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12 Things Your Partner Should Never Say to You

Written by: Amanda Levison, M.S., LMHC, LPC, CCBT

12 Hurtful Phrases Your Partner Should Never Utter

The foundation of any successful relationship is effective communication. How we talk to each other declares the levels of safety we feel with each other. Good communication involves always being transparent, empathetic, and considerate with your partner.

But sometimes, in the heat of the moment or due to carelessness, we impulsively use words that hurt our loved ones. Remember that emotions are fleeting, and you can end up saying hurtful things out of an emotion that you feel today but regret tomorrow.

Discovering the signs of boredom in a relationship is essential for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling connection with your partner. If you've ever wondered whether your partner might be experiencing boredom, our new blog post, "How Do You Know When Your Partner is Bored in the Relationship?" is a must-read for you. Packed with valuable insights and practical advice, this article explores common indicators of boredom in relationships and offers expert tips on how to address them effectively. Don't miss out on this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your partner's emotions and learn actionable strategies to inject new life and excitement into your relationship.

Whether we are being malicious or acting out of our emotions, our words will impact the person we say them to. Even backing up your words with a playful tone or an apology can’t alleviate the harm of the words you say.

When you're in a committed relationship, there are some things that you should never say to your partner. Saying destructive things can cause major foundational shifts in a healthy relationship.

In elementary school, kids would argue and say, “I’m rubber, and you’re glue. Anything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you”. That logic was always there to help boost confidence for the person being verbally attacked, but in reality, the words never bounced off, they stuck, and when they stick, they affect how the person feels.

Words can damage a relationship and have long-lasting effects on your partner's self-esteem and trust within that relationship.

Here are some things your partner should never say to you and you should never say to them.

1. You're overreacting

Taking their feelings seriously is vital if your partner is upset about something. Dismissing their emotions as an overreaction can make them feel invalidated and unheard.

When a person doesn’t feel valued or validated, they begin having feelings of worthlessness and self-isolation. These feelings can then impact their daily lives, work, and relationships.

To avoid this, try to listen actively and understand their perspective. Give your partner space to explain why they are reacting the way they are.

Acknowledging their feelings can help them feel supported and valued, even if you disagree. A person who feels supported and valued is more willing and able to communicate your perceptions' of differences.

2. Why can't you be more like so-and-so?

Your partner is unique, with strengths and flaws, and it's important to accept and respect them for who they are.

Comparing your partner to others is never a good idea. This is a blatant expression of unhealthy competition. It can make them feel inadequate and unappreciated and create feelings of insecurity and jealousy.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and when you compare your partner to someone else, you are putting yourself in a position to steal their joy.

When you compare your partner to someone else, you are telling them that they are not meeting their standards or expectations of what a partner should be.

3. "You always" or "You never."

Using absolutes like always and never can make your partner feel attacked and defensive. Additionally, when using these statements, it is usually an exaggeration to get the point across and doesn’t make your statement any more or less true.

Focusing on specific behaviors or situations is important rather than generalizing your partner's behavior. There is a difference between constructive criticism and nitpicking your partner.

If there's a concerning pattern of behavior, it's better to approach it with empathy and understanding rather than accusatory language. Try asking your partner for assistance washing the dishes versus telling them they never help you.

4. I don't care

There will be many times when you and your partner don’t agree or like the same things, and that is normal. After all, you are still individuals even though you are in a relationship with each other.

It is also natural that you would want your partner to like what you like, but it’s important to remember that having the same interests is not likely.

It is equally important to remember that just because you don’t agree or like something, you can still support it for your partner's sake.

Indifference can be hurtful, especially when your partner shares something of value with them.

Even if you don't share the same enthusiasm, showing interest and support for your partner's passions and interests is important.

5. You're too sensitive

Everyone experiences emotions differently, and respecting your partner's emotional responses is important.

Belittling your partner's feelings can be dismissive and invalidating.

No one wants to be judged for who they are or how they experience things. They want to be supported. Instead of criticizing them for being too sensitive, try to understand what's causing their emotions and offer support and empathy.

It is best to communicate by first saying, “I understand why you feel that way” or “I hear what you are saying.” This will aid in providing validation.

