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Dismantling Antagonistic Strategies in Married Life 2

How can you improve your relationship with your spouse by dissolving antagonistic communication strategies?

Maintaining happiness and harmony in a marriage can sometimes be difficult if both people are unaware of the antagonistic methods they’re using on each other.

The most common reason for resorting to antagonistic methods of communication is the inability to deal with conflict properly (e.g. negotiating instead of arguing).

Put Life Back In Your Marriage

Antagonistic strategies can drain the very life from a marriage, so much so that the relationship itself begins to transform into something toxic and unsustainable.

If you fear that your relationship is now entering this toxic phase, know that you only have a limited amount of time before truly permanent damage begins to set in.

Don’t worry, there’s still hope for your marriage!

How can you begin repairing the deep cracks in your married life?

The most important step in relationship repair is recognizing harmful communication strategies and putting an end to them once and for all.

If your method of communicating is tainted by antagonistic strategies, your relationship will eventually crumble because your method of communicating doesn’t support a healthy and loving relationship.

I know that this can be hard to accept, but bear in mind that married life was never meant to be easy.

What is modern marriage really about?

However, I also have to remind everyone that although married life can be quite challenging, it was not meant to be harmful to anyone. Modern marriage is all about genuine love, care and support. Marriage was never about control and dominating someone so that you can get what you want.

How can you start saving your marriage today?

If you agree that these ideas are paramount to saving your marriage, then I’m going to share with you some common aversive techniques that I have observed in troubled couples over my many years of teaching and counseling.

Bear in mind that these aversive techniques may have variations and your situation may be slightly different than what I feature in today’s post.

The important thing is that you recognize these harmful patterns of behavior and that you do everything you can to change them because they definitely do not help in strengthening your relationship with your spouse:

1. The Lethal Blame Game – The lethal blame game occurs when a person blames his/her spouse when a need or desire arises. Here’s an example: Eric was having trouble submitting his requirements for his university degree. He wanted his wife to help him with some of the requirements because he feels rusty when it comes to writing academic essays.

His wife Janie doesn’t want to help him write because she feels that she doesn’t have to. She says things like, “I told you not to pursue this degree anymore, but you wouldn’t listen! Now look where it’s gotten you, you’re just there muttering and worrying all night long. If you need to submit those damn essays, you need to write them yourself!”

How serious is this problem?

This particular trend in a relationship can spiral out of control easily. One party can take a liking to the idea of just blaming the other party when genuine and legitimate needs arise.

As long as the blame game can be played, one party can decide that he/she is not responsible for helping or providing for the other party.

2. Demeaning Your Spouse – Denigration is a major issue in any kind of relationship because it directly impacts a person’s self-confidence. The “sticks and stones” rhyme was wrong – words can harm a person and the hurt can last for many, many years.

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If you catch yourself saying mean things to your spouse, stop. It may sound like normal banter to you but you may be hurting your spouse deeply because of your choice of words.


Remember the old adage, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” That can be used as a guidepost in married life, but a better avenue would be to find something positive to say even in the darkest and most hopeless situations.

Remember, your spouse depends on you for emotional and psychological support. If you can’t support your spouse, at least don’t make a conscious effort to chip at his/her self-confidence.

This applies most especially to situations where your spouse is continually complaining about a present difficulty in his/her life. You can help ease your spouse’s burden by simply listening to your spouse’s problems, even if it can get repetitive sometimes.

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