8 things you should never say to your partner, according to a therapist.

On paper we all know there are a set of best practices we should adhere to in order to continue a harmonious and loving relationship. However, in the heat of the moment (after your partner forgets to pick up that thing you asked them to get after reminding them 97 times), all of those best practices can go flying out the window and we end up saying things maybe we shouldn't.

We've all been there.

Maybe you've immediately felt awful as the words slip out of your mouth or perhaps you let it simmer for a bit and feel guilt later on. Either way saying unsavoury things to your partner leaves you with a bit of an icky feeling - so why do we do it and how can we change these behaviours?

We chatted to couples' counselling expert and psychologist Dee Tozer to find out a little bit more about things we should avoid saying to our partners, why our language matters and how we can tweak our wording when communicating. So, what are the top things we should never say to our partner?

Watch: Kyle Sandilands on relationships and kids. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

1. "You don't listen to me!"

Dee says this kind of language can come across as criticism in an accusatory way which will immediately set your partner into wanting to respond by protecting their character. Instead, she suggests reframing the wording by asking, "Can we have a chat where we listen and hear each other?" This sets the tone for an open and honest conversation without inflammatory wording.


2. "You are always late!"

This kind of statement can be really divisive or adversarial, neither of which will lead to a calm and productive outcome. If you catch yourself constantly getting miffed at your partner for being tardy why not try and say "is there a way we can work things better so our timings don’t upset either of us?" to move towards a solution.

3. "You never make any sense."

If you're saying this to your partner, they may be hearing it as "nothing I ever do is good enough" which can result in them feeling dejected. Ultimately, we never want our partner to feel this way so perhaps you can try rewording it and ask them, "Can we work out how to make better sense to each other?" or "how can we understand each other better?"

4. "You don't respect me."

Dee says partners will often say this in an effort to align with their spouse but oftentimes it will just end up alienating them. In order to get on the same page and feel heard, Dee suggests asking, "Can we have a chat about why sensing disrespect upsets us?"

5. "You don't care about me."

This kind of statement can feel incredibly hurtful when received by your partner and ultimately won't lead to the reaction you would probably want. Dee says you should reframe the wording by trying something like, "We both care deeply about each other but sometimes it doesn't come across that way. How about we have a chat about what comes across as 'not caring'?"

6. "I feel ignored when you're on your phone."

Phone usage can often hurt as it can feel as though your partner is putting screen time as preference to time as a couple. If it is something that is bothering you try approaching the situation by saying, "Do you agree this phone use is becoming problematic? Can we manage it better so we make sure our time together is the priority?"

7. "I feel disregarded when you make arrangements without me."

Emotional neglect in a relationship is when one partner feels like their needs or feelings aren't being acknowledged by their partner. While this is never a fun subject to navigate, there is definitely a better way to approach than using the above statement. Dee suggests opening up a dialogue by saying, "I know sometimes we need to make separate arrangements without interacting, however can we work out which ones are important to discuss to keep our relationship healthy?"


8. "I feel unloved when you never hug or cuddle me."

If you're not getting the physical intimacy you would like from your partner this can lead to dissatisfaction and feelings of unworthiness. A work around from using wording like "unloved" could be to try saying, "We used to cuddle and hug and I really miss those cuddles. Is there anything I can do to encourage more hugs and cuddles?"

Like many aspects of relationships, the way you communicate with your partner is a skill that needs to be harnessed in order to make sure everyone feels safe and heard in the relationship. Dee says that falling into the trappings of poor communication doesn’t mean that the partnership is doomed but rather, it needs some TLC.

"It definitely can be worked on," says Dee. "As a group of scenarios they are indicative of a relationship which could be heading towards 'break down' but not necessarily 'broken down'."

"Words bless or wound. What we say and how we say it makes all the difference."

Next time you find yourself caught up in a situation with your partner, catch yourself before you say one of the above phrases, reframe it and hopefully you can both move forward with respect and love.

Feature Image: Getty.

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