6. I'm breaking up with you

Using the threat of breaking up as a weapon or manipulation tactic can be emotionally abusive. This can create an atmosphere of fear and instability in the relationship and erode trust and respect over time.

If your partner is afraid that you will break up with them, they will likely become clingy and work towards taking care of your needs while neglecting theirs completely.

If you're unhappy with the relationship, having an open and honest conversation with your partner about your concerns is better. This will lead to a healthier discussion about the state of the relationship.

7. You're crazy

Using judgmental language like crazy, psycho, or insane can be incredibly hurtful and stigmatizing. You do not want to imply that you are questioning your partner's sense of reasoning or judgment.

Mental health struggles are common, and it's essential to be empathetic and supportive of your partner's well-being. If your partner is struggling with mental health challenges, encourage them to seek professional support and offer support in their journey.

When you’re in a committed relationship, and you or your partner is dealing with a mental illness, it can be beneficial to work on it together. Treat it as our struggle and not one person alone. Doing this can help your partner feel supported, and you’ll gain understanding, allowing you to be empathetic.

8. I'm not attracted to you anymore

Sexual attraction in long-term relationships can change, but expressing this can be hurtful to your partner. Remember that physical appearance changes over time and may not be easy to fix. Communication about your needs and desires is important, but it should be done respectfully and empathetically so that you and your partner can find a mutually satisfying solution.

9. You're just like your mother/father

Bringing up problematic family dynamics is never a good idea, as it can dredge old wounds and create feelings of defensiveness and anger. Saying that your partner is like a parent is a comparison; remember that comparisons are lethal to relationships. It's important to focus on the present relationship and work collaboratively to address any challenges as a team.

10. I hate you

Expressing extreme hatred or disdain towards your partner can significantly hurt and damage the relationship if you don’t mean it.

Even if you're angry or upset, it's essential to communicate your feelings.

Do not communicate through your feelings; it should be done respectfully and healthily.

Using language like "I'm hurt by what you did" or "I'm frustrated with this situation" can help prevent unnecessary escalations and maintain emotional safety in the relationship.

11. Don’t take this the wrong way

Starting a conversation with a statement is bound to have the conversation go in a negative direction. Telling your partner how they should take something is bound for an argument to occur. Instead, talk to your partner about what is directly bothering you.

12. What have you ever done for me?

Blanket statements like this can insinuate that they have no good intentions for you. A better way to get your point across is to be clear and polite while outlining what you expect.

A good rule to live by is, don’t say anything to your partner that you wouldn’t want them speaking to you. This aids in choosing to use helpful rather than hurtful language.

Always remember that effective communication is the foundation of any successful relationship, and choosing words wisely is essential to good communication.

Not only do we want to be and feel physically safe in our relationships, but we also want to be emotionally safe. Emotional safety is often built or destroyed by how partners speak and respond to each other.

By avoiding talking out of emotions and using hurtful phrases, we can create a safer and more supportive environment for our partners and nurture more profound, fulfilling connections in our relationships.

You have now read a list of don'ts regarding what one should or should not say when upset with a loved one. What we have not shared is what one can say to a loved one when they are upset.

It is essential to respect your partner's boundaries when they are upset. One thing you can do is to ask for space and to request a cool-down period to come back refreshed, with little to no emotion and with a rational perspective.

If you are more confrontational, it would be best to think through what you want to say before approaching your loved one.

Building a Stronger Relationship Through Positive Communication

In any relationship, communication is an essential element that helps build a strong foundation. However, understanding each other's triggers is also vital to avoid conflicts and strengthen the bond between partners. To achieve this, have an open conversation with your partner about what triggers negative emotions for both of you. This approach can help you both avoid harmful language or actions that may harm your relationship in the future.

Conflicts are inevitable, and it's crucial to handle them healthily and respectfully. Before discussing your feelings with your partner, take some time to reflect on them. Couples counseling can also be an excellent resource for working through challenging issues together.

At the Neurofeedback & Counseling Center of PA, we have experienced Harrisburg PA therapists who specialize in couples counseling. Our therapists can help couples navigate communication difficulties, work through conflicts, and improve their overall relationship. With patience, understanding, and effective communication, couples can work through any challenges and strengthen their bond with each other.

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