When you fight with your significant other, whether it’s over something big or something small, both parties often end up saying things you regret once it’s all said and done. Sometimes, words can hurt even worse than fists, and the scars they leave may remain for a very long time. There are some lines that are just not worth crossing, lines you need to pull yourself back from saying even when you’re caught up in anger. Here are a few phrases that should never come out of your mouth during a fight.
1. “My ex would never have done that.”
It’s pretty clear why these words would sting. No one likes to be compared to their loved one’s ex, even if it’s in a positive way. When you throw your ex-lover in your current partner’s face like this, you make it known that (a) your ex is still on your mind in some capacity and (b) you are comparing your current guy to him. Bringing him up during a fight tells your guy that the comparison is probably a negative one. These words could be very detrimental to a relationship, and the thought of you comparing him to your ex will forever hang in the back of your partner’s mind, making him wonder if you really feel that way on a daily basis and even worrying whether, given the opportunity, you would be willing to leave him for a second chance with your ex.
2. “I should have listened to what my friends said about you from the start.”
This double whammy lets your lover know two things: first, that your friends don’t like him and never have, and secondly, that you value what your friends say more than you value your partner. When you choose to date someone exclusively, you’re choosing to place him pretty high in your list of priorities in life, and he should be treated accordingly. That’s especially true if you are married to this person—his thoughts and feelings should be just as important to you as your own, and in most cases, they should come before those of your friends. Even if you manage to resolve the fight and stay together, these words will come back to haunt him every time your friends are around, and he’ll be living with the knowledge that they don’t like or approve of him. That won’t just hurt him; it’ll also make things awkward when you and he hang out with your friends.
3. “Do you want me to leave? I will—just say the word.”
Okay, so naturally I consulted a little bit with my husband on this article and asked him what were, in his opinion, the worst things a person could say in a fight. He dropped this one, one that I know I am personally guilty of using against him. While to me, these words are a meaningless test—I have no intention or desire to leave him, I’m saying this to gauge how he feels and if he would actually tell me to leave—to him, these words linger on with a different implication. To him, uttering these words is as good as implying that I want to leave him and that I would have no issues, sadness, or regrets about doing so; that our relationship is so meaningless to me that it would be nothing for me to just up and walk away. So you may not realize it, but this is a pretty hurtful thing to tell your partner. Plus, it gives the impression that you are not willing to hash out the issue you’re fighting over, that it’s your way or the highway.
4. “Do whatever you want. I don’t care.”
This classic passive-aggressive zinger is just guaranteed to lead to more trouble. First of all, communication is of utmost importance in any relationship. The implication of this phrase is that you have nothing left to say about the topic you were arguing about, but rarely is that actually true when you drop this line in a fight. Maybe your intention is just to stop the fight already, but you should do that by rationally talking about how and why you are feeling what you do. Don’t just give up, as this will just lead to pent-up feelings over the same issue and growing resentment, and eventually it just might explode out of you in never-before-seen fury. Besides, what if he actually takes you seriously and does do whatever he wants, regardless of how you feel? You’ll feel pretty bad about that later, and the truth is that you’ll have given him your permission (which might even be interpreted as passive encouragement) to do so.
5. “I’m embarrassed to be seen with you.”
Whatever reasons you might have to say this—whether you are embarrassed by his reputation, the bit of weight he recently gained, the way he dresses, or something he said or did in front of your friends the last time you were together—stop it. Do not give in to the temptation to say this. Can you imagine how it would feel for the one person you love and trust above everyone else, the person you count on to love you and stick with you no matter what, to say they are ashamed of you? Nothing will ever be the same after that’s out there. Now, every time he’s out with you, he’ll be too self-conscious and aware of everything he does, monitoring his every action, because he doesn’t want to be an embarrassment to you. In the long-term, this might mean that he won’t feel like he can be himself when he’s with you, and once that feeling starts to fester, it’s a quick and fast road to breakupville.
6. “It’s over. I’m done with this.”
Words of finality should never be said during a fight. Sometimes, every fight can seem like it is really the end, you might really feel that there is no going back from it anymore, but a breakup should never be done in the heat of the moment. Maybe you will regret it and maybe you won’t, but that maybe is likely enough to just avoid the situation in the first place. You don’t want to throw away your entire relationship over one fight, so even if you believe at the time that it’s the end, at least give it a few days while you cool off and do some serious contemplation. Or you might be the one who’s really hurting later when you realize you didn’t want to end things after all, but he won’t take you back.
I truly believe that communication is one of the most essential factors in making a relationship work. Your choice of words can make or break a relationship, so it’s always good to be careful about what you say, especially during a fight. You should always be honest and express your feelings and be open with your partner about what you want and need from your relationship, but do so in a calm and rational matter instead of yelling hurtful words that can’t be taken back.