The movies might tell you that love is all sunshine and roses, but we know the truth: relationships require real work.
It’s something you want to build over time, and continue to make stronger. And like any building project, there are certain things you really shouldn’t do as they will destroy the foundations of all that hard work.
Writing for Psychology Today, Clinical Psychologist Alexandra Solomon Ph.D. has presented three things that you should under absolutely no circumstances, never, ever say to your partner. For some of you, these might seem incredibly obvious - but if not, you should definitely take heed.
If you loved me, you would…
So the issue with this one (apart from it being rather manipulative) is that they can just reply with: “Well, if you loved me, then you wouldn’t ask me to…”. Stalemate.
What does Solomon suggest you say instead: “I am having such a hard time understanding what is keeping you from doing this. The story I am telling myself is that you must not love me very much.”
Why isn’t it like it used to be between us?
The problem here is that you are blaming you partner for something that isn’t their fault. Love changes as a relationship goes on. That’s just the way it is, and there’s nothing you can do to stop the march of time. Honeymoons don’t last forever.
What does Solomon suggest you say instead: Work out what is that you miss about the old days, and see if you can bring back the elements you want – eg: “I want us to go out on dates like we used to do,” or, “I would love for you to give me a massage like you used to.”
You’re acting just like your mother!
This should be an obvious no-no, to be honest. But suggesting anything like this as pejorative is only going to put your partner on the defensive (regardless if it’s actually an accurate observation).
What does Solomon suggest you say instead: Explain what in particular they are doing to annoy you, and why it is doing so (and for goodness’ sake, don’t mention their mother).
Of course, it takes more than avoiding three specific phrases to maintain a happy relationship – but it’s a good start.