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A Tulsa Couples Counselor Talks About a Common Communication Problem In Marriage, and How To Change It

Communicating with your spouse can take various forms. In this blog, we discuss the difference between “venting” and verbal “vomiting.”  Venting can be healthy if in a safe and trusted relationship, is non-threating and non-blaming, and has the goal of trying to problem solve. It’s a respectful way to get things off your chest or mind, just to process if you need to with someone else. It’s not to be acted on in a negative way or be taken personally. Sometimes we just need to be sad, or mad or hurt, or disappointment for a minute so that we can process and manage in a healthy way. Often what we vent about may not be “solvable” but maybe we just need to be heard, understood, and validated.

“Vomiting” is an unhealthy way of spewing on your spouse your anger, frustration, name-calling, and blaming for problems with no intention to problem solve. Vomiting does not help the problems, only results in a big mess that is difficult to clean up, and makes things more messy and ugly in marriage. The result is more anger, more resentment, more insecurity, and more chaos in the home.

7  Common Phrases That Suggestion You’re Vomiting in Your Marriage:

  • You never clean up after yourself!
  • You always expect me to do everything!
  • Why don’t you just take care of stuff?
  • Why do I always have to be the one to correct this?
  • Don’t you see how this makes me mad?
  • Ending with “I don’t care!”, “Whatever”, “Fine!”, “I’m done”
  • We talked about this, and nothing ever changes! You never listen to me! I always have to do everything!

Try these Counseling Communication Tips:

  • Maybe we can ______________________________________ instead of ________________________________.
  • When ___________________________ happens I feel _____________________________________ .
  • I don’t like it when ________________________________ happens and I feel _______________________________.
  • “I feel ________________________________ when the house is a mess”.


6 Steps to Healthy Venting To Increase Intimacy in Marriage:

  1. Time your vent, no more than 5 to 10 minutes each (set a timer on your phone or the microwave)
  2. Another person listens respectfully, no blame, not taken personally.
  3. Other person vents and is timed.
  4. Problem solve where possible
  5. Let go of what is not in your control.
  6. Forgive where needed.


If there are problems in the marriage, couples counseling can help!  Or, if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, or substance use there is help! At Legacy Counseling Service in Broken Arrow, we strive to be excellent in our treatment approach to marital, family, and Christian counseling, to respect and value to each person while helping them with life struggles. Getting help is hard, and admitting it is harder. If you have done the first step of recognizing that you need to get help, the next step is easier. Visit us at www.legacycounselingservice.com and let’s begin a journey to healing and wholeness!

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