J. Gordon Duncan

Culture, Business, Fitness, Etc.

A Dozen Do-Nots: Marriage Communication

A Dozen Do-Nots is what I hope will be an on-going series.  You will also find posts in this series from Mike Askew at http://bit.ly/4nnOim The idea is to present 12 simple things to avoid in the most practical of areas.  To kick things off, I present 12 things not to do when trying to communicate with your spouse.  I hope you enjoy.

A Dozen Do-Nots:  Marriage Communication

  1. Do not assume you know what your spouse is thinking.
  2. Do not assume your expectations are known.  Communicate them.
  3. Do not say the word, “What.”  Say the word, “Yes.”  It is a softer way to respond.
  4. Do not give another woman a compliment that you haven’t already given your wife.
  5. Do not chase your spouse through a room trying to make your point.
  6. Do not befriend or communicate with ex’s via social marketing.
  7. Do not criticize your spouse in front of your children.
  8. Do not miss an opportunity to complement your spouse.
  9. Do not use similes.  For example, “You are just like…”
  10. Do not eat dinner in front of the TV.
  11. Do not apologize for your spouse’s hurt feelings.  Apologize for what you have done.
  12. Do not say one thing in order to communicate something else.  Say what you mean to say.


August 18, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. Great dozen! Some of those are hard to do…

    Comment by mikeaskew | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. Excellent info. If more people did these types of things, there would be more good marriages out there.

    Comment by Clay | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Sorry, but I can’t agree with #4 and #11. They both seem to value happy feelings above honesty.

    #4 seems to imply that if my wife can’t carry a tune in a bucket, I am forever forbidden from praising someone else’s singing voice (or else I must lie about hers). That’s ridiculous. If my wife thinks I’m terrible at something, I want her to feel free to tell me so.

    And while, I agree that “I’m sorry for your feelings” is patronizing, I don’t want my spouse apologizing for something she’s done unless she’s actually sorry for it and thinks it was wrong herself. If she does something I think was wrong, but which I’m unable to convince her was wrong, I don’t want her apologizing just to placate me. We’re adults; we should be able to disagree and still love and respect each other…

    Comment by eric | August 19, 2009 | Reply

  4. Eric,

    Thanks for the comments. I hear what you are saying on #4. I’m not for giving a complement to my wife that is not true.

    As to #11, this speaks to when you need to apologize, do so for yourself. Again, I’m not for apologizing just to placate folks.

    Thanks again for the comments.

    Comment by jgordonduncan | August 19, 2009 | Reply

  5. Excellent site, keep up the good work

    Comment by Bill Bartmann | September 1, 2009 | Reply

  6. Great site…keep up the good work.

    Comment by Bill Bartmann | September 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! 🙂

    Comment by Bill Bartmann- | September 11, 2009 | Reply

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