8 Things You Should Never Say to Your Husband
We know that marriage is hard so whenever a cheat sheet is available for either the husband or the wife, I think it's important to pass it on! I read through these and tend to agree and I'm glad I don't really hear any of this stuff...often.
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.” If you’re about to spout a criticism like this, stop and think about what’s behind it: Maybe your father-in-law is the kind of guy who never cleans up after himself, and your husband’s habit of leaving dirty dishes around the house is getting to you. 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? “Before you say anything that could be hurtful to him, think about what your own issues are,” says Ford. Be particularly careful that you're not attacking his ability to support you and the kids: “Part of how a man evaluates himself is by how well he can take care of his family,” says Ford, so insulting him in this sensitive area can be a serious blow. To avoid this, have regular talks about both of your jobs, career ambitions and budget concerns. 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. But that’s never a good idea because it’s telling him that you’re not on his side, or on the side of your relationship. Though you should never let the opinions of others’ dictate your relationship, if there is some kernel of truth to a concern that your mother raised, think about how to address that. “Maybe your mother said ‘he’s too cheap,’” says Orlov. “Say to him, ‘why do you sometimes seem reluctant to spend money on things we need?’” 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. Sure, if he’s about to hurt himself or someone else or break something, kindly step in. But if he’s just loading the dishwasher in a way that drives you nuts? Let it be.
5. "You always...[fill in the blank]" or "You never...[fill in the blank]"
“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), avoid generalizing and try to focus on the issue at hand while also communicating how his actions make you feel: “When you come home with an empty tank of gas, I feel like you don't care about the next person who has to drive the car—which is usually me.” Then add the phrase “would you be willing...,” suggests Ford. Try: “Would you be willing to fill up the car when it gets below a quarter tank?” Most men are willing to do most anything that’ll make you happy––it’s all in how you ask.
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