Blog“Always” “Never” Wins

June 15, 2023by Frank Love0

Have you ever uttered the words, “You are always complaining” or “I am always cleaning up after you”? How about, “You always leave your shoes in the middle of the room.” Or have you ever exclaimed, “I never get to do the things I want to do” or “You never say, ‘Thank you’”?

I recently watched the fifth episode of the first season of Bel-Air, the dramatic remake of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I like the show and was impressed with a particular segment of dialogue.

Aunt Viv to her daughter Hillary: Do I always sound so critical?

Hillary: Not always, but often.

I was impressed with this dialogue because it pointed out the implications of the use of an extreme word like always. I have said always and similar words such as never at times. I have also heard them from various partners over the years. They each speak to a frustration or an unfulfilled desire. They are also extreme statements that often elicit an extreme response.

Extreme statements are made to express a tremendous feeling or perceived atrocity. When we speak this way, we want the listener/receiver to experience the weight of our emotions. This is fair; it is important to communicate what is going on with us, particularly to our partner.

Though we may leave subtle clues and use body language, verbal communication has value. However, extreme statements often have a unique dynamic and purpose—they can be used to win.

At work, winning can look like getting our way when arguing with a colleague; it may look like victory when we take the party we believe offended us to court. These are interactions that are designed to have a winner. Neither sets the stage for creating a win-win resolution, a dynamic where both parties win and both sides are satisfied.

What does this have to do with relationships? We often take this same approach in our relationship, and it can pose a problem because now the opposing party is our partner. When we cease to be concerned about their well-being, we start losing things. We may lose empathy. We may lose a positive connection. We may even lose our partner outright. And we may gain some things we did not anticipate: resentment, disdain, or even an enemy.

Let’s raise our awareness of the heaviness we relay when we share hurts and frustrations with our partner using extreme language. Are we approaching conversations as battles we’re focused on winning? If so, instead of talking to and dealing with our partner as though they are our enemies, let’s talk to them with moderation and care. Let’s tone down the words we use

 in our delivery. After all, many of our partners have no idea that their actions may be perceived as damaging.

This awareness is a positive step on the road toward creating a loving culture in our relationship because heavy-handed language may lead to a heavy-handed response. When we say to someone that they are always or never doing something, we are saying that there is no time when they do not do this. Our partner may hear, “You are a messed-up individual judging by your consistently messed-up behavior,” or some variation where they feel attacked. How do many of us respond when someone tells us that we are messed up?

If we are using always and never, let’s pause and consider our possible intent. If the intent is to win, let’s use a more moderate form of

 expression. This is an important step toward creating a win-win, loving culture in our relationship.

Finally, addressing these dynamics is exactly why we do the weekly Tuesday (7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., “Black Women: Creating a Loving

Culture in Our Relationship”) and Thursday Zoom calls (7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., “Black Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationship”). Interested individuals can connect to support and be supported by one another as we work through relationship challenges with the goal of creating a more loving culture within our relationship.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love


Watch Frank Love’s presentation “The Act of Caring.”


Subscribe to receive Frank’s weekly blog.


Become a sponsor of Frank Love and his work creating loving cultures in our relationships with a monthly contribution of as little as $2. Sign up today at Patreon.com/FrankLove.




Each week, Frank Love hosts Zoom support group meetings that assist women and men as we work to create a loving culture in our relationships. Calls occur from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST and can be accessed by visiting FrankWeeklyCall.com.


  • Tuesdays—Black Women: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships
  • ThursdaysBlack Men: Creating a Loving Culture in Our Relationships


–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—–—– –

Frank Love coaches individuals toward creating a loving culture in their family. He is also the author of Relationship Conversations You Don’t Want to Have (But Should Anyway) and 25 Ways to Be Loving. To schedule a free consultation, contact Frank at Frank@FrankLove.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Frank Love Logo

Visit us on social networks:


Visit us on social networks:

Copyright 2010-2022 Frank Expressions, LLC. All rights reserved.
Web Design by The Baron Solution Group

Copyright 2010-2018 Frank Expressions, LLC. All rights reserved.
Web Design by The Baron Solution Group