valleys of marriage. For us, the right mentality + a marital plan for success + extra love touches = a marriage that thrives during the peaks and valleys of marriage.
Right Mentality. Staying on fire for marriage is largely a mental exercise. If you want a marriage that ROCKS, the choices you make should work in tandem to make it a reality. Yes I love my husband more than almost anything, but that won’t guarantee us a successful marriage. We have to divorce-proof our marriage, and that really starts with our mentality. We mentally choose to be together for always. We mentally choose to put in the effort to make our marriage work, knowing that the fruits of our labor will exceed the effort in spades. We mentally choose to remove the “I” from our thoughts and words, replacing it with “we.” With these mental choices, my husband and I have put ourselves in the best position to move our marriage forward during difficult times. Now the only question is, how do we actually do that?
Marital Plan. A marital plan for success is key. It’s marriage 101, right? But you’d be surprised at how many couples navigate marriage flying by the seat of their pants, tackling issues with no rhyme or reason. Is it possible to have a ROCKIN marriage without a plan? I’m sure it is possible. But why take the chance? Marrying your spouse was one of the most important decisions you’ll make in life. Take the proper steps to ensure its longevity.
While every couple’s plan will be different, each should, at a minimum, address these five areas:
- Commitment – Are you and your spouse aligned in your commitment and dedication to your marriage? Is divorce an option?
- Effective Communication – Do you listen to understand or listen to respond? During an argument, do you communicate in ways that ensure your spouse receives your message? What are the typical barriers to communication and understanding in your marriage? Do you respect and value your spouse’s opinion?
- Conflict Resolution – How do you handle disagreements? Is it in the moment or after a time of reflection? What are your roles during conflict? What happens when you’re at an impasse? Is there an ultimate decision-maker when you can’t agree? How do you ensure the resolution moves your marriage forward?
- Financial Management – Have you and your spouse disclosed all income and expenses? How do you handle your finances? Do you have a budget? Is that budget practical? What are your individual roles in managing bills and discretionary spending?
- Intimacy – This includes emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy. Do you understand what your intimacy needs are? Do you understand your spouse’s? Is quality time together to cement, maintain, and deepen your connection with your spouse a priority?
I’ve just scratched the surface here. There are many more issues in each of these areas that require discussion. To implement a successful marital plan, you and your spouse must work together and have many open and honest discussions. Don’t reinvent the wheel here. There are a plethora of marriage-related resources out there to guide your discussions and help you implement a plan. For us, God is a huge part of our lives, so we made a commitment to implement a marital plan that would align with Christian principles. Christian-based marriage retreats and marriage-enrichment videos and CDs have been invaluable to us. Yes, it’s taken a lot of effort to develop our plan and frankly it’s still a work in progress, but there’s so much comfort in knowing that we can turn to and use our plan during difficult times. It truly is our guidebook. I can’t stress how critical it is for you to do the same.
Extra Love Touches. This last component, “the extra touches”, is the most fun in our view. It’s the whipped cream and cherry on top. We all know, or should know, what really gets our partner going, sending them into overdrive in the very best of ways. To have a marriage that not only works, but ROCKS, you need to put in those extra touches every now and then, and especially during a challenging time in your marriage. Surprise or treat your spouse with the things that you know will have them bouncing off the walls with excitement for you and your marriage.
So now I ask, “Are you STILL on FIRE for marriage?” We hope our strategies will help you answer with a resounding, “YES!”