Have you ever uttered these common phrases that are destroying your relationship?
I’m sure you’ve said things that you didn’t mean or that accidentally slipped out. But there are many phrases that we actually mean to say and just don’t realize how negative they really are.
Check out the list below for some phrases that should be completely removed from your vocabulary and what to say instead.
8 Common phrases that are destroying your relationship
“I knew it”
This phrase is really dangerous if used in the wrong context. For example: if it’s your anniversary and he says “babe I’m sorry I was super busy at work and I forgot to make reservations”. Saying “I knew this would happen” or “I knew it” just makes him feel even worse.
It also tells him “she always sees me as a failure so why should I even try anymore”.
What you really mean when you say “I knew it” is “I’m disappointed”.
What you should say instead: “I understand but I’m a little disappointed”.
“Told You So”
Marriage expert John Gottman says it best:
“Admit when you’re wrong. Shut up when you’re right.” John Gottman, Ph.D
If your partner is wrong or made a mistake, the last thing he wants to hear is how right you were about it.
This just makes him feel like a dummy AGAIN. You don’t want to be the person he associates with making him feel dumb all the time, do you?
What to say instead: “It’s ok” or “no worries, we can fix it” – show signs of support, don’t make him feel bad. You’re his partner, it’s your job to make him feel good.
“Do Whatever You Want”
This should only be said if it’s actually true. If he’s cancelling on plans to have dinner with your parents because his buddies are having a guys night and you say “do whatever you want” you are literally telling him to do what he wants. You gave him permission.
If you were just saying that in order to passively aggressively change his mind, you are expecting him to be a mind reader while also trying to manipulate him. It’s a double whammy of negativity!
We’re not supposed to do that to people we love.
What you should say instead: The truth. In the example above “It would make me feel upset if you cancelled our plans to go hang with the guys. Can’t you hang out with them next week?”
“You always… or you never…”
“You always do this” or “You never think about my needs”. These are phrases that are destroying your relationship because they are simply not true.
He never thinks about your needs?
What about the time he went to dinner with your mom when he wanted to go watch football with the guys?
What about the time he brought you breakfast in bed because you were sick?
Rarely is it true that he “never” or “always” does something. Really that’s just you trying to guilt trip him and manipulate him into behaving the way you want him to.
What you should say instead: “You always know how to make me happy”, “you never let me forget how much I love you”.
After all, a little white lie that is actually a compliment never hurt anyone.
“Well why don’t we just break up”
The healthiest couples are made of two people who understand commitment. Commitment doesn’t mean you get to enjoy all the pleasures of a happy relationship but then bail when things get a little messy.
All couples face conflict.
All couples have struggle.
But if you are in a healthy relationship, the two of you are in this together. That’s what makes having a partner in life so awesome.
Don’t remind him that there’s an easy way out and don’t remind yourself of it either.
What you should say instead: “I love you, let’s sit down and talk.”
“I’m Sorry But…”
If you are sorry, say sorry! You are NOT a perfect angel that never makes mistakes.
If you think that maybe you should be apologizing for something, then just apologize.
“I’m sorry but you did it to me first”. “I’m sorry but I wouldn’t have done that if you didnt…” hopefully you can see just how childish those statements look. Even if they feel really good to say in real life.
Admitting defeat is not easy, especially for us stubborn folk (me).
But it’s better to say we’re sorry if we’re at fault and remind our guy that we are as loving and caring as he knows we are… deep down.
What you should say instead: “I’m sorry.” Period.
“You [insert negative thing]”
What? I can’t say the word “you” anymore?
I hate to be the one to tell you this… but if the “you” statement is ending in something negative, it needs to be cut out of your vocabulary today.
“You always forget”
“You can’t do anything right”
“You knew it would make me feel bad”
“You are not listening”
None of these phrases are productive. They are all “attacking” words that immediately put him on the defensive.
“I don’t always forget”
“You can’t do anything right either”
“I didn’t know you would feel bad, I can’t read your mind”
“I AM listening”.
See how the automatic response to the “you” statements are all defensive? Nobody is going to say “yeah i do always forget”.
Your guy doesn’t want to be told that he is wrong.
He wants to come to that realization by himself when he sees how his actions made you feel.
What to say instead: Change these into healthy “I statements” – I have some tips on effective “I statements” here.
Another phrase that should only be said if it’s true. If you really are fine, great.
If you are not fine, are you expecting him to read your mind?
Are you bottling up emotions that should really be talked about?
Whatever the reason for your lie, it’s best for you to determine why you feel the need to not be completely honest with the person that you love.
This is especially true if you guys are fighting but even more so if you are feeling depressed or not like yourself. You need to reach out and talk.
If you are in an unhealthy relationship and you can’t talk to your partner, then talk to someone else who will be a listening ear.
You deserve to be happy and should never feel the need to bottle up your emotions.
What you should say instead: “I need a moment but let’s talk about it later”.
Are you navigating your way through a modern relationship? Here are some posts you might find interested:
- How to Stop Fighting and Start Communicating with Love
- A Complete Guide to Solving all Your Relationship Problems
- The Truth About Bickering, Can it Be Healthy?
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