MOST marriage counseling is unprofessional and given by people with book learning only and it is even worse when given by young inexperienced women suchas Shelley Emling who blogged 9 Things You Should Never Say To Your Longtime Spouse.
Her basic assumption is wrong that there are things which you should not say to a longtime spouse especially if they are the truth and not just biased personal opinions.
If the spouse is truly a longtime one you should be as honest as you can and even give opinions which may hurt your spouse’s feelings and cause potential arguments as long as you believe they are the truth.
If you are making a truthful factual comment and not just a biased opinion which hurts feelings it is better to let your spouse know the truth or the biased opinion which she or he will have to live with the rest of their lives anyway.
Holding on to a secret feeling of fact between the two of you will be uncovered sooner or later in a long duration marriage so it is better to get hurtful facts and opinions out into the open as soon as possible so it doesn’t fester in your mind for a lifetime.
I will list the 9 taboo sayings and comment on each of them based on personal experience and the truthful knowledge which I have learned over the years of a very happy marriage relationship which has resulted in three smart grandchildren so far.
“You always…” or “You never…”
My wife is a type A perfectionist emotional controlling artistic personality with little scientific reasoning ability and I have heard those words frequently during the beginning of the relationship but get those words infrequently now that we have grown offspring and they are no longer priority number one in her life.
If I made a mistake once and even apologized I would frequently get back you always make that mistake.
If I would forget her birthday I would get back you never remember my birthday.
To this day I infrequently struggle with her yes or no and black or white and always or never view of the world.
Early on I would comment that she burnt her food for a meal and she would jump to the conclusion that I was accusing her of always burning the food.
One critical comment and she would assume that I had accused her of doing the bad thing always.
I came to realize that any form of criticism of her was read as an absolute accusation or stereotyping of her personality.
To this day I have to instruct her that one factual revelation does not make for a general rule or generality which is true all the time.
Apparently gathering enough evidence before jumping to instant conclusions was not the way she viewed the world.
If she reads somewhere that a banana is good for cramps because it has potassium she almost insists that bananas are a cure for cramps and does not realize that bananas are not the only food which is rich in potassium and that probably there are many more foods which can also be eaten with just as great a success in curing cramps as long as you also include moderate exercise to solve the problem.
With good nutrition and exercise you can eventually cure almost any ailment which surfaces.
“Don’t you think so-and-so is attractive?”
If I thought another woman was attractive and was asked that question I would unhesitatingly give her my honest opinion and say yes but I would also add a criticism if I didn’t like her style of clothing or thought she wore too much makeup.
I have no fear of honestly commenting about my thoughts on the beauty or its absense in other women if asked.
“My ex-boyfriend/ex-husband/ex-girlfriend/ex-wife would never have done what you just did…” or “…would have done a better job than you…”
My wife had an exhusband who had a better memory than me but was a bad family man so if I were compared to him I would not be offended in the least.
If the exhusband was better than me I would probably answer back that she should have stayed married to him and leave it at that.
“I’m just trying to hang in there until our last leaves for college…”
In a long duration marriage the spouse would already know that you are hanging in there for the kids and it would not shock and awe him if the statement was made late into the marriage.
“I was on the fence about marrying you in the first place, and my worst fears were realized…”
In a long duration marriage the spouse in a bad relationship would not be concerned about your worst fears because he would have seen you expressing them one at a time during the relationship.
This is just another example of a dreamt up or created comment which would not start an argument in real life.
“I guess our (academically or behaviorally challenged/drug- or alcohol-ensnared) kid got YOUR genes…”
Saying this to a long duration spouse would not cause arguments or emotional turmoil but merely remind the spouse what a bad father or mother they are or what a bad role model they are.
There may be a little guilt in realizing that you are not a perfect role model but in a long duration marriage one saying would not destroy or improve the relationship by any stretch of the imagination.
“You’re just like your father or mother…”
I have gotten this communication tens of times for being a penny pincher and wanting my way just like my father.
Every time I would give her many examples of my generosity and my willingness to discuss any issue and compromise or give in as a solution to the problem even if it was only temporary.
I always reminded her that though there were many similarities with my father I was an independent thinker and lived life in a more moderate fashion than he did because he like her was an always or never flawed personality too.
“You know it’s always been your problem that…”
This is a repetition of the first saying which includes the word always and that can cause some emotional discomfort especially if it is not true all the time.
“Surely you could tell I’ve been faking it all along…”
This is another dreamt up creative saying which would cause no emotional or anger joust in a long duration marriage because faking it surfaces early on in the relationship and admitting that you are faking it five or ten years into the relationship will come as no surprise to your perceptive spouse.
Conclusion: Early in a marriage relationship some of the sayings can be a cause of intense marital arguments especially the always and never sayings which is symptomatic of a severely emotionally biased society and archaic language usage and indoctrination.
When society learns to use my logical language as shown in SCIENTIFIC THESAURUS and eliminates most of the unnecessary emphasis on the importance of emotion in society and begins to talk more logically then most human problems will be solved. Arguments and emotional outbursts and bad relationship advice will be mostly a thing of the past.
We have wallowed too long in a yes or no and black or white and for or against and love or hate and never or always and antonym or synonym and yin or yang and good or bad society approach to life when the real answer to questions should be almost all the time and not all the time and some of the time and infrequently!
I think that I have cured my wife of her somewhat obsessive devotion to caring too much and giving too much to her offspring but her intense emotions and biased unscientific opinions about the real world are still her major handicap. She asks for my advice on many more things which means that she doubts that her opinions are always right and that she has all the answers to life’s problems which wasn’t the case during most of our long duration relationship.
If you liked this blog read more of my evergreen blogs and especially my evergreen book COMMON SENSE.