Five things you should never say to someone you love

Five things to avoid saying in an argument to preserve your relationship.

Fist of woman and man bumping together

It might be your mum, your husband or wife, or a good friend who you’ve known for years. It shouldn’t matter what you’re arguing about, some things can’t be unsaid. Here are five things to avoid saying if you want to keep the peace and preserve your relationship.

1. “You always do that!”
Overgeneralisations do nothing for your cause. If you want someone to see a problem from your perspective do not, under any circumstances, claim that they always do a particular thing. This is an unfair generalisation that puts blame solely on the other person. Perhaps your mother does tend to admonish you in front of other people. There’s a better way to broach this problem than by making an accusatory remark.

2. “It’s over!”
This statement falls in the realm of things you should never, ever say unless you really mean them. You might not realise it, but threatening to leave a relationship when you don’t mean it is a bit like emotional blackmail and can make the other person feel insecure about the relationship, long after the fight is over. Some people might use this phrase in the heat of the moment in order to make a person fulfil their wishes. Remember that some things you say can’t be taken back. If you want your partner or friend to know it’s over, you’d better mean it.

3. “You’re so…”
Making statements about what a person is or isn’t, is a big no-no. Often, we want to say this when we wish someone would change their behaviour. Perhaps your husband forgets to do his part of the housework. Calling him ‘lazy’ will definitely not entice him to hop-to and start helping more. Relationships are based on acceptance of who a person is, not how you’d like them to be. If change is what you want, then change should be the topic of discussion.

4. Name-calling
People don’t easily forget the names they’re called in the heat of the moment. Name-calling doesn’t just entail the creative, insulting slurs we all have a natural aptitude for making up when we get angry. It also includes anything that might be considered condescending or derogatory. Calling your wife ‘sweetheart’ when she knows you think she’s the precise opposite in that moment will be very hurtful to her.

5. “You’re right” and “I’m sorry”
This last one slightly deviates from the previous things to never say. Avoid saying “You’re right” and “I’m sorry” when you don’t mean them. Everyone needs to be able to apologise for their behaviour when they’ve slipped up. But if you become the kind of person who continually apologises and relents under the pressure of the argument, you’re doing yourself a disservice. It’s important to know when to stand up for yourself and when to back down. If you repeatedly back down – even when it’s clear that both parties have valid reasons to be upset – you run the risk of your behaviour becoming the accepted way for an argument to be resolved. While you might be able to stop this argument by saying ‘sorry’, you’re causing more trouble for yourself down the track.

What other things do you think people should never say in an argument?



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    19th Oct 2016
    I am guilty of the last one ,when you have a walking version of google why try to fight it even when you know different.I threw away my encyclopedias years ago.
    19th Oct 2016
    I have always lived by the maxim " the writing finger having writ..........."
    Old Omar was right , it has served me well all my life.
    19th Oct 2016
    What about 'Say nothing and saw wood'?
    19th Oct 2016
    19th Oct 2016
    Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.
    19th Oct 2016
    Don't say anything to belittle a loved one whether in anger or as a joke. Probably best not to say anything when angry. If you are not problem solving you are just letting off steam in a self indulgent manner, and trying to problem solve when you are angry is doomed to failure.

    19th Oct 2016
    The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right time, but also to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.
    20th Oct 2016
    The art of good conversation is to listen and hear more than you speak!
    19th Oct 2016
    When your husband passed away only a couple of months previously and your sibling (who has lived overseas and never actually witnessed your relationship) tells you that "You only married him for his money anyway!!". Over 11 years later I still mourn him and can never forget, or forgive, this vindictive, mean and cruel statement! Totally unforgivable - one family relationship totally destroyed!!
    20th Oct 2016
    Whilst the comment was indeed thoughtless and hurtful, who is still suffering buy not letting it go? Forgiveness is not always about the other person, it is about what is best for you too. Forgiveness doesn't mean forget but it does lighten the load you carry.
    Old Geezer
    19th Oct 2016
    After decades of a relationship anything goes as far as I am concerned.
    19th Oct 2016
    Are you trying to take the micky Old Geezer?
    19th Oct 2016
    I don't like the sound of that old geezer! Hope you are not serious.
    19th Oct 2016
    The worst thing you can ever say to a woman is...'It was your choice'. They go ballistic.
    20th Oct 2016
    Not the worst... try "You're just like your Mother!" or "My Mother's is better".
    20th Oct 2016
    Oh yes, dear I will get right on to that job......and never do it. It stops any argument because they have said YES but its infuriating because both parties know historically it probably means NO but there is a minimal chance it may actually be a YES. ...and its always said with a smile and an affirmative sweet promise. AGGGGH.

