THE CHALLENGE

Each time a conflict arises, you and your spouse unleash a torrent of criticism at each other. Hurtful speech has become so common in your marriage that it is now your “normal” style of communication.

If this is happening in your marriage, you can stop the pattern. First, though, you need to consider the causes and why it is in your best interests to make changes.

WHY IT HAPPENS

Family background. Many husbands and wives were raised in homes where hurtful speech was common. One or both spouses may be repeating the type of language they heard from their parents.

Influence of entertainment. Film and television comedies turn rude speech into a laughing matter, leaving the viewer with the impression that it is harmless—or even funny.

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