10 Things You Should Never Say To Your Partner

What Not To Say During An Argument

Relationships can’t be rosy all the time—eventually, you and your beloved are bound to disagree on something. And while fighting isn’t much fun, the occasional heated conversation is a necessary part of healthy communication (in fact, here are 6 fights every happy couple should have). But when you’re fired up, you may not choose your words carefully, and an offhand comment about dirty dishes can easily escalate into a full-blown battle. Strike these phrases from your arsenal the next time you’re arguing with your partner. (Get no-nonsense relationship tips and more smart health advice delivered straight to your inbox—sign up for Prevention’s FREE newsletters!)

 

1. “Whatever, it’s fine.”

When you sense an argument brewing, your instinct may be to avoid conflict by bowing out early. “It can be really scary when you anticipate that somebody is going to get upset,” says Monica O’Neal, PsyD, a Harvard clinical psychologist and relationship expert. But tackling problems together is part of being in a solid relationship. “Real intimacy is not just about feeling all warm and cozy and kumbaya,” O’Neal adds. “It’s also about the ability to feel like somebody’s safe enough to express anger with. That is actually a really healthy and good thing.” (On the flip side, here are 7 things relationship therapists say you need to stop fighting about.)

 

2. “That’s ridiculous!”

This sends the message that your partner’s perspective isn’t valid. “People will always get in trouble when they’re aiming for ‘I’m right, you’re wrong,’ ” says Susan Heitler, PhD, a relationship expert, author, and clinical psychologist in Denver. Instead, she says, acknowledge something your partner has said that you do agree with; then add your own perspective by saying, “…and here’s another way to look at it.” That keeps both opinions on the table, so you’re more likely to come up with a solution that works for both of you.

 

3. “Oh, that’s just great.”

Even if your partner loves your biting wit, check your sarcasm during a disagreement. “It’s not effective at all. All it does is create more distrust,” O’Neal says. “It’s a very passive-aggressive way of making a point, and it doesn’t clearly get to the issue.” Explain your point of view honestly to keep the lines of communication open.

 

4. “You never…”

Kicking off a complaint with “you always” or “you never” puts the other person on the defensive, and it’s rarely accurate. Heitler suggests swapping these accusatory phrases with the more personal, “My concern is…” So instead of grumbling that your partner always leaves his towel on the floor, try.

 

5. “Calm down!”

Needless to say, this blithe phrase usually has the exact opposite effect. “What you’re essentially saying is, ‘I can’t tolerate you feeling upset,’ ” O’Neal says. It’s important that your partner feels safe expressing his emotions—even the negative ones. So if you really aren’t sure why he’s so worked up, ask (sincerely!) what he’s angriest abo

 

6. “But…”

By definition, this overrides whatever your partner just said. “‘But’ deletes whatever came before it, like the backspace key on your keyboard,” Heitler says. “And people don’t like having what they say deleted or dismissed or demeaned.” Preface your response with “and” or “at the same time” to show you respect your partner’s opinion, even if it differs from your partner.

 

7. “Let’s just drop it.”

Fighting is stressful, and it’s totally understandable if one of you needs a breather (check out these 10 silent signals you’re way too stressed). But when tempers are flaring, you can’t simply shut down the discussion. Instead, O’Neal says, let her know you need a temporary time-out: “You need to be able to say, ‘I need the opportunity to step back and process it a little bit. I promise I’ll get back to it. I promise I’m not leaving in a huff.’ ”

 

8. “You’re such a #$%*&!”

Even when your partner is pushing every button you have, resist the urge to prey on their insecurities. “Name-calling is totally out of bounds,” Heitler says. “It’s only about injuring the other; it’s not about problem solving.” Focus on finding a solution, not on seeing how effectively you can hurt each other’s feelings.

 

9. “It shouldn’t be this hard.”

If it’s meant to be, it’ll be effortless, right? Maybe in fairy tales, but real-life relationships take work. If you’ve hit a rough patch, consider talking to a marriage counselor or family therapist. It’s not a last resort for a doomed relationship—it’s a way for committed couples to learn to communicate more effectively. “There’s a skill set that enables people to have productive discussions,” Heitler says. “Marriage is a professional level of partnership, and people need professional-level skills.” (If you’d rather not go that route, these 6 alternatives to couples therapy can save your marriage.)

 

10. “Maybe I should just leave.”

Hinting at a breakup can chip away at trust, especially if you bring up The End every time you’re angry. “Don’t threaten abandonment. That’s probably one of the most toxic things you can do,” O’Neal says. Instead of framing every fight as a potential deal-breaker, recognize that open communication—disagreements included!—can actually strengthen your bond in the long run. “The point of an argument is to come out of it feeling like you’ve been heard,” O’Neal says. “Even if you don’t come to an agreement, at least you should come out of it with a better understanding.”

 

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Wildwood Daze – 1980 – Joette and Lola

16 year old Joette Carty and yours truly in 1980.

God… I never realized how good looking I was back then.

I’m the rhythm guitarist for the the Union Jacks. I’m in relationship with a 14-year-old girl and then I meet Joette.

Anne lives in Newark and I met her at the and of the summer when things were slim.I  was desolate. She was hot, young, and available.

you thought she was 16.

I always had a thing for long-legged Joette. The flautist that liked Niel Diamond and Barry Manilow. You knew that those guys were brilliant but my life was Aerosmith.

It’s the dead of winter. I’m in this band, but trapped in a high school where I know like one guy. And he’s in my band! I see this one girl wo’s in the school band, named Joette. She’s tall, pretty and blonde.

