It’s never fun to fight, but arguments are an unavoidable part of any healthy relationship. When your well-being is so closely tied to another person’s actions, it’s unrealistic to expect never to disagree or feel hurt.
There are, however, a few arguments we’re all guilty of having that do nothing to advance our relationships or build trust. Below are some things you might be tempted to say (or shout) to your partner, but won’t do much for your relationship.
1. I make more money than you.
Unless the next part of this sentence is, “…so I’m more than happy to pick up the tab,” you should never throw out this phrase during an argument. It’s belittling and cruel — two things you never want to be in a relationship (or in life!) Being the breadwinner doesn’t entitle you to more decision-making power or fewer at-home responsibilities, so this line of reasoning should never enter into a marital debate. The self-esteem of partner must be maintained.
2. Don’t touch my phone.
We store pretty much all of our personal information in our phones these days, but if you have nothing to hide from your partner there should be no reason to get defensive about your device. It’s totally reasonable to expect privacy and respect for your personal items, but if your partner needs to use your phone and you freak out and tell him or her not to look through it, you’re sure to get into an argument that won’t be easily resolved. If you have nothing to hide in your relationship, you shouldn’t be worried about what your partner might find.
3.Well at least I’ve never [fill in the blank with one of your partner’s weaker moments].
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of, but bringing up that time your beloved [had a run-in with the law/cheated on a previous partner/got fired] is harsh and harmful. Make an effort to truly forgive your partner for past mistakes and withhold judgment so these comments are less likely to slip out in the heat of the moment.
And if you’re feeling defensive during an argument, do your best not to resort to low blows — remember that you’ll never be able to un-say the things you said when you were angry.
4.You’re wearing that?
If your partner is a fan of tell-it-to-me-straight critique, then go ahead and give your unsolicited feedback on whatever he’s wearing. But if you’re in relation to someone even slightly sensitive, avoid this kind of commentary. It’s upsetting to be told you’re looking less-than-fabulous — especially if you’re feeling confident about your ensemble — and negative remarks will likely ruin the day you have ahead of you.
5.You Can’t Do This Or That.
The word “can’t” should only be spoken by your angry parents, not by your romantic partner. In a relationship, there will be times where you wish your significant other didn’t do certain things, like go out with his or her friends on date night or spend the rest of the grocery money on shoes. You will want to tell them they “can’t do that.” The problem is, we are not in charge of our partner. So by using the word “can’t” only makes us sounds controlling. Instead, express how it feels when your other half does a, b or c.