Many couples believe that their marriage is going to be conflict-free on their wedding day. Yet, the reality is that some conflict is almost inevitable in every marriage. Couples can grow closer by settling disputes, or they will eventually move apart. There are at least three negative behaviors that can be very detrimental to any relationship. Learning to avoid them helps ensure that you will not need divorce counseling anytime soon.
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines criticizing as “to find fault with: point out the faults of,” and it is different than critiquing or voicing a complaint. Criticism occurs when one of the people in the marriage starts making a list of things that they do not like about their situation. Meanwhile, critiquing and voicing a complaint deals with a specific issue. People who are on the receiving end of criticism feel rejected. Instead of criticizing, try using I statements to take the focus off the other individual and put it on the problem at hand. For example, pretend one spouse is always roughhousing with the children at night, and it keeps them wound up. The other spouse might say, “I need the children to calm down at night. It’s important that they relax before bedtime.”
Righteous indignation usually goes together with innocent victimhood. It occurs when one spouse is not willing to take responsibility for their mistake, so they try to place the blame on their partner. For example, the husband was supposed to call and cancel dinner reservations, but he forgot. Instead of admitting his mistake, he blames his wife for not doing it. Avoiding righteous indignation requires both parties to take responsibility for the actions causing the other one to become defensive. It also requires an individual to examine themselves regularly for behavioral blind spots and to acknowledge how those blind spots make our spouse feel.
Disdain in a marriage can be very dangerous because it shows that one person feels that they are far better than the other partner. For example, one spouse says that they learned to put their clothes in the dirty clothes hamper when they were two, but that the other spouse still has not learned how to do it. Being told that you are not as good as your partner can even lead to health problems, like colds and the flu. While I statements are a great place to begin, to end disdain in a marriage, both couples need to build a fondness for each other.
If you find that you and your spouse need help to strengthen your relationship, then marriage counseling in Orlando can help. Call High Expectations Counseling about marriage counseling in Orlando today.