Being in a long-term relationship with someone is not the easiest thing in the world. It takes a lot of patience, understanding, and compromise to keep a marriage together.
Our goal in marriage shouldn’t just be to stay together. We should do everything we can to build our spouse up. Oftentimes, we do the exact opposite of that.
Words come out of our mouths that destroy them inside and we don’t even realize it. Here are 3 ways that we end up hurting our spouse that we may not realize.
1. Discredit What They Do
Even if you aren’t trying to discredit your spouse’s actions, it can happen easily. I find that complaining destroys the other person and completely discredits their efforts.
For example, if your spouse is the main financial provider in the home, they bare the responsibility for the standard of living you have. When you complain about how little money there is, you are telling your spouse that what they are doing is not enough.
Even if you didn’t mean it that way, it discredits their efforts. Same thing happens if your spouse cooks dinner, and you mention that it wasn’t what you wanted for supper or some other complaint.
Those are a few unintentional ways that we discredit our spouse’s efforts. There are plenty of things that we say that intentional discredit them as well.
We have a bad habit of keeping score with our partner. Usually, this comes out of insecurity from one or both people in the marriage. When we feel like we aren’t being thanked enough for our contribution to the home, we can attack our spouse’s contribution.
One thing we have to remember about marriage, is that neither role is more important than the other role. It takes both people working together as one in order to be successful.
Stop discrediting your spouse intentionally or unintentionally. Instead of complaining or blaming, encourage them and build them up.
2. Try To Change Them
One of the pieces of advice that my mom gave me before I got married, was that I can’t change my husband. She told me that if I couldn’t accept the things about him before we were married, to not get married to him.
She is completely right; you can’t change another person. That doesn’t stop us from trying, does it?
Usually, when we try to change our spouse, all we succeed in doing is discouraging them. Also, we bring in a lot of unnecessary fighting to the relationship.
I’m not saying you can’t address issues in your relationship and ask your spouse to make some changes. Even then, we have to be patient and know that there is no way to force the change we want.
Instead of trying to mold your husband or wife into what you want them to be, learn to appreciate your differences.
3. Talk Bad About Them
No one likes to be talked about behind their back, including your spouse. There is a difference between sharing in confidence, issues you are having in your marriage, and bad talking.
Constantly complaining about your spouse keeps those negative thoughts in your mind alive. Not only that, you are being unfair to your spouse. It isn’t fair for you to portray them as a bad person to your friends or others.
Whether you mean to or not, you are causing the people around you to form opinions of your spouse. If all you do is talk bad about them, the people you talk to will quickly wonder why you are with them in the first place.
You will also put your partner in the position of being judged by individuals that do not actually know them. Would you like to be judged by people that you have never interacted with? Probably not.
Instead of putting them down to those around you, find good things to say about them. This will do great things for your mindset.
In marriage, it is our job to be an encouragement to our spouse, not a discouragement. If you are doing any of these things, it is time you re-evaluate. Your words can either be used to build up or tear down.
It is really important to remember that your spouse is not the enemy. Don’t treat them like one. You are a team that should be working together.
When you tear your husband or wife down, you destroy your marriage. It causes tension between you that affects every area of your life. Physical and emotional intimacy fails.
I encourage you to safeguard your marriage by finding ways to be encouraging today.