Toxic Phrase 4. “Of Course A Man/Woman Would Think That!”
Otherwise known as: “Stick to woman’s business”, “This is a man’s job”
Sometimes differences in the way we think do cause conflicts. Other times, there’s an issue that’s been stewing for a long time and it finally boils over. Or one of us has been having a hard day that has nothing to do with each other, but we take it out on each other.
Empathy allows us to see past emotional blow-ups and work as a team to resolve the problem or offer reassurance.
“Empathy is about finding echoes of another person in yourself.” – Mohsin Hamid
Toxic Phrase 5. “I Don’t Want To Talk About It.”
At times we need a break from an argument to cool down. But when we completely refuse to address an issue in our marriage, it causes resentment and bitterness. Bad feelings and thoughts can boil around inside for a long time. The longer we allow these thoughts to continue, the more they sink into our subconscious perceptions of each other. This affects all of our future interactions.
Instead, a better way to approach it is this:
I’m not ready to talk about this right now. Let me take some time to cool off and think about it, then we’ll talk.
Want to know more about what you should never say to your partner? Check this video out below!
Toxic Phrase 6. “You’re Just Like Your Mom/Dad.”
I’ve never said this to my wife, but I’ve thought it. And it was never while I was in a charitable mood. It’s much better to address the actual problem, rather than using some vague hint or insult.
“Real magic in relationships means an absence of judgment of others.” – Wayne Dyer
Toxic Phrase 7. “Get Off My Case!”
Otherwise known as: “Stop nagging me.”
If my wife gets on my case about something, it’s because there’s something that needs to be resolved. Telling her to stop nagging me has never been a good move.
Instead, I usually apologize and try to change my behavior. I’ve even asked her to keep reminding me because changing lifelong habits isn’t easy.
Toxic Phrase 8. “Just Relax!”
Otherwise known as: “Stop thinking about it.”
When my wife is upset, telling her to relax is less than helpful. If should, she would have already.
She appreciates it when I ask her to tell me about what’s bothering her, and reassure her as best I can. Knowing I support and empathize with her is a much better way to help her relax.
“Relationships, marriages are ruined where one person continues to learn, develop and grow and the other person stands still.” – Catherine Pulsifer
While these 8 toxic phrases can cause a lot of harm to a relationship, there is good news if you’ve already used these. Studies by the Gottman Institute show that healthy couples tend to have 5 positive interactions for every negative interaction. The antidote to using these phrases is to be intentional about creating positive, uplifting moments between you and your spouse.
A sincere apology, a warm hug, affirming words, and doing something fun together can go a long way to restoring friendship and intimacy.
Written by Daniel Robertson Originally appeared in The Goodmen Project