I loved that back then. Now I like more ethnic looking women, but that’s probably because I live in  city. There is so many different kind of beauty here in Philly.

The song says: “If you can’t be with the one you love… Love the one you’re with.”

My little girlfriend, Lola was in Newark, NJ. Joette was here. Live and present.

I liked tall, blonde long-legged women back then. I loved ex ex ex girlfrind Michelle and she had lovely legs when I knew her.

But Lola wan’t around and I’m stuck in this desolate shithole of a town and I start crushing on Joette.

Look at the photo. I was a good-looking guitarist in a local band and she was a musician too. We had different tastes in music but come on… You know it’s going down in Wildwood.

So we hook up.  She seems nice. Her mom seems nuts. Her parents are divorced. My drummer Brian tells me he went to high school with her crazy brother Joe.

Her mom is on a bureau drawer amount of pills, and Brian tells me her brother Joe once took his belt off and beat a teacher in class once before being kicked out of school.

Yea… she’s hot. This’ll be good.

It actually was. Her mom kept her little helpers in check and liked me. Her crazy brother actually liked me too because he said I was the first nice guy that was good to his sister.

That was a nervous moment.

Joette and I were and item through the cold desolate winter that year and i enjoyed my time with her. I still saw Lola when she came down but Joette was my constant local main squeeze.

I just loved her because she had long legs and she was built like a woman. Tall and lovely.

Great flute player.

Totally different from what I did at the time.

 

Spring rolled around and I was pretty wrapped up in Joette. I rmember my mom telling me that Lola was on the phone and wanted to talk to me.

The summer was about to break and that is an exciting time. You as a native are going to crawl out of the horrible darkness of the winter and stand in the sun again on a warm sunny beach. Surrounded by friends and new talent.

Living in Wildwood in the winter is like being lost at sea at night for months. The cold lonely nights. The isolation. The depression. The beauty of the place that feels like a windy prison.

It’s awful. I wouldn’t wish it on any child. resort towns need to be a summer fun spot to be enjoyed but the rest of the year is terrible for its youth.

It’s like any podunk shit town in america.

I’m with Joette now… Lola is on the phone. She says how much she’s looking forward to coming down this summer and us being together and being in a relationship.

“I love you.”

“Uhhh….” ( I can’t do it. I’ve been with Joette all winter thorough the darkness that is this island my sisters and I have been dropped off on.)

“Chaz… do you love me?”

“Ahh…”

So back then at 18 I was pretty much romantically bankrupt. I didn’t know how to compartmentalize like I can now. I was and absolute neophyte when it came to matters of the heart. i was a dumb teen that wanted what he wanted when he wanted it and never thought of the repercussions of my actions.

It’s sad that I couldn’t see that. I simply wanted the thing in front of me now and could no longer think of the little girl who fell in love with me at the end of last summer.

But living in Wildwood and being in a band changes a boy. There’s a certain curse you hold being in that godforsaken town in the winter. If you’ve been following this series, there is something that happens to the youth in this town and you affix to it because you have no other choices.

It’s unhealthy to raise children from the city on an isolated island where nothing is happening.

You did it for yourself dad.  Plus you were already running your program with your hot secretary pool down here sir.

It was a natural progression of you continuing your agenda of inner unhappiness about it affected a few people along the way dude.

It made me cold and calculating in my Romantic life, dad. Passionate like you, but I had the same romantic bankruptcy that you had.

I remember I once asked you… “What if you got a girl pregnant and she had a kid that was yours. What would you do?”

“Well I don’t know that kid and I didn’t raise him so… nothing.”

Okay.

So I’m on the landline in the dining room with my little girlfriend on the phone asking me if I still love her and how much she wants to be with me and I’m ambiguities.

That’s cold.

I remember doing that to Lola.

That was shitty.

I’m not a good person in this moment.

I have my band which is rocking. I have established my place here as someone. I have a hot blonde girlfriend. The summer is approaching. I know what the summer looks like here.

Non stop fun and gorgeous teenage girls I want to spend time with. I will meet them and love them as they arrive in droves. Literally delivered to me after this horrible winter of discontent.

I mis my life and friends in Philly. I have been banished from all that i know, but the fun is returning.

Any minute now.

It’s June. I’m going to graduate high school.

All I want to do is have fun and play guitar in a band.

I want to be Joe Perry.

Lola is crying on the phone. I can’t commit to this summer being her boyfriend.

I felt nothing, selfish juvenile cunt that I was back then.  (look at the photo)

We hung up and I knew it was over. But i didn’t care. i was glad i didn’t have to deal with her anymore.

I just wanted to work at Hunt’s Pier and play in my band and go to clubs and have fun.

I was just a typical asshole guy I suppose. I hurt a young girl’s heart and didn’t feel a thing, too self-absorbed in my own success.

But I will tell you… when you pull shit like this no matter what your age, you leave a hole. You will trip over that hole later in life and have to somehow fill it in and fix that hole.

Because although you put a whole in a person, you left a hole in yourself.

You will have to fix that son.

 

Lola was heartbroken and found solace in my lead guitarist Jim. Classic. I can’t have Chaz, so I’ll be with his best friend. I never gave a shit after that, because I was emotionally bankrupt. I’m sure Jim never enjoyed her at the level i did.

Oh, and Joette. With in a week after dumping Lola and the summer exploding in full swing… I dumped Joette too.

The shark needs to swim. Great White needs to hunt. It’s the summer of 1980 and the island is on fire.

 

 

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