By Business guide writer
If you’re married or in a long-term relationship, you should leave some things unsaid. Words are arrows; you might end up hitting the wrong target, so be extra careful at where you aim.
Here, we have summed up some statements and phrases that marriage therapists consider deadly to your relationship. Strike them off of your vocab list. The sooner you do that, the better in terms of your relationship.
1.“When are you going to do those dishes? Don’t just leave them there!”
The dishes are a sort of place holder for loads of things; you’ll see them lying around often. But still, using accusatory terms for your partner like you ‘never’ do the dishes or you ‘always’ leave them lying there is ending it the same way every time, with you and your partner being in a heated argument.
Instead, accept readily the fact that we all forget such little things in life every now and then. Give your partner some leniency when they neglect some duties so you do not end up accusing them of things they do not even deserve.
2.“You are acting just like your mother.”
When in an argument, just focus on your partner and yourself. Comparing your partner to your in-laws isn’t fair. It diverts the topic from your problem at hand.
Bringing in outsiders in personal matters isn’t a pretty sight no matter the nature of your relationship. It’s symbolic of your inability to tackle the issue with the end result that you thrust it on someone outside your relationship. Everyone deserves benefit of the doubt.
3.“You consider yourself better than everyone.”
Never give wrong notions to your partner. You can never really know what someone’s thinking or feeling at what moment, so keep your assumptions to yourself, as said by Becky Whetstone, a marriage and family therapist in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“These statements are aggravating because your spouse knows that what you are accusing them of is not true,” she said. “What you are saying suggests you do not think very highly of your S.O. It is a double dose of pain in one sentence.” Such lines make you come off as spiteful and conceited, believe it or not.
4.“Do I look pretty?”
‘Questions about weight or changes in looks are the “oldest grenades in the marriage script,”’ said Robyn Wahlgast, a dating and relationship coach for women. You marry someone when they were all young and beautiful but then, time and age came into the mix like frosting on a cake – quick and sudden and silent – so is it their fault that you should criticize them for becoming this way?
What you have to keep in mind here is that beauty fades, personality does not. And it was the person’s heart and behavior etc. that made you fall for them hard enough to end up being with them, is it not? Therefore, do not overlook the fact that their physical beauty is just transitory.
5.“I think you’ve put on some weight.”
Blunt, negative remarks to your spouse about his or her appearance are out of line. If you notice that your partner is gaining weight, be constructive about it and help them in the process of getting back in shape and being healthy again, instead of being extremely critical about them and making them fall into depression.
6.“You are terrible at what you do…”
Telling your partner they are not good enough at what they do; at being a parent or the sole earner of the house or as a lover etc. is just plain wrong. It sounds crueller to them then you intend it to be. ‘Put-downs centered around your spouse’s family or occupational roles are particularly cruel’, said M. Gary Neuman, a psychotherapist based in Miami Beach, Florida. They breed not only seeds of hostility but also of racism and prejudice… even though it might be unintended.
“Negative statements about our self-identities are devastating,” he said. “These roles are so important and tender. When they are questioned, we feel completely torn down. It becomes hard to forget statements like this.” It shows your lack of appreciation on your partner’s side and to the extent of effort they put into being what they are, be it a parent or a breadwinner or lover.
7.“I really hate it when you do that…”(said in public, especially around friends and family).
‘Putting your spouse down in front of others is a huge no-no in a relationship’ said Whetstone. It makes them feel humiliated in front of others – others who know them – and by their own partner, not any outsider.
True love, respect and appreciation demands wholeheartedly that you defend your partner no matter what – especially when it gets rough. They count on you most of the time to defend them so if you fail to do that, how do you think that would make them feel? Sure, you do not have to like each and everything your spouse does. But nonetheless, that does not, in any way, give you the right to just negate whatever they did or said in front of people, you know? You have to stay on each others’ team no matter what because it’s you both up against the world.
8.“I do not even know him that well… just someone from work, nothing serious.”
Forming slight infatuations and crushes etc. for someone other than your partner is something that happens to at least one or both the people involved in a relationship at some point; and that is okay. You cannot stop the way your feelings are born, can you?
“It’s almost inevitable that you or your partner will develop a small, innocent crush on someone at some point during your marriage. If that happens, be upfront about it. Don’t try to sweep it under the rug with a statement that minimizes your feelings,” said Wahlgast.
Having committed to one person does not limit you to feel other things for the first time. It’s just that when you do feel them, let your partner in on them so that there can be no misconceptions.
“The best way to neutralize the potential destructiveness of your crush is to briefly and simply acknowledge it to your spouse,” she said. “Try saying to your husband, ‘I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’ve a bit of a crush on that new consultant. He’s so funny — his sense of humor reminds me of yours.’”
Though it may be an uncomfortable subject to broach, ultimately, Wahlgast said being transparent about your feelings “will create more openness with your partner. You will each feel more comfortable bringing up other taboo subjects in a kind and respectful way.” That wall of awkwardness will come tumbling down swiftly between you two with time as you keep sharing stuff like this.
9.“Stop feeling like that.”
That’s like telling a person about to commit suicide to not do it – will that actually stop them? No, right?
Whatever your partner’s feeling is real, it means something to them; that doesn’t make it any less surreal to them.
Everyone amongst us has the right to feel. It’s a part of who we are, the type of feelings we harbor. So in a sense, telling your spouse to not feel what they are feeling is indirectly telling them to not be who they are…a huge turn-off in any relationship.
10“You don’t need to wait up for me.”
“This seemingly innocent remark suggests you are not going to bed at the same time, a habit that can be damaging to your relationship”, said Wahlgast.
“You should view shared bedtime as a way to strengthen your connection with your partner — it’s a powerful form of physical intimacy, with or without sex,” she said. “Saying OK to separate bedtimes enables behaviors that destroy intimacy, such as solitary porn-watching and flirty messaging with friends or co-workers.”
So if you’re partner wants to stand there with the light on for you, let them. It’s a way of expressing love too. Let them.