5 Things You Might Do That Are Toxic to Your Marriage
Are you an unknowingly toxic spouse? Learn what little habits may be damaging your marriage and how to fix them with help from experts!
All relationships have their ups and downs; it's a simple fact of life. While the occasional fight or emotional outburst is expected among spouses, there could be some major red flags in your relationship that you're not even aware of!
In a recent post to SheKnows, a handful of expert opinions were gathered in order to identify some of the most subtle relationship habits that can best be described as "toxic". Now, before we go any further, we wish to clarify that if you can relate to any of these entries, it doesn't mean that you are a toxic partner. All this list aims to do is to identify some of the more caustic actions partners display and help to eliminate them.
With a solid look at these corrosive customs, couples can work to strengthening their relationship by nixing the habits all together!
1. Never taking the blame
“If you are tempted to blame all your relationship woes on your partner, chances are you’re overlooking your role in the problem,” says marriage and family counsellor Jessica Wade.
The fact of the matter is that everyone makes mistakes, and its the ability to learn from our mistakes that makes us grow as individuals. If you make a mistake in your marriage, the right thing to do is to show humility and own up to your mistakes. Taking the blame shows flexibility, maturity, and commitment to your partner.
2. Saying things you don't mean
Once something is said, and out in the open, you can't really do much to take it back. It's always important to speak wisely by carefully selecting your words. Obviously, this is more difficult to do when you're seething or red in the face, but it's a quality you must work on. Partners who are toxic are ones who say hurtful things that they don't mean with reckless abandon.
Of course there are the obvious harsh words, but marriage and family counsellor Lisa Baher explains statements such as “you’re crazy” or “what’s wrong with you?” are equally offensive. “Check the facts of what you are reacting to versus assuming you know what is going on,” Baher says. She suggests learning “healthy assertion skills” instead of resorting to passive-aggressive comments and verbal jabs.
3. Not acknowledging/valuing your partners opinions
A marriage is like a team. Obviously, for a team to properly function, both sides have to work together, concede when need be, and value each other's thoughts and views. Wade explains that not valuing the opinions of your partner can be particularly harmful since it makes a spouse feel devalued and unimportant. In order to change this toxic habit, Wade suggests lending out a genuine listening ear when needed.
4. You deliberately punish your partner
Even the little punishments can toxic, folks. Wade says "the silent treatment or withholding sex over small transgressions are signs of manipulation," and that they are corrosive to a marriage as anything else. It may seem as though you're just trying to prove a point or passive-aggressively blow some steam, but they can be damaging! Try being direct and up front instead of punishing your partner, even if the punishment seems innocuous.
Simply put,“ Scolding, yelling, and punishing are rarely effective with children, so skip it in your relationship, too.”
5. You "harmlessly" implement physical violence
You may not be downright trying to harm anyone. It might even be a playful slap, but research suggests that even the most harmless or playful slap, push or shove can be toxic to your marriage!
In a 2010 study,the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that more than five million men reported being victimised by their partner in the previous year. While the slapping, shoving, or pushing was far from dangerous, experts believe that this is unacceptable. Baher explains “harmless slapping is symptomatic of an inability to appropriately express your feelings — which means it is likely best to step back from the relationship and seek help from a professional counsellor."
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