There are some things better left unsaid in marriage, or at least said differently than those first words out of our mouths. If you don’t believe me, search, ‘things never to say to your spouse.’ Using one search engine, I got over 79 million results and after reading each one (huge exaggeration for effect), I’ve selected a few of my favorites for this piece.
I could list more, but then you might think, “He’s overreacting to this whole issue and I can’t afford to spend any more time reading this article that’s unlike anything Mom & Dad would have ever said.” So instead, I’ll share a Common Denominator that’s likely to exist in each of these responses…a broken promise.
The vows made at most marriage ceremonies are deep, personal and full of actions to be done with the benefit of the other in mind. More importantly, they stand alone. Sure both parties make a promise, but neither pledge is contingent on the other. It isn’t, “I’ll love you until our time on this earth ends, as long as you always love me back”; it is without reservation.
Loving unconditionally means caring for another even if they don’t care for you in return. We recognize this when one of the parties can’t care for themselves any longer, let alone someone else, but we sometimes miss it when both are healthy and capable of tending to the other. We, too often, expect to get our fair due out of the relationship and turn cold toward the other when we don’t.
Recognizing that there are words we should never say to another does not solve the problem but that’s a topic for another article or perhaps a lengthy book series. I’ll just end by saying, you know you shouldn’t say that.
Scott McIntyre is a Christian blogger who has written about marriage, travel, downsizing, humor, and the motives behind people’s words and actions. In 2016 he moved from the Golden State to become a Washingtonian in a small town just west of Spokane County.
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