5 bad vibes you're unwittingly sending your spouse

Do you think before you speak? Here are five easily avoidable communication breakdowns occurring in your marriage.

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  • Oftentimes, we say and do things unintentionally that give off negative vibes. When we don't think before we speak, our actions and words can be misinterpreted. Without realizing it, we can make our spouses uncomfortable.

  • My husband and I are sometimes guilty of this behavior. When we do give each other "bad vibes," we become hypersensitive and tend to feel uneasy around each other. For example, we might talk about situations from our pasts just to bring our points across and fail to realize we are digging up old wounds. We each inadvertently send off negative vibes because we don't understand how the other is interpreting the information. Though we may not initially discuss comments that make us feel awkward, we do eventually come around — especially when we feel a heavy tension in the air. We are becoming more conscious about how we express ourselves. We think before we speak.

  • Though your intentions may not be meant negatively, here are five bad vibes you're sending your spouse:

  • Talking about the past

  • Though your past is part of your life, it's better not to bring it up while discussing sensitive issues. Depending on what you say, the past can very easily offend your spouse. He or she may start thinking the marriage is in jeopardy if you constantly make an example of the past.

  • Comparisons

  • Let's say you and your spouse are renovating a part of the house, and you see your spouse doing something you feel is not being done the right way. You may say something like, "You're doing it wrong, 'so-and-so' always did it this way." Maybe you just happened to mention this person because he or she was the best example to use at the moment, but comparisons — no matter how innocent — tend to cause feelings of insecurity.

  • Judgments

  • You tell your wife she's taking too long washing the dishes instead of helping the children with the homework the way you would. You tell your husband he's too calm when you feel he should behave differently. Judging your spouse every chance you get is harsh — it puts him or her down. Spouses should complement each other and help each other grow.

  • Criticism

  • Each and every one of us has our own way of doing things. You may like to do laundry and grocery shopping on Saturday while your spouse prefers doing them on Friday night just to get them out of way and enjoy an errand-free weekend. Without noticing, you criticize your spouse's preferences. When you criticize preferences, your spouse takes this to mean he or she is wrong. Meanwhile, that is not the case. It's just your spouse's way of performing tasks.

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  • Selfishness

  • Your spouse kindly asks you for a favor on the spot, but you stall, sounding almost annoyed because it might interfere with a prior engagement. Perhaps your prior engagement has something to do with work. If you do not explain to your spouse why you hesitated, he might assume you are being selfish and not caring for his needs.

  • If you find yourself giving off negative vibes inadvertently, try to change the way you think. Though it takes time to do so, mediation can help. In addition, if you feel comfortable explaining your goals to your spouse, he or she can help you with the process.

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Mayra Colón is a freelance writer, former independent author and avid reader. She holds a MBA from the University of Phoenix and completed the Freelance Writing and Selling Online course from Rutgers University of Arts and Sciences.

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