Everyone has heard the troupe: actions speak louder than words. But are there situations in which words speak louder than actions? Due to societal influence and physiological differences, men and women often have different verbal communication styles. And for a man married to a woman, words may speak louder than actions.
Recognizing key communication differences and how to be receptive of your partner’s communication style is key to a successful relationship. So, for men looking for a fast-track to screw up their marriage, the next steps are for you:
1. Don’t Validate Your Partner’s Emotions
Validating their partner’s emotions, which may not come naturally, is the single-most important step for men to communicate effectively. Validating the emotions of others does not even require an apology, but merely requires an acknowledgement of the feeling and space for communication. Validating emotions often diffuses the situation, makes the partner feel understood, and provides a foundation for effective communication around the problem. For men seeking to ruin a relationship, it is critical, then, to do the opposite and not validate their partner’s emotions.
2. Don’t Show Vulnerability
Vulnerability is awkward and uncomfortable and does not often come naturally to men. Therefore, this step should be easy for those seeking to deteriorate a strong marriage. By always keeping a hard exterior and repressing emotions, your relationship will not likely progress past surface-level and instead, will successfully build a film of miscommunication.
3. Trying to Fix Everything
A key difference in the communication styles of men and women is that men often try to fix problems when their partner complains of a situation or vents. While this quality may seem to be positive on the surface, it can be frustrating to a spouse who merely wants to discuss her day or get something off her chest. To distinguish what your partner wants, it may be best to simply ask: “is this something you’re seeking solutions for or would you like me to just listen?” When trying to deteriorate a marriage, do the opposite of the answer. For even greater destruction, don’t ask the question at all.
By not analyzing your communication style or checking in with your partner, you may already be sabotaging your relationship. If this is the case, you may already be on your way.