Things you should not be saying to your spouse


Some spouses criticise everything. Deal with this by exploring each criticism as it happens.

Photo credit: Samuel Muigai | Nation Media Group

You still love each other, but you’re slowly becoming one of those couples who don’t talk anymore.

Your lives revolve around work, chores and your family. Every evening feels much the same.

You feel bogged down and somehow find yourself blaming your partner for everything.

Having a routine together isn’t entirely a bad idea. Just imagine how difficult it would be sustain your relationship if you were forever changing jobs, working abroad, or needing to move house. Very few couples can cope with that level of uncertainty.

But it’s easy to start wondering whether you could do more with your life if only you weren’t married. And maybe your partner is thinking much the same.

Worse, couples often develop some bad conversational habits. And the way a couple talks can make or break their partnership.

For example, partners frequently blame each other for their own lack of achievement: ‘If it weren’t for you, I’d have my own business.

The best response to that is to call their bluff. Let them have enough time to work on their project.

But what if every suggestion you make is met with reasons why that won’t work? They don’t really want a solution. They want your attention. So give it to them.

Bad conversational habit

Some spouses criticise everything. Deal with this by exploring each criticism as it happens. Others try to dominate the relationship and always want their own way. Or no matter what’s going wrong, they always put the blame on their partner.

It’s important to recognise each bad conversational habit, and to challenge it. Because by doing that you’re forcing both you and your partner out of your typical pattern.

It might cause a little fuss to begin with, but getting out of an unhelpful groove like that can really wake up a relationship.

For example, you’ll definitely be far happier if you both acknowledge what you’re each saying and always reply positively, rather than ignoring what has been said or responding negatively, such as by snapping, stonewalling, sulking or criticising.

Endless negativity

Because endless negative responses are what lead to couples who don’t talk. Each of you has learned that whatever they say, the other will make some sort of put down.

Endless negativity like this, even if not directed directly at you, can be enough to make anyone go quiet.

But what if your conversations are fine and yet you still feel flat? Then do something new! That will kick the reward centres in your brain into gear and you’ll start bonding again, just like when you first met. So get outside your comfort zone! Make some trips together, learn a new skill, or just try some different restaurants.

Reversing years of bad routines won’t be easy, but challenging your conversational habits and adding some novelty can take you back to the warmth and affection you felt all those years before.

It’ll take time and hard work, but you’ll be amazed at the improvement in your relationship.