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Dismantling Antagonistic Strategies in Married Life 1

How can you show your spouse that you can be a supportive and nurturing partner in married life?

A major stumbling block in establishing a harmonious, married life is the presence of antagonistic methods of communicating with one another.

Ideally, married couples should think and act as a unit as often as possible – this ideal state becomes impossible when 2 people are averse to genuine communication and working together.

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If your married life has been suffering for many years because you can’t seem to communicate with your spouse properly anymore, it’s possible that aversive or antagonistic patterns of communication have taken root in the relationship.

These antagonistic patterns of communication are like ancient parasites – they are deeply embedded and they’re hard to get rid of, if you don’t know what they look like. Today’s blog post is all about finding these parasites so you can permanently get rid of them, once and for all.

What do antagonistic communication patterns look like?

Below are some of the most common negative strategies that you should avoid at all cost because they can permanently damage your marriage.


1. Disregarding Your Spouse’s Wants & Needs – This antagonistic pattern is often found in married relationships where only one person has major control over finances and other major aspects of day-to-day life.


One party’s ideas and needs are often sidelined by the more dominant spouse who is advocating his/her own set of desires and needs. Here are some examples of statements that exhibit this classic antagonistic pattern:

“When we go visit your mother’s I spend countless hours sitting by myself on the porch while your whole family crowds around you. If we take a mini-vacation instead, we’ll both have fun, not just you.”

“Why should we let your brother stay with us again? The last time he did, he raided the fridge daily and didn’t pay a cent for anything. I don’t want him here, anytime. By the way my sister is flying in from Paris this weekend; she hasn’t seen the city for ages so I’m asking her to stay with us for a month and a half. It’ll be fun!”

2. Deserting Your Spouse – No one likes the feeling of being abandoned in any way, especially if the person who’s doing the deserting is one’s wife or husband.

This primal fear of abandonment is sometimes used by wives and husbands to get what they want. Picture this: the wife wants to do something that will take her away from her motherly duties for two days.

The husband senses a lot of work coming his way so he faces his wife and grimaces while saying slowly, “I don’t think I’ll be able to handle all the stress of working two jobs and taking care of the house and kids when I get home. I’ll be tuning out for a while after this so I can recover.”

The husband then walks out of the room without another word, leaving the wife confused and ultimately guilty that she’s decided to do something else for a change. Instead of negotiating with his wife, the husband chose to blackmail her to get what he wanted.

This technique might work every time, but it is extremely damaging to a person’s self-confidence and emotions. If you find yourself thinking of ways to frighten your spouse into doing what you want or else, you’re effectively abandoning your spouse every time you do so.

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3. A Variety of Threats – Threatening one’s spouse is one of the oldest “dirty tricks” in the book. Individuals who have grown accustomed to this technique may find themselves threatening people to get what they want and they will feel no remorse for doing so.

Why is threatening your spouse harmful to the overall relationship?

As someone who cares deeply for his spouse of many, many years, I find this antagonistic technique one of the most unbelievable ways to treat your wife or husband because think about it: you’re actually using threats within the relationship!

When a person uses threats to “get ahead” in the relationship, he/she commits to the idea of finding the best ways to harm the other person so that he would give in to all demands quickly.

It doesn’t matter if the threats never actually materialize. What’s really harmful with this antagonistic practice is that you’re manipulating someone psychologically so that fairness in the relationship just flies out of the window.

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