Telling jokes is often one of the ways that couples connect. Whenever I am with my husband, I often find that one or both of us are trying to make the other laugh, to lighten the mood, or to simply make the other smile. It's a nice feeling because it makes me feel cared for and emphasizes that my partner cares about my feelings, too. However, once in a while, one of us will let slip a seemingly harmless joke that hurts the other person, and an inevitable fight ensues.
If you've been in a relationship long enough, this has probably happened to you too. When you first meet the person you plan to be with, it's difficult to know where they draw the line between funny and decidedly unfunny. Sometimes, our humor hurts people without us meaning to do so — because weren't we just trying to make them giggle a little bit? It's something that every couple needs to figure out for themselves, because we all have a different tolerance for sarcasm and jokes that barely masquerade as bitterness.
If you've got a grievance to bear, maybe sit down with your partner and talk it out instead. Do not, and I repeat, do not engage in what starts off as a joke but turns out to be just mockery, ridicule, or contempt. As an example, here are 7 seemingly harmless jokes that are actually going to surely hurt your partner. You'll want to stay away from these.
1. Song Lover
"Who sings that song? Oh, right, maybe we should keep it that way."
Singing is pretty harmless, but this joke is not. I've heard it plenty and, to be honest, I've probably said it a few times, too. But the reality is that telling someone to keep their mouth shut when their favorite song comes on is pretty careless, and it's likely to offend anyone who considers themselves pretty decent at karaoke.
"I’m jealous of people that don’t know you!"
This definitely seems like a compliment at first, amirite? It's kind of sweet... But what you're really saying here is that you are jealous that others don't know your partner because they are so annoying to you that you wish you could pawn them off. Nuh uh.
"Of course I talk like an idiot, how else would you understand me?"
This seems like it shouldn't need explaining, but I will do it anyway: It sounds like you are blaming yourself here for talking like an idiot, but instead you're actually saying to your partner that they are the idiot. Don't think that this will be lost on them. Seriously.
4. I Can
"I can explain it to you, but I can’t understand it for you."
This is just a weird way to say anything, but especially if you think that you are making a joke. It's definitely one of those sarcastic insults that may not seem like an insult at first, but it truly is. And, trust me, your partner's feelings definitely will be hurt if you go there.
"Please shut your mouth when you’re talking to me."
It's never, never okay to tell your partner that they should shut up. Sure, you might feel like it sometimes because everyone has their annoyances and bad days. But just don't do it. If you need some time to not talk, instead just ask them for some time away so that you can gain your composure and continue the conversation another time.
"What's the difference between in-laws and outlaws? Outlaws are wanted."
You might think that this joke is a funny thing to say to your hubby, but he might not think it's so amusing for you to basically call his parents unwanted. Think about it: How would you feel if he said the same about your parents? Yeah, not so great, is it?
"I told my girlfriend she drew her eyebrows too high. She seemed surprised."
Okay, this is kind of funny, but do you realize what you're really saying here? You are basically telling the person with the eyebrows in question that they are bad at makeup and, essentially, not attractive. Nobody wants to hear that they look ugly, not even if you say it to them as a joke.