It’s easy to say things without thinking that have a detrimental effect on your relationship. If you thought about it, you would probably never say these things to your guy (or anything similar) – you owe him respect, kindness and consideration – the same things you want from him.
But the fact is women do say these things without thinking, so watch out and bite your lip, if you’re about to say ….
There are some things you probably can do more quickly and efficiently than your guy, and you just want to get the task done. But what he hears when you say those words is that you think he’s incapable of a simple task. That’s pretty emasculating for him.
Your guy was randomly thinking about nothing much at all, dumbly staring into space, and now he has to explain himself. Give him five minutes peace without worrying that you’ve got to know everything that’s going on in his head. No one has profound thoughts all the time, including you – do you want to explain everything that goes on in your mind? I thought not!
Never compare your guy with your ex, even if your new man should be flattered by what you’re saying. He doesn’t want to be reminded of your past, or to think everything he does is being measured against some other guy in your head.
You don’t seem fine, so something is wrong. You’re upset, and you think he should know what’s wrong without you having to say, but no guy is a mind reader. Don’t leave him bewildered, wondering what he’s done. If he’s upset you, it’s better to let him try and fix things.
That phrase will strike fear into him and he’ll immediately go on the defensive, because he’ll assume he’s in trouble. There’s no need for a “need to talk” preamble, just say what you have to tell him, without blame or accusation. You know, “I’m a bit worried that…” “or “I think we need to go out more…” or “I feel that you don’t want to… these days” or something like that will be do much better to start the conversation in a non-threatening way.
No one likes to be criticized, and men hate to be thought weak, so this kind of talk is going to do nothing for your relationship. You may even say these things with affection, and think it’s just banter, but chances are he will take it to heart. If he’s doing something you really disagree with, then tell him “I hate it when you…” but don’t stick a label on him. Make it clear it’s his behavior you don’t like, not him.
With this little phrase, you’re not only criticizing your guy and making out he’s not his own man, but also picking fault with his family as well. Just say what the issue is, without bringing his father into it.
Criticizing those he loves, and who love him, is a big no-no even if you don’t get along with them. He has a shared past with these people that you were not part of, and criticizing them means you are criticizing his judgment and even part of him. If you think his family are not treating you with respect, that’s an important distinction to discuss calmly with your guy, but saying his mother is a bitch is not going to help the discussion along.
I’m sure your guy knows what his problem is. He doesn’t need you to point out his failings. It’s better for the sake of a happy relationship to boost his ego rather than trying to knock him all the time.
Letting a guy know that you think one of his friends is a bit of a catch is not going to endear you to him, especially if you’re complimenting his friend about something your guy lacks. You might think you’re just encouraging him to be more outgoing, or motivating him to visit the gym more often, but it won’t help. You’re just making him feel inadequate.
Guys hate to be asked this. No matter what he says is going to be wrong. If he says “yes”, you’re not going to like that he noticed. If he says “no”, you’re going to think he’s lying. Basically, guys like attractive women. They like looking at them. They do not see the same faults that we pick out in makeup, hair, dress or whatever. Accept he finds other women attractive. As long he’s not cheating, you’re OK.
A similar kind of trap. You only ask because you suspect you look fat, but he hasn’t noticed, and probably thinks you’re gorgeous whatever you wear. If he says “Yes, now you come to mention it…”, you’ll be upset. If he says “No”, you think he’s not being truthful. Just trust your own judgment about what to wear and don’t ask. Closely related: “Notice anything different?” like he is supposed to detect the subtle differences your hairdresser added with highlights, your new lipstick or your eyebrow waxing. It’s guaranteed he won’t, so don’t torture him!
Putting yourself down all the time, makes you seem insecure. If he didn’t find you attractive he wouldn’t have got together with you in the first place. And why point out the flaws he probably hasn’t noticed? No one looks as critically at your body as you do.
You may think it’s fair to share everything, especially if you are married or in a long term relationship. But if a friend spoke to you in strictest confidence, it has your guy thinking that you can’t be trusted with keeping your private life private, and he may be reluctant to share things with you as a result.
Say either of these phrases and it’s obvious you’re annoyed with him and spoiling for a fight. But they are rarely true, and just put him on the defensive. Say what you really mean – don’t make general accusations.
This phrase is similar to the above, but it’s usually the preamble for a good old nag, as in “Why don’t you ever put your washing in the laundry basket/clean the toilet/put your shoes away?” Does it change anything when you say stuff like that or does it fall on deaf ears? Thought so! So quit nagging and organize some joint cleaning sessions, do it yourself, or get a cleaning service in.
Whether you think it’s nature (genes) or nurture (upbringing and environment) that made your kids turn out the way they have, parenting is a joint responsibility, and no one can do anything about their gene pool. In any case, laying blame on anything is not going to help. Work together to sort out whatever the problem is.
This is the kind of thing that you can lash out with in the heat of the moment, but it’s incredibly hurtful and not easy to take those words back. Talk about the real issue concerning you rather than making out your whole relationship has been a waste of time.
If this is an indirect criticism of your man’s ability to be a provider, it’s a kick in the nuts for his sense of being a man. If you’d like him to spend less time at the office and more time with you, then that’s another thing. Make it clear by saying that rather than questioning his choice of career.
Forbidding your guy to do something he wants to do is treating him like a kid. It’s OK to tell him why you rather he didn’t and that you’d feel sad/betrayed/annoyed or whatever if he did. But don’t just forbid a grown man to do something.
If you want him to share his dreams, hopes and plans with you, you had better not call them stupid. Let him work out for himself whether his plans are viable. He doesn’t need you to squash them, before he’s even had a chance to think them through.
That’s a compliment on the surface, but being so needy is bad news, and is likely to make a man feel trapped. Of course, if you love him, you’d be devastated if you lost him. But you can and would live without him. You had a life before him. Make sure you’re living it to the full, and not just as one part of a couple.
This is one I trip over at least once a month, if not weekly. I just don’t understand how men get so attached to sports results. I really don’t. But I know I should just shut up when his team loses, or he shouts at the box in frustration. It’s a man thing…
Oh dear. So many no-nos and this only covers the things you say outside the bedroom. Coming up: an article on what not to say in bed…
YOUR TURN: Do you agree with this list? Have you ever said anything you wish you hadn’t? PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS BELOW