Besides money, love is one of the most sought after treasures in life. Having a loved one, wife, husband, significant other, whatever you want to call them, to go through life with is invaluable. So, why run them off with your words? Talking to over 100 couples and singles, here are the phrases that they don’t want to hear.
1. “You’re being crazy.”
You might think he/she is overreacting or even over-analyzing, but in healthy a relationship, you should try your very hardest to understand your partner’s perspective. Dismissing their feelings as “crazy”, “ridiculous” or even “silly” downgrades their stake in the relationship and diminishes their value.
When your partner doesn’t feel like they’re allowed to communicate their thoughts and feelings openly, it leads to resentment and decay that wears away your connection. Instead of demeaning your partner’s feelings, try to understand why they feel or believe what they do. Saying something like: “Help me understand why you are reacting like this” or “Why do you feel so strongly”
2. “I don’t care anymore.”
If any phrase is dangerous, this is it. Immediate red flag. It’s a clear marker on the pathway to divorce is when one or both spouses become disinterested in the actions of the other, said Christian Denmon, a Florida-based divorce attorney. Going so far as to tell your partner you’ve checked out speaks volumes.
“It’s such a blunt way of conveying disinterest,” he said. “A better option is to take a deep breath and decide what you’re really feeling. If you truly don’t care anymore, that’s a problem and counseling should be sought. But if you’re just tired of fighting, make it clear and table the conversation.”
3. “You/I/We will never ______.”
Wow. If you’re saying something in absolute phrases (i.e., “You never”, “I always”, “We never…”) you better be sure that it truly is as you say. If someone just does it occasionally and it gets on your nerves every time they do it, then say that! Speaking in absolutes turns most person completely off or pushes them in the same direction that you want them furthest from. A mate thinks “Oh you think I do that all the time? I’ll show you all the time…”
A better way to communicate is to name how you felt rather than accusing your partner. Say something like, “When you do ______, it makes me feel angry or like you don’t care. I would really rather you do _____ instead.”
4. Nothing at all.
Saying nothing at all can cause more damage to your marriage than any statement on this list. When one partner withdraws from the interaction or argument, it effectively closes themselves off to what the other spouse has to say. It puts up a wall and totally disregards what the person was saying or feeling, hoping that it will just go away. But we have news for you: it won’t go away.