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Why Complaining Breeds Bitterness

bitterness couples catherine tijerina blog

Why aren't you hanging your towel on the rack?

Why can’t you just throw your dirty clothes into the hamper that’s 2 feet away?  You always leave toothpaste in the sink.  You never pick up your socks.  Don’t touch me right now, I am busy.  Did you call the repairman?  Did you stop and pick up the groceries on your way home? Why did you buy THAT brand of peanut butter?  You know I don’t like that…

Does this sound familiar? 

Does it seem most conversations with your husband are about what he needs to do, didn’t do, or didn’t do correctly?  If so, I get it.  There is never enough time in the day to get everything done.  You see the details that could make things easier to keep up with, you have a plan and expectations.  When things don’t go according to your plan, it is easy to complain and accuse.  However, complaining breeds bitterness.

Before long, you can hardly think of him without feeling annoyed.

bitterness in relationships tijerina blog

Your complaining feeds negative thoughts and feelings toward your husband.  I guarantee that your husband has some great attributes—or you would never have fallen in love with him. Those attributes are still there!  They just got buried under criticism and bitterness.

The impact complaining has on you is only half of the problem.

Complaining also deeply affects your husband. Your husband is wounded when he feels rejected, disrespected, or dishonored. Pointing out everything he is doing wrong is destroying your relationship.  Feelings of intimacy are replaced with bitterness.  Thus he will emotionally withdraw from you to protect himself.  As he builds walls, you will begin to feel the distance between you increasing.  You start to withdraw from him, too. Your relationship becomes stagnant and then begins to deteriorate.

You have the power to reignite the passion in your marriage!

ovecoming bitternerss in relationships

Change what you say and watch the atmosphere in your home change.  Nagging, complaining and accusing are easy.  Practice makes permanent. Indeed, you will need to be intentional to change this bad habit.  Complaining may have become natural because you have been doing it unchecked for so long. Moreover, change what you are doing, and you will change what is normal and natural in your relationship.

If what you are doing does not say who you are, you must change what you are doing before what you are doing changes who you are. 

Read that sentence again!  You are NOT a nagging, complaining wife who demeans her husband.  Live up to the potential of your relationship.  Be intentional about guarding your words.  As you change how you communicate with your husband, you are investing in your marriage in a BIG way.  It is not the big mistakes that take out marriages, but the small things that continuously eat away at the foundation of your marriage.  Speak kindly, speak the truth, and speak love whenever you have the chance.

Here are some tips to help you change how you interact with your husband:

  1. Greet him with a smile and kiss when he arrives home. Do not even bring up anything that needs to be done until after you have spent at least 15 minutes catching up and enjoying each other’s company.
  2. Practice HALT. If either of you is Hungry, Angry, Late or Tired, do not talk about issues that need to be resolved or any frustration you have with each other.  You are in this for life, so there will be a better time to talk about things that are frustrating you.
  3. Only share positive things about your husband with other people.  ALL THE TIME.  This does 2 things for you—first, it reminds you how awesome he is so you don’t focus on his faults; second, your words will get back to him and reaffirm your love and commitment to him.
  4. Decide what is WORTH complaining about.  Does the brand or size of a food item REALLY matter more than your husband’s feelings?  Do you wish that his socks or towel were not on the floor more than you are grateful to have him in your life? You will find that there is very little worth complaining about.
  5. Enjoy your time together, remember you are on the same team, and build a relationship to last a lifetime!

I am rooting for you!