Communication in a relationship is ev-ery-thing. You need great communication to start a relationship, build a relationship, and, most importantly, maintain a relationship. And, when you’re talking or arguing (no couple is perfect), words matter. The wrong words can break boundaries, hurt feelings, and throw up HUGE red flags.
Negative words and phrases can seriously hurt just as bad as physical pain—if not more at times! They can completely destroy all the good in a relationship. But, how do you know if you’re just being sensitive? What phrases are toxic and should never be said in a relationship? Well, that’s what we’re exploring today!
We’ll walk you through things we hope you’ve never heard . . . but if you have, your relationship could potentially be toxic or even abusive. You deserve more than these words! Here are 13 things you should never EVER hear from your partner (and you shouldn’t say these things either):
13 Things Your Partner Should Never Say To You
If you hear this one often, it may seem like it’s not a big deal, but it is! It implies that you’re irrational and your viewpoints can’t be trusted or respected. It’s the easiest way to dismiss your truth and make you feel less-than. (And, according to Kamie Crawford, you SHOULD be a little crazy!)
Don’t let yourself be gaslighted, and if you say this to your partner, understand you can be gaslighting your partner even if you don’t really know what it means. Read up on the subject and STOP challenging your S.O.’s perception of reality.
“You never . . .” or “you always . . .”
Couples will fight. It’s just the honest truth! However, a key to productive fighting is to avoid making sweeping generalizations like “You never listen!” or “You always spend all of our money!” or [“insert specific complaint.]”
Though your partner might be upset in the heat of the moment, these phrases aren’t true and they’re needlessly critical. It’s not a good way to bring up past mistakes! Instead, your partner should explain how specific instances of behavior have affected them, not imply you’re always doing something wrong. Listen to THIS EPISODE for more on how to stay cool in a fight and develop a healthy relationship!
“You’re not the same person you were when I met you.”
Newsflash, people are meant to grow. During a long relationship, you’re bound to change in lots of positive ways to become authentically you! However, this phrase isn’t always said in a positive way. Instead, it can imply you’re less appealing than you used to be. Can you say red flag??? You don’t need someone who is going to feel threatened by your personal growth. Learn more about growing in relationships with the Him & Her podcast.
“You’re so needy!”
Whether you’re asking for physical or emotional intimacy, your partner should never shame your need for attachment. We all have different attachment styles, and it’s good to learn how you and your partner’s may differ. However, no one style is bad, and your partner should be willing to at least acknowledge your needs and discuss meeting them better.
When they say you’re “needy” that really means “immature” and “clingy.” That’s not fair! That being said, if you discuss your needs and it seems like you have anxious attachment or codependency, see a therapist to work through it. But, even as you overcome it, your S.O. should remain supportive and understanding of your needs!
“Don’t be so sensitive.”
When someone says you’re being “sensitive” they usually mean “you’re overreacting.” Your partner should never diminish your reactions to problems and make you feel weak or stupid for having them. If your partner is telling you that you’re “too sensitive,” it probably means they don’t have the same values and boundaries that you do.
For instance, if they’re criticizing what you wear, and it makes you upset, but they’re refusing to acknowledge it was wrong, they’re going to continue to do it. They don’t have values of body positivity. Another BIG red flag. It’s time to get out.
“This is just how I am.”
Remember, people are supposed to grow in a relationship—people are supposed to grow, period! When you communicate unacceptable behaviors to your S.O., and they say, “This is just how I am,” it means they’re unwilling to change. They think they’re perfect and justified in everything they do . . . which is a key sign of a toxic relationship.
P.S. If you find yourself saying this, you might be the problem. There’s a difference between loving who you are and refusing to grow as a person. You can learn more about this topic specifically with this episode of We Met at Acme.
“What do you even do all day?”
This ones for all you couples living together. When one person is a stay at home parent and the other is employed regularly, it creates a difficult dynamic. Raising kids is hard. Building a career is hard. So, when your partner starts insinuating you are lazy and don’t work as hard as them, that’s a big NO NO. Your S.O. should trust you and know that you’re honorable enough to do as much as you can for your family!
This is one of the biggest struggles with motherhood. In fact, there are a lot of relationship struggles when you become a mom, which you can learn more about in the episode of Relationsh*t called “The Truth About Motherhood.” No matter what your dynamic is, make sure you ask for help and demand respect in your role as a stay at home parent.
“What’s wrong with you?”
This one cuts deep. Of course, we all have flaws, but your partner should never look at you with disgust and say, “What’s wrong with you?” It implies long simmering feelings of disappointment and irritation. It’s SO painful. There’s nothing wrong with you!! Your partner should be the one that knows that the best. They should be rooting for you and celebrating with you through it all. You can’t let this one slide.
“I don’t have time for this.”
At the very least in our relationships, we want to feel prioritized. When someone tells you, “I don’t have time for this,” they’re putting everything else ahead of you and refusing to hear your concern. It can make bitterness grow for weeks and months until it blows up into a huge argument! We Met At Acme discusses this further in their episode, “It’s Not You, It’s Your Avoidant Partner.”
“I told you so.”
If you’re proven wrong, your partner shouldn’t relish in your humiliation, but they should have sympathy for your problem. Maybe your S.O. told you to check the tire pressure and you didn’t, so you ended up changing a tire on the side of the road in the pouring rain all by yourself. Instead of mocking you and saying they told you so, they should comfort you and understand you already know they were right. They don’t need to rub it in! That’s just needlessly cruel.
“I can’t stand you.”
Want a sign of a relationship apocalypse?? This quote is it. “I can’t stand you,” shows your partner often feels disgusted and angered by your presence. It’s the way they’re choosing to threaten to leave without really doing it. And, if your partner really hates you this much, why stay? You need to do Kaime Crawford’s Love Manifestation and get the partner you deserve!
“If you loved me, you would do this for me.”
This one is breaking a major rule of relationships. You should NEVER push your partner outside of their boundaries and comfort zone. Whether it’s a sex position you’re not into or an unethical tax scheme, trying to manipulate you into doing things you don’t want to is repulsive! This is especially true when your “love” for your S.O. is what’s being challenged by your inaction. Stand your ground and find a new bae.
“I guess I just have to do everything.”
If you’re S.O. is the naturally nurturing partner, it’s really easy for bitterness to grow over housework, pursuing intimacy, and general life management. Often, these partners get tunnel vision and see only what they’re contributing to the relationship, and not what the other person is putting in!
This is a common way women ruin their relationships. It usually starts with them asking a simple task, and when their partner declines the task for even a few minutes, they have an immediate defensive behavioral response. This isn’t right! Your partner needs to respect you and the hard work you do for your relationships.
You deserve to be loved and shown love!
A healthy relationship starts with good communication. Fights will come up, and that’s when your positive communication should shine the most! However, these nasty phrases can escalate the conflict and totally wreck your self-esteem and connection to your partner. Don’t let these words be said to you and definitely don’t say them yourself. Both you and your S.O. should do everything you can to be the best partner possible for one another!
For more relationship advice and stellar podcasts to get you through the tough times, check out the Dear Media blog and show catalog. We have so much there for you, so you can constantly be growing and learning. Let’s find that fairy tale you’ve been looking for!