If you’re doing one of these 5 things, you’re at risk for emotionally damaging your spouse

Are you guilty of doing one of these 5 things? Even if it's not on purpose, you may be emotionally damaging your spouse without even knowing it.

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  • There will times when your words or actions will damage to your spouse. You may not consciously be doing it, in fact, you may think you are acting the way society has taught you to act, but it's actually ruining your relationship.

  • If you are doing one of these five things, you may be emotionally damaging your spouse.

  • 1. Playing games

  • I don't mean board games, but rather mind games. Saying you are fine when you're not. Testing their patience on purpose. Trying to catch your spouse in a lie. These are all examples of games people play in a relationship. It's best to just be straight forward. If you say one thing and do another, it's confusing. When you try to get a reaction out of someone, you'll probably succeed, but at what cost?

  • There is no reason to play tricks or games with the person you love. It's upsetting and is an easy way to make them lose your trust.

  • 2. Giving a guilt trip

  • Guilt trips are tricky things. If your spouse did something wrong, it is hard not to hold it over their head. But doing just that prolongs the problem and damages the relationship. If your spouse messed up, address the problem and talk about it. Then move on. Don't make them feel worse about the problem; they are probably beating themselves up enough as it is.

  • We all make mistakes. When you do something wrong, the last thing you would want your spouse to do was make you feel worse about it.

  • 3. Making up excuses

  • Excuses are for people you don't care enough about to be honest with. You can use an excuse to get out of going to a baby shower, or why you aren't volunteering for the 12th time at your child's school. But when you give an excuse to your spouse, they can usually see right through your words and be hurt by the fact that you are not being truthful with them.

  • When it comes to your spouse, honesty is the best way to go. If you really don't want to do something, tell them. If you really don't want to go somewhere, explain why. They will appreciate your honesty and probably be more willing to understand your request instead of getting upset over the sorry excuse.

  • 4. Putting them down

  • Put downs are really common in today's sitcom comedy driven world. We may just be joking around or looking for a quick laugh, but it can really hurt your spouse. When something so demeaning comes from someone whose opinion you value above all others, it can be really damaging. Your spouse may think you are serious, which can really affect the way they feel about themselves. If you are using put downs when you are angry or upset, it can make the situation even worse.

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  • Refrain from name calling, negative talk and taking cheap shots in all conversations, but particularly when you and your partner argue.

  • 5. Being selfish

  • Selfishness is a very dangerous quality to have. It's not fun to be around someone who isn't willing to go out of their way for someone else. People usually aren't selfish 100% of the time, but even small bursts of selfishness can be damaging. This attribute makes the other person in the relationship feel unloved and unappreciated. They may feel like they don't matter in your eyes.

  • The next time you get the urge to turn down their suggestions or put your own desires first, think about how it makes your spouse feel. Focus on helping them feel happy, even if it means putting your own wants aside for a moment.

  • It is easy to make one (or more) of the above mistakes, but if you are conscious of your actions, they can easily be avoided. Relationships are a lot of work, but staying on top of difficult situations, trusting your spouse and communicating your feelings can help keep your relationship in tip-top shape.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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