If you carefully read the label of many cleaners, glues, paints, or anything else that it potentially toxic, it will tell you to use the product in a well ventilated area. In these instances, proper ventilation helps us to minimize the effects that toxic fumes may have on our minds and bodies. However, when it comes to building a stronger relationship, venting to others about your spouse/partner can cause the relationship to suffocate.
You may have assumed that venting to family and friends about the negative feelings you are having, or the negative behaviors of your spouse, will help you feel better. However, venting to friends, family, or coworkers about your spouse/partner only increases the toxic feelings and causes others to have toxic feelings for your spouse/partner or develop negative feelings for you. By criticizing your spouse/partner while talking to others you are releasing a suffocating toxicity into your environment which only fuels more toxic thoughts and feelings for your spouse/partner and leads to more relationship deterioration.
Here are some ways to avoid suffocating your relationship:
1. Instead of venting, share your frustrations with your spouse/partner in a non-critical, non-judgmental way that does not attack your spouse/partner’s character.
2. When you are with friends, family, and coworkers, seek to only say positive things about your spouse/partner. If you do not have anything good to say, don’t say anything. Others do not want to be around someone who is constantly complaining about his/her spouse/partner. Most family members, friends and coworkers are not going to say, “Stop complaining about your spouse/partner” even if they feel that way.
3. Seek to forgive your spouse/partner of past infractions against you. You will feel better about yourself, and your spouse, as you learn to forgive.
4. Catch your spouse/partner doing good and seek to give credit for the goods things he/she is doing on a daily basis. Even the most challenging people, in the most challenging relationships, have endearing qualities.
5. Focus on and express gratitude for the things that are going well in the relationship.
6. If you are having difficulty with doing any of the five things above, seek expert relationship counseling.