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Steady Diet of Put-Downs

Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family Bulletin, May, 1994

Steady Diet of Put-Downs

Do you and your spouse feed each other a steady diet of put-downs? If you do, your marriage could be headed for divorce court.

When psychologists Cliff Nortarius and Howard Markman studied newlyweds over the first decade of marriage, they discovered that couples who stayed together uttered 5 or fewer put-downs in every 100 comments to each other. But couples who inflicted twice as many verbal wounds&md;10 or more putdowns out of every 100 comments&md;later split up.

Watch what you say! Little, nit-picking comments are like a cancer in marriage, slowly draining the life out of a committed relationship.