13 things no husband ever wants to hear

Healthy communication is consistently cited as one of the most important elements of a successful marriage. However, the following are some of the things the average hates to hear from his wife!

• We need to talk: “This is really the king of all phrases that strikes dread in the hearts of men,” says Dr. Jill Murray, a licensed psychotherapist and author. “It always means that there is going to be a difficult conversation, and it’s probably not going to go well for the man.”

• You should know how I’m feeling: No matter how well your husband knows you, he probably can’t guess your exact emotions. “Humans aren’t natural mind readers, and guys tend to be less socially and emotionally aware than women,” notes David Bennett, a certified counselor and relationship expert. “So, your husband may not know what you’re feeling unless you tell him.”

• Why don’t you ever…? “No matter what the end of this question is, it is already overflowing with negative connotations and shame before the subject is even delivered,” notes Britanny Burr, a love and relationship expert. So, instead of saying: ‘Why don’t you ever take me out to dinner anymore?’ Try: ‘Wouldn’t it be fun to go for dinner sometime this week?’

 I hate your friends: Even if you’re not crazy about his buddies (or perhaps one buddy in particular), it’s best not to just flat out say that you hate them. “Men’s friendships with other men are tenuous. It’s even harder to extend these relationships once a man is in a committed romantic one,” explains Justin Lioi, LCSW, a men’s mental health and relationship expert. “There are limits, and a woman should certainly not put up with negative demeaning behaviour, but most men would feel isolated outside of their primary relationship.”

• You need a better job: Regardless of whether you think they can do better on the career-front, saying it this bluntly won’t get you very far. “You need to find ways to talk to them without putting them down,” says Stef Safran, a dating and matchmaking expert.

• You don’t help around the house: “This is one of the worst things you can say to your husband, says Erica Gordon, dating coach and author. “Even if you feel as though he doesn’t do much to help around the house, he most likely does some things, and so by saying that he never does anything you’re showcasing that you don’t notice when he does do things.”

• We need some space: indicates that something is very, very wrong. “While this can often be a useful strategy in a relationship, it’s important for both partners to understand why some time apart could be useful,” says Alex Hedger, a cognitive behavioral therapist and Clinical Director of Dynamic You Therapy Clinics. “Unless both fully understand the rationale and the possible benefits that could come from downtime, then it can seem like a threatening thing to hear in a relationship.” Sometimes saying something like “we need some space” can be heard as “I’m getting ready to end our relationship.” If the other kind of space is challenging your relationship.

• You’re not listening to me: “Instead of assuming they didn’t hear you, you can nicely ask if they are listening,” says Rori Sassoon, matchmaker and CEO of PlatinumPoire. Instead of starting out with an accusation, check in with them and ask them what they have going on that has them distracted.

• What are you thinking about? “Men usually aren’t thinking about anything that would remotely interest woman: who’s going to win the Super Bowl, what was the name of that cute server at Applebee’s 15 years ago, am I going to have sex tonight, etc.” says Dr. Murray. Plus, asking this question can put a lot of pressure on them to come up with something acceptable quickly. “Men usually aren’t thinking about the ‘right’ thing that women want them to think about: the woman, their relationship, planning her birthday dinner. So, there isn’t going to be a correct or good-enough answer to the question and he’s destined to fail.”

• I hate your family. “He may hate his family, too, but deep down, he knows that he came from them and they are a part of him — whether they are actively present in your life or not,” Lioi says. Talk about the qualities in his family that you want to make sure the two of you don’t replicate, but just a blanket condemnation of people may get in the way of him working through his own feelings for the flawed parents or siblings he has.

• You better… “Unless this is said playfully and in the bedroom, this phrase will likely not go over smoothly,” Sassoon says. If you want him to do something, just ask nicely.

• You’re just like my ex. Comparing him to a past lover can be hurtful, even for guys with thick skin. “Most times in life, comparisons are unhelpful to us psychologically,” Hedger explains. Comparing a partner to a previous partner often causes fear and resentment. It can also prevent the partner who is making the comparison from experiencing their current relationship fully and healthily.

• Do you think she’s prettier than me? See also: “Does this dress make me look fat?” “No man wants to hear this,” Sassoon says. “He wants you to believe you are the most confident woman. If you’re confident in your beauty, he will be a believer too.”

 

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