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#037: Things I Wish Couples With Communication Issues Knew (Part 2)

Idit Sharoni

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I'm a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist based in Miami, a relationship podcast host, and an educator. I help couples transform their patterns of communication and heal after infidelity. 


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Do you ever feel like your partner is acting superior? Better than you? Smarter? Most likely, it’s because they use contempt as one of their communication styles with you.

Not many people know how poisonous contempt is to a relationship. It is actually found to be the number one (!) predictor of divorce. To help you understand what it looks like in a couple’s relationship see the following example:

One of the struggles many couples face is spending and budgeting their money. So, let’s say you want to use your credit card to purchase something. When you go to pay you are told the credit card is declined. You call the bank and find out the card is maxed out. This is not the first time this happens, and you know it was maxed out by your partner. A contemptuous partner may sound like this:

“UGH! I can’t believe you maxed out the credit card AGAIN. Actually, I CAN believe it! Because you are reckless and always have been. Do you care about paying bills or saving for the future? No, you don’t! You only care about your stupid shopping. I sacrifice so much for this family. I work so hard and I calculate every penny because I am a responsible adult. What have you done to help our financial situation?”

While it is important to address frustrations with your partner, contempt is not the communication style you want to use. Contempt is poisonous to your relationship because it demonstrates superiority rather than being equal partners in a relationship. It makes your partner feel inferior, worthless and unappreciated.

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want to Miss:

Research shows that contempt is the #1 predictor of divorce. Understanding what it looks like and why it happens is vital for couples looking to have a long and happy relationship.

Contempt is shown not only through words but also in body language, such as eye rolling, dismissive hand gesture, and/or looking away when your partner is speaking. It has a lot to do with giving a sense of superiority versus inferiority – a dangerous hierarchy that can quickly destroy even a strong relationship.This type of communication style has an impact on your psychological, emotional and physical health. Making all efforts to avoid it can contribute to all areas of your life.Check out these highlights:

The different ways you might be exhibiting contempt in your relationship (4:33)

Where contempt stems from, and why do we treat our partners with contempt? (7:17)

The 3 main antidotes to contempt and how to avoid it in a relationship.(14:12)

This episode will help you to find out if your relationship is contaminated with contempt and if so, how to fix it. If you’d like to discuss this topic with a therapist, and if you’re in Aventura, Miami, North Miami Beach, Sunny Isles, Miami Beach or anywhere else in Florida, give me a call at 305-507-9955 or visit iditsharoni.com/contact.

Links mentioned in this episode:

Episode #021: Things I Wish Couples With Communication Issues Knew (Part 1)


Couple arguing in the living room

I'm Idit Sharoni, your podcast host.

I'm an expert on relationships and infidelity recovery. I'm a licensed marriage & family therapist, a podcast host, and the founder of Relationship Experts  - a Couples Therapy & Coaching private practice.

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