“What is the one thing you never want to hear your partner say?”
When asked this question, people respond differently. Each person has their own fears in a relationship, and they cast that fear through hoping that their partner will never say to them, “Hey! I ran into my ex yesterday, so you and I are over. Ciao!”
Quite recently, I was asked what my biggest fear in my relationship was, and I stood there mute, unable to answer. I thought long and hard, and I realized that simply living the rest of my life without my partner was my biggest fear. I wasn’t afraid of him cheating because he’s loyal. I wasn’t afraid he wouldn’t introduce me to his family and friends because we’re already past that point.
And so, in each relationship, the struggles are different, but there are general things—let’s not say expectations—that should always be present in a relationship. The absence of those things may lead to many problems—if not now, then in the future.
Aside from running into their ex and suddenly having a change of heart, there are five things that we don’t want to hear our partner say, and our partner doesn’t want to hear us say them either.
In other words, these five things may be hurting our relationship without us realizing it:
1. “You’re lying.”
If we don’t have trust in a relationship, then what is the purpose of it? We can’t live the rest of our lives obsessed with catching our partner in a lie. It will tear us apart.
This is not the case of a toxic relationship that you will eventually end. This is a thing that wouldn’t be uttered in a successful relationship because to truly love each other means cherishing the trust you both share.
2. “Why are you making this a big deal? You’re overreacting.”
Even if we think the problem shouldn’t require much of our attention, if our partner believes that this is something important, then we should hold space for them. Screaming louder than each other will not get us anywhere.
The worst thing you could say to someone who’s struggling with an issue is that they’re overreacting. Perhaps, if you listen to them and try to understand their perspective then explain yours, their anger will be abated, and they won’t see the problem as the worst thing ever.
They might even share your point of view eventually.
3. “If you really love me, you would do as I say.”
You are in a relationship not a court trial where the defendant has to prove their innocence. This creates a feeling of lack of trust and excessive doubt. It makes your partner feel as if they need to spend their life proving that they love you while doing things they don’t really want to do.
If you are asking them to do something for you—let’s say taking you on a nice date instead of spending the night in, working from home—you can simply express how much you miss them and that you’d like to spend more time together. If you want them to do the dishes, you can simply ask them to divide the household chores equally because handling everything yourself is making you tired.
Don’t manipulate them into doing what you want.
4. “I’d rather keep our relationship on the down low.”
And this is especially hurtful in situations where we don’t want to introduce our partner to our family or friends. Generally, introducing your partner to your social circle means that you’re incorporating them in your life. It means you want them to become part of your life moving forward.
When you create an abyss between your personal life and that with your partner, it might seem that you don’t believe this relationship is going to last. If you are serious and committed to your partner, it is better to familiarize them with your personal life.
5. “My ex would’ve never done that.”
Personally, I see this as a major red flag. Some may not mind bringing up their ex or their partner’s ex in a conversation, and this is completely normal because the “ex” conversation is not taboo, but comparing your partner with your ex and saying that the latter is better is like throwing your relationship on the pyre.
We all have a past. A lot of us had previous relationships before getting into a serious, committed one. And if we believe our current relationship is one that would last and we are completely in love with our partner, we should never compare both in any way.
Your partner is not your ex. You partner has a different personality than your ex. Your partner shouldn’t feel like they’re in a competition with your ex.
Your ex is your past.
Your partner is your present and future.
Many other things may be hurtful for different people when it comes to love and relationships. But what we always need to keep in mind is to think before we speak.
On the spur of the moment, we might say things that we’d regret later. But why get ourselves into endless quarrels with the partner we love when we can mindfully think of their feelings first?
Eventually, we need to refrain from saying things we ourselves don’t want to hear our partner say to us.