    22nd Feb 2017
    Your sister/mother/cousin/best friend was better in bed sounds a good start...
    10th Nov 2017
    to a divorce, perhaps?
    6th May 2017
    No 3 "your so" while it seems harsh can be the only way to get any idea if impact yo someone else
    Bach up with facts and as mentioned then I you have identified the issue of concern and can debate it rationally
    This advice does not mention it's often how you say it NOT what you say!!
    11th May 2017
    Well I give in ALL the time, over last five years in particular. Partner and I both worked, adult children, very happy, I have being his carer as he suffers severe chronic condition since before I met him. Always put him first since the day I met him with health needs, holidays were a challenge, but we as a family did it, No complaining from me nor children, even though we had to do more than the normal family. I hope our children learnt empathy care and consideration of others - they did and have.

    Ten years ago I was knocked down with neuromuscular degenerative condition. Five years, I managed with him still working, obviously my life changed dramatically, and my children assisted me for three of those as were at home and at uni, then they left home spreading wings which was great. However I had to find services to assist me at a relatively young age (late forties). I could no longer shower myself, walk unaided, write, cook, drive, do what most take for granted. We talked about it, and he took early retirement by few years. He couldn't cope as I had always done everything for him, cooked, house cleaned, gardened, social life. Remember he has health problems, he went into this denial. He wasn't sick, even though on transplant list, we couldn't go shopping because of me, we couldn't go on holidays because of me, everything was because of me.

    Now interestingly and wisely I engaged him in a men's hobby group two years before he retired knowing he would need an outlet. Can this man dress me? Yes, with much struggle and pain. Can he assist me to do something? With a lot of effort. I know he is chronically ill too but it hurts that simple things like heating on very low, whilst I am left shivering with feet blue, if I ask can we change our heating over I get yelled at no. I had dog, it was old, began peeing on carpet, he couldn't remember how to clean it, and would have temper tantrums, banging his head against wall, crying, sobbing "I can't do this carer thing." Now I have carers, as does he (not our children, that's not fair but they would do anything for us if asked and even if not asked).

    He is in denial stating he is well and he can't do what he wants because of me, I am too hard, when he does little for me. I've being away with friends and children, and managed fine, with some help and a bit slower, he can't do slow. I desperately need dog as he spends heaps on hobby group and is out more than home, leaving me either with carer or staring at same four walls. I hear you saying just get a dog, just change heating....I don't want a relationship like that, I want one where we talk and agree, however his way of reacting is to constantly put me down, he gives me money if I ask for it, what a put down, I am told I spend too much, I literally wear same clothes, don't spend much only if out for coffee with friend fortnightly and it's a coffee!

    I don't go to shops because he can't tolerate taking me and I don't blame him. That's a normal hubby wife thing! Lol. I would love to browse and believe most women do, and men are more focused so get that,

    I would give anything to go on holidays with him, have a little dog, but it's just a rant of no's because he can't cope\manage. Drives me crazy, easier to give in than have to see him throw a three year old tantrum because life didn't turn out like he thought. If I mention all care given to him, and still am in limited way, as well as caring for mum behind scenes he cracks it, cuts me off saying "irrelevant".

    Now this man is a gentle, loyal, kind man, he is in denial re his own health and mine and it's easier in his mind to blame me for it all. It is a tricky situation. It might appear to you to be bullying but it isn't in the true sense, he clearly cannot cope.

    Have had joint and separate counselling, still do. He cannot cope, yet I am able to see the picture quite clearly, willing to give up more and more, whilst illness is taking more from me. Wouldn't it be thoughtful if he could connect with the care I've given him, and offer kindness and take me to the beach, a different outlook for a few nights...get me a little dog. Gosh, I have and would do anything for this man, I adore him and it hurts me to see him feeling helpless that he can't help me, but really he is his own worst enemy, and he cannot get beyond that,
    I refuse to listen to rants now and remove myself stating, "I won't stay in room while you have a tantrum. When you can talk to me then I will listen." I always end up making out I am sorry because I can't stand to see the despair in his face, it's horrible.
    I do feel he likes me being helpless,,, last night I cleaned the kitchen bench which was agonising for me, but he never cleans it. He became agitated "I was going to do that. You make me so angry." I said "Don't take from me what I can do, I have this illness taking something from me all the time." I can't cook anymore, loved cooking with passion. We are both on special medical diets, he can't boil an egg and says wants to learn but when someone wants to show him, he retreats off to hobby club.
    Frustrating, but we will get there, I really hope.
    11th Jun 2017
    Such a sad story, ekbg2002 - you are very brave. I hope counselling can help. If not, get a new counsellor, perhaps a male one for your husband would be best.

    You both deserve help, kindness, happiness and recognition.

    It's worth mentioning that you coped seamlessly when your husband was disabled, probably because you both were playing traditional gender roles. It's very hard for him to see your current situation in a realistic way now because it so upsets that apple cart, where he has to nurse you. It's very confronting for him to have to acknowledge he was never pulling his weight in the hands on taking-care-of-physical-needs department, like many men of his generation.

    Go and get yourself a sweet little dog for companionship. As well as a comfort, perhaps it will help you not to start resenting your husband. Life is short. We are responsible for our own happiness, even when our personal circumstances are very challenging. Good luck and God bless you.

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