After spending years studying marriage and spending time with countless married couples, I can tell a lot about the current health of a relationship simply by watching a husband and wife interact with each other for one minute. The words they speak, the tone of those words and the non-verbal communication all work together to create a snapshot of the level of intimacy, respect and trust between the two of them. I've also noticed that the healthiest couples work to keep these 3 words (listed below) out of their vocabularies.

I believe your marriage could instantly improve if you make a commitment to removing the following three words from your vocabulary.

1. "Someday"

This word seems pretty harmless, but when we start saying "Someday" we'll get around to making more time for each other. "Someday" we'll start pursuing those dreams we have. "Someday" we'll work on our marriage. Anything worth doing someday is worth starting right now. Procrastination kills marriages. Start today.

2. ANY word spoken with a disrespectful tone

The words you speak to your spouse matter, but the tone in which you speak those words matters just as much. The tone of your words will shape the tone of your marriage. Speak with kindness, thoughtfulness and respect in your tone. It will make a world of difference!

3. "Divorce"

The "D-Word" is WAY out-of-bounds and should be off limits. The moment you start threatening divorce, you've broken the trust of your spouse. The more often you use it, the more you erode the strength of your marriage. It may start out as an empty threat, but it will quickly become a reality if you're not vigilant. You're much better off never saying it at all. Work through struggles together with no escape plan or exit strategy.

This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.

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