What Should You Do If Your Husband Has Started to Curse and Hurl Bad Words Every Time You Argue?
Cursing is a form of verbal and emotional abuse; it is destructive and does not form healthy relationships.
These hurtful words attack the character of the person, thus leaving painful effects long after the issues have been settled. They block effective communication because they render the listener defensive and protective of oneself, thus, leading to a vicious cycle of negativity.
But ignoring the other person’s attacks is not productive either, since this will not resolve your conflict. This only creates pent-up emotions that will someday resurface, perhaps even stronger. If your spouse cannot be stopped from shouting painful words, you can physical excuse yourself from the situation and say that you will return when you are both ready to have a decent conversation. Take a time-out.
When it comes to expressing yourself in these charged moments, it helps to use the “I” message. To construct one, describe the behavior that is interfering with you, then describe the feeling that the behavior produces in you. To complete the sentence, give your reason or wish. For example: “When you curse me like that, I feel so disrespected and hurt that I can’t listen to you…”
Let your husband have his chance to speak too, and try listening to what he is really saying. Identify the thoughts and emotions behind his words, and mirror these back to him. In counseling, this is called reflective listening. Ask yourself: “What is this person possibly feeling?” Think of the feeling word that best describes the emotion being expressed, then put that word in a tentative sentence form. When your husband has an outburst, you can say something like: “It seems that you are very angry with me…” By doing this, he will feel that you understand him and thus, he will calm down. Remember, angry people need to relax before you can have an intelligent and meaningful dialogue. This is called empathy, which is the ability to enter the world of the other. Empathy is the language of the heart that allows couples to engage in a dialogue. When your spouse feels understood, he will then be ready to listen to you.
Agree to stop this hurtful pattern before the next argument happens. Couples need to establish their basic “rules of engagement” to avoid loading up on unresolved conflicts that threaten the marriage as a whole. Learn to speak and listen without being defensive. Learn to validate each other, and express love and concern.
Conflicts can lead to growth and happiness if resolved, but can lead to distress if not addressed respectfully. Married couples must confront issues with caring, recognize their individuality, and learn to negotiate for a win-win situation whenever possible through compromises.
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