4 Things You Should Never Say to Your Partner
Instead, tune into what you are feeling and express that. For instance, you might say that you feel angry, furious, hurt, mistrustful, or betrayed. Labeling these emotions expresses how you feel without attacking your spouse or your marriage.
I hate you. This phrase can imply a level of animosity toward your spouse’s character that has some staying power. Do you really loathe, detest, or abhor your spouse? If so, then maybe it’s time to truly consider divorce. If not, then don’t say it.
A couple of slightly different versions of this are: “I never loved you;” and, “I never should have married you.” These comments may cause your spouse to doubt your true feelings even after your momentary hostility passes.
Instead, pay attention to your emotions along with what is causing them. For instance, you might say that you are angry or even furious with your spouse for, say, ignoring your calls and texts when out with friends. If you feel compelled to use the word hate, be sure to attach it to your spouse’s behavior rather than your spouse. You might say, “I hate when you walk out of the room when I talk to you!”
You are (negative character trait). When you label and attack your spouse’s character, you don’t allow for the chance that they’ll change. For instance, think about what it means to call your spouse stupid, heartless, or worthless. In considering the last insult, if your spouse really is worthless, then there is nothing of value they can offer you or your relationship.
Instead, be specific about the problem and the change you’d like to see while also sharing your feelings. “When you spend every weeknight on the computer and barely register my existence, I feel really hurt and unloved. It’s also why I’ve been so angry with you. If you talked or watched a movie with me at least a couple of nights a week, I would feel like you loved me and I wouldn’t be so angry with you.”
If you recognize that you use any of the above phrases, try making the changes suggested and your spouse will be more likely to really hear you. You’ll have a much better chance at having a constructive conversation and ultimately feeling happier together.