Dec 16

What Makes Our Marriage Work – Get rid of the Words Never and Always

Sometimes Karen and I can get into an argument and when we do we try not to raise our voices, and we try to limit the use of always or never.  Like Karen telling me that I always leave my dirty clothes on the floor or me telling her that she is always moving my stuff.  We have tried to eliminate those words from our vocabulary, because when those two ugly words pop up in a conversation we end up talking about those two words instead the root cause of the problem. 

For Example-
(Karen) Why do you always leave your dirty clothes on the floor when you are done taking your shower?
(Me) That’s right Karen, I always do that.  Not once in my entire life have I ever picked up my dirty clothes.
(Karen ) Well, it seems like you do not know what a hamper looks like.
(Me) Yes I do, it is right there and maybe if you would not always follow me around picking up after me I might have a chance to pick up my clothes.
(Karen) You are right Kenny- I have nothing better to do all day then to always follow you around. 
ArgumentNow that is just an example, but if that were to ever happen what I should have done was just say that I will do better next time, and I will try to pick up after myself better.  On the other hand- now I never want to put words in my wife’s mouth that probably would not turn out very well for me- in this hypothetical story if my wife would have just asked me to pick up after myself and be very specific, guys need specific instructions,  then I would know what she is talking about and the above situation would never happen. 

On the downside, using the words never and always in a negative tone, it automatically causes the other person to stop listening to the conversation and start gearing up to win an argument.   When the person you are talking to stops listening then communication has ceased to be productive.  Now we are all human and are bound to make mistakes especially with communication.  Probably to do with the whole men are from Mars and women are from Venus thing going on.  Unfortunately, when somebody pulls out the “you never” or “you always” card most of us make things worse by not listening to what is being said and not trying to figure out what they are trying to get across.  I wish I could say that I am immune to those words but I am not and when it is said to me I wall up stronger then Fort Knox.  Then I have to apologize for what was going on in the first place and then apologize again for making the situation worse. 
Conversation 2

In the end, it is pretty simple, hard to do, but simple.  Get rid of the words you never or you always in your conversations with your significant others.  If you are on the receiving end to those words stay calm and try to figure out what they want you to do.  Keep the conversation open and be very specific in what you want your spouse to do.    

Pictures via http://blog.pappastax.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/argument.jpg
and http://badlandsbadley.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/1301489651conversations.jpg

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  1. freda phillips

    Kenny this is soooo funny. I am laughing out loud. (lol) really loud. I love the pics. I cannot even imagine you and Karen raising your voices at each other. I do think every couple should have a lesson on “you always” and “you never”. Maybe even parents and children should have this lesson also.

    Anyway you are exactly right and thank you for bringing this to the attention of all that read your blog.

    1. Kenny and Karen

      We usually do not look like the pictures, but sometimes I think that I am right and Karen knows that I am wrong, and she is usually right in this cases. Thanks for reading.

  2. freda phillips

    It makes me smile every time I zoom past this blog.

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