What can you do to show your spouse that you care about them and are supportive?
Using antagonistic methods of communication when talking to your spouse is a common obstacle that married couples face.
If things were perfect, married couples would communicate, think and act as a unit whenever they can. However, this isn’t possible if you and your spouse are not able to communicate with each other.
If you feel that you are not really communicating with your spouse and that you are having issues with your marriage, it is very likely that you have adopted some antagonistic or aversive patterns in how your and your spouse communicate.
It is hard to change the way you communicate with your spouse because once you adopt a pattern, you will keep following it without even thinking. Keep reading to learn more about how you can recognize these negative patterns and finally get rid of them.
What are antagonistic communication patterns?
There are some of the most common antagonistic strategies that you need to learn to recognize and avoid to prevent causing damage to your marriage.
1. Failing To Acknowledge Your Spouse’s Wants And Needs. This is a common pattern in relations where a partner has more control over the finances and the decisions that are made on a daily basis.
One spouse usually becomes dominant because they are the main provider and they will tend to ignore the ideas, wants and needs of the other spouse. These are the few statements you will hear from spouses who follow this antagonistic pattern:
The dominant spouse might refuse to go visit the other spouse’s relatives because they do not get along with these people or because they usually end up sitting by themselves. They would rather engage in another activity that would be more fun for them.
They might be reluctant about letting the other spouse’s have their friends or relatives over for a reason or another. However, they will let their friends and relatives come over and not even realize that there is a double standard.
2. Abandoning Your Spouse. Feeling that you are being abandoned is not a pleasant feeling, especially when you feel that it is your spouse who is deserting you.
We all have a primal fear of abandonment and it is sometimes used in relationships so that one spouse can get what they want. This is an example of a scenario where a spouse abandons the other one. The wife wants to take some time for something that she enjoys but that will keep her away from taking care of the couple’s children for a couple of days.
The husband doesn’t want to take care of the children on his own for two days. He responses to his wife’s request by saying that he will not be able to handle working two jobs, taking care of the children and taking care of the house. He explains he will need some time to recover if he has to do it.
The husband walks away from the conversation without saying another word. The wife is confused and feels guilty for asking her husband to take care of the children so she could do what she wanted. This is a situation where the husband blackmailed his wife to get what he wanted instead of negotiating.
This is a technique that allows a spouse to get what they want but it causes a lot of damages to the other spouse’s self-esteem. If you often find yourself thinking of ways to frighten or control your spouse like in this scenario, you are abandoning your spouse every time you use this approach.
3. Using Threats. Threatening your spouse is probably one of the worst things you could do. The individuals who use threats often get used to this technique and will not have any remorse after threatening someone, including their spouse.
Why is threatening your spouse going to harm the relationship?
I have been married for many years and I deeply care about my spouse. I think that this antagonistic technique is one of the worst that someone could use because people who use it are actually using threats in a relationship!
If you use threats to get what you want, this means you will dedicate your time and energy to finding the best ways to hurt the other person and control them so they will give in to everything you want.
The threats might never come true. However, this is a form of psychological manipulation and this makes the relationship completely unfair.