“Always and never are two words that you should always remember never to use.” —Wendell Johnson


Two words that can stop you in your tracks… always and never.

Even as you say them, you may realize that they are some of the most common words we speak.

They are two words that can have a minor effect on you or on the levels of a grenade going off in your conversation.

Thinking back, you more than likely know of a point in time in your marriage when you made a statement to your spouse that included one or the other of these words.

Now think about what these words mean:

Always: at all times

Never: not ever, at no time, not under any condition

Here’s the thing that you may have realized when you read those: it’s hard for something to either happen at all times or at no time, not under any condition.

These two words destroy your emotional intimacy and, by extension, the other five pillars of intimacy in your marriage. However, you might not have realized their impact until just now.

So what happens when you use always and never statements?

  • Puts your spouse in a defensive posture.
  • Discredits any progress your spouse has made.
  • Makes it easy to dispute the statement.
  • Makes your spouse feel you don’t see them.
  • Shuts down the conversation.
  • Implies that your spouse can’t get it right.
  • Blocks your connection.

Each one of these creates a crack in a particular pillar. First, the emotional one takes a hit and yet likely it’s also regarding another pillar of intimacy.

So what can you do to address the situation with your spouse and build connection instead of cracks?

The ability to express emotions and get to the root of a response is a learned skill. You can learn to share what’s going on with you.

You also have to grow in this area. Couples don’t want more tension, more negativity, more disconnect. But you have to choose different actions to get a different result in your marriage.

So next time you feel yourself wanting to use those words, think of a different way to express yourself and watch how your spouse responds differently.

You Always or You Never are a diagnostic tool for your marriage. The intimacy with cracks in it ALWAYS comes after the always or never statements.

Pay attention to where you or your spouse says this and you’ll know the areas that the two of you need to address individually and as a team to create an extraordinary marriage.

659: Sex Ed For Married Couples

Emotional Feelings Wheel

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