We all know that communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. But, just as words have the ability to build up, they also have the power to tear down.
Relationships are fragile – and all it takes is one snarky comment or snide remark to tear down months – or years – of ‘good’.
While it’s impossible to ‘police’ every word that comes out of your mouth (especially when you’re angry or hurt) – it is probably a good idea to practise a little mindfulness when it comes to choosing what you say, and of course, how you say it!
Here are five things you should never say to your partner:
1. “You always!” or “You never!”
Absolute phrases like “always” and “never” carry a lot of weight.
How truthful are you being when you say something like “You never help with the kids!”? Is it that your partner truly, never helps? Or, that he often works late, and thus only helps with what he can?
If you think about it, there’s a big difference.
Instead of assassinating your partner’s character with hurtful, unproductive statements during an unrelated fight; rather take a minute when you’re not at each other’s throats and acknowledge what your partner does do, and then ask them if they could find time to help you out in other ways!
2. “You’re overreacting”…
We often pass remarks like “Calm down!”, “You’re too sensitive” and “You’re overreacting!” when we don’t understand why our partner feels a certain way. But, what we tend to forget, is that just because we might not understand how they feel, doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t justified.
Your partner’s emotions are always valid – and need to be heard, not dismissed.
An alternative statement to try might be something like; “I can understand why you feel that way, but maybe tomorrow you will feel differently about it!”.
3. “I want a divorce”
In a marriage, it’s normal for silly arguments to spiral out of control. What is not normal, and not OK, is to hurl the ‘D’-word around – unless you are 100% sure that you have come to that point in your relationship.
If you haven’t, then threatening divorce is nothing more than that – an idle threat – and all you’re essentially communicating is that you have one foot out of the door, and your partner can’t feel ‘safe’ in your commitment anymore!
4. “I make more money than you”
Bringing up who pays for what will never get you anywhere. It shouldn’t matter who makes more money – because, at the end of the day, you’re a team that’s building a life together.
5. Nothing Sigh.
‘Nothing’ is probably the worst thing you can say in a relationship – but a lot of people serve up the silent treatment when they’re upset about something.
While there is a place to reserve your words when you feel like you’re being irrational, there’s a big difference between holding your tongue and the silent treatment.
Refusing to talk to your partner is not only an immature way to communicate that you’re upset but is also a form of punishment and manipulation.
Giving your partner the cold shoulder ultimately does more harm than good – as it hinders communication and finding solutions to your relationship problems!
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