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  • Writer's pictureBrian Lindner

The 3 Best Phrases To Say When Your Spouse Makes a Mistake

Updated: Feb 25, 2021

I have said I do my best thinking when mowing the lawn. Apparently that is not true about trimming the bushes. The last time I trimmed bushes I ended up doing this.

Evidence of my trimming skills 2014

Evidence of my trimming skills 2014

Stupid mistake.

What happens in your marriage when your spouse does something stupid? The words you say when your spouse messes up reveals a lot about your relationship.

The times when stupid happens in your marriage are critical. Your reaction after your spouse makes a mistake is more impactful than any other time. It’s easy to be critical when mistakes are made. Criticism, especially at vulnerable times, destroys connection and eventually erodes trust.

What to say when your spouse does something stupid: 1. Say “Bummer” or something similar to acknowledge the mistake but without criticizing. Saying “You’re always so stupid” is a relationship killer. 2. Say “I love you” or something similar to emphasize your love is not dependent on one incident. 3. Say “________.” That’s right, say nothing. Listen to them. Your spouse doesn’t need your commentary here. Don’t bail them out with your plan. Let them process their actions and come up with their own idea to remedy the mistake.

Now you may be thinking “but what if my spouse refuses to admit they made a mistake at all?

Unless your spouse doesn’t realize they are physically endangering the family, it’s probably not helpful for your relationship to point out their shortcomings. Telling your spouse how stupid they are will sound critical and won’t build connection. Grace filled responses retain connection which is critical for lasting change. Taking personal responsibility for actions is important but it’s best implemented in context of supportive relationships rather than belittling and conflict.

I shared one of my stupid mistakes, what was one of yours?

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