When tempers flare in a marriage it can be hard to keep your emotions under control.
Verbal attacks are considered a good predictor of divorces; meaning the more spouses hurl insults at each other, the more likely they are to divorce in the future. But not all arguments need to become all-out attacks.
However, if this does happen, try your best to steer clear of these three marriage-killing toxic topics:
1. “It’s all your fault!”
Blaming your partner for absolutely everything that’s gone wrong in the marriage is not just inflammatory, it’s downright inaccurate.
Even if you actually have the worst partner in the world, which is unlikely, ultimately engaging in this horrible relationship makes you equally culpable in the turmoil.
A toxic relationship with a cheating, lying, abusive, neglectful person would not be possible unless both people chose to stay in the marriage. And if you’re trying to work things out in this chaos, you don’t need to live together or be in constant contact while this happens. Separation and individual counseling means you can disengage from the negative elements of the marriage in a controlled and thoughtful way without immediately ending it.
What’s more likely, however, is one partner feels the other is majorly responsible for the collapse of much of the relationship and exaggerates by blaming him or her for everything.
When you do this you are backing your spouse into a corner and inciting a defensive response, instead of encouraging them to see things from your perspective. When the argument becomes this imbalanced, “you vs. your mate,” you’ll both be fighting against each other instead of fighting for your marriage.
2. “It’s your job!”
This is another way of saying “What are you good for?”
It’s one thing to attack your spouse with everything he or she doesn’t do. It’s quite another to bully him or her into believing this lapse is a reflection of his worth as a man or her value as a woman.
You may actually believe that it is your husband’s responsibility to provide financially for the family, but when you call his manhood into question because he is struggling to do so, it only increases the feelings of helplessness instead of making him feel empowered.
If you believe it is a woman’s responsibility to bear and care for children, and you find yourself up against a career woman who wishes to remain childless, telling her what she needs to do with her body in order to be acceptable, won’t apply positive pressure in the situation.
You married your spouse because you loved him and saw yourself traversing the challenges of life with him. Patience, compassion, and support are often the first to go however, when frustrations fly and expectations are violated.
You may not have planned on a single income or a childless existence, but that does not mean your spouse is less of a person.
3. “Why am I with you?!”
It may be easy to say “Why am I with you?” “Why are you like this? and “Why can’t you be different?” in the thick of a down and dirty dogfight. However, when the dust settles these things can be very hard to swallow.
While behavior and certain aspects of personality can be changed over time, the essence of who someone is is something you must learn to live with.
Questioning why your spouse is who he is, and more importantly why you ever married him, can leave a scar on your marriage that may never heal. It can negate all of the loving affirmations and positive promises you’ve made to him so far. And it can haunt any apology and subsequent reaffirmation you make to your union. Questioning your marriage and your spouse in their entireties is dangerous territory. Steer clear at all costs.
Toxic fights can be narrowly avoided with a little forethought into the aftermath of the battle. Think about what you are really looking to get out of the situation; positive change and a better future together.
You won’t achieve these things with attacks and blasts aimed at destroying your spouse. There are many destructive ways to address your partner, but these 3 toxic topics will hurt your marriage deeply for a long time to come.