13 Things You Should Never Tell Your Partner, No Matter How Close You Are
Some people think that the apex of intimacy requires an absolute lack of boundaries, secrets, or ambiguity. Though honesty is generally a good thing in any kind of relationship, there are still some things you should never tell your partner, no matter how close you are. There are just certain aspects of your life that are best left to your partner's imagination. For instance, from the early days of my husband's and my relationship, we wanted to keep an air of mystery about the things that happen in the bathroom. All we had to do was shout that word and the other person knew that door should remain closed.
Obviously every couple is unique, and different lifestyle choices bother some people more than others. Only you can decide where your comfort zone is and where the threshold for privacy is between you and your partner. With that said, however, there are a few caveats when it comes to exactly how transparent you and your significant other should be. If you're curious to know what falls into the "do not tell" category — and why — then check out what these experts believe you should never tell your partner regardless of how close you are.
1. "We're Not Like We Used To Be."
If you've been in a relationship for an extended period of time, it's normal to be nostalgic for the early, honeymoon days. But, as clinical psychology professor Dr. Alexandra Solomon told Psychology Today, the problem with lamenting that things aren't like they used to be is that it's, "fighting against the reality that love changes over time." This isn't to say you can't miss the good old days. Rather than focusing on the negative, you could simply make plans to do the kinds of activities that you used to do instead.
2. "You Complete Me."
Yes, I'm riffing on a scene from Jerry Macguire, but the point is valid nonetheless. As relationship therapist David James Lees told Cosmopolitan, you may mean well when you say this, but it, "creates an energetic imbalance in the relationship as it elevates your partner to a higher or more dominant status." A healthier way to express this feeling is to compliment your partner by highlighting how well you work together as a team.
3. An Insult Disguised As A Joke
Sarcasm can take many forms, and there's a fine line between comedy and tragedy. As relationship expert and psychologist Antonia Hall told Reader's Digest, "sarcastic comments that put your partner down will erode the relationship and are likely to leave your partner feeling frustrated." No matter how close you are with your partner, what you may think is a joke can feel like a dig to your SO.
4. "You've Put On Some Weight."
Once you've been with someone for a while, it's easy to slip into a comfort zone where you no longer use a filter. Dating coach Robyn Wahlgast told HuffPost that any form of body shaming is destructive in a relationship. Even if you just want your partner to be healthy, putting it in such harsh terms is more likely to make the situation worse than better.
5. Every Single Detail
It turns out that there really is such a thing as TMI. As psychotherapist Dr. Robi Ludwig told Alloy, being open is great, but, "that doesn't mean they need to be honest to the point where it causes more harm than good to their partner." Consider if what you're about to tell your significant other helps or hinders things.
6. "I Don't Care."
Again, intention and tone have a lot to do with what you say and you say it. As psychology professor Dr. John Gottman told Psych Central, saying, "I don't care" implies a lack of interest both in them and your relationship. Showing attention daily, even if it's something small, is better than blowing your SO off with an IDC response.
7. "That's Crazy."
Not only is the word crazy problematic for mental health reasons, but it can be a slow burning destructive force in your partnership, too. "This sends the message that your partner's perspective isn't valid," clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler told Prevention. Dismissing your significant other's feelings, ideas, or problems by telling them it's ridiculous is akin to implying you refuse to legitimize them.
8. "It's Fine."
Sometimes things may truly be fine, but this phrase can be a bit of a minefield between partners regardless of how close you are. As relationship expert Anita Chipala told Redbook, "using 'fine' can leave things unresolved and breed resentment." If the issue bothers you but you simply don't want to address it at the moment, then tell them that instead of saying, "It's fine."
9. "Because I Said So."
This is a statement best left to parents and their children, not equal partners in a relationship. As human behavior expert Dr. Gail Gross told HuffPost, the phrase "trivializes your spouse and reduces [them] to a juvenile status." Why is this so detrimental and something you should never tell your partner? Gross explained that it makes your loved one feel inferior. Take the few extra seconds to explain your reasoning rather than resorting to this demeaning saying.
10. "You're Being Just Like..."
In the heat of the moment, it's particularly easy to lose your cool and make some hurtful comments. But comparing your partner to someone in a negative way only adds more fuel to the fire, as Solomon told Psychology Today. As tempting as it may be to tell your SO that they're acting just like their mother, for example, press pause and collect your thoughts before you say something you'll regret.
11. "Don't Guilt Trip Me."
When you and your significant other have a difference of opinion, things can get a bit muddled. But, you should never play the blame game with guilt, as Lees told Cosmopolitan. Lees further explained that, "you are the creator of your feelings, so you'll only experience uncomfortable feelings of guilt if you actually believe you're in the wrong." Dig deep to address why these emotions are hitting you rather than telling your partner they're responsible for them.
12. Any Kind Of Gaslighting
According to the official site of Merriam-Webster Dictionary, gaslighting is when you make a person doubt their memories or perceptions. Even in more subtle or unintentional forms — like saying, "you're overreacting," or "you're being too sensitive," for instance — gaslighting your partner is toxic in a relationship, as Stacey Laura Lloyd told Reader's Digest. So think twice before you tell someone else how to react about something.
13. "I'll Do Anything."
I'm certainly guilty of being a people-pleaser and caring too much about what others think, but conforming to someone else's standards is a slippery slope. As psychologist Dr. Patricia A. O'Gorman told Redbook, "you will not like yourself more if there is less of you — and neither will they." No matter how in love or close you are, you shouldn't lose your identity in the partnership.