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10 things you should never say to your partner if you want your relationship to survive, expert says

10 things you should never say to your partner if you want your relationship to survive, expert says

An expert has revealed the things you shouldn't say to your partner

For those of you in relationships, you may be familiar with some of the things that you should steer clear of saying at all costs.

Healthy couples fight every now and then, with disagreements being normal in any relationship.

In fact, according to a 2018 study, couples who argue effectively are 10 times more likely to have a happy relationship in the long-term.

But there are a number (10 to be exact) of phrases and key words that you shouldn't use as they could kill your relationship, according to a number of experts - it could be news to you.

Here are the 10 things you should avoid saying to your significant other, according to Chartered counselling psychologist and Counselling Directory member Jeanette Fegan, who shared them with iNews.

"You’re overreacting"

Fegan explains that this kind of communication can be invalidating and hurtful, leading your partner to thinking that their 'voice is not important'.

In fact, saying something along the lines of ‘You’re overreacting, as usual’, could signal traits of gaslighting, which involves dismissing a person's emotions, making them doubt themselves.

The counsellor tells iNews: “Instead of dismissive statements, adopt a curiosity as to why your partner said or did what they did, so you can better understand them and they you.”

"You care about [something/someone] more than me"

Certified life coach Lorena Bernal says this type of statement can be hurtful, as it assumes your partner's feelings and accuses them of things, and you risk invalidating the love they show you.

"This can lead to a defensive response, where they feel the need to justify their actions and priorities, rather than focusing on addressing the underlying feelings or concerns you might have," Bernal explains.

She urges couples to let each other know if they're 'feeling neglected' or 'need more support or attention' without playing the blame game, allowing space for understanding.

Experts say it is crucial that you communicate your feelings openly.
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"You never listen"

Bernal states: “It’s unlikely that your partner never listens to you, so making this statement inherently hyperbolic and inaccurate."

She explains that this can put the other person on the defensive, and implies a negative judgement of your partner.

The counsellor suggests you say something like 'I feel upset when I don’t feel heard. Can we discuss this further?’, as it doesn't frustrate your partner and creates a constructive conversation.




"That’s not true – you’re being ridiculous"

You could be accused of infidelity or questioned about a relationship with a colleague, but your partner has put themselves in a vulnerable position by sharing these thoughts.

Love and relationship coach Heather Garbutt explains to iNews: “When you’re exploring a difficulty, it’s always important to understand how the other person experiences the situation.”

She highlights that it is important to validate the other person's feelings and show that you understand where they are coming from.

"This is just like before, when you did..."

Bernal says that bringing up 'past conflicts during a current disagreement' can delay and hinder the resolution process, negatively affecting the emotional climate of the relationship.

Saying something like that can lead to overreactions, as the focus of the argument is shifted to something else, not the immediate problem.

It effectively derails the conversation and takes the focus away from a resolution.

"It can make your partner feel as though they’re constantly under scrutiny and that past mistakes will never be truly forgiven, undermining trust and security within the relationship," Bernal explains.

In a healthy relationship, you shouldn't bring up old problems when trying to address current issues.
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"I told you so"

Ah, the age-old phrase.

Eldin Hasa, a neuroscientist and human behaviour expert, states: “Using this phrase implies a sense of superiority and undermines your partner’s self-esteem.

“Neurologically, it triggers the stress response, hindering effective problem-solving and communication.”

Hasa advises that you collaborate instead of compete, and create a supportive environment where you can grow from mistakes.

"You’re such a [insulting name]"

Sometimes, you can lose your cool and break out the swear words or rude names, but Fegan says that this tactic can cause serious damage to your relationship.

“This can create a hostile environment where your partner, and ultimately yourself, feel unsafe and undervalued," she explains, also highlighting that if there are children in the relationship, they will internalise this negative belief.

It damages your partner's self-esteem too, and if repeated, it can make it difficult to resolve any problems in a healthy manner.

Fegan concludes: “Essentially it is crucial to communicate your needs to your partner with empathy, and choose words where the person owns their feelings."

Creating a helathy environment where you can discuss your feelings with one another constructively is key to a successful relationship.
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"Why can’t you be more like...?"

Hasa explains that comparing your partner to someone else 'can be hurtful and damaging', potentially leading to 'emotional distress and strained relationships.'

By saying this, you damage your partner's 'self-worth and confidence', says Fegan.

“They are likely to believe that they are not good enough. This will then likely result in people pleasing behaviour; they will try and do whatever the person wants to feel ‘good enough’."

Though it may seem OK, it can lead to a feeling of resentment later in the relationship, and more conflict.

In a relationship, you have to accept each person for who they are.

"If you don’t do *this*, I’ll leave"

Threats are a straight no-go in a healthy relationship, as Fegan says these ultimatums are 'a toxic and harmful tactic that will damage the trust of the relationship'.

Unless you actually will follow through on the threat, the behaviour will prove detrimental to the relationship.

It comes across as one person trying to be in power and control over the other, through fear and coercion.

It will not create an environment of open and honest communication as the partner may become fearful of sharing their feelings and opinions.

Fegan concludes: "They live in a state of fear which can have a detrimental impact on their physical and mental wellbeing.

"Any concerns should be discussed in an open and honest way, finding solutions that are mutually beneficial.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Image

Topics: Mental Health, Sex and Relationships