There are two words to avoid in your Marriage Meeting.
Always and never.
- “You always forget to __________.”
- “You always do ___________.”
- “You never _____________.”
Why You Need to Always Avoid These Words and Never Use Them
(See what we did there? ^^)
By definition, you always and you never both mean 100% of the time.
- Always means every single time, your spouse does X.
- Never means not once has your spouse done Y.
“Always” and “never” are perceived as attack words if attached to anything negative.
They are often used as hyperbole for often or rarely, which still aren’t great words to use.
The moment you use always or never, here is what happens. Your spouse starts shuffling through the Rolodex of their memory searching for a single time they did or didn’t do something to counter the feeling of attack attached to always and never.
The moment they think of a single incidence of when they did do something (to counter you never) or when they didn’t do something (to counter you always), in their mind your statement is voided.
They’ll usually bring up an incident of when they did or didn’t do something to refute your statement in an attempt to protect themselves. Or they’ll respond, “That’s not true, sometimes I _________.”
And if they have done or not done something even once, these aren’t actually fair words to use in the meeting.
What to Say Instead
Specific observations are your friend when communicating in marriage and the Marriage Meeting.
These types of statements are much better.
- On Saturday, I felt ______________when you ___________ (insert an actual behavior, not motive).
- Three times this week, I noticed _____________.
- I feel like I might be seeing a pattern of _____________.
A final question to follow up with is, “Help me understand your thinking behind ________ (name the behavior)?”
Getting these two words out of your Marriage Meeting and marriage vocabulary will bring about better communication and positive results.