We’re all human, so we’ve all said things we don’t mean and end up regretting later. So to help us avoid that regret, experts warn against using certain words and phrases when talking to our partners and spouses. So try to take these words out of your relationship vocab to help keep the peace.
“Always” and “Never” - Nothing adds fuel to a fight quite like these two words. Licensed clinical professional counselor Julienne Derichs explains that always and never statements are most often used in an accusatory and argumentative way that leads to a defensive reaction in order to clarify the exaggeration. She suggests trying to explain how you feel instead.
“Should” - Telling your partner they “should” be doing, saying, or feeling something “encourages controlling and judgemental interactions,” Derichs says. It creates a negative mood, so she advises using “choose” in its place.
“Calm down” - If you really want to make things worse in an argument with your S.O., tell them to calm down. It tends to make the other person feel unheard, unjustified and totally put down, while sending the message that you’re fine, and they just need to relax. Saying something like “Can we just take a breath first and slow down,” works better.
“Why don’t you…” - This feels like a criticism of something your sweetie didn’t do, say, or feel. Derichs advises trying to make a request instead by saying something along the lines of “I really appreciate it when you put the dishes in the dishwasher when you’re done with them. Could you please do that for me more often?” This way you’re still asking for what you want, but your partner is less likely to feel defensive.
“Perfection” - It’s an impossible goal for ourselves, our partners, and our relationship, so instead of going for perfect, try to use language that focuses on people trying to do their best.
“Divorce” - Unless you’re serious, it’s never a good idea to even mention a divorce, let alone threaten one. You can’t take the word back once it’s out there.