31.10.11

Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband

Wife Husband and sonOne of the best parts about marriage is being so comfortable with your hubby that you can say just about anything to him. But if you don’t watch your mouth, sometimes the ugly truth comes out in hurtful—not helpful ways. Here are 8 things that you should never utter to your significant other and the words that you should try instead.

1. “You’re just like your father.
“This is just a no-no,” says Julie Orlov, psychotherapist, speaker and author of The Pathway to Love. “It’s nasty and belittling, and it gets at his fear that he may be exhibiting the worst traits of his family.” According to Ford, you should skip the insult and get right to a reasonable request, such as: “Hon, when you’re done with your sandwich, can you bring your dish over to the sink?” That way, you can achieve your goals without hurting him in the process.

2. “When are you going to find a new job?”
First, figure out why you want him to find a new job so badly. Do you dislike how much time he spends away from home? Do you think he can or should be further ahead career-wise? Is he not bringing home a healthy-enough salary? If you have an issue with how much money he’s making, “it’s an opportunity to talk about your lifestyle and how you want to live,” she adds. The aim is to avoid putting him on the defensive, and instead work together to create the life you both want.

3. “My mother warned me you’d do this!”
Something must have seriously infuriated you, because what you’re doing here is letting him know that there are others in your “camp.” “You are trying to validate your ‘side’ of an argument, as though you’re marshalling an army to your side,” says Orlov. Without ganging up on him, that could open up a discussion about money worries that stem from his childhood, for example. “Room is now cleared for creative problem-solving,” says Orlov. And if you’re just lashing out? Hold your tongue and focus on the root of what’s making you mad. In the end, coming to a solution together will make you feel better than unleashing hurtful words.

4. “Just leave it––I’ll do it myself!
This is hurtful in two ways. First, it gets at your husband’s elemental need to be a provider, supporter and capable person in the house. Second, it’s just plain demeaning for any adult to hear that his efforts are sub-par. Do this too often and your husband might think, “I can never do anything right or anything that’ll please her,” says Ford. A better choice is to pick your battles. If he’s in the middle of a task and you think that he’s doing it wrong, evaluate whether it really matters, keeping in mind that, just because he’s doing something differently than you would doesn’t mean that he’s doing it wrong—he is, after all, an adult too.

5. “You always... ” or “You never... ”
“These are two phrases I advise couples never to use,” says Ford, “because they set up an instant, negative tone; they halt communication and they put the other person on the defensive.” These blanket statements can make your husband feel unfairly attacked, and chances are he’ll just fire back with all the times he did help. If there are legitimate problems you’d like to address (he really does tend to leave his tools all over the garage floor or often forgets to put gas in the car after driving it).

6. “Do you really think those pants are flattering?”
Are you trying to hint that he’s putting on weight? Because saying the above, says Ford, is not getting anything concrete across. You may think that you’re subtly conveying the message, but instead you’re insulting his looks without showing any genuine concern for his health. Instead, start with something you like about how he looks: “When you wear that blue shirt, it really makes me appreciate your gorgeous blue eyes.”

7. “Ugh, we’re hanging out with him again?
There’s nothing wrong with your guy having a friend whose company you don’t love—no one says spouses are required to adore each other’s friends, especially that one college pal who likes to pretend he and your hubby never left the frat house. What is wrong is insulting your man’s choice of friends. Your disdain may also suggest that you’d prefer to pick his friends for him—and no one wants to be told who they should be pals with.

8. “Please watch the kids. But don’t do this, take them here or forget that...”
“If he always feels like he’s wrong, he’ll only start to disconnect emotionally.” So let Dad be Dad. Trust that he knows as well as you do how to keep a child clean, safe and fed—even if his definitions of those tasks are slightly different than your own. That said, if there are things he needs to know, like how to use the stroller or what the pediatrician’s phone number is, definitely give him the rundown.

7 comments